Condensation Management in Cold Weather - Fiberglass RV
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Old 10-27-2017, 12:08 PM   #1
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Condensation Management in Cold Weather

I'm sure other people have discussed this but I can't seem to find anything on condensation management on the app here.

I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas on controlling some of the condensation while winter camping, or even during cool weather temperatures?

My dad suggested a small dehumidifier...does that work? Is there a small enough dehumidifier that works well, that you'd recommend?
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Old 10-27-2017, 12:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stavig View Post
I'm sure other people have discussed this but I can't seem to find anything on condensation management on the app here.

I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas on controlling some of the condensation while winter camping, or even during cool weather temperatures?

My dad suggested a small dehumidifier...does that work? Is there a small enough dehumidifier that works well, that you'd recommend?

Here's what I do. First off I try to keep air moving through the trailer. I do this by opening the small window over the stove and the either or both the ceiling vent and the rear window. What you don't want to do is seal the trailer up. Your breath alone will put enough moisture in the air to cause condensation on the windows. Dri-Z-Air is a passive dehumidifier and is very inexpensive. I use Dri-Z-Air when the trailer is parked beside my house. I've been able to control condensation by controlling ventilation when we've been camping.
Opening the ceiling vent lets the warm moist air escape. Even if the trailer is above 70 inside the moist air is warmer and will go out the ceiling vent.
Good luck.
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Old 10-27-2017, 12:51 PM   #3
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condensation

we camped in feb 20d wx at times in an a-liner it has a lot of aluminum. we just had to deal with it.

now in the 13f scamper I don't know what will happen time will tell I suppose we will have some!


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Old 10-27-2017, 01:23 PM   #4
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I found that running a heater, assuming you have power hookup, works great even with the windows closed. Otherwise the Dri-Z-Air or something similar should work with ventilation.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
I found that running a heater, assuming you have power hookup, works great even with the windows closed. Otherwise the Dri-Z-Air or something similar should work with ventilation.
Our propane furnace works good. No hookups needed.
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Old 10-27-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
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Condensation happens at a very specific temperature relative and atmospheric pressure to the humidity content in the air. Warm moist air hitting a surface that is cold enough for the moisture to condense on it. This specific situation is called the "dew point" in weather forecast.

dew point
ˈd(y)o͞o ˌpoint/
noun
noun: dew point; plural noun: dew points; noun: dewpoint; plural noun: dewpoints
  1. the atmospheric temperature (varying according to pressure and humidity) below which water droplets begin to condense and dew can form.
A dehumidifier works because it removes most of the humidity which means there is very little moisture to condense on the cold surfaces. Depending on the size of electric dehumidifier you use it might also warm the room enough to prevent condensation as heat is generated during the process of condensing the moisture within those units.

If you buy or are gifted a used dehumidifier unit do check to see if there was a recall on it. A couple of years back there were a lot of recalls on various dehumidifier units due to fire hazards created in the manufacturing of them.

So you have options here. Keep the temperature of the surfaces in your RV above the dew point or keep the moisture content low enough so that there is next to nothing to condense. Or a combination approach. The air movement approach helps because it brings in air which has a lower moisture content into a space where people are exhaling moisture into the air or where activities that product moisture are happening such as cooking, bathing, cleaning thereby increasing the moisture content in a closed space. The air movement then moves out that more heavily moisture laden air replacing it with hopefully drier air. Although on a really rainy day you might not get very far with that approach. If you have water leaks into a nearly airtight space you will also get a rise in moisture because it has no place to go. At that point you will have a terrarium

The best thing is to be flexible because depending on the situation one approach might work better than another for you and it will change based on what activity you are doing with your trailer. This is why you will see a variety of responses in how people handle the issue of condensation.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:15 PM   #7
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We had condensation dripping off both all the acorn nuts and the escape hatch (rudely dripped on me while trying to sleep) in our Standard 13 Scamp. I slid white colored rubber tubing caps over the acorn nuts, and cut a thick foam bath mat to fit into the escape hatch to insulate it from the cold. Both fixed the problems we were having. By the way, we did open the small window over the sink a little and had the small roof vent partially opened, and still had the problems prior to my fix.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:30 PM   #8
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I second Bryon in the ventilation is the key. We keep the roof vent cracked year round, but more so in cold weather. And we sometimes crack the kitchen window as well. The furnace supplied warm air rises to the vent and carries moisture with it. I suppose it costs an extra 50 cents per night in propane but the fresh and dry air is worth it.

We love cool weather camping. No bugs, no crowds, peace.

John

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Old 10-27-2017, 08:56 PM   #9
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dave what was your temp while camping?


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Old 10-27-2017, 10:56 PM   #10
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A few good points have been made. I have one other thing of note part was mentioned above. Cold Rainy weather I have found is the worst and most difficult to control with moving air through the trailer. Below freezing is much easier. The moisture the would be in the outside is frozen out the air thus dryer air. That's something that's been well known for many many years. In fact in my youth we had a wood burning stove for cooking and heating. There was always a tea pot the stove to put moisture back into the air, because it was too dry.
Also if you notice that there's more static electricity during cold winters than in the summer lack of moisture is the reason.
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Old 10-28-2017, 06:32 AM   #11
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In addition, any use of an unvented, propane-burning appliance will add water vapor to the cabin- a lot of it. Stoves and catalytic heaters are common culprits.

David has the right approach. In addition to maintaining some air flow, insulate surfaces that make a pathway for cold from the outside: windows, vents, and exposed through-hull fittings, for example. Use a source of heat that doesn't add water vapor to the cabin- a vented furnace or electric heater. Allow heated air to circulate inside cabinets and benches so you don't get hidden condensation and mold.
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Old 10-28-2017, 07:53 AM   #12
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I will say this for Scamp's bubblewrap insulation and rat fur. It eliminates condensation on the walls. The only areas that cause trouble are the aluminum window frames. Worse the window design Scamp chooses is made for 1 inch thick camper walls so the aluminum frame sticks into the living space since Scamp walls are inch thick. If the frames were thinner you might be able to insulate them too. It would be very difficult to insulate the stock window frames. I understand as a small manufacturer Scamp may be limited to what the industry provides. I wish there was a high quality, double glazed, fiberglass framed option. I would have been happy to pay more. That would really be nice in cold weather. One would think Scamps were made in Texas, not Northern Minnesota.

Still, love my Scamp. But always looking for the ideal.

John

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Old 10-28-2017, 08:48 AM   #13
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Oops..

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Linck View Post
I second Bryon in the ventilation is the key. We keep the roof vent cracked year round, but more so in cold weather. And we sometimes crack the kitchen window as well. The furnace supplied warm air rises to the vent and carries moisture with it. I suppose it costs an extra 50 cents per night in propane but the fresh and dry air is worth it.

We love cool weather camping. No bugs, no crowds, peace.

John

Pic from Jasper
John I believe the picture you said is Jasper, is actually Sable Falls, just West of Grand Marias, MI. It empties into Lake Superior. I took a picture of it in '09 that is very similar to yours'. No worries, when we were in WY, they told us Colorado got busted for including a picture of the Grand Tetons (WY) in one of their travel brochures. Whatever you do; don't stop including pics of your travels with your posts. I enjoy them.

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Old 10-28-2017, 09:17 AM   #14
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enjoy

some time I have to find my photo of St. Benards Pass in Italy! Its a real honey.

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Old 10-28-2017, 09:18 AM   #15
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david I had no condensation yesterday, nothing open either go figure


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Old 10-28-2017, 09:48 AM   #16
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In our 16 ft delux Scamp, the roof vent/escpe hatch was over the bed.
The aluminum frame and plastic cover would form condensation and drip on us.
I cut a piece of rigid closed cell foam to fit snugly in the opening - it was framed with wood molding - with a little groove out of the center to fit aroung the crank mechanism after removing the handle.
We also leave the galley window ajar, and the ceiling fan cracked open, except when it's cold enough to run the electric heater.
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Old 10-28-2017, 10:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stavig View Post
I'm sure other people have discussed this but I can't seem to find anything on condensation management on the app here.

I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas on controlling some of the condensation while winter camping, or even during cool weather temperatures?

My dad suggested a small dehumidifier...does that work? Is there a small enough dehumidifier that works well, that you'd recommend?
I have had good results with DampRid and leaving one window open about half an inch. You can find DampRid in big box hardware stores or online at Walmart or Amazon.

I always pour out 1-2 cups of moisture each spring. The directions are easy. Give it a try.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:10 AM   #18
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I have only had condensation problems when the weather is cold and I use my propane stove which vents the water vapor it produces inside my trailer. The propane furnace, which vents outside, will warm the trailer and help to reduce condensation. Opening windows/vents lets the moist air inside the trailer escape outside but you are also venting heat.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:32 AM   #19
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In your toolbox for removing humidity and condensation, don't forget your air conditioner, which acts as a dehumidifier. Many if not most automobiles will kick the air conditioner on during a defrost cycle.
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Old 10-28-2017, 12:11 PM   #20
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a/c

in a lot of cases cheaper than running a dehumidiifier!!

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