There are many who claim camping in an RV during the colder months is not a good idea. Some say it’s too difficult to keep the rig warm inside; others worry that pipes will freeze. Both are valid concerns, but both also have solutions.
Another common complaint when it comes to winter camping is condensation in RV campers.
RV condensation can develop very quickly in cold weather, and we aren’t just talking about some moisture on the windows. Little water droplets will develop on the walls and along any metal inside the rig too. While this may seem like no big deal, it absolutely is. You see, condensation can actually damage the walls, floors, furniture, and cabinetry in your RV by causing mold to form, wood to rot, and metal to rust or become corroded.
Because it can cause so many problems, camper condensation is not something you want to mess around with. Lucky for you, we’re here to help you solve your RV condensation problems once and for all.
What Causes Condensation Inside an RV?
Let’s start by finding the root of the problem. What causes condensation in motorhomes and travel trailers? In short, the answer is moisture and temperature.
When the warm air in your cozy RV comes into contact with colder surfaces such as windows, metal window frames, or even walls, the moisture in that air is released and small water droplets are formed.
You could prevent condensation from forming by cooling the inside of the RV to match the outdoor temperature, but then you’d be uncomfortably cold. Warming up the outside air would also prevent condensation in camper vehicles, though that is impossible unless you’re able to move the RV to another part of the country.
Therefore, the best way to prevent condensation in RV rigs is by removing the moisture from the air.
How Do I Stop Condensation in My RV While Camping?
Unfortunately, figuring out how to keep moisture out of camper vehicles is not as easy as it sounds. This is especially true when the rig is in use. Many of our day-to-day activities actually put moisture into the air, and depending on the weather and where you are, your RV humidity may be high simply because of the moisture in the outside air.
Therefore, when it comes to figuring out how to reduce condensation in RV campers while in use, you will likely need to experiment to find a combination of tricks that work for you.
Below are our top ten tips for how to keep moisture out of an RV in winter while staying in it.
#1: Warm Things Up
Although it is the warm air meeting the cold air that creates condensation, if you raise the indoor temperatures enough, you can actually curb condensation production. This is because raising the indoor temperature should also raise the temperature of the cold surfaces in the rig, such as glass. This should slow RV window condensation significantly.
#2: Invest in a Dehumidifier
As mentioned before, removing moisture from the air will also help those needing to know how to keep condensation off RV windows and walls. This is why you should keep a dehumidifier in your RV in the winter. This simple appliance will reduce humidity significantly.
This is our favorite dehumidifier for travel trailer and motorhome use.
#3: Put Your Vent Fans to Use
You can help your dehumidifier out by putting your vent fans to use. You should have a vent above your stove, as well as one or two on the ceiling of your RV. Make a point of opening them and running the fans a couple times a day when things start to feel humid.
#4: Open a Window
Alternatively, or even in addition to opening the vents, you could crack a window. This lets moisture escape and allows the dryer outdoor air in. Some people even find that a small RV window fan helps to get the air moving. You’ll only need to run it for a few minutes two or three times a day.
#5: Avoid Hanging Things to Dry Indoors
Obviously, if you’re trying to remove moisture from the air, you won’t want to undo all of your work by adding to the humidity. Therefore, it’s wise to avoid hanging things to dry inside the rig. Go ahead and put the laundry room dryers to use during the cold months, and hang towels to dry outside if at all possible.
#6: Skip the Propane Furnace
Another important tip for those wondering how to keep RV windows from sweating is to turn off the RV furnace. No, we aren’t suggesting you go cold, only that you use electric space heaters instead. Propane heaters emit lots of moisture. Meanwhile, electric heaters will keep things nice and dry.
Important note: If you are relying on a heated underbelly to keep your water system from freezing, this is not the tip for you. The RV furnace must be running for the underbelly to stay warm.
#7: Change the Way You Cook
Pots and pans on the stove release steam into the air. Keeping your stovetop cooking covered is somewhat helpful. However, avoiding using the stove is even better.
Instead of the stovetop, consider one of the following options:
- RV oven — The oven is a much better alternative to the RV stove. That said, even the propane oven can produce some moisture. Therefore, if you have a convection oven, we’d recommend choosing that option.
- Instant Pot — An Instant Pot is a fabulous electric appliance to have in an RV for a variety of reasons. You can use this gadget to reduce the amount of moisture in your RV by using it instead of a stovetop, and then releasing the pressure outdoors.
- Outdoor cooking — Speaking of the outdoors, taking all of your cooking outside will remove the issue of releasing steam into the air entirely.
#8: Use the Bathhouse
If removing moisture from the air is how to stop condensation in an RV, you obviously don’t want to take a hot shower and put extra moisture into the air. In fact, showering is probably the number one cause of moisture buildup in the air within a motorhome or trailer.
Therefore, you will definitely want to skip the shower in your rig and head to the campground bathhouse anytime one is available.
#9: Cover the Windows
Most of the condensation in a travel trailer or motorhome is going to be found on the windows. As mentioned earlier, this is because the windows are cold from the chilly outdoor air. You can help fix this issue by covering the windows with a special window insulation film such as this.
#10: Open Cabinet Doors
Finally, because moisture tends to build up in small enclosed spaces, it’s a good idea to keep cabinet doors open when the weather is cold. This will keep air circulating and help avoid mold growth caused by trapped condensation.
How Do I Get Rid of Condensation in my RV While It’s in Storage?
Now that you know how to reduce humidity in a travel trailer or motorhome while it’s in use, you may be wondering what to do to protect your home-on-wheels from condensation while it’s parked.
Fortunately, condensation is much easier to prevent when an RV is not in use, because normal moisture-producing activities—such as cooking and showering—aren’t taking place in the rig. Additionally, since no heaters will be running, the inside air temperature should be similar to the temperature outside, making condensation even less likely.
Still, it never hurts to take an extra step to ensure you don’t return to an excess of moisture in your RV. Thankfully, that extra step is super simple.
Our number one tip for how to stop condensation in a camper while it’s in storage is an RV moisture absorber product such as DampRid. Products such as this offer RV moisture control by absorbing any moisture that does collect in your RV.
Typically, if we’re going to see moisture collect while an RV is in storage, we find it in the cabinets and closets. Therefore, we recommend placing the DampRid in the cabinets and other enclosed spaces, leaving the cabinet doors open.
Moisture-absorbing products can also be used while the RV is in use. In fact, we recommend using this tip in conjunction with the tips above on your next cold weather camping trip.