Cold weather condensation - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-28-2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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I'm looking for ideas on what to do about condensation on windows while camping in cold weather. I recently took my scamp out for several nights where the temps got down to freezing or below. In the morning there was a lot of condensation on the windows and the roof hatch dome. (This is due to moisture from our breath, since we do not use a catalytic heater). I am planning on installing quarter inch closed cell foam on the inside of the dome and I think that will work well. On the windows, I was thinking about polar tech covers on the inside, which would be easily removed in the morning, and would provide the added benefit of blocking out bright lights in some areas. But I think I need a vapor barrier too, to keep the moisture away from the cold glass. I'm interested to hear if anyone has any good fixes.
Thanks,
Sonny
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Old 09-28-2006, 10:31 PM   #2
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I've always found that keeping fresh air circulating helps but in colder weather, who wants to keep windows open?
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:51 AM   #3
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I have always cracked the dome open a little, this seems to help a lot, and it doesn't lose a lot of heat.
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Old 09-29-2006, 07:35 AM   #4
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Sonny, the best fix is air flow. You may lose a little heat, but it makes a huge difference in condensation.

Roger
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Old 09-29-2006, 09:42 AM   #5
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Having just gone through this at Yellowstone, we found that leaving the vent open, and starting the fan first thing in the morning when we cracked the drapes was the ticket. Condensation was gone in an hour or so. Note that I have a Fantastic Vent with a MaxxAir cover.

Victor
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Old 09-30-2006, 11:07 AM   #6
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If you can spare the room..

I carry lots of cheap paer towels and wipe down the windows often.

Keep the weep holes cleaned out. Thats what they are there for.
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Old 09-30-2006, 08:18 PM   #7
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I have always kept the roof vents cracked open. Had snow on the screen but not iced up windows.
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Old 09-30-2006, 09:28 PM   #8
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It's unanimous!! Ventilation wins hands down! I'll try it next time.

The window covers I was thinking of would serve another purpose too, to stop outside (cold) air infiltration, and also provide some insulation. I think I may have to give it a try. There is a lot of air leakage through the jalousie windows.

All I know is, cold weather is no reason to not go camping! I haven't used the trailer much since buying it, but I really enjoyed this trip.
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Old 10-01-2006, 12:44 AM   #9
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Condensation on the rear window panes is a GOOD thing -- The crankout windows tend to be self-draining and I use a SqueeGee on the sliding windows to move the water down to the drain.

Condensation on the window frames, however, is a BAD thing, esp on the back sides -- What I did was apply felt and adhesive-backed foam to the backsides of all the window frames, filling the gaps so vapor-laden air didn't touch the metal (also glued foam strips to the metal collar of the roof vent) -- Front side of frames is handled by occasional application of sponge, which is then wrung out in sink so water goes out drain and out of the mini-ecosystem inside the trailer.

Even 'tho I hardly ever open the gravel shield, I put curtains up inside to keep the air from circulating against the plexiglass AND I glued foam insulation (like backpacker foam mats, except I found some white stuf) to the backside of the gravel shield -- If I do raise the shield in nice weather, the foam goes up with it.

But the best thing is still ventilation -- In winter, I keep my kitchen window cranked open a bit and my door window slid up a bit to provide cross-ventilation and plenty of O2 for my vent-free heater -- Since the heater isn't adjustable and puts out more heat than I need, I also wind up opening the roof vent -- Hot air holds more moisture than cool air, so the stuf rising out of the vent is taking a lot of the moisture out of the system.
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Old 10-01-2006, 08:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
I'm looking for ideas on what to do about condensation on windows while camping in cold weather. I recently took my scamp out for several nights where the temps got down to freezing or below. In the morning there was a lot of condensation on the windows and the roof hatch dome. (This is due to moisture from our breath, since we do not use a catalytic heater). I am planning on installing quarter inch closed cell foam on the inside of the dome and I think that will work well. On the windows, I was thinking about polar tech covers on the inside, which would be easily removed in the morning, and would provide the added benefit of blocking out bright lights in some areas. But I think I need a vapor barrier too, to keep the moisture away from the cold glass. I'm interested to hear if anyone has any good fixes.
Thanks,
Sonny
My wife and I have been using our Scamp as a "spare" bedroom when visiting our daughter Thanksgiving-Christmas and have camped in primative sites very early in the spring when night time temps are in the mid 20's. We have had very little problem with condensation so long as the bathroom window was opened slightly and the roof vent "cracked" just a little. Something I have tried in other applications is the self-adheasive hook & loop (using only the "hook" portion) glued on to a insulated panel and stuck to the "rat fur" interior covering of the Scamp. I was planning to do this more to block the light than for insulation but it should do both.
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:46 PM   #11
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My wife and I have been using our Scamp as a "spare" bedroom when visiting our daughter Thanksgiving-Christmas and have camped in primative sites very early in the spring when night time temps are in the mid 20's. We have had very little problem with condensation so long as the bathroom window was opened slightly and the roof vent "cracked" just a little. Something I have tried in other applications is the self-adheasive hook & loop (using only the "hook" portion) glued on to a insulated panel and stuck to the "rat fur" interior covering of the Scamp. I was planning to do this more to block the light than for insulation but it should do both.
John,
The vel-cro is what I was thinking of trying with the window covers too. Have you had any problem with it tending to pull the rat fur loose? That would be my greatest concern. Also, not sure what type of material to use for the covers. It needs to be flexible enough to fit over the shape of the window frame, thick enough to block out light, and I would think it should be a vapor barrier to keep the moist air away from the aluminum frame and glass.

Pete, I like the idea of the closed cell foam glued on the back of the gravel shield. And covering the exposed aluminum frames too. Is the heater you mentioned a catalytic heater? If so, do you use propane from the trailer tank, or from a separate bottle?
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:16 PM   #12
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We use our scamp all fall into December and here in western and north central Montana it can get really cold. We have been in temps as low as 15 below and the furnace runs constantly. I keep the roof vent cracked and the door or stove window cracked depending on the wind direction and we still have condensation on the window frames.

But there are usually two of us and two big dogs, plenty of water vaopr from norka breathing. When I am by myself, there is less to no condensation.

Just crank up the heat in the morning and open the vent about an inch and the condensation is gone.

I would think unless you use dual pane windows and thermally isolated window frames, there will still be some condensation in a space as small as these.

Gary
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Old 12-16-2006, 01:08 PM   #13
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Sonny,

I cut pieces of reflectix to fit the windows and used double sticky velcro pieces on the window frame and the reflectix. It works great, insulates the frames, and blocks light. I don't like hooking into the rat fur because it might pull loose and it gets fuzzy.

We don't usually sleep with a heater running at night. Instead we slightly open the hatch over the bed and sleep snugly under a down comforter. First one up turns on the coffee pot and the heater.

Nita

Quote:
John,
The vel-cro is what I was thinking of trying with the window covers too. Have you had any problem with it tending to pull the rat fur loose? That would be my greatest concern. Also, not sure what type of material to use for the covers. It needs to be flexible enough to fit over the shape of the window frame, thick enough to block out light, and I would think it should be a vapor barrier to keep the moist air away from the aluminum frame and glass.

Pete, I like the idea of the closed cell foam glued on the back of the gravel shield. And covering the exposed aluminum frames too. Is the heater you mentioned a catalytic heater? If so, do you use propane from the trailer tank, or from a separate bottle?
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:44 AM   #14
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We don't have a heater in our trailer, but we still struggle with condensation at extremely low temperatures. Our trailer is insulated, (3/4" foam in the walls, and 1 1/2" mirrored "bubble-pack" in ceiling) but that doesn't have anything to do with condensation. What we do is crack a window and crack the exhaust fan hood. We don't have any condensation now..........................but the trailer isn't very warm when we get up. Thank goodness for comforters...............and, besides, isn't that what cuddling is all about?!?!?!
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