- 1 How Does Moisture Build Up in an RV?
- 2 Signs You Need An RV Dehumidifier
- 3 The Different Types Of Dehumidifiers For RVs
- 4 110 or 12 Volt Dehumidifier For Your RV?
- 5 Using An RV Dehumidifier And Hygrometer
- 6 Features To Look For In The Best RV Dehumidifier
- 7 Our Picks of the Best RV Dehumidifiers on the Market
- 8 Best Practices for Using RV Dehumidifiers
- 9 Other Humidity-Reduction Methods
- 10 Maintenance and Care of RV Dehumidifiers
- 11 RV Dehumidifier Frequently Asked Questions
- 11.1 What is the difference between an RV dehumidifier and a home dehumidifier?
- 11.2 What size RV dehumidifier is best?
- 11.3 What are the benefits of using an RV dehumidifier?
- 11.4 How do I choose the right size dehumidifier for my RV?
- 11.5 Can an RV dehumidifier be used while the RV is in motion?
- 11.6 Are there any maintenance requirements for an RV dehumidifier?
- 11.7 How do I properly store my RV dehumidifier when not in use?
- 11.8 What are the different types of RV dehumidifiers available?
- 11.9 What is the average lifespan of an RV dehumidifier?
- 11.10 Can an RV dehumidifier also work as an air purifier?
- 11.11 Should I run a dehumidifier in my RV?
- 11.12 Is a 12-volt dehumidifier or a 110-volt dehumidifier best to use in an RV?
- 11.13 Can a 12-volt dehumidifier remove enough moisture from my RV?
- 11.14 How much power does a 12-volt dehumidifier use and how long can it run on a single charge?
- 12 Last Words On RV Dehumidifiers…
As an RV owner, you might not have given much thought to buying a dehumidifier for your vehicle, but it’s a crucial investment to protect your RV from excess moisture and mold buildup. Choosing the best RV dehumidifier can be overwhelming with so many options on the market. To simplify your decision-making process, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that will help you find the perfect dehumidifier for your RV.
A good RV dehumidifier should be compact, energy-efficient, and have a high moisture removal rate. It should also be easy to use and maintain, making it an ideal addition to your RV. With so many models available, it can be challenging to pick the right one that suits your specific needs. This guide will walk you through the essential factors to consider when purchasing the best RV dehumidifier and highlight some of the top models on the market.
How Does Moisture Build Up in an RV?
Have you ever wondered how moisture builds up inside an RV? Despite being a temporary living space on wheels, the air quality inside an RV is not always optimal. If you spend a considerable amount of time in your RV, just like in your home, having a dehumidifier can be beneficial.
Humidity and RVs often go hand in hand due to several reasons. RVs are frequently exposed to the elements when not locked up in storage, and even when in use, they are often outside for extended periods. Other factors that contribute to the buildup of humidity inside an RV include cooking, washing, and changes in the outdoor temperature compared to the interior temperature.
When dampness increases inside an RV, it can lead to various issues such as rust on the exterior, structural damage, and health problems due to mold or mildew growth. That’s why having a reliable RV dehumidifier is crucial to prevent the negative consequences of excess moisture buildup.
Below are our picks of the best dehumidifiers for RV use in 2023, which we will also look into in more detail later in this article…
|Keystone KSTAD30B 30-Pint Dehumidifier|
4.6 out of 5 stars
|Eva-dry Edv-1100 Electric Petite Dehumidifier|
4.1 out of 5 stars
|Eva-dry E-333 Mini Dehumidifier|
4.4 out of 5 stars
|H2Out Space Dryers|
4.0 out of 5 stars
Signs You Need An RV Dehumidifier
If you’re an RV owner, it’s essential to be observant of any changes in the vehicle’s interior, as they could be indicative of high moisture levels that require a dehumidifier. Excessive condensation on the windows is one such sign that you may need a dehumidifier, as well as feeling dampness on the floors or walls.
Aside from being a breeding ground for mold and mildew, high humidity in an RV can also attract termites and other insects. Condensation can build up quickly inside an RV, leading to an uncomfortable living space. Although opening a window slightly may help, it’s not always feasible, depending on the weather conditions or location.
Investing in the best RV dehumidifier can regulate the moisture content in your RV and create a comfortable and safe living environment. Additionally, other signs of high moisture levels include musty odors, peeling wallpaper or paint, and visible mold or mildew growth. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to act fast to prevent further damage to your RV and protect your health.
The Different Types Of Dehumidifiers For RVs
There are a few different types of dehumidifiers for RV use. They are typically categorized as:
- Peltier (thermoelectric), or
- refrigerant/compressor-style dehumidifiers.
They can also be categorized as electric (110V or 12V) and non-electric.
Desiccant dehumidifiers operate based on the principle of adsorption, using a desiccant material to remove moisture from the air. The desiccant is a substance with a high affinity for water molecules, making it effective at absorbing and capturing moisture from the surrounding air.
- Moist Air Intake: Humid air from the environment is drawn into the dehumidifier unit.
- Contact with Desiccant: The moist air is directed to come into contact with the desiccant material, which is typically in the form of a wheel or honeycomb structure. The desiccant begins to adsorb the moisture from the air, causing it to release dry air.
- Moisture Absorption: As the air passes over the desiccant material, the water molecules adhere to the surface of the desiccant. The desiccant’s high affinity for moisture allows it to attract and hold a significant amount of water from the air.
- Continuous Dehumidification: The process is continuous, and the desiccant keeps adsorbing moisture from the incoming air as long as it’s in contact with the desiccant material. The dehumidified air is then released back into the environment.
- Regeneration: Over time, the desiccant becomes saturated with moisture and needs to be regenerated to continue its dehumidification process effectively. This is achieved by exposing the desiccant to a stream of hot air or heating it directly. The heat causes the desiccant to release the absorbed moisture, turning it back into a high-humidity air stream.
- Moisture Disposal: The high-humidity air stream, which now contains the released moisture, is usually vented outside or directed away from the dehumidifier unit.
- Repeat Cycle: After regeneration, the desiccant is ready to be used again for adsorbing moisture from the incoming air. The cycle continues, providing a continuous process of dehumidification.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are often preferred in applications where low humidity levels are necessary, or when operating temperatures are too low for refrigerant-based dehumidifiers to work efficiently. They are commonly used in industrial settings, laboratories, storage spaces, and other areas where precise humidity control is essential. Additionally, they are less reliant on specific temperature conditions and can operate effectively at low temperatures. However, they may have lower dehumidification capacities compared to some other dehumidifier types.
Non-electric desiccant dehumidifiers are popular with RV owners. They fall into two different categories. They are identified as:
- ‘bucket’, or
and are easy to distinguish from each other.
The bucket dehumidifiers use water-absorbent crystals in a bucket to regulate humidity. Once the crystals have been completely saturated with water, they need replacement.
The reusable dehumidifiers use silica gel crystals to draw water from the air. Once saturated, you can remove the water from the gel often by placing it in an oven to dry out, also known as recharging.
- Better performance at low temperatures: Desiccant dehumidifiers are more effective at lower temperatures compared to compressor-style dehumidifiers, making them suitable for RVs that might experience colder climates.
- No compressor noise: Desiccant dehumidifiers operate quietly since they don’t have a compressor, which can be beneficial in the confined space of an RV.
- Lower dehumidification capacity: Desiccant dehumidifiers generally have a lower dehumidification capacity compared to compressor-style dehumidifiers, making them less suitable for larger RVs or areas with high humidity levels.
- Higher energy consumption: They might consume more energy for the amount of moisture removed compared to compressor-style dehumidifiers, leading to potentially higher operational costs.
A Peltier dehumidifier, also known as a thermoelectric dehumidifier, operates based on the Peltier effect, which is a phenomenon that occurs in certain semiconductor materials when an electric current flows through them. The Peltier effect is named after the French physicist Jean Charles Athanase Peltier, who discovered it in 1834.
The key components of a Peltier dehumidifier are the Peltier module and two heat sinks. The Peltier module consists of two dissimilar semiconductor materials sandwiched together, and it has two sides: the hot side and the cold side. The two heat sinks are attached to each side of the Peltier module.
Here’s how a Peltier dehumidifier works:
- Power Supply: When an electric current is applied to the Peltier module, it causes heat to be transferred from one side of the module to the other.
- Hot Side: The hot side of the Peltier module faces outward and is in contact with the surrounding air. When the electric current flows through the module, it absorbs heat from the air on the hot side, causing it to get warmer.
- Cold Side: The cold side of the Peltier module faces inward and is in contact with a heat sink. As the electric current flows through the module, it releases the absorbed heat on the cold side, causing it to get cooler.
- Condensation: The RV air is drawn into the dehumidifier, and it passes over the cold side of the Peltier module. As the air cools down, its moisture content condenses into water droplets.
- Collection: The condensed water droplets are collected in a reservoir or a drip tray located below the Peltier module.
- Release: The dehumidifier then expels the dry and cooled air back into the RV through the hot side of the Peltier module.
Peltier dehumidifiers are generally suitable for small spaces or areas with low humidity levels. They are not as powerful as compressor-based dehumidifiers, so they may not be the best option for large RVs or areas with very high humidity.
Advantages of Peltier dehumidifiers include their compact size, lightweight, and lack of moving parts, making them relatively quiet and low-maintenance. However, they may consume more electricity compared to other dehumidifier types and may have limited dehumidification capabilities for larger RVs or areas with high humidity levels.
- Compact and lightweight: Peltier dehumidifiers are small, lightweight, and portable, making them easy to move around and suitable for small spaces in RVs.
- Quiet operation: Similar to desiccant dehumidifiers, Peltier dehumidifiers are quiet during operation due to the absence of a compressor.
- Limited dehumidification capacity: Peltier dehumidifiers are typically designed for smaller spaces and have limited dehumidification capabilities, making them less suitable for larger RVs or areas with high humidity.
- Higher energy consumption: They might consume more energy than other dehumidifier types, leading to potential energy inefficiency.
Refrigerant or Compressor-Style Dehumidifiers
A refrigerant or compressor-style dehumidifier works by utilizing the principles of refrigeration to remove moisture from the air. It employs a compressor, condenser, evaporator, and refrigerant gas in a continuous cycle to achieve the dehumidification process.
In the context of RV use, a refrigerant dehumidifier can be an essential appliance to maintain a comfortable and dry interior environment. Here’s how it works in an RV setting:
- Moist Air Intake: When you’re camping or living in an RV, the enclosed space can trap moisture from cooking, bathing, and even your breath. This moist air can lead to condensation on windows, walls, and other surfaces, creating a humid and uncomfortable atmosphere.
- Dehumidifier Setup: To combat the excess moisture, you can place a refrigerant dehumidifier inside the RV. The dehumidifier is equipped with a fan that draws in the humid air from the RV’s interior.
- Cooling Coil (Evaporator): The incoming humid air is directed over a cooling coil, known as the evaporator, which contains a cold refrigerant coil. The refrigerant gas flows through this coil.
- Condensation: As the warm, moist air passes over the cold evaporator coil, its temperature drops below its dew point. The dew point is the temperature at which the air can no longer hold all of its moisture, leading to condensation. The moisture in the air condenses into water droplets on the surface of the evaporator coil.
- Collection of Condensate: The water droplets formed by condensation drip down from the evaporator coil into a collection tray or reservoir located below the coil. Some RV dehumidifiers may also have a built-in pump to expel the collected water to a drain or external container.
- Dehumidified Air Release: The now dehumidified air, with reduced moisture content, is reheated as it passes over the warm condenser coil. This process prevents the air from becoming too cold before it is released back into the RV, maintaining a comfortable and dry indoor environment.
- Refrigerant Cycle: The refrigerant gas in the evaporator coil absorbs the heat from the moist air, causing it to evaporate into a gas. The warm refrigerant gas is then compressed by the compressor, which raises its temperature and pressure.
- Heat Release (Condenser): The hot, high-pressure refrigerant gas is directed to the condenser coil, where it releases its heat to the surrounding air. This heat exchange causes the refrigerant gas to condense back into a liquid state.
- Expansion Valve: The high-pressure liquid refrigerant passes through an expansion valve, which reduces its pressure and causes it to evaporate into a low-pressure, cold gas again, ready to start the dehumidification process once more.
- High dehumidification capacity: Compressor-style dehumidifiers are highly efficient at removing moisture from the air and have a higher dehumidification capacity, making them suitable for larger RVs or areas with high humidity levels.
- Effective in various conditions: They can perform well in different temperature and humidity ranges, making them versatile for use in various climates.
- Noise: Compressor-style dehumidifiers tend to produce more noise during operation due to the compressor, which might be a consideration in a compact RV living space.
- Larger and heavier: They are bulkier and heavier compared to desiccant and Peltier dehumidifiers, which might be a concern for limited storage space in an RV.
110 or 12 Volt Dehumidifier For Your RV?
The electrical system on an RV is likely comprised of actually three different electrical systems. They fall under two main categories:
- the 12-volt DC systems, and
- the 110/120 volt AC coach system.
Your RV battery is responsible for keeping the 12-volt systems operational. The 110/120-volt system is used when you plug your RV into a power source or use a gas-powered generator.
The 12-volt systems actually break into two different systems. These are:
- the automotive system, and
- the coach system.
The automotive system is the same basic one that is in your car and operates all the essentials you need to use your vehicle from headlights to power windows and so on. The coach system, however, runs all the low-voltage 12V items in the RV living area, such as fans, overhead lights, stereo, etc.
So all we are going to look at here are the 12-volt coach system and the 110/120-volt system.
The 12 Volt Coach System
Your RV batteries are what keep the 12-volt coach system operational and that allows you to use many of the appliances that are onboard your motorhome. As mentioned above, this includes items such as the furnace fan, lights, stereo, water pump, etc. If you have a 12V dehumidifier, you can also run this on the 12-volt coach electrical system.
In order to keep the 12-volt DC system operating smoothly, you must keep the batteries fully charged. You can do this in one of four different ways. You can charge them with solar power, with a generator, with your engine running, or with the assistance of a campground hookup (see below).
The 110/120 Volt System
The 120-volt electrical source you access with your RV is usually supplied when you park at an RV campground that offers “all services” and that typically refers to such extras as power hookups, a sani dump, and whatever other creature comforts are available at that specific campground.
The cord you use to plug into the power source will be a heavy-duty one supplied by the RV manufacturer and your vehicle will typically have either a 30 or 50-amp system. By plugging into the outside source, you are able to provide AC power to the RV. This means that you can use higher-power appliances such as microwaves, air-conditioners, fridges (when in electric mode), and pretty much anything else that plugs into a “normal” electric wall socket.
The 110/120 system will convert the power to charge the 12V batteries and allow the items requiring 12 volts to operate.
If you are specifically looking for a 12v dehumidifier for RV use, they do exist, but there are not many. You would be better off using one that uses the 110/120-volt power system.
Using An RV Dehumidifier And Hygrometer
You can use a dehumidifier to regulate the humidity, or moisture content, in the air. Usually, damage can occur through the formation of corrosion or mold if the humidity is too high. You use a dehumidifier to bring that level down.
Anywhere between 40 and 60 percent humidity is safe and comfortable to prevent corrosion and mold. A dehumidifier controls this by pulling the moisture out of the air and converting it to liquid water.
The water is then collected in a bucket or container built into the dehumidifier, or removed via a connected hose. Once the collection bucket is full, you can remove it, empty and replace it
This is how you can manage the humidity level at an acceptable level in living spaces. The best small dehumidifier models are used for this purpose not only in RVs, but also in basements, closets, bathrooms, sheds, and garages.
A hygrometer is an instrument you may want to have mounted in your RV at all times. This will track the moisture content in the air and is an easy way to tell when you will need to use your RV dehumidifier.
You can use the hygrometer to determine the dryness (low humidity) or dampness (high humidity) inside your RV. It will give you an understanding of what activities inside your recreational vehicle have an impact on the moisture content. It will alert you when the level gets too high or too low.
Most dehumidifiers and humidifiers have these instruments built in. However, a separate stand-alone hygrometer may be useful depending on how often you use your RV.
For more information on some of the best hygrometers on the market, make sure that you check out this article.
Features To Look For In The Best RV Dehumidifier
There are quite a few different styles and features that you may want to consider before buying the best RV dehumidifier for your specific needs. They include:
Desiccant or Refrigerant?
As mentioned above, there are two different types of dehumidifiers. They fall under two distinct categories.
A desiccant is rechargeable and is best suited for small, confined areas. For a localized moisture problem, a desiccant is the most effective dehumidifier to combat this.
A refrigerant dehumidifier is a larger style unit and can provide mold and moisture control for bigger areas ranging from the entire interior of your RV, up to the size of your house. The refrigerant style requires power to operate and pulls moisture from the air with coils that collect and convert the moisture to water that is collected or drained from the unit.
When traveling, a larger powered-style dehumidifier would provide more efficiency than a desiccant. But they are typically bigger and noisier. However, desiccant dehumidifiers work very well when the RV is not in use – stored away for the season for example.
Non-electric desiccant dehumidifiers are popular in RVs because you don’t have to worry about hooking them up to a power supply to work. Since they are not connected to a power supply, they obviously also won’t drain your battery. However, as mentioned, they don’t extract as much moisture from the air.
A 12V dehumidifier for RV use is actually not very efficient and is harder to come by. As such, it is usually a better choice to get a higher-power 120V unit.
However, the main problem with a 120V dehumidifier is that, when you are off the beaten track, you may not be in a campground with access to mains power.
The amount of noise produced by a dehumidifier is typically in direct relation to the size of the unit. For example, medium and large dehumidifiers will generate noise levels of between 55 and 67 decibels when at full power. Smaller dehumidifiers will produce less noise but they will produce some noise.
Desiccant dehumidifiers, or those that use Peltier Technology such as the Eva-Dry EDV-1100 mini dehumidifier, are silent but don’t draw as much moisture from the air.
Since RVs are quite confined, the noise level produced by your RV dehumidifier should be taken into consideration. If you are going to use it regularly, you may want to look for a quiet model… otherwise, you may find using the dehumidifier in your RV very disruptive.
Moisture Collection Requirement
The moisture collected from the air is converted to water and it is collected in a tank in many RV dehumidifier models. The tank is designed to be removed so that it can be emptied but there are also different size tanks that relate to the rating of each.
Dehumidifiers are rated on how many cubic feet per minute they can collect moisture from the air. As a very rough guide, the larger the tank capacity, the higher the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating. Tanks can be between 10 and 75 pints (the larger ones for residential use).
Because space can be limited in your RV, you probably don’t want a very large or bulky unit cramping your space.
Compressor-style units generally have the largest capacity but are also the largest and noisiest. Peltier technology and desiccant models are smaller and quieter but typically are not able to remove moisture at the same levels.
Desiccant and Peltier Technology dehumidifiers use less power than refrigerant styles. To get a better sense of the amount of energy this can translate to, a refrigerant dehumidifier would use about the same amount of energy as a refrigerator.
For a more detailed look at how much power dehumidifiers use, click here.
The moisture collected by dehumidifiers is typically collected in a removable tank. The tank is then manually emptied and replaced. The size of the tank, how long you run the dehumidifier and the humidity level will all factor into how quickly a tank will fill and require emptying.
Larger units have drain hoses that can be fed into RV drainage locations such as a sink or shower if so desired.
Most dehumidifiers have either an alert system or an automatic shut-off that turns off the unit once the tank is filled to capacity. Other units have built-in timers so you can control when the dehumidifier is in operation shutting it off when it is no longer required.
A humidistat is a control that you use to set when you want the dehumidifier to go on or off. It typically operates on a range of humidity levels that it recorded inside the unit with an onboard humidistat. Higher-end models allow for more precise humidity level settings and give you control over the amount of humidity you are prepared to have before reducing it with the dehumidifier.
Our Picks of the Best RV Dehumidifiers on the Market
With these points in mind, we have selected some of the best RV dehumidifiers on the market. Factors that we considered include:
- how well they work,
- features, and
Keystone KSTAD30B 30-Pint Dehumidifier
This is one of the best cheap dehumidifiers you will find and it is still one of the most efficient. It is EnergyStar rated to eliminate up to 30 pints of moisture daily and is capable of working that magic in spaces up to 1,500 square feet. These factors make this one great option and a definite contender as the best RV dehumidifier for many people.
There are multiple settings (Normal, Turbo plus Auto-Defrost) and the dust filter is removable and easy to clean. Also, the unit has a built-in alert to tell you when the dust filter requires cleaning.
What makes this one of the best small dehumidifiers for RV use is that you can hook it up for continuous drainage by adding a hose.
Feedback and reviews give this product great ratings although some find it a little noisy, especially for a confined space. A few have reported having leaking issues and that the removable water bucket was not as easy to remove as it should be.
Aside from these points, as with all Keystone dehumidifiers, this dehumidifier for RV use is powerful and does an excellent job.
Click the Amazon button below for more information on the Keystone KSTAD30B 30-Pint Dehumidifier.
Eva-Dry EDV-1100 Petite Dehumidifier
What makes this one of the best RV dehumidifier options on the market? Well, there are quite a few reasons…
Any RV dehumidifier that uses Peltier Technology in its design is worth a look as that means it will be very quiet… which is important especially in enclosed spaces, like an RV. The Peltier system has no compressor… the result is what the manufacturer likes to refer to as being “Whisper Quiet”.
The size of this mini dehumidifier unit is compact so you can tuck it away just about anywhere. In an RV where space is a premium, this means it will not be in the way.
The water reservoir will hold up to 16 ounces and is easy to remove and empty. There’s even an indicator light that will inform you when the reservoir is full and in need of emptying. It will also shut off once the tank has reached its capacity.
The design of this dehumidifier without a compressor means low energy consumption. The compact size, energy efficiency, and simple operation all earn our praise.
The speed at which this dehumidifier can regulate relative humidity in your RV is one key feature of why this product is so popular.
Click the Amazon button below for more information on the Eva-dry Edv-1100 Electric Petite Dehumidifier. Also, see our full review of this mini dehumidifier here. And make sure to check out the short video below…
Eva-Dry E-333 Mini Dehumidifier
This lightweight and compact RV dehumidifier weighs in at only 1.2 pounds. It can take control of the humidity in a space of up to 333 cubic feet with no problem and no power. This product is 100 percent renewable and the manufacturer says it will last up to ten years if properly taken care of.
As it is eco-friendly and works without batteries or electricity, there are no cords to mess around with. It is the ideal choice for various applications ranging from:
- gun safes,
- laundry rooms
and anywhere else you need to take control of moisture to fight mold and mildew build-up.
Reviews of this best small dehumidifier give it top marks. The portable size and long life of the silica gel (provided you recharge it when required) are the most frequent features noted. It will work in a lot of small spaces which makes this one of the better cheap dehumidifiers on the market.
Click the Amazon button below for more information on the Eva-dry E-333 Mini Dehumidifier. Also, have a look at the short video below…
H2Out Space Dryers
This RV dehumidifier is a non-toxic, non-corrosive desiccant-style unit. This means that it does not use electricity to operate.
Because it uses what the manufacturer calls “blue media”, once that turns pale pink, it is due for a recharge. This can take up to two months before you have to recharge.
All you do to recharge is heat the product in an oven for about an hour at 300 degrees F. Heating in the oven completely dries out the content that collects moisture and makes it reusable.
This particular dehumidifier is for small spaces. This makes it suitable for use in closets, bathrooms, kitchens, RVs, gun safes, and similar-size quarters of up to 5′ x 5′ x 5′.
It receives good marks with varying levels of success reported by users depending on where this dehumidifier is used.
Click the Amazon button below for more information on the H2Out Space Dryers – SD100 Series, and see it in action in the video below…
Best Practices for Using RV Dehumidifiers
Placement Tips for Optimal Performance:
- Central Location: Place the dehumidifier in a central area of your RV to ensure even distribution of dry air throughout the living space. This helps prevent localized humidity buildup in specific areas.
- Away from Obstructions: Keep the dehumidifier away from furniture, curtains, or any other obstructions that might impede airflow. Unrestricted air circulation around the dehumidifier enhances its efficiency.
- Near Moisture Sources: Position the dehumidifier near moisture-prone areas like the kitchen and bathroom. These areas generate higher humidity levels, and placing the dehumidifier nearby can efficiently target excess moisture.
- Elevated Placement: Elevate the dehumidifier slightly above ground level to prevent any accidental spills or water damage from condensate overflow. Placing it on a stable surface or a small stand is ideal.
Operating Guidelines for Efficient RV Dehumidification:
- Set the Ideal Humidity Level: Most RV dehumidifiers have adjustable humidity settings. Set the unit to maintain an indoor humidity level between 40% to 50% for optimal comfort and to inhibit mold and mildew growth.
- Regularly Empty the Reservoir: Check the water reservoir regularly and empty it when it’s close to full capacity. An automatic shut-off feature will prevent spills, but it’s still essential to stay attentive to the water level.
- Regular Maintenance: Clean the filters and coils of your dehumidifier regularly to maintain its efficiency. Dirty filters can obstruct airflow and reduce dehumidification effectiveness.
- Use Timers: Some dehumidifiers come with built-in timers. Utilize them to run the dehumidifier during specific hours when humidity levels are higher, saving energy and reducing wear and tear on the unit.
- Proper Ventilation: Ensure adequate ventilation in your RV to facilitate the dehumidifier’s performance. Good ventilation helps remove stale air and allows the dehumidifier to work more effectively.
Combining Dehumidifiers with Other Moisture Control Methods:
- Ventilation Fans: Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to expel humid air directly to the outside. This reduces the load on the dehumidifier and aids in keeping those specific areas dry.
- Dehumidifier Drain Hose: If possible, connect the dehumidifier to a drain hose to avoid the hassle of manually emptying the reservoir. This is particularly beneficial for long-term RV living or during periods of heavy humidity.
- Silica Gel Packets: Place silica gel packets in cabinets and storage areas to absorb moisture and prevent mold growth. These small desiccant packs are a simple and effective way to tackle localized moisture concerns.
- Weather Sealing: Check and maintain weather seals around windows and doors to prevent outside air from entering and causing condensation inside the RV. Proper weather sealing helps to control humidity levels.
Other Humidity-Reduction Methods
Ventilation Techniques for Humidity Reduction:
- Cross-Ventilation: Whenever possible, open windows on opposite sides of the RV to encourage cross-ventilation. This allows fresh air to circulate and helps remove humid air from within, aiding in humidity reduction.
- Roof Vent Fans: Utilize roof vent fans to enhance airflow throughout the RV. Turn on the fans while cooking, showering, or when humidity levels are high outside. This will expel moist air and replace it with drier outdoor air.
- Use Exhaust Fans: Turn on bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans when cooking or showering to remove steam and humidity directly from the source.
Effective Use of RV Awnings and Window Shades:
- Outdoor Awnings: When parked in a sunny location, extend your RV’s awnings to shade the windows. Keeping direct sunlight out can help prevent the buildup of heat and humidity inside the RV.
- Reflective Window Covers: Invest in reflective window covers or insulating shades. These specially designed covers reflect sunlight and heat, helping to maintain cooler temperatures inside the RV and reducing humidity.
- Nighttime Ventilation: During cooler evenings, open windows and use window shades or screens to allow fresh air into the RV while keeping insects out. Cooler nighttime air can help lower humidity levels inside.
Maintenance and Care of RV Dehumidifiers
Regular Cleaning Procedures:
- Exterior Cleaning: Wipe down the exterior of the dehumidifier regularly with a soft, damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may damage the unit’s finish.
- Filter Cleaning: Check the air filters regularly and clean them as needed. Dirty filters can obstruct airflow and reduce the dehumidifier’s efficiency. Rinse washable filters under running water and let them air dry before reinstalling.
- Coil Cleaning: Over time, dust and debris may accumulate on the evaporator and condenser coils, impacting the unit’s performance. Use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently clean the coils.
Changing Filters and Refilling Reservoirs:
- Filter Replacement: If your dehumidifier uses disposable filters, replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions or whenever you notice reduced airflow. Cleaning or replacing filters is vital for maintaining efficient dehumidification.
- Reservoir Emptying: Monitor the water reservoir regularly and empty it when it’s close to full capacity or when the dehumidifier indicates a full tank. Many dehumidifiers have an auto-shutoff feature that prevents overflow, but it’s essential to stay vigilant.
- Drain Hose Maintenance: If your dehumidifier has a drain hose option, ensure it is properly connected and not kinked or blocked. This allows the unit to continuously drain excess moisture without the need to manually empty the reservoir.
Winterization Tips for Long-Term Storage:
- Thorough Cleaning: Before storing the dehumidifier for an extended period, clean the unit thoroughly. Remove any dust, debris, or moisture from the interior and exterior to prevent mold or mildew growth.
- Reservoir and Hose Drainage: Ensure the water reservoir is emptied completely, and the drain hose (if applicable) is disconnected and thoroughly drained to prevent water from freezing and damaging the unit during cold weather.
- Store in a Dry Location: Choose a dry and well-ventilated area for storage to prevent moisture accumulation and potential damage to the dehumidifier.
- Cover for Protection: If storing the RV in an outdoor environment, consider covering the dehumidifier to shield it from the elements and prevent dust and debris from entering.
- Periodic Check: Even in storage, periodically inspect the dehumidifier to ensure it remains dry and clean. This will help identify any issues that may need attention before your next usage.
RV Dehumidifier Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some common questions regarding RV dehumidifiers. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below, and we will answer them for you.
What is the difference between an RV dehumidifier and a home dehumidifier?
There isn’t much of a difference between an RV dehumidifier and a regular household one. After all, they both help remove moisture from the air which can lead to instances of mold in your RV or home.
However, one thing you’ll notice in an RV dehumidifier is that it’s often smaller than a typical one for your home. Although this doesn’t make too much of a difference in the way it operates, since the purpose of both types is to reduce moisture levels, it can have some implications on its functionality. For example, being able to store a large unit during transit simply wouldn’t be possible were it not for an RV-specific model because most units would struggle to fit in small storage areas.
In addition to the above, since the area that needs to have the moisture removed inside an RV is typically less than in a normal home, the unit doesn’t have to be as powerful, which means that you can use a smaller dehumidifier in your RV compared to one for home use.
You will see desiccant dehumidifiers and those that use Peltier Technology quite often in RVs since their power requirements and sizes are less. They are also generally quieter than compressor-style dehumidifiers which are common in homes.
Many RV dehumidifiers also do not have a continuous drainage option and rely on desiccant material to absorb the moisture of a tank that required emptying every now and then.
It’s also preferable to ensure RV dehumidifiers come with a non-slip base that prevents them from moving around once you install them inside your RV.
What size RV dehumidifier is best?
The size of the RV dehumidifier you require depends on the size of your RV and the amount of humidity they’re exposed to. Make sure that you match the requirements with what is available on the market. It is best not to choose one that is smaller than your requirement.
When you purchase a dehumidifier for your RV, you should consider the power requirements as well as the physical size. If you have limited space in your RV then you need to look for compact dehumidifiers. If you have a small RV, then a small RV dehumidifier should work just fine.
Other things to consider when thinking about which size dehumidifier is best include how many people are typically in the RV, how much time is spent in the RV, and the humidity levels where you are located.
What are the benefits of using an RV dehumidifier?
– Improves air quality: Reduces mold, mildew, and musty odors.
– Prevents damage to RV components: Helps prevent moisture damage to RV walls, flooring, and upholstery.
– Protects stored items: Helps prevent moisture damage to stored items such as clothes and food.
– Increases comfort: Reduces humidity levels making the RV feel cooler and more comfortable.
– Energy efficient: Can help lower air conditioning usage, leading to lower energy bills.
– Convenient: Many models are portable and can be easily moved from one location to another.
Easy to use: Most models are user-friendly and easy to operate.
How do I choose the right size dehumidifier for my RV?
– Think about your RV’s square footage: Select a dehumidifier whose capacity is appropriate for your RV’s size.
– Note the relative humidity in your RV: A larger dehumidifier might be necessary for RVs that are frequently used in humid environments.
– Check the dehumidifier attributes: Think about functions like auto-off, auto-restart, and programmable settings.
– Read reviews and feedback: To determine whether the dehumidifier you are considering meets your needs and is effective in your RV, read customer reviews.
– Consult a specialist: If you’re still unsure, speak with an RV expert to determine which dehumidifier will work best for you.
Can an RV dehumidifier be used while the RV is in motion?
No, most RV dehumidifiers are not designed to be used while the RV is in motion. Dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air, and in an RV, this means that they are designed to operate while the RV is stationary and the air inside is relatively still. Using a dehumidifier while the RV is in motion could result in reduced effectiveness and could cause damage to the unit. It is recommended to turn off the dehumidifier and secure it before traveling in your RV.
Are there any maintenance requirements for an RV dehumidifier?
Yes, there are some maintenance requirements for an RV dehumidifier; many of which are the same as dehumidifiers for home use:
– Clean the air filter: Regularly clean or replace the air filter to ensure the dehumidifier is functioning properly.
– Empty the water tank: Make sure to empty the water tank regularly to prevent overflow.
– Store properly: Store the dehumidifier properly when not in use to protect it from damage.
– Inspect the unit: Periodically inspect the dehumidifier for any signs of damage or wear.
– Follow manufacturer’s instructions: Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance and operation of your dehumidifier.
By performing these maintenance tasks, you can help ensure that your RV dehumidifier operates effectively and has a long lifespan.
How do I properly store my RV dehumidifier when not in use?
When not in use, store your RV dehumidifier properly as follows:
– Empty the water tank: Before storing the dehumidifier, be sure to empty the water tank.
– Clean the device: Before storing, thoroughly dry the dehumidifier.
– Keep in a dry location: To stop the growth of mold or mildew, store the dehumidifier in a dry location.
– Cover the device: To shield the dehumidifier from dirt and other contaminants, place a cover over it.
– Keep in a secure location: To prevent damage from being caused by being tipped over or stepped on, store the dehumidifier in a secure location.
You can help ensure that your RV dehumidifier is securely stored and available for use when necessary by following these instructions.
What are the different types of RV dehumidifiers available?
– Portable Dehumidifiers: Small, compact units that can be easily moved from room to room or from one RV to another.
– Built-in Dehumidifiers: Installed within the RV’s ventilation system and are typically more permanent than portable units.
– Desiccant Dehumidifiers: Use silica gel to absorb moisture, making them ideal for use in low temperature and low humidity environments.
– Electric Dehumidifiers: Use refrigerant coils to remove moisture from the air, making them ideal for use in RVs with electrical power.
– Hybrid Dehumidifiers: Combine the benefits of both desiccant and electric dehumidifiers, making them versatile and suitable for use in a variety of environments.
It is important to consider the specific needs and environment of your RV when choosing a dehumidifier. You may also consult with an RV specialist to find the right type of dehumidifier for your needs.
What is the average lifespan of an RV dehumidifier?
The average lifespan of an RV dehumidifier depends on several factors, including:
– Quality of the unit: Higher-quality dehumidifiers tend to last longer than cheaper, lower-quality units.
– Frequency of use: The more frequently the dehumidifier is used, the shorter its lifespan may be.
– Maintenance: Proper maintenance, such as regularly cleaning the air filter and storing the unit properly, can help extend the lifespan of a dehumidifier.
– Environment: Exposure to extreme temperatures or humidity levels can shorten the lifespan of a dehumidifier.
On average, a well-maintained RV dehumidifier can last anywhere from 3 to 7 years, but this can vary depending on the factors mentioned above. To maximize the lifespan of your RV dehumidifier, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper maintenance and operation.
Can an RV dehumidifier also work as an air purifier?
Although not all dehumidifiers are built to function as air purifiers, some RV dehumidifiers may also have these features. Air purifiers are made to get rid of contaminants like dust, pollen, and other allergens, whereas an RV dehumidifier’s main job is to take moisture out of the air.
Consider buying a hybrid unit that combines both functions if you’re looking for an RV dehumidifier that also serves as an air purifier. This kind of device can aid in maintaining dry and hygienic air in your RV, enhancing indoor air quality, and lowering the possibility of mold and mildew development.
Should I run a dehumidifier in my RV?
Yes, running a dehumidifier in your RV can be beneficial for several reasons:
– Prevents the growth of mold and mildew: High humidity levels in an RV can result in the growth of mold and mildew, which can harm the interior of the RV and pose health risks. A dehumidifier helps to preserve a healthy level of indoor humidity and lowers the chance of mold and mildew growth.
– Enhances indoor air quality by removing extra moisture from the air, a dehumidifier can lessen odors and allergens while enhancing indoor air quality.
– Comfort is improved: In an RV, high humidity levels can cause stuffy, uncomfortable air. By lowering humidity levels, a dehumidifier contributes to the maintenance of a comfortable indoor environment.
– High humidity levels can harm electronics and other equipment, including the electrical system of an RV, so protecting them is important. By preserving a healthy level of indoor humidity, a dehumidifier helps to protect these items.
Is a 12-volt dehumidifier or a 110-volt dehumidifier best to use in an RV?
The choice between a 12-volt or 110-volt dehumidifier for an RV depends on several factors, including the size of the RV, the available power sources, and the user’s specific needs. A 12-volt dehumidifier is designed to run on the DC power source of an RV’s battery, while a 110-volt dehumidifier requires an AC power source, such as a campground hookup or a generator. If an RV owner plans to spend a lot of time off-grid, a 12-volt dehumidifier may be more practical, as it can run off the RV battery. However, a 110-volt dehumidifier may be more powerful and efficient for larger RVs or for RVers who have access to a reliable AC power source. Ultimately, the best choice depends on individual circumstances and preferences.
Can a 12-volt dehumidifier remove enough moisture from my RV?
A 12-volt dehumidifier’s ability to effectively remove moisture from an RV depends on a number of variables, including the size of the RV, the surrounding humidity, and the amount of moisture being produced inside. In small to medium-sized RVs with moderate humidity levels, a 12-volt dehumidifier can still be effective even though it may not be as powerful as a bigger, 110-volt dehumidifier. For your specific RV, it’s critical to select a 12-volt dehumidifier with the right capacity, and it should be used in conjunction with other moisture-control strategies like appropriate ventilation and moisture-absorbing materials.
How much power does a 12-volt dehumidifier use and how long can it run on a single charge?
A 12-volt dehumidifier’s power requirements and runtime can change depending on the model and its settings. But generally speaking, 12-volt dehumidifiers are built to be power- and energy-efficient. Depending on the model and internal factors like humidity and temperature, the run time on a single charge can also change. To learn more about the power requirements and operating hours of a particular 12-volt dehumidifier, it is best to review its specifications.
Last Words On RV Dehumidifiers…
We all know how dangerous too much or too little moisture in the air can be. It can be harmful to not only our vehicles but can be harmful to our health as well. That is why RV dehumidifiers are an important part of life on the road.
If you are going to spend a long time on the road, then you don’t want your RV to make you sick. You also don’t want your RV to get damaged through corrosion or mold infestation.
Controlling the dampness in your recreational vehicle is simple with the use of any of the products reviewed here. Each one of these best small dehumidifier options has features that can provide you with effortless moisture control. They are easy to use so they will not disrupt your holiday plans.
RV dehumidifiers are an important investment for any RV owner. There are some great cheap dehumidifiers around nowadays. So before you plan your next road trip, be sure to include the best RV dehumidifier on your shopping list.