Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Condensation and humidity in an RV is a big issue. Not only does it cause damage to the RV interior with potential mould and mildew buildup but it can also have negative effects on your health. 

Condensation happens when water vapour in the air comes in contact with cold surfaces such as windows, leaving a film of water - condensation. This can also occur behind seat cushions, under mattresses and in lockers. Since your RV is about a 10th of the size of the average house, cooking, hot showers and even breathing will quickly load up the air with water vapour.

Vents and Hatches

Ventilation and circulating air through your RV is one of the most effective ways to prevent condensation. Vents and hatches are an ideal way to add extra circulation, especially in places like bathrooms that get extra steamy. Modern-day hatches are designed to allow passive airflow which is ideal when it rains or when your vehicle is away in storage. They can also come with some extra features such as fans which increase the airflow.

Windows

RV windows now have double glazing for extra insulation and plastic frames as opposed to metal. This can help avoid “thermal bridges” (in this case, a thermal bridge would be window conducting the cold from outside of the caravan, to inside the caravan where it will cool down water vapour in the air, turning it into condensation)

Insulation

The drivers cab in motorhomes is another condensation hot-spot. Using a set of thermal blinds will help prevent condensation from forming on the inside cab windows. They will also protect your dashboard and keep your cab much cooler in the summer months.

Cooker Rangehoods

Another area that sees a lot of moisture is the kitchen. In a typical house you can create 3 liters of moisture per day thanks to all the cooking and one litre per day due to dish washing. You probably won’t be adding this level of moisture in a RV but nonetheless, it’s an important area to review. Try to cover water boiling in a pot with a lid when possible. Make sure you have a rangehood operating while you are cooking to extract the steam and keep your vehicle smelling fresh.

Other things you can do

The main solution to reducing condensation is to increase airflow but there are a few other things you can do to lessen the amount of water vapour in your caravan or motorhome. 

Keep areas prone to wetness and moisture dry, such as the bathroom, kitchen and vanity basin. If you can, squeegee water down plugholes. If you wipe down areas with a cloth, be sure to wring it out as much as possible and if possible, dry it outside. If you choose to hang it up inside, be aware that the moisture from the cloth is still likely to evaporate back into the air, making your drying efforts useless.

Some rooftop air conditioners will have dehumidifying settings on both the Air Conditioner and Heating modes.

You may also find vents built into other places like doors, stepwells and under ovens. It’s important to keep items away from these vents to ensure optimal circulation.

RV Storage

Before storing your RV away for the winter there are some tips for reducing dampness which may lead to mould and mildew. Defrost your refrigerator and open all doors and windows to let it air out. Make sure there is no water on any benches, in the bathroom or inside the kettle. Stand all seat cushions on their side and leave all cupboards open.

If you follow these guidelines you’ll be able to keep your RV drier for a more comfortable and healthier camping experience.