Condensation on walls - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-16-2008, 06:56 AM   #1
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: Boler 13 ft / 31 ft Holiday Rambler
Posts: 1,278
As most of you know, I have been in my Boler 13 footer as camp-host all summer in soggy New Hampsire. After one cool, wet week about 8 weeks into my stint, condensation was so bad, I needed to dry cushions and upon takint them out, I noticed alittle mold behind them, where the cushions touch the walls. I cleaned with bleach and water and thought that was that.
Now that the season is over I started to pack up and takeing the cushions off the bed area to get into the cubbies to pack things, UGH!!!! the walls in the cubbies were full of mold.
Now, I have had my bed set up for 6 months and had no need to get into the cubbies so didn't notice it untill end of season.
Short of takeing cushions off every day and opening cubbies to heat them up, was there or is there some sort of chemical I could have placed in there so this problem would not happen again?

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Old 10-16-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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Name: April
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 1983
Posts: 534
I am no expert on this situation, but I do live in Houston where the humidity is very high, and we have mildew/mold issues here too. We were thinking of putting containers of Damp Rid in the cabinets and bunks, to help keep the moisture from collecting in there all the time. I don't know how effective this will be in a long term sense, you may have to replace them once every month or so, or add more granuals to them or something.... but I know we are going to be facing something similar to your situation living down here, it is so humid. Worse case maybe you could paint it with Kills inside the cabinets/bunks I think it is not only supposed to kill the mold, but keep it from returning?? Anyone else know about this?

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Old 10-16-2008, 10:16 AM   #3
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Name: Daniel
Trailer: '74 Trillium 1300
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Something to consider... I used to have what we thought were big condensation problems, but turned out to be hard-to-detect leaks along the horizontal seam which caused water to dribble behind the ensolite all the way down into the storage bins. Not enough to make a puddle, but enough to keep it all nice and moist in wet weather. Insufficient ventilation does that, too. Since the leak was fixed, all storage areas are bone-dry and the only condensation we get is the occasional moist cushion underside which we set to dry as soon as possible.
Driving on parkways and parking in driveways.
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Old 10-16-2008, 11:05 PM   #4
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Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 1983
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Thanks for bringing this up, we have had rain for the past 3 days, so I took out the cushions and checked for leaks, and found a couple. I think I tracked them down to exposed rivits on the horizontal seam, so as soon as it's dry out, I plan to go around and seal up any exposed rivits and seams. It is good that the leaks were found this early on, as mold is a real problem around here. It is hard to find leaks with ensolite, since it tends to feel moist to the touch. I am in the process of putting a synthetic fabric up with velcro strips that I am gorilla glueing to the wall. This will put a soft fuzzy layer between us and the wall that will kind of resemble the fuzzy rat fur. I am trying to do this in such a way that the fabric will be removable and washable. Also if we get tired of the color or the fabric isn't working right, I can always replace it with something new. I am hoping this will work out, and keep it from raining on us inside .
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:13 PM   #5
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Name: Pete
Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
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Back in 1969 when I lived in Miami without air conditioning ( read that as mega moldy) we had little humidistat controlled electric heaters in our closets that would turn on when the humidity got too high.

They ran on AC and did a really good job. Otherwise your shoes would get moldy and have a really funky smell ( more so than just feet.)
They just sat on the floor and didn't take up hardly any space.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:25 AM   #6
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Trailer: 1975 Trillium 13 ft / Chevy Astrovan
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I'm watching this topic with interest. We have the issues of high humidity here in the summer, and long storage in the winter, and I've noticed some mildew in the cubbies.
Have been considering drilling a pattern of little holes in the sides of cubbies below the dinnette for ventilation.
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:18 AM   #7
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Trailer: 2009 Trillium 1300 "Homelet"/2014 Subaru Outback "Rosie"
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I would think running a dehumidifier for a few hours a day would take care of it. Of course open all the enclosed spaces.;gobutton.y=5

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Old 10-18-2008, 07:13 AM   #8
Trailer: 1979 Trillium and 1989 Bigfoot (named 'Swanky')
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Every year we have to start the spring with a mold cleanup for the trailer inside because of our damp winters and the trailer stored outside. Two years ago the damp was so bad in the summer that I had to do the cleanup again in the fall. That was simply TOOO MUCH !! I also have chemical sensativities ( to mold as well) so I can't use bleach or many other strong cleaners with translates into amazing amounts of elbow grease.
Read about a product called "Concrobium mold control" and decided to try it.
First of smell and no reaction from my chemical sensativities...good start.
So cleaned the trailer to spotless and used the product.
Happy to report that in the spring after the treatment there was NO mold anywhere.
This summer some very small spots started (record amounts of rain this year ) so I cleaned the spots and used the product again.
results ....the mold is held at bay once again.
Not perfect to be sure , but better than anything else I've tried in 10 years.
Purchased Concrobium at Home Depot but notice others are selling it now too.
Just another idea from damp old Halifax.

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Old 10-18-2008, 07:39 AM   #9
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Name: April
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 1983
Posts: 534
Thanks for the info Donna. I am also very sensitive to chemicals and mold, and hate having to use those cleaners that run me out of the room every time. I am glad there is something else out there that will be easier on us sensitive types! I will be sure to pack some of that in our cleaning supplies. I can tell our camper was old and moldy before the last owners had it, and painted OVER it, there are areas in the closet and under the benches that still have the old surface showing and you can see all the old mold stains. Luckily the camper does not smell bad.

I don't know if keeping "damp rid" in the camper will work, but it seems like it would at least help keep the moisture lower in the areas that don't get vented. I don't know if it will present a problem with chemical sensitivity. You would probably want to use it when the trailer is in storage.
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:55 PM   #10
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Name: Pat
Trailer: U-Haul CT13 ('Pearl')
SW Ohio
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Mold and mildew are very difficult to control. Use water and detergent, not bleach, and let it really dry out! Here is the EPA site.

If the cubbies had vents, it would be better in damp areas. I recall that someone just redid their 5th wheel and had aluminum panel vented doors. Maybe cutting a hole in the doors, and benches and setting in a vent panel would help. (look cool too!)

I had a friend rig their trailer with low watt light bulbs that kept the trailer dry in the winter. I can't remember if she left the night lights on all the time or put them on a timer. She liked it; maybe it kept the mice warm.

Good luck
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:04 PM   #11
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Name: April
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp 1983
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Our camper is going to be in our driveway, so we don't plan to lock it up in storage, rather spend as much time in it as possible while we are home and can make improvements/updates. This will allow us to keep up with problems as they occur, rather than finding it months later. Hopefully all the daily use will keep things vented and not moldy. I just spent the morning resealing the rivots and cracs along the middle seam. Hopefully this will cut down on seeping in dew and rain.
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:52 PM   #12
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: Boler 13 ft / 31 ft Holiday Rambler
Posts: 1,278
I have read all the messages and none exept the vents in the cubbies may do some good.
There are no water leaks and all moisture was just due to condesation. How do I know....if it was a leak, with some of the 5 and 6 days of solid rain I am sure there would have been some puddling up of water in the low spots.
Also I have stored my Boler, for the past 4 years, outside in the winter and where the inside air temp is the same as the outside temp I haven't had any mildew problems in the spring of the year.
I think if I were camping at a place that had shore power I would have been OK because I would have run the heat all the time and also kept a window open with a fan in the window to move the air in and moisture out.
Maybe a larger vent in the cubbies, if I could get the air to circulate in there, would have dried out, just maybe.
Any other ideas???
Gerry the canoebuilder
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:36 PM   #13
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One problem is that the front of the Scamp has the worst ventilation -- If you are going to continue to sleep there (and cause water vapor buildup) use a small circulating fan to mix air.

What I did in my Scamp 13' while fulltiming is put insulation (felt or foam) BEHIND all the aluminum window extrusions and on the aluminum roof hatch frame to prevent condensation on the cold frames where I couldn't see it -- Any condensation on the visible frames I would sponge up and squeeze in sink -- Window condensation runs down or can be squeegee'd. For the big front window, I glued two layers of sheet foam (like backpacker pad) to the inside of the gravel shield and also put up a set of curtains, which stopped condensation on that window.

Finally, in cool damp weather, occasionally run a heater (preferably electric) and open a roof vent -- The warm air will hold the most water vapor and rise out the vent.

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