When thinking about humidity, it may bring to mind moisture in the air, or an extremely hot, sticky day in the south. Which is uncomfortable enough, but when we think about dealing with humidity in an RV it can get even more uncomfortable.
If humidity goes unchecked in an RV it can lead to some serious problems.
It isn’t so much the humidity that creates the problem, but the resulting condensation that can become a nightmare. Changes in temperature can affect the amount of moisture in the air. That same change can pull moisture from the air allowing it to become water build-up on the surfaces of colder objects.
Some of the places moisture can collect include windows, window seals, window panes, metal objects—really anything in the RV that can maintain a colder temperature than the air.
If the water collects enough and isn’t handled properly it can create mold, cause wood to rot, or even start to rust metal. All of these things can lead to extreme problems in the future.
The good news is there are easy solutions to help manage the condensation created in your rig. Let’s dive into five ways to manage the humidity in an RV, so you avoid bigger issues down the road.
Weather stations can give you a much better idea of how much humidity you have in your RV. This can be useful when trying to manage the humidity and resulting condensation you may experience.
A good rule of thumb is to try and maintain a humidity level of somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. If you have a weather station in your rig you’ll have a precise reading of where your levels are at.
If you find yourself getting out of the ideal range, you can use some of the tools mentioned below to lower the humidity level.
We stumbled onto our dehumidifier by accident, but man am I ever glad we did. During our RV renovation we discovered a massive leak coming from the roof. Before we repaired it we needed to remove all the water that had been soaking into the ceiling for who knows how long.
We rented an industrial-style dehumidifier which pulled in a ton of water, but the daily rental started to add up pretty quick. That’s when we decided to purchase our own.
The dehumidifier we ordered can hold up to 30 pints. It did a great job of pulling water from our ceiling, and it’s been helping us weekly to keep our humidity at bay.
When our windows get foggy or our humidity levels get higher than we like, we roll out the dehumidifier and put it to work.
You might be asking yourself how am I going to store that huge thing? To be honest it can be a hassle, but rest assured there are much smaller ones you can use if you’d like.
If you find yourself worried about the size, you may want to consider a smaller one. We’ve heard great things about Eva-Dry products, which are more compact and eco-friendly.
Moisture absorbers come in many different forms and sizes and can be extremely budget-friendly. With that said, not all moisture absorbers are environmentally friendly.
You can purchase specific products such as DampRid, or you can repurpose other items for this job, such as those small silica packets you find in shoe boxes, electronics, and new clothing. Our only recommendation if you plan to use DampRid or a similar product is to make sure it has a safety cover. This is because they contain chemicals that can be dangerous for pets, children, and even ourselves if mishandled.
If you have cats you may want to try using kitty litter as a moisture absorber. We haven’t tried this but have heard that placing it inside a Ziploc bag or jar on the dashboard can help reduce condensation. If you already have cat litter on hand, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
Looking for an eco-friendly moisture absorber option? For around $10 you can purchase a linen-stitched bag filled with bamboo charcoal, which is nontoxic and can be reused for up to two years.
Ventilation can be a great way to help keep condensation from forming in the first place. There are a couple different ways to ventilate your RV, but the best practice would be to do them all when you can.
- Crack a window
- Cook with lids on pans
- Open and turn on the rooftop fan/vents when cooking or taking a shower
- Or just cook more outside
By doing these simple practices you’ll give the humidity an easy escape to the outside.
If you’re ready to take on humidity and condensation with full force, you can always change out your single-pane windows for double-pane. This takes a bit more investment than the other options but could reap huge rewards.
By upgrading to double-pane windows you’re keeping the inside window at a warmer temperature. One of the main reasons condensation forms is due to differences in air and material temperatures, so this could go a long way in your battle.
I’ve heard this works well although it isn’t guaranteed to eliminate condensation all together. By taking this approach you’ll better insulate your RV while also lowering the chance of condensation forming.
At the very least you’ll be able to maintain the interior temperature of your RV a lot easier, which can come in handy during the summer or winter. We currently have single-pane windows but would love to upgrade them in the future.
Overall we’ve found great success with using our weather station in combination with our dehumidifier. I think the key here is doing as much research as you can in order to find the best tools to help you manage the humidity in your rig.