Knowing how to reduce condensation in your RV is important to prevent mold, mildew, and odors.
Have you ever noticed mold or mildew inside your RV? Or smell an unpleasant “funk,” but not know where it is coming from? That’s a sign of too much humidity inside of your RV.
An excess of humidity, usually caused by your shower, cooking or extremely humid outside conditions, may be to blame. Humidity can lead to condensation, which then causes mold and mildew to grow.
But not to worry. There are several ways that you can easily and effectively help control the humidity in your RV!
I have some good tips for reducing condensation in your RV to help keep it looking great and smelling fresh!
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Why Does Condensation Occur?
Technically speaking, condensation is the conversion of water vapor or a gas to a liquid.
Condensation commonly occurs when you cook or shower. The moisture in the air collects as water droplets when it comes into contact with a cold surface.
Human bodies also naturally release humidity in the air.
You can typically find condensation in your RV on such surfaces as air conditioners, windows, or any other surface where humid air makes contact with a colder surface.
What Happens When There is Too Much Condensation?
When condensation occurs too much or too often, it raises the chance that mold or mildew will form inside your RV.
As we all know, mold and mildew can spread quickly and potentially cause serious health risks. It can also put off a foul-smelling odor inside your RV.
The good news is, there are several ways that you can help control the humidity inside your RV.
How to Control Condensation in Your RV
Keep your RV fresh and clean by using my five top tips for controlling condensation.
1. Use an Exhaust Fan
When you take a shower or cook inside your RV, always turn on the exhaust fan. This will help pull the humid air out and away from your RV. It will not be able to come into contact with the colder surfaces, preventing mold and mildew from forming.
2. Use a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier is a great tool when camping in very humid conditions.
It works by extracting the humidity out of the air. The machine draws in the humid air in the room and passes it over a cooled coil. The coil is cooled to an extremely low temperature using a refrigeration system.
The moisture gets absorbed inside the machine, and the dry air is pushed back into the room.
It’s worth noting that dehumidifiers can put out heat when they are being used, since that is the way that they work to remove humidity.
They also will not work when in the same room as an evaporative cooler.
I’ve added a list of the 5 best RV Dehumidifiers at the end of the article if that’s the option you go for. But let’s discuss some other options first.
3. Open Vents
This may seem like a simple solution but oftentimes we don’t even realize our vents are closed.
Though similar to using an exhaust fan, they do not use a motorized fan to direct the humid air. But it can still help direct the moist air out of the RV.
4. Run the Air Conditioner
Running the air conditioner can also work to reduce humidity in the air. Before showering or cooking, turn on your RV’s air conditioner and keep it running for a while after you finish.
5. Use Desiccants
Another option for you is to use desiccants. You know those little packets that come in medicine bottles and shipping boxes? Those are desiccants that absorb humidity.
You can buy desiccants in various sizes to use in drawers, closets, under-bed storage, etc. You can buy them at Walmart or Amazon, but I recommend buying in bulk with RV Dry Kits.
5 Best RV Dehumidifiers
I think the best long-term solution for reducing condensation in your RV are dehumidifiers. So, I’ve compiled a list of my top five picks for the best RV dehumidifier.
This double-sided, portable dehumidifier is highly efficient. It is lightweight and considered a portable mini dehumidifier.
It is rated to extract the moisture from an area that is up to 480 square feet. So, it’s a great option for large RVs, and will work for smaller ones, too.
It also comes complete with an auto shut-off function for when the water tank is full. That is a nice feature to prevent water overflow in your RV, which could in turn cause mold and defeat the purpose in the first place.
This extra mini dehumidifier model can reduce moisture in spaces up to 333 cubic feet. That’s about 50 square feet. So if you just need to dehumidify a small room or closet in your RV, this’ll do the trick.
The cool thing about this model is that it is cordless. You just charge it up and move it to whatever are you think needs it the most. The battery can last for up to several weeks!
The COLAZE is ultra-quiet, so if noise bothers you then it may be a great unit to look at.
This compact machine can work for areas up to 480 square feet. The average RV is about 300 square feet, so this will cover even big RVs.
It also features an auto shut off function to prevent spillage.
Another cool feature is that it has a seven colored night light to provide ambient light at bedtime.
Another mini-unit, this model works for spaces up to 215 square feet. That’s enough for the average-sized RV.
It is also a very quiet unit and comes complete with an auto shut-off feature.
It is rated for energy efficiency, so it will not drain your precious battery.
This one is comparable to the Pro Breeze but covers a bit more ground at 280 sq. ft. So, if your rig is on the bigger end of average, then you should opt for this one over the Pro Breeze.
It has two modes, including a super quiet low mode. This model has 7 different color night lights, which can be fun and soothing. It’ll cycle through the lights, or you can lock it on one color.
Like all of the others on this list (except for the extra mini that doesn’t need it), Seavon has an auto shut-off feature.
How Do You Reduce Condensation in Your RV?
Please share any tips or product recommendations you have in the comments below. That's what this RV community is for! Once you get this condensation sorted, look into your next Destination.
Mike and Jennifer's Favorite Places in Florida – all 3 ebooks!
We RVers may wander far and wide but it’s true for most of us that we end up with some favorite “Go-To” places – places that draw us back again and again.
Florida is one of those places for us. And we know it is for many RVers looking to get away and explore during the winter.
That's why we've created three guides, covering Florida's Atlantic Coast, the Gulf Coast, and the Keys.
Each of these guides is a seven-day guided exploration of one of the coasts. And each stop is a curated view of the best things that we’ve enjoyed on this trip and want you to experience.
Altogether these guides are over 300 pages of content!
FAQ's about Florida Gulf Coast beaches of interest to RVers
What is the weather like along Florida's Gulf Coast?
The weather along Florida's Gulf Coast can vary depending on the time of year and the specific location. In general, the area experiences hot, humid summers and mild, pleasant winters.
The Panhandle region can be quite cool in January. It is seldom below freezing, but daytime highs are typically in the 50s. It warms up about 10 degrees each month.
You can also generally add about 10 degrees for every 150 miles you travel south down the Florida peninsula.
By the time you hit Naples, daytime highs in January are in the comfortable 70s.
Are there any websites that can help me get a reservation for a Florida beach campground?
One of the best resources we can recommend is called Campnab. This service monitors parks for cancelations and sends you an alert when an opening matches your criteria. That said, it isn’t magic. The app doesn’t create availabilities.
The service works – but it is not free.
Campnab offers two ways to use the service. The first is individual pay-per-use scans. These watch for vacancies at a specific park for a specific date. These work well if you know exactly when and where you intend to camp. Pay-per-use scans cost $10 – $20, depending on how frequently you want them to check availability.
The second way to use the service is through a membership. These typically run monthly and are tailored to those who camp more frequently or are looking to maximize their chance of finding a site. Membership allows you to scan multiple parks and/or dates simultaneously. With memberships, you pay a monthly recurring fee ($10, $20, $30, or $50), depending on your needs.
Are there places in Florida where you can literally camp on the beach for free?
Not many. And they are very pricey. If you want to sleep directly on the sand in an RV, you'll have to stay at a developed commercial campground like Camp Gulf on the Emerald Coast or an RV resort like Big Pine Key Resort in the keys. Some state parks like the Gamble Rogers State Memorial Recreation Area in the Atlantic Coast or Bahia Honda State Park in the keys or Fort Desto State Park near St. Petersburg have beachside sites, too.
But are there free, unrestricted RV beach camping spots in Florida?
Sorry, none that I know of that would work for RVs.
There is unrestricted camping on wild beaches on a couple of islands, but you need a boat to get there, and it is for tent camping only. If you want to sleep directly on the sand, there is Anclote Key offshore Tarpon Springs, and Shell Key in Pinellas County. Another favorite is Keewaydin Island between Naples and Marco Island but that area remains pretty devasted from Hurricane Ian.
Did Hurricane Ian destroy many beach campgrounds on the Gulf Coast?
While it severely damaged almost two dozen RV parks and campgrounds, about 8-10 campgrounds in the Naples-Ft. Myers area were completely destroyed. Most of the damaged campgrounds have been repaired and reopened.
Check with the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds if you have questions or concerns.