How to Prevent Condensation and Moisture in Your Motorhome, RV or Campervan

rv condensation and moisture

Moisture and condensation can be a royal pain in your RV or camper if not dealt with effectively.

In colder months, when the air temperature is low, condensation can create excessive moisture in your motorhome, leading to damp. This can consequently create mould and other problems you’ll want to avoid.

Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to prevent condensations and moisture entering your RV. This means you can continue to camp in cooler months, which often means you can enjoy quieter campsites and not feel pressured to squeeze in your adventures at a specific time in the year.

With condensation at bay, the world’s your oyster!

What Causes Condensation and Moisture in your RV

Condensation forms on the inside of a vehicle when the level of humidity inside the vehicle exceeds the level of humidity outside. For example, when a motorhome is parked in the sun, the sun heats the inside of the vehicle. This heat raises the temperature of the inside of the vehicle to a level that causes the inside air to become less dense than the outside air.

The less dense air will rise to the top of the vehicle. This movement of the air from the inside to the outside is called convection. When air rises, it cools. As it cools, it becomes more dense thus creating less pressure. This pressure difference between the outside air and the inside air is the driving force behind window condensation.

The same effect also happens on the other side of the window. The outside air is cooler than the inside air. As the outside air cools to the same temperature as the inside air, it becomes more dense and the pressure difference stops.

When the outside air and the inside air have the same temperature and the same pressure, water vapor in the air can condense out onto the colder surface, which is the inside of the window. This is called dew point.

How to Prevent RV Condensation and Moisture

Keep Your Van Warm

The firs to keeping condensation at bay is to keep your van warm. Allowing your van to get cold will invite condensation in. This because the surfaces like the windows will get so cold, as soon as any sort of moisture touches it, it will turn to condensation.

Use a De-Humidifier

De-humidifiers are specifically designed to remove excessive moisture and humidity from a space. You can get small de-humidifiers built for RVs and motorhomes that you can use during colder periods or when you’re expecting to create excessive moisture, e.g. after a shower.

Don’t Hang Up Wet Clothes

Hanging up wet clothes is a disaster for creating moisture, particularly in a small space.

Using campground facilities or hanging clothes up outside under shelter is the best way to go to avoid extra moisture building up.

Whipe Down Wet Surfaces

If windows, doors or surfaces have condensation, whipe them down to keep moisture levels low. This will avoid condensation building up so much it starts to drip down, which could cause damage to things in your RV.

Keep Windows Slightly Open

Keeping the windows slightly open will create a gentle air flow to help avoid moisture settling.

Avoid Long, Hot Showers

Long hot showers will create a lot of excessive moisture in your RV. As this moisture touches colder surfaces like windows, it will create condensation.

After your shower, open up windows and allow for this extra moisture to leave your van.

Use a Window Vacuum

I personally really like window vacuums. They are cheap and work surprisingly well. You quite literally vacuum up the condesation. This can worthwhile in the mornings when condensation may have appeared over night.

Think About Cooking

Cooking on stoves can create extra moisture in your van so you may want to be mindful of this when cooking.

You could either open windows or use lids on your pots to avoid moisture entering the rest of your RV.

Check for Leaks/Seals

It is also worth checking or leaks or faulty seals. This is a sure-fire way to allow extra moisture into your motorhome.

Faulty seals could quite literally allow rain water in as well as preventing windows shutting properly and meaning the window surfaces get colder than they should (creating more condensation).

Invest in Better Windows/Insulate Windows

The final step is to invest in better windows that are fully insulated. If you enjoy winter camping and adventuring, this is a worthwhile investment.