Whether you are a new RV owner, excited to start on a new journey with it, or a seasoned one who have gone on multiple exciting adventures on your RV, high levels of humidity in the RV is a problem that all RV owners constantly face. High humidity levels can cause serious problems to your RV, harming not only your RV, but also potentially causing damage to your health and your loved ones with you in the RV. Who knew a bit of moisture in the air can be that bad for all of us!
Humidity levels in the RV rises due to many different reasons, from your daily activities of cooking, showering, drying your clothes, to things out of our control, such as breathing or changes in the temperature outside. High humidity levels causes many problems, such as resulting in water vapor condensing on surfaces of the RV. If these surfaces are left damp, moisture will set in.
Mold and mildew will start to grow, and metal furnishings will be prone to corrosion. This not only threatens the structure of your RV, but can also cause serious health problems. If you are not a fan of that damp smell in the air, and want your RV to last as long as possible, this is the article for you.
Monitoring the humidity in your RV
To make sure that the air in your RV is not too humid, it is important to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your RV. To do that, you can use a hygrometer. Digital hygrometers are relatively inexpensive, and many options are available for purchase online. Hygrometers are instruments that will allow you to measure the moisture levels in your environment, allowing you to monitor the humidity in your RV at all times.
Hygrometers are important in keeping your RV in a good state, as you will be able to know when the humidity levels in your RV are too high or too low, allowing you to take corrective measures to ensure that the humidity in your RV is at its optimum level.
If it is too humid in your RV, what can you do?
1. Using a dehumidifier
Chances are, you have a dehumidifier running in your house, so why not invest in one for your RV. After all, it is a second home. There are two main types of dehumidifiers that you can opt for- electric dehumidifiers or products based on chemical moisture removing crystals.
Do an online search or pop by your local homeware store, and there will be an entire range of different electric dehumidifiers that you can choose from to best suit your needs. A good tip is to go for one that is smaller, unlike the standard sizes that are used in houses, as you would not want it to take up too much space in your RV. When choosing the perfect dehumidifier for your RV, take into consideration how damp the air in your RV is, and also the space you have in your RV.
Chemical based moisture removing crystals:
Chemical dehumidifiers are a simple solution to a humid RV. Usually, they take up less space than an electric dehumidifier, and do not need to be plugged in to work. These chemical dehumidifiers are usually a container filled with calcium chloride crystals, and work by absorbing the excess moisture in the air and trapping it. Most containers are refillable, so you are not causing too much harm to the environment by constantly changing out the container too.
Comparing electric dehumidifiers and chemical based dehumidifiers:
Both options come with their pros and cons. There is no perfect dehumidifier for everyone, only one that best suits your needs. Hence, hopefully the comparison of these options will help you to make the best choice for you and your RV.
Have a pet?: If you have a pet, a chemical based dehumidifier might not be the best choice for you. Your furry friend can get sick if they eat or lick the chemical crystals, causing much distress to both you and them, along with a hefty fee from visits to the vet. A way to get around this is to purchase chemical dehumidifiers that come with a lid. However, there will still be a risk of your pet finding a way to open the lid to get to these crystals that are harmful for them.
Convenience: With the electric dehumidifier, you will have to empty the water collection tank every few days, depending on how humid it is in the RV, and how big your RV is. On the other hand, with chemical dehumidifiers, you will have to replace the crystals from time to time as they absorb the moisture in the air. Typically, the crystals will have to be replaced every few months.
Cost: Running an electric dehumidifier uses electricity, and the cost of purchasing one upfront is higher than opting for a chemical dehumidifier. The need for it to be plugged in to an electrical supply to work will also not be ideal if you are not connected to an electric hookup and are relying on a battery for it to work. Alternatively, chemical dehumidifiers are relatively cheaper- after purchasing one in a container, the only other main cost that you will incur is from purchasing replacement crystals that have to be changed every few months.
Against the use of chemicals?: Of course, the use of chemical dehumidifiers will introduce and expose you and your family or friends in the RV to another source of chemicals. While some people are totally fine with that, others might not be that comfortable with exposing themselves to such chemicals. While these chemicals are certified safe to use, if you want to keep things natural, and do not believe in the use of chemicals for health or environmental reasons, an electric dehumidifier might be a better choice.
How much space do you have in the RV?: Chemical dehumidifiers are usually smaller than electric dehumidifiers. If it is already a squeeze in your RV, and you would rather have more space for a beanbag or game console, chemical dehumidifiers would be a better bet.
2. Open your windows
If it is not raining, and it is bright and sunny outside, open your windows to let the fresh air in. Not only will you feel more refreshed, but opening the windows will also improve circulation of air in the RV, and can help to reduce humidity.
3. Try not to dry your clothes in the RV
While it is tempting to choose the convenient way of drying your clothes- taking them straight out of the washing machine and hanging them in your RV to dry, this will not do any good if you are trying to reduce the humidity in your RV. As the clothes dry, the moisture from your damp clothes go into the air in the RV, increasing humidity levels inside it. Instead, hang your clothes outside to dry under the sun, and you will save yourself from musty damp smells in your RV, and also get fresher smelling clothes to change into.
4. Cover your pans when cooking, or cook in the great outdoors
Boiling, steaming and even frying up your food in the RV will cause steam to accumulate in your RV, increasing the humidity levels in it. If possible, take cooking your meals outside, and enjoy the sunset views while you prepare your favorite evening meal. Enjoy the great outdoors to the fullest!
5. Turn on your exhaust fans when taking a shower or cooking
If you really have to cook indoors, turn the exhaust fan on. Taking a hot shower after a tough day will relax you instantly, but that relaxed state will not last when you realise how much steam has been produced and how humid your RV has become. For an easy fix, remember to turn the exhaust fans on when you are taking a shower, and continue to leave it on for a little while after stepping out of the bathroom to make sure all that moisture is being brought out of your RV.
So there you go! With these tips and tricks to keep humidity levels down in your RV, you will be set for many more adventures in your RV- mold and mildew free!