Condensation-Winter Camping - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-09-2007, 10:08 PM   #1
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Just got back from 2 nights up in the AZ mountains. Night temps in the low 30's, 48 hours of rain/snow with some accumulation. First trip in the Scamp for us in these type of conditions with the cold temps and the continuous moisture combined. Had some leakage in the front and rear window that I didn't replace in the gut and redo, but those are slated for replacement over winter. (3M marine caulk took care of it for now)

My question is concerning the condensation. With four of us in the Scamp and the heater running at night we had terrible condensation running down the inside of the windows and walls. Heavy inside all the cabinets causing loose stuff to get pretty wet. Is this fairly normal for those of you that go out in these conditions? Are there any tips, etc to cut down on the condensation? I had the ol Tent-camping feeling where you had to keep stuff from touching the sides of the tent during the night.

Other than the condensation everything went well. New $20 down comforter for the dinette bed from LNT with one of their special coupons, kept the Missus and I quite comfy and snugged the kids down in the bunks with our ol backpacking mummy bags.

The Christmas season is in full bloom in Sedona and was quite festive with the snow.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:20 PM   #2
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2 people in a 13 footer can produce an ocean, so I can't imagine what 4 would do... even if 2 of the 4 are only 1/2 lings!

Reducing condensation is a well covered topic here. It "Boils" down to ventilation and reduction of the things that cause it.

You can't do anything about the weather, and stopping breathing could be sketchy, so..

crack a window and the roof vent. Make sure your heater is well maintained, minimize it's "On" time and...avoid cooking inside.

All hard things to do, I know, when mother nature has forced you inside.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:36 PM   #3
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SHE'S RIGHT (as usual )

...but with that many bodys sleeping in the trailer, opening the window (just) a crack really isn't enough. I think a window (preferally NOT one thats at someones head) should be left open a fair bit and the roof vent like wise , as heat rises. Leave as many cupboard doors open as you can too. This will ease the amount of humidity that gets inside them. A small fan also might be helpful to 'move' the air around inside. An old/slightly soiled towel rolled OR folded up and stuck in the base/lower edges of the windows will help catch the condensation collecting and falling to the bottom of the windows.....
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:59 PM   #4
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Condensation forms on objects when they are at or below the "dew point". To avoid condensation on cabinets, insulated walls, etc. keep the temperature above the dew point. I never let the inside, except when traveling down the road, get below 50F. In the driveway I have an electric heater that's set to keep it that warm. When camping I set the furnace thermostat to 50 or above. In most cases this is above the dew point, if I should find condensation on the cabinets I'll raise the inside temperature. As pointed out above, ventilation is the other key. I always keep the roof vent open, even if just a small amount. At night we open the windows above our heads a small amount. We like fresh air and it allows ventilation to take moisture from our breath out. We have a small window over the stove that is also always open. With the small volume of air inside our 13' trailer the cost of propane for heating is very small and worth it to keep things nice and dry. Yes the furnace can run a lot and when boondocking I might have to connect the truck to charge the battery. Again, it's worth it.

If condensation starts forming on the windows I open up a bit more. Unless I really get nuts about it the furnace can keep up.

Cooking is a another problem. Doing more cooking outside in the cold is one answer. I'm going to attempt to implement another after Christmas. I have two small 12 Volt 2 speed muffin fans that I want to mount so that they can be placed at the small window over the stove and exhaust cooking moisture.

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Old 12-10-2007, 04:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
My question is concerning the condensation. With four of us in the Scamp and the heater running at night we had terrible condensation running down the inside of the windows and walls. Heavy inside all the cabinets causing loose stuff to get pretty wet. Is this fairly normal for those of you that go out in these conditions? Are there any tips, etc to cut down on the condensation? I had the ol Tent-camping feeling where you had to keep stuff from touching the sides of the tent during the night.
The Christmas season is in full bloom in Sedona and was quite festive with the snow.

All good answers, exept the stop breathing one, although it may work it kinda puts a damper on the trip!.
We had simmilar situation on our first trip out a few years back with our 13ft Boler.
3 wet campers in the small trailer, just haveing the window open did not stop the inside sauna effect.
Next day it was raining again so we hoped in the car and off to RV dealer and got a 12V fan.
This I got to hang over the stove-top blowing air out the small window and I kept another window cracked open on other end of trailer and it solved the problem.
Gotta get the air moveing out of the trailer.
Gerry the canoebuilder
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:56 AM   #6
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I may have to test out Gina's no-breathing advise. Or not.

We have never had any condensation inside ours, probably due to habits which echo Byron's pretty closely. The overhead fan has a cover on it which makes it usable any time. We crack it open most nights.

My preference is to have the window above where my head is (and the one in the kitchen) while sleeping open at least an inch, and I have tried it with or without the overhead fan cracked open. It becomes very obvious that when the window is the only one open there is little circulation, but if I crack the overhead fan open the air rushes in above my head. Pretty effective.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:33 PM   #7
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I have not had any problems in my 17 either. There is a lot more space to get damp, they may be it.

I have a herd of pets in there tho, so, even tho I asked them not to breath, they continue to. Probably a language barrier.

I leave my bathroom roof vent open almost all the way.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:04 PM   #8
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Hi: I've been told I snore... maybe that eliminates the "Condensitation"
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:58 PM   #9
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Hi: I've been told I snore... maybe that eliminates the "Condensitation"
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
At least that would cause the condensation issue to move down the problem list a notch, Alf....

Great tips on ventilation, the breathing tips are questionable but probably would work.
Can't wait to get back out there and try them out.....
I guess one advantage of two foot-itis would be lessening the condensation... hmmmm
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:47 AM   #10
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We also have this issue. The older aluminum windows collect condensation like a glass of lemonade on a hot day. We do not have the little kitchen window, so someone has to sleep cold when we open a window. We never cook inside. We took out all the gas when we gutted the Scamp. Believe it or not I am allergic to the gas fumes. Got an electric heater with a fan which moves the warm air around, but it does not solve the problem entirely. We are still working to solve this issue. May have to install that kitchen venting window even though we don't cook inside.
Faith
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
We also have this issue. The older aluminum windows collect condensation like a glass of lemonade on a hot day. We do not have the little kitchen window, so someone has to sleep cold when we open a window. We never cook inside. We took out all the gas when we gutted the Scamp. Believe it or not I am allergic to the gas fumes. Got an electric heater with a fan which moves the warm air around, but it does not solve the problem entirely. We are still working to solve this issue. May have to install that kitchen venting window even though we don't cook inside.
Faith
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Hi: Faith... Before I would install another window I would, as I already have, install a 3spd. reversable 12V. MaxxFan in the roof vent location. Ours will exhaust/circulate the air in no time flat!!! The MaxxFan has a built in rain guard so it can be left open at all times. This Fan is so easy to install even I could do it... "some assembly required...batteries not included"
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:17 PM   #12
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In cold (sub-freezing) weather my Scamp would get a lot of condensation on the window glass, to the point that it would run off and drip. A 3M window film kit helps greatly and is easy to apply. Just apply double-faced tape to the horizontal and verticle portions of the aluminum window frame, stick on the film, and shrink with a hair drier or heat gun. This will also make your trailer warmer and it's easy to remove in the spring. It's cheap and easy, well worth the time and money invested.
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Old 02-03-2008, 11:41 AM   #13
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new here have a 13 ft scamp 1970s type project . in driveway mold and condesation everywere small leaky roof vent and window to replace in spring snow is to deep now HELP ME PLEASE
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:23 PM   #14
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Put a tarp over it to keep new water out, but prop tarp to allow vent to work (could put cheap dryer duct from Home Depot between tarp and trailer for vent). Put heater, set on low, inside, plus fan and open windows slightly to slow down growth.

Folks will post stuf to use to clean up. Since you have the foam inside (aka Elephant Skin), you should be able to use a bleach solution.
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