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Condensation


KevinS
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Temps are in the low 30S at night and mid 50s during the day.. we have lots of condensation on the windows. How do I control it?we are keeping furnace on 60 at night and around 65 during the day; plus using a ceramic heater running on half power.. we are at a rv park that doesn’t include electric. In the monthly rates. Any ideas to reduce condensatio.thanks 

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Get a compressor-based dehumidifier.   You probably don't have dual pane windows so the cold outside causes water vapor in the room to condense. The heaters aren't contributing to the problem; that's something that's only relevant to unvented propane heaters.

Edited by docj
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Our first choice is to exchange the air in the trailer, typically by running a fantastic fan (or similar) while drawing fresh air in through several partially opened windows. Since you tend to build up moisture in the trailer by cooking, showering, and even breathing, the outside air will generally have a lower dewpoint and this will help with the condensation inside. 

If things are really wet and you feel like you need to try something more dramatic, you actually have a large compressor based dehumidifier, if you've got enough electricity to make it work. 

Your A/C unit does a great job of pulling humidity from the air, but obviously it has to be warm enough in the trailer to use it. When fighting interior moisture in humid areas we wait until the day gets as warm as it is going to, and then run the A/C (pulling the thermostat  down to whatever temp necessary to make it come on) while running a small ceramic heater (or two) if you've got the power to do so. If not, you can alternate the A/C with the heaters. 

You can pull a remarkable amount of moisture out of the air in a relatively short time by doing this. Since you are paying for your electricity you'll pay to use this option, but it works!!

As Doc says a dedicated compressor type dehumidifier will definitely work, but at the cost of buying the unit and using electricity. It is more efficient than the A/C - Heater combo as it exhausts its waste heat directly into the trailer. Since we seldom have long-term need for a dehumidifier and generally are at "electricity provided" sites, we just use the A/C - Heater combo when needed. 

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4 minutes ago, KevinS said:

Thanks .. So I should try leaving a few windows cracked open to circulate the air? And how long to leave the window cracked open? Thanks 

Yes, anything you can do to exchange the moist inside air for the dryer outside air, within reason.  If it is 30 degrees outside you obviously don't want to pull in huge amounts of frigid air, but cracking a few windows and allowing a Fantastic Fan to run on low speed for a couple of hours will do wonders for the condensation. 

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56 minutes ago, KevinS said:

Any recommendations on dehumidifiers.  Thanks

We have one of these in the MH and one in our casita.  I selected it because it was relatively inexpensive and small.   Frigidaire sells an inexpensive extended warranty that gives you a total of 5 years of coverage since there were some premature failures noted in the product reviews.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UWP07NI/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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I use a propane powered ceramic brick heater that DUMPS humidity into the motorhome.  I always leave at least one window cracked open about half an inch and a roof vent cracked the same amount.  Keeps most of the condensation out of the rig.  Dual pane window do help but even they occasionally get condensation.

In your case, recommend you keep a roof vent cracked all the time.  Just breathing adds humidity inside the rig and then add cooking and showering your bound to have condensation.

Lenp

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Is it possible to use the park's showers?  When you cook or brew coffee that creates condensation. Open a window at the kitchen when doing so.  Pull your mattress away from the wall a couple inches during the day to let it dry out.  You create condensation when sleeping. Keep your closet door ajar to help it to air out so your clothes don't mildew. 

Sure hope it warms up for you and dries out.  Where are you?

 

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10 hours ago, KevinS said:

Emory tx

Yes, Emory, TX is too far north in winter.  Hopefully, you can move much farther south - Austin or farther.  Even the Austin area can be cold.  Many snowbirds go around Rockport or south to Mission area but can be windy there.

You could also try Arizona where it's drier. Don't be farther north than the greater Phoenix area though because of snow and cold.  It's all about elevation in Arizona.

New Mexico is higher elevation than Arizona in the southern part and it can also be cold.  We tried it but had to move over to Arizona.

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18 hours ago, KevinS said:

Emory tx

Welcome to the Escapee forums and also to TX winter! We are only about 40 miles from you, near Lindale, TX. 

One thing to keep in mind when using a dehumidifier is that they work by cooling the air to remove the moisture and then warming it some again. The point being that they do use about the same amount of electric power as would another electric heater. Ventilation is the best way to control the humidity inside of the RV, any time that it is cool enough to need closed windows. Keep in mind that you do all of the things that put moisture into the air that you did in your house but in less than 10% as much air volume. You can help this a great deal by making sure that you have the vent open some in the bathroom when taking a shower, by using the range exhaust fan when cooking as well as leaving your vent cracked in the bedroom when sleeping. Dehumidifiers do work but my experience with them has been that they consume a lot of electric power. 

Looking to next year, you need to get down at least to the coastal areas of TX to get out of any areas where there is freezing weather. The Rio Grande Valley is the warmest and also the most snowbird active part of TX. I would go at least as far south as San Antonio and farther south is even better. 

Edited by Kirk W
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Kirk is correct.  The easiest and best way to control moisture in the small RV space is to use good ventilation procedures. 

Simply leave a roof vent cracked open about an inch.  When cooking, run the vent fan.  When showering, open the bathroom vent a bit more, and when finished showering, run the vent fan for about 5 minutes then leave the vent cracked open.  Use a squeegee to wipe down the shower. 

The human body releases a lot of moisture with every breath.  Two people and a pet release more moisture.

Ken 

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Thanks! We always use the exhaust fans but now we are leaving the vents open a little longer. Usually the condensation is on the windows first thing in the morning. Since we are paying for electric separate, we will hold off for now on a dehumidifier. Hopefully, these really cold nights won't last too much longer while we are here. Definitely want to try to go further south next year. 

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10 hours ago, KevinS said:

Do you leave roof vent cracked open all night?

There is no specific minimum or maximum amount of time that vents/windows need to be open.  If you are seeing condensation then you need to ventilate. Once you've you've gotten rid of it, you can button up again. When it warms up outside condensation on windows will decrease and ventilation become less important.

If you are actively doing something that creates large amounts of humidity (showering, boiling water) you should vent those specific areas until you are rid of the steam/humid air. Just experiment a bit and you should be able to find a good compromise. 

 

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I also have a small ranch in SE Texas and if I were to spend the winter in Texas the Lower Rio Grande Valley would be the only place. It will be to cold at some point during the winter everywhere else in Texas and I just read that there are now about 135,000 winter Texans after having falling to less then 100,000 a few years ago. That is why we go to south Florida. We have found that is about the best weather during winter in the US. Some like the SW, (NM, AZ) but we love south Florida. Good Luck

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On 1/20/2019 at 9:07 PM, KevinS said:

Do you leave roof vent cracked open all night?

We do keep the vent over our bed open about an inch while sleeping in cold weather. We also have vent covers to prevent the wind from striking our vents. 

21 hours ago, whj469 said:

That is why we go to south Florida. We have found that is about the best weather during winter in the US.

The winter location with the least cold weather of any we have experienced was the one spent in Everglades Natl. Park.

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