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Preventing Mold in your RV

Preventing Mold in your RV

Mold is a common problem in RVs. Take a cruise through some RV forums and you’ll find befuddled RVers seeking answers to mold, mildew, and dampness issues. Make no mistake, it can be a real problem. Mold can exacerbate certain respiratory issues and cause others. You don’t want to play with it.

I’ve shared in the past my own story with a moldy RV. I still have issues from breathing those spores for so long – so does my little dog.

So, in order to hopefully spare you some moldy angst, I’ve assembled a few mold busting tips taken from mold experts, boat owners, and, yes, good ole RVers.

Run a Dehumidifier (if you have electricity)
Running a small electric dehumidifier can cut down on the moisture and keep your RV dry and mold free. Amazon has a number of dehumidifiers for RVs in varying price ranges. This is a good option for full timers, but not so great if you are storing your RV.

Use a Desiccant Dehumidifier
This is a pretty neat device that requires no electricity. All you do is put the crystals in the unit and leave it out to do its job. When all of the crystals have dissolved, it is time to replace them. There is nothing to empty or clean. Check out the Dri-Z Classic. Here is a handy FAQ page for the product as well.

Encourage Ventilation
When condensation collects and never has a chance to dry out, that is when mold occurs. Open a vent and a window, or a couple of windows to get the air flowing through your rig. This may not work well in very humid areas though.

Use a Fan or Two
Fans keep the air moving and can help to keep moisture from settling. Depending on how large your RV is, you may want to use two or three fans in order to cover the entire area.

Fan with Heater
This is my personal favorite because it works really quickly (we have a 33-foot travel trailer and one heater will dry it out in a morning). We have two heaters that we use, one small space heater for cool temps to “take the chill off” and a larger propane heater for full on, sweltering heat when the temps dip below freezing. We do run our central heater but not all that often. The space heaters work just fine.

Window Insulation
Window insulation will create a barrier that keeps condensation that has formed on the window from reaching your living area. It also helps to keep heat from escaping.

Wipe down Surfaces
When you see condensation forming on hard surfaces in your RV, wipe them up. Don’t leave your windows, counters, walls, and vents holding moisture. When you see it, wipe it up.

Use a Hygrometer
Ideally, you want to try to keep your humidity level inside between 30% and 50%. A hygrometer can help. Some dehumidifiers come with hygrometers installed, but you can also purchase them separately.

Inspect your Pipes Regularly
Pipes can crack or leak, allowing moisture to collect in your walls and compartments. Check those areas regularly to make sure they aren’t any leaks or moisture and if there is, tend to it immediately.

Make Sure your Bathroom is Properly Ventilated
Bathrooms make a perfect mold habitat. Most people keep the door closed so it is essentially shut tight with no real air movement. The moisture can build and lead to some nasty mold. Open the vent regularly and let the fan run, especially after someone has taken a shower. Also, leave the door open. Sometimes I put my small heater at the door and let it run to completely dry it out. Oh, and clean your bath mat!

Related Read: Is RV Toilet Paper Really Necessary?

Run the Range Fan while Cooking
Cooking generates a lot of moisture. Turn on the range fan while you are cooking and keep the lids on the pots as much as possible. If it is dry outside, open some windows. If it isn’t dry, consider turning on the central heat or a fan for a while. Heat dries up the moisture while cooler temperatures encourage it. Keep that in mind when you are fighting mold. If you need to get rid of moisture in your RV, turn up the heat.

This is an excellent resource for how to find and clean mold.

Have you dealt with mold in your RV? What’s your favorite mold busting tip?

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Stephanie A. Mayberry

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Stephanie A. Mayberry

Stephanie A. Mayberry escaped the hustle and bustle of city life in Washington, D.C. where she worked as an analyst, FOIA officer, and technical writer for the U.S. federal government to pursue her first love, freelance writing, full time. She has been a writer, author, public speaker, and photographer for more than 25 years; now she, her husband, and little dog Gizmo enjoy the laid back lifestyle as RV full-timers going wherever the wind takes them. Learn more about Stephanie at stephaniemayberry.com

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