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Old 10-30-2018, 09:06 AM   #1
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Dehumidify using the AC unit?

I've been pondering ways to dehumidify inside my trailer while it is in storage in Florida all summer. There are water/sewer/electric hookups 100% of the time. It is parked in the shade of a HUGE live oak tree.

At first I left a window and vent open so that there was cross ventilation. That did not work to keep things dry. Since then I have been using a combination of DampRid and kitty litter, keeping the windows and vents closed. This is better, keeping the trailer dryer and smelling fresher, but not great. I have considered a normal electric dehumidifier, but heat buildup inside the trailer would be excessive when it is 90F+ outside.

What I am considering now:
I changed the AC unit a few years ago and now have a Dometic CCC3 thermostat. It is programable, which would allow me to run the AC unit on a limited/timed basis to remove excess moisture while in storage.

I think there are 3 programable time periods, but not sure at this point how to set it up. I've got to spend more time reading the instructions.

I'm wondering if anyone else is doing this? I would like to know how long you run the AC unit per day and what temperature you set it on, etc? What happens if the power goes off for a day or so, does the thermostat retain the programing? I will be 700 miles north, so I can't check on it for months.
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Old 10-30-2018, 09:43 AM   #2
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You are not dealing with a timed function. You are dealing with humidity that fluctuates based on weather conditions so you want a humidistat rather than a thermostat or timed program to control humidity.

If you can rewire your AC to work off a humidistat then the AC will do the job just consider how low you want to go as the electric bill will be effected.

An Air King DH55 dehumidistat or equal should work. This is rated for 110 or 24 volt usage.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:46 PM   #3
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I'm not going to modify anything or add a humidistat.

Where I am in Florida there is high humidity every day. 60 to 100% is normal.

I don't mind running the AC unit a hour, or two, or three, per day, even if the humidity does not require moisture removal all of the time. If I run the AC I know condensation is being removed. A pint or two per day is all it would take.

I guess I could experiment by catching the condensate while I'm occupying the trailer. Right now it is in the mid 80's at 2:45 pm. I notice the AC unit is cycling on every 15-20 minutes then running a 10-15 minute each cycle. There is a fast drip for that run cycle. I'll measure now.
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Old 10-30-2018, 01:26 PM   #4
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What about a standard 110 v dehumidifier or a free standing ac unit? Have the condensate drain dump into shower and let the grey water valve open to drain on the ground. May want to have someone check it 2x per month.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:02 PM   #5
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Over an hour today the AC unit removed about 3 ounces, at mid 80's and humidity with lower than normal humidity around 30-40%. I'll continue to monitor in differing conditions.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crispyboy View Post
What about a standard 110 v dehumidifier or a free standing ac unit? Have the condensate drain dump into shower and let the grey water valve open to drain on the ground. May want to have someone check it 2x per month.
An electric compressor type humidifier creates warm air/exhaust as it cools the condensing plate surface (just like the air conditioner exhausts warm air outside). In summer on 90 degree and higher days, I am concerned what heat buildup on the interior of the trailer would do to the vinyl ceiling, etc.

There is no one there during summer that I trust to have a key/enter/maintain anything in my trailer. There are good people there, just none I have that type of relationship with. All of my close friends with mechanical ability are snowbirds like me, gone all summer.
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Old 10-30-2018, 04:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
<<snip>>now have a Dometic CCC3 thermostat. <<snip>>
typo - it is a CCC2 10 button.
It is not the 12 button CCC, does not have the de-humidify setting.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:04 AM   #8
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If your AC will run without operational problems over your absence, then using the AC to dehumidify is workable. The first hour or so of running a House AC is mostly just removal of water vapor as each pound of water removed releases about 1000 BTU of energy back into the cooled air stream.Therefore, you absolutely need to seal the trailer completely; so no open vents or windows otherwise humidity just keeps pouring back in and the AC has to work harder (longer cycles). Lots of seasonal residents in Florida leave their AC running all summer while they return home to cooler climates. Otherwise the residence is full of mold when they return.

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Old 10-31-2018, 10:44 AM   #9
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Most of the "household" dehumidifiers have a built-in moisture sensor that would minimize run times.

I would prefer dryer over concern of inside temps. It is doubtful the dehumidifier would raise temps much when ambient is already in the 90s.



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Old 10-31-2018, 10:49 AM   #10
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Hang on, you're not going to be living inside the trailer while in storage, so why do you care whether a dehumidifier warms up the interior? Compressor-based dehumidifiers work better when it's warm, right? So, it would be dry and warm inside. Sounds like a perfect resolution to your humidity concern. Worst case, you could also plug the dehumidifier into a properly rated timer so it only runs a few hours per day. Just be sure drain the dehumidifier into the grey tank via the shower, and you should be in pretty good shape.

I may be missing something obvious, but at the moment I don't see a problem with this approach.

<edit> Ah, now I see you're worried it could get so hot inside the trailer that stuff will peel off and so on. How about setting a timer so the dehumidifier runs at night? Then you could also run the air conditioner during the day via the programmable thermostat You'll have to check in on it from time to time, as you want to be sure both units don't try to run at the same time (popping breakers for sure).

Worst case, count on the AC to dehumidify. Set it for something like 80 degrees, maybe? That would keep it relatively cool and dry inside. However, we agree you'd need to close vents, etc. to keep the humidity from pouring back in every night.

No matter which method you choose, you will want to visit periodically to clean air filters, make sure everything's going according to plan, etc.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
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The average household dehumidifier is probably 1/10 to capacity of your AC. The AC is designed to offset temperature with dehumidification a secondary function.This would mean the AC would be running on low humidity days while the temperature is above the set point.

If you have sewer I would suggest placing a household unit in the kitchen sink and cracking the gray water valve to drain the water. Some owners put the dehumidifier in the shower but the circulation throughout the trailer is very poor in this configuration.


As mentioned above the amount of effort you put into sealing the trailer will be critical.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:02 AM   #12
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Agreed, shower positioning is sub-optimal for air circulation, but any self-respecting dehumidifier that will actually keep the trailer dry is going to need a bit of space and will need to sit on the floor or maybe in the shower. It's a conundrum wrapped in a riddle, clouded by an enigma.
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:35 PM   #13
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I accept the fact that you are not interesting in modifying you AC but others reading this thread with the same question might want to consider this.

The question that will remain unanswered is the duty cycle of what ever path one takes. A house hold dehumidifier has far less capacity than the trailer AC. Using a house hold dehumidifer will greatly increase the duty cycle and may even take it to 100%. In that case you have not reached your desired set point and mild due may be the result. Running the AC against a temperature setting also will not guarantee you have reached the desired humidity before the set temperature setting.

My original suggestion of installing a humidistat will allow you to run the AC only when needed and assuming reach the desired humidity level.

The installation is just the connection of 2 wires across the current thermostat wires. By setting the thermostat and humidistat this would allow you to run the AC against a temperature set point, a humidity set point, or both.

Interested can see the typical wiring diagram at the bottom of this page. Just consider one of the units as the thermostat and the other as the humidistat wired in parallel.

http://www.airkinglimited.com/instructions/DH55IO.pdf
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Old 10-31-2018, 02:20 PM   #14
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Interesting discussion for me. I also leave a Airstream sitting under a big live oak tree in Florida. We tried several things that did not work. Then we bought a dehumidifier at Lowes. We leave it sitting on the kitchen counter with a drain into the sink. And the gray valve is open and plumbed with a solid pipe to the drain. This method has worked fairly well for us for 3 years now. I know several of our neighbors in the park units leave the AC running all summer. I would worry about the AC drain stopping up from mold and the unit dripping on the floor and in the wall. Ours leaks a little when we are there running it.

Our unit is older, does not have the vinyl ceiling, and sat in Florida under a different oak tree for 18 years before we bought it. So anything that was going to be damaged by heat or humidity is long done in.

I guess the opportunity is here to buy some equipment and actually take some measurements of what happens. You could actually monitor and run the AC remotely, I expect. But I am probably too lazy. We get there early in the day and just deal with whatever problems we have. Costs us a day in a motel on the way to do the early arrival time. Tree limbs falling on it twice, once making an unseen hole in the roof. And leaks,
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