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Friday, October 23, 2009

Soggy Safari

We live in our 37-foot Safari full-time, but haven't driven it much over this past winter. As you know, we've received much more rain this winter than usual. Because of this rain, the inside of the coach has been "flooded" with condensation. We wipe the windows and everything we can think of. We’ve even tried drying chemicals, which really bother my eyes – but we still get water on the ceiling, in the cabinets, etc. Plus we're afraid of mold. We have two roof vents and covers for them, but my husband has been too busy on the few dry days we've had to install them. And we have awnings over the windows. What can we do?
Kathy, (Grass Valley, CA)


Kathy, condensation is one of those RVing facts of life that unfortunately can never be totally eliminated, only minimized. It has to do mainly with the construction and insulation limitations of the RV design, (thin walls and lots of windows). Though some RVs are better insulated than others, some degree of condensation is still inevitable since the air inside the RV is almost always warmer than the air outside, especially during the winter months. There are methods, however, you can employ to keep condensation to a minimum.

The first thing to do is get those vent covers installed even if you must take your Safari to an RV service facility. During use, keep the rear-most roof vent opened and the forward-most window cracked open slightly. The process of convection will move a lot of the moist air out. This air movement can be aided with the addition of a small electric fan or with the air conditioner fan when connected to shore power. A small, portable dehumidifier or two may help as well, but again they should be used only when 120-volt AC power is available. The use of a silica gel desiccant will also help absorb excess moisture in the air.

Finally, on those chilly, rainy nights set the furnace to a lower temperature setting. Combined, these methods will help reduce your moisture problem and further prevent the formation of mold.

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