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Moisture/Condensation in all cupboards


GVJeeper

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I'm currently staying in northern Washington where it has been very very cold but not much rain. I've noticed that there is moisture in all of my cupboards to the point of puddling. The areas affected are the corner seams that have a kind of plastic feeling caulking running down the corner joints. Any recommendation for my 10+ cupboards. This is happening in all cupboards whether they are in the slide out or now.

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Even though it isn't raining, the humidity is always a problem in the winter in Washington. You've got to get air moving around and OUT of the rig. That means cracking open vents. How are you cooking - propane stove or electric burners? That will make a difference. Showers with no vents open adds moisture to the interior which will hit a cold surface and condense. Again, crack a vent and get air moving up and out of the rig.

 

Best answer is to join everyone from Washington state that is already in Arizona - - not only is it a dry heat in the summer, but a dry cool in the winter.

 

Barb

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The reason you are seeing water in the cupboards is because they are cooler than the other walls, propping open doors to allow more air circulation can help, a fan blowing warm air in will help more. Your best bet is to lower the inside humidity, as was said vent shower and cooking moisture as a start. Another option is to keep the whole rig warmer, if you can get all surfaces above the dew point you won't get condensation. If venting, warming and more circulation doesn't help then a de-humidifier is probably in order, a bit noisy and expensive to operate but far cheaper than dealing with moisture issues.

 

http://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_12?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=dehumidifiers+for+home&sprefix=Dehumidifier%2Cgarden%2C196&rh=n%3A1055398%2Ck%3Adehumidifiers+for+home

 

If you haven't checked you may also want to look at any enclosed space that faces an outside wall and has limited air circulation to see if it is moist too. Also check any outside facing closets, you can get moisture on the outside wall and your clothes that are touching it.

 

A humidity meter can help show you how you are doing too.

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Accurate-Portable-Power-Free-Humidity-Hygrometer/dp/B00PI5N9E6/ref=sr_1_10

 

The sacks or boxes of dehumidifier crystals do work but have a very limited capacity for water absorption and need to be dried outside of the RV to reactivate. They are best saved for enclosed spaces like tool boxes or storage chests and need checked often to make sure they aren't saturated. Drying them inside just puts the water back in the air inside your rig.

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The problem is inside the cupboards - no where else. So cracking windows won't help unless I open all the cupboards AND empty them....not gonna happen!!

 

I'm heading south (NV&AZ) but will be here until Xmas so looking for a solution until I leave in January.

 

Water molecules are very small and can move easily into a closed cupboard and then find a cold point and condense. Cracking a vent, warming the room, moving air out will help. You don't have to empty the cupboard, but open the doors (especially at night) so that air can circulate and have a vent open while heating - - the warm, water laden air, will move up (hot air rises) and out the vent.

 

 

Barb

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Even though it isn't raining, the humidity is always a problem in the winter in Washington. You've got to get air moving around and OUT of the rig. That means cracking open vents. How are you cooking - propane stove or electric burners? That will make a difference. Showers with no vents open adds moisture to the interior which will hit a cold surface and condense. Again, crack a vent and get air moving up and out of the rig.

 

Best answer is to join everyone from Washington state that is already in Arizona - - not only is it a dry heat in the summer, but a dry cool in the winter.

 

Barb

Agree 100%....RVs are not intended for cold weather living and especially in wet climates. In your case mould will be a concern. No problems here in AZ.

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Stanley has covered it pretty well. If you cook, shower, and just live inside of the small air volume in an RV you still put out the very same amount of moisture into the surrounding air that you would in stick house with far greater volume of air. As a result you have multiplied the impact of your activities in the space of an RV. One more place that you may need to check for condensation is behind the couch, as that was where we experienced the most moisture problems. We had a problem with it one winter near the CA coast and behind the couch was a place that we didn't discover for a time. :(

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Dry bath towels, dishcloth etc outside. Wipe down your shower after use. We use the containers with crystals in the clothes closets, storage area under the bed, but especially the top section that is in the slide and moves outside the rv when open. The storage space under the dinette booth near the outside wall on the side where we do not heated space. The other has the flexible register running thru it, so doesn't have a problem. Using the furnace when it's below 40 really helps a lot. These do a great job in small enclosed spaces and you can buy them at Dollar Tree for $1. More expensive elsewhere.

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Kirk, on 29 Nov 2015 - 11:33 AM, said:

We had a problem with it one winter near the CA coast and behind the couch was a place that we didn't discover for a time. :(

 

Another place that can have problems is the head of the bed where the mattress sits against the outside wall. Sometimes, even under the mattress can be a problem, so be sure to check both locations.

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What is "these?"

 

I think he meant dehumidifier crystals ("these").

 

Keeping condensation under control is 'extremely' difficult and a daily battle under those conditions (high humidity/severe cold). It's all the places with heavy condensation I can't see that worries me. Between the ceiling and roof, air spaces 'inside' furniture/fixtures, under the shower basin, etc.

 

Good luck! ;)

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The problem is inside the cupboards - no where else. So cracking windows won't help unless I open all the cupboards AND empty them....not gonna happen!!

 

I'm heading south (NV&AZ) but will be here until Xmas so looking for a solution until I leave in January.

Not one reply suggested emptying the cabinets, just opening them and using a small fan to circulate warm air into them to absorb moisture, and opening a ceiling vent to allow warm moist air to exhaust away. Leave cabinet doors open until you get to warmer weather to greatly reduce moisture buildup, and leave a small opening to the outside for humidity to get out.

You've received excellent advice from experienced full-timers, the final decision is yours.

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Not one reply suggested emptying the cabinets,

 

That would be ideal, but it's hardly practical to empty everything into your living spaces while your rigs in use. Not to mention that 'any' non moving air is going to cause condensation. Ie., You can take your leather jacket out of the closet and lay it on the table, but when you pick it up there will be condensation on the underside of your jacket as well as the table. :blink:

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Even though it seems difficult I would still empty those cabinets and dry the shelving thoroughly. You can put things right back in. If you leave things in, there is bound to be moisture under your dishes, pots, etc. and not wiping it up could create mold.

 

As LindaH stated, check your mattress at the wall. If damp, move it out a few inches every morning so it dries. Also keep your windows wiped down. Moisture can do a lot of damage if not controlled. Good luck!

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I agree that emptying the cupboards is not an option unless I want to be stepping over things all winter. And taking off for AZ is just to easy of a suggestion since it's not you having to up and move away. Leaving a window or vent open is not practical in an RV in 30 degree weather nor is running my air conditioner. I really appreciate those that are trying to help but these types of suggestions are about an impractical as can be. I'll go with opening cupboards, putting some DampRid containers in some and maybe buy some of those cheap blue fans (made for inside the frig) to put in the cupboards. I also might try lining the inside of the cupboards on the outside walls with that silver stuff though I'm not sure that will keep the mold down - I'll have to keep an eye on that. Any other reasonable thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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OK, I've read thru all the posts X2, something is fundamentally wrong here. I'm living in the same geographical area, Victoria BC.

 

I am not having ANY of these problems, no condensation in the cupboards, head of bed, closets, back of drawers, on the windows, nothing.

 

My heat source is a couple of AC/heat pumps on the roof which work down to 27f +- depending on humidity, then below that 2 cube heaters and an electric fireplace and lastly the gas furnace. So far the heat pumps have done all the work without freezing up.

 

My windows are dual pane, not thermo pane. No condensation.

 

I know the Smart car dealer recommends using the AC all the time and bump up the temp to circulate air and take the moisture out. The previous owner didn't do that and there is the black tell tale of mildew in the folds of the convertible top. For example if you start up your car and the windshield immediately fogs up, turn on the AC and it will suck the moisture of in a hurry.

 

I found this quote on U Tube with regards to someone having the same problem.

 

 

Reply · HummingLoud 3 months ago

Well a dehumidifier would help but in lieu of that, why not run the air conditioning (a dehumidifier) and heat together for a while? My car windows clear up fast when I do that.

 

You have had 2 or 3 other members make reference to using the AC in one fashion or another now I have the same situation, the car dealer plus someone else on U Tube with a solution.

 

 

You're problem is humidity, you need to get rid of it. A heat pump or dehumidifier would do that. I don't know if the ac would work if you turned it up and turn on the heat, give it a try. See if the condensation starts to disappear from the windows.

 

Have you checked on the control panel for your ac unit, there may be a "mode" switch at the top. Toggle thru that, it may have, fan speed, furnace, cool, heat pump, temp up, temp down setting. If so, put it on "heat pump" and bump the heat up to 70 or more.

 

If it works you will still need to get rid of the puddles in the cabinets and wipe things down. Understand your frustration re emptying cabinets in a confined space. If there is water under items it will leave rings. Maybe leave cabinet doors and drawers open to allow exchange of air until things dry out.

 

Temps are warming up in the general area starting Monday/Tuesday so use of the ac may be more doable.

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Leaving a window or vent open is not practical in an RV in 30 degree weather nor is running my air conditioner. I really appreciate those that are trying to help but these types of suggestions are about an impractical as can be.

You don't leave the window or the vent completely open, just a very small amount. When you live in an area with high humidity and cool temperatures, experienced RV folks learn to leave a roof vent open just an inch or so pretty much all of the time, or at least all hours when you are awake. While that will increase the amount of heat required, it will not be so much that your present heaters won't keep things comfortable and it will greatly improve the moisture problem, although it may not totally solve it. Believe me that there are many on the forums who have had to deal with the same problems and many even in that same area. Even in dryer areas moisture can become a problem inside of RVs when weather gets cold and we all tend to seal things up tight to save heat. But a small amount of ventilation will make a huge difference with only a small increase in required heating.

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There's very few more humid places than the Gulf Coast in Winter. I've just gone through 3 straight days with rain and temps in 30's and 40's. No condensation in my trailer.

 

Always open a window and run the exhaust fan when showering or using the stove/oven. Keep going for at least five minutes after done showering. I've always done this, even when it's in 20's outside. Only time I've ever had condensation is on the windows first thing in the morning, after exhaling moisture in a closed up trailer all night. Open window and exhaust for a few minutes and it's gone.

 

IMO, ventilation is the key.

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The A/C unit has the same effect as a large dehumidifier. Operate the A/C for ten or so minutes or it is uncomfortable and then turn the heat on to warm the RV up.

Repeat as nessisaory . Do this with all cabinets open so there is good air flow.

Over the years of doing RV repair if there was a water leak that caused things to get wet that is what I had the customer do. If there carpet was wet or if I had taken walls apart for water damage and needed to dry things out.

That is if it is cool and damp outside.

After you have dried it out then start figuring out how to control the moisture on a regular basis.

 

 

Safe Travels, Vern

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