Winter Storage - in very wet climate - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-25-2006, 02:10 AM   #1
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I am storing my Boler outside in a very wet climate (Hope, BC).

Every year I run into issues of mold/mildew creeping up and settling on my ensolite.

I have no leaks.....

I use the Dri-Z-Air with some success but the trailer still has a ton of moisture int he air. I usually tarp it but find that keeping the windows shut tight and the tarp over everything it just traps in the moisture making it worse......

while leaving the windows open just invites more moisture....


I think the portable heater is way to $$ on the hydro bill and do not feel to safe fire wise.

I have thought about hanging a trouble light from the ceiling with one of those new flourescent energy efficient bulbs to create a bit of heat and take care of the moisture in the air while leaving one of the windows cracked slightly? Would a regular light bulbe be better to generate more heat??

Anyone know if this will work?


Thanks!!!
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:35 AM   #2
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Kurt, we used the light bulb trick in our barracks lockers on Guam many years ago. I think it helped a little, but probably only ran up the electric bill. I don't think the low-wattage flourescent would produce enough heat to bother with.

A small de-humidifier running all winter with the windows closed would probably do more for you. They can be set up with a hose to drain the water out of the tank. We run two year-round in our basement.

Roger
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Old 10-25-2006, 07:46 AM   #3
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Consider removing anything from inside the trailer that would hold moisture. All the foam cushions, throw rugs and maybe even the drapery. I have used two Dry-Z-Air canisters with success. One in the sink and one near the door. The trick is to check them often and dump the water out of the canister holding tanks. If the canisters are allowed to fill up, all you're doing is recycling that moisture back into the air. In the wettest part of our winter, I'll check the canisters every couple of weeks, at a minimum.
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:24 AM   #4
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We had a strange leak in our Scamp last winter. After finding and fixing I put in a Dehumidfiyer, It really worked. We have our Kenmore running now it cycles on and off . We use the low setting and check and dump the water about once a week. The smallest at Sears was $160. US. But they really do solve the problem. There are smaller available .
Nancy had one at the Northern Oregon Gathering. This is a bit of a spendy fix but we found it really does sove the problem.
Keep Dry this winter
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:36 AM   #5
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We had a strange leak in our Scamp last winter. After finding and fixing I put in a Dehumidfiyer, It really worked. We have our Kenmore running now it cycles on and off . We use the low setting and check and dump the water about once a week. The smallest at Sears was $160. US. But they really do solve the problem. There are smaller available .
Nancy had one at the Northern Oregon Gathering. This is a bit of a spendy fix but we found it really does sove the problem.
Keep Dry this winter
I googled Mini dehumidifyers and found a number of products from $40 up
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Old 10-25-2006, 08:49 AM   #6
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Try storeing under a breathable cover or try placeing the tarp so there is an opening near the top to let moiture out. Plastic tarps just trap the moisture underneath which is great if you want to start plants from seeds or grow mold .
I use a bucket of Damp Rid for the times the Casita is closed up for weeks at a time.
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Old 10-25-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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The purpose of the classic light bulb trick is only to add heat. The point of a fluorescent light is to make light, and not heat. A low-power conventional bulb would put out the same heat as a fluorescent of the same wattage, at lower cost (for the light). There is no more efficient way to convert electricity to heat than any old resistor, which is what a light bulb is.

Like Roger, I don't see the heat output of any common fluorescent (40 W or less) being useful. On the other hand, a useful amount of heat will mean a significant amount of energy. Electricity is an expensive way to buy energy, so I agree that might be important, but I don't know if it is in this case. For instance, 100W for 24 hours a day for 6 months is 432 kW-hours, or perhaps fifty bucks for the whole winter. I don't run a heater in my Boler, but it's not really the cost which stops me.

Electric heaters have high temperature and (I assume) tip-over cutoff features; a light bulb does not. Maybe, if electric heat is the goal, the best device would be the lowest-powered portable electric heater you can find, set on "low" or (if it has a thermostat) at its lowest temperature setting. A heater with a fan would also have the advantage of distributing the heat more effectively through the trailer.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:25 PM   #8
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Kurt, a little closer to the coast here, but last year I just used a l'il micro furnace and cracked one or two side windows open. I DID neglect to open cupboard doors and storage compartment doors, resulting in a bout of green guck in all "closed" areas.

This year we have a portable storage shelter ( from Home Depot at about $250) and we have moved our Trillium in under it. We are in the process of removing EVERYTHING that isn't nailed/riveted down and opening ALL storage areas and are going to try leaving some windows open to let the air move on its own accord. I have an idea that the cost of the shelter might add up to the (wasted?) cost of the heater plus the clean up this last spring. If our plan doesn't work right this season, then next year we will reinstall the l'il micro furnace and try all over again.

What difference does/could it make (dollar wise) to keep these little jewels clean and mould free???
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:14 AM   #9
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if you have a Maxx-Aire cover for your roof vent and Maxx-Aire louvers for at least one window you can leave them partially open for air circulation. Warm air (a light bulb is perhaps easiest since you can if it is burnt out or not working) will accomplish 2 things, warm air holds more moisture and will also create a convection current. The open window will supply air to replace the warm, rising air which has flowed out the roof vent. Since no air is trapped inside, the humidity willl not accumulate. Kind of like "a rolling stone gathers no moss", the moving air grows no mold.

The electric heater we use for heat has a "freeze prevention" setting which is much lower than the normal thermostat settings so I can't give a realistic wattage comparable to a light bulb.. We also left all the cabinets open so no moisture could be trapped inside. It would probably be prudent to change back to a dinette set-up so there would not be stagnant air trapped under the bed (if you are so inclined and/or your TT allows that option). This system has worked for us for 2 previous years without a cover of any kind on "Nuestra Casita". This year she has become our bedroom each night while our home is under major remodel. Even so, we have the roof vent open at least an inch and a window open about the same 24/7. Maybe it's just that we enjoy fresh air, but we have not had the distinction of propagating a personal mold patch.
That's our experience so, since it works for us, were sticking to it!

Dealing with a moldy TT is not our idea of an enjoyable way to spend our time! We are willing to spend a little money now, to prevent having to spend money, time and energy later when we could be camping.

We wish you success with whatever method you choose,
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:12 AM   #10
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Hi: I just heard on another forum...Tarp the top and use an oscillating fan on a timer..seems the least energy $$$'s spent to keep a 13' Boler etc. DRY Having had about 9" of rain in the last month I think I should have bought an ARK!!! but I do like "CHEAP" Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:47 PM   #11
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thanks for the replies. I am not against the heater idea either...odes anyone here know what the difference is intheir Hydro bills for running one at a low temp?

thanks!!
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:21 PM   #12
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thanks for the replies. I am not against the heater idea either...odes anyone here know what the difference is intheir Hydro bills for running one at a low temp?

thanks!!
Kurt,

I have used a 120V heater ( tip-over protected) for a number of years during storage in the winter and have never had any problems with moisture or mold. I use a standard 120V household thermostat housed in a metal electrical box which is wired into an extension cord connected to the heater. This thermostat is much more accurate and reliable than the crude light duty thermostats employed in most small heaters. I set the temperature for about 50 degrees F and select the lower power setting on my heater (750W). In this way the heater does not run continously except when it is extremely cold outside - not a common occurance on the wet West Coast. The heater has a built in fan which circulates the air and I leave the roof vent slightly open.


I'm not certain how much power is used with this method, but what ever it is, I think having a dry and mold free trailer is well worth the modest cost.

Steve.
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Old 10-28-2006, 12:32 AM   #13
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Last winter I put a small electric heater in the trailer and tried to keep the temp around 50. I keep the roof vent open a very small amount, and the window over the kitchen open a bit. Add a little Dri-Z-Air and eveything seemed to stay good. We also used the trailer all year, at least once a month. We plan on doing the same thing this year except I put up a steel carport and the trailer now lives under that.
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Old 10-30-2006, 01:46 PM   #14
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I still favor the dehumidifier especially after I need to use the trailer and find the bedding dry and not all musty smelling. I run my dehumdifier on low and do not notice any increase in my power bill. I need to check it and drain the water once a week .
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