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 > What do you do for condensation inside cabinets?

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Naio

Snug as a bug in a rug

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Posted: 11/30/19 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My previous van was too small to have cabinets, but my current van does. Plus storage under the bed and in the loft over the drivers area.

It's raining where I am, and it will be for the next week or more. The walls inside the cabinets and in the storage areas are WET. Luckily, I put my clothes inside garbage bags, in the cabinets. The insides of the garbage bags seem to be dry so far.

But what can I do about all this water? It's condensation, not leaks.
I've been opening all the windows and doors and the ceiling fan, running the heat full blast. But it only help so much when the outside air is 100% humidity.

Dehumidifiers are expensive, but do I need to buy one?


3/4 timing in a DIY van conversion. Backroads, mountains, boondocking, sometimes big cities for a change of pace.


IAMICHABOD

Sunny So Cal 90713

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Posted: 11/30/19 09:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Try some of These,works for me.


2006 TIOGA 26Q CHEVY 6.0 WORKHORSE VORTEC
Former El Monte RV Rental

Buying A Rental Class C

Chevrolet Based Class C


pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 11/30/19 10:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi Naio,


Condensation happens when the surface of the material is below the dew point temperature. Two solutions may be used together to help ameliorate this issue. Raise the surface temperature of the material and/or lower the relative humidity inside the RV.

Leave the cabinet doors open.

Radiant heaters warm the surface they are pointed at so they may help the surface to get higher than the dew point.

If you have shore power, then try placing a "trouble" lamp with a 60 watt bulb at the bottom of a cabinet against the exterior wall. Be careful to leave an air gap--you don't wish to burn the RV cabinet. If that solves the issue, then add other similar lamps.

If you are NOT on shore power then place a 12 volt fan blowing air into the bottom of the cabinet. Use the lowest speed that solves the issue. If it works on one cabinet--add additional fans.

For window condensation, place a 3 inch wide strip of insulation on the outside bottom of the window. The condensate will flow down the window until it hits the warmer glass and then return to the air inside the RV.

Do not use an unvented blue flame or catalytic heater. They add a huge amount of water vapor.

Cracking a roof vent and opening the window farthest away from the vent may help. If an electric heater is placed at the open part of the window it helps even more.

I found that running an electric heater, and the roof air conditioner at the same time would drop the relative humidity dramatically--which lowers the dew point temperature. This "forces" the roof air conditioner to become more of a dehumidifier. Obviously this requires a lot of power. Be sure to monitor voltage and if it drops below 107 do not run the roof air. I found that in extreme cold the air conditioner fans did not wish to operate, but at those temperatures the relative humidity is so low that dew point issues are not much of a problem.

Another shore power solution is to use a dehumidifier. They work better the higher the temperature is inside the RV.

I hope this helps.

* This post was edited 11/30/19 10:10pm by pianotuna *


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Naio

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Posted: 11/30/19 11:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thank you, folks! I have seen the strips of insulation before and I didn't know what they were about :-).

It seems I will have to create some sort of spacer, to raise my clothes above the bottom of the cabinets, a few inches for a fan, or quite a lot more than that for a 60 watt bulb. Maybe heating pads would be useful.

I am on shore power right now, but my rig does not have an AC.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 12/01/19 01:28am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Insulation helps. What kind of heater are you unsung? Other sources of moisture?
Keeping air circulating is key as well.


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

cavie

Port Charlotte Fl/ Hindsdale MA

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Posted: 12/01/19 04:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Naio wrote:

My previous van was too small to have cabinets, but my current van does. Plus storage under the bed and in the loft over the drivers area.

It's raining where I am, and it will be for the next week or more. The walls inside the cabinets and in the storage areas are WET. Luckily, I put my clothes inside garbage bags, in the cabinets. The insides of the garbage bags seem to be dry so far.

But what can I do about all this water? It's condensation, not leaks.
I've been opening all the windows and doors and the ceiling fan, running the heat full blast. But it only help so much when the outside air is 100% humidity.

Dehumidifiers are expensive, but do I need to buy one?
YES Cheap at walmart.


2011 Keystone Sprinter 323BHS. Retired Master Electrician. Retired Building Inspector.

All Motor Homes are RV's. All RV's are not Motor Homes.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 12/01/19 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Naio,

Heating pads will help--but tend to warm the air. The newer ones tend to have a built in timer--so they shut off after 3 hours. Most probably the new ones won't "like" MSW inverters. The cheapest ones from Walmart don't appear to have timers. The largest ones from Walmart have exactly the same wattage as the small ones. Weird. Install a grate at the top of the cabinet to allow warmed air to flow out of the cabinets. I have a couple from Lowes and they are quite decorative.

If the fan works, then plan on installing computer fans--they are inexpensive and don't use a lot of power. Make a grate on the bottom of the door and place the fans at the top to suck air into the cabinets.

PastorCharlie

NC

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Posted: 12/01/19 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Install a Dehumidifier and pipe the drain outside and the problem is solved...other efforts just move the moisture around inside.

2oldman

Ca

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Posted: 12/01/19 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Heat it.

pnichols

The Other California

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Posted: 12/01/19 09:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PastorCharlie wrote:

Install a Dehumidifier and pipe the drain outside and the problem is solved...other efforts just move the moisture around inside.


That's the best long term solution so as to be ready for wet weather anywhere anytime ... unless Naio is trying to drycamp in the rain. If so, that probably means a generator has to be in the mix.


Phil, 2005 E450 Itasca Spirit 24V

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