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Old 08-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #1
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Best way to dehumidify?

I arrived at my 1979 Sovereign this weekend only to find some mildew growing along the lower walls of the rear bedroom. No water leaks, but musty smelling. It's been about two months since I've opened the trailer up, but was a little surprised at the mildew and odor as I've never had this trouble for the approximately 3 years that I've been an owner.

My initial thoughts - damp rid, leave a dehumidifier running, install a rain proof vent cover and leave factory fan running 24/7, or install one of those MaxAir fans with a thermostat.

Any suggestions or experience with this type of issue? Really appreciate the feedback.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:24 PM   #2
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Do you leave it in a place where you could have something electrical plugged in and operating constantly? I do suspect water is getting in somehow, like maybe roof vent or bath vent or around a window, even though it doesn't appear wet to touch.. Ours had pinhole leak around mid-rub rail and also around one of the rivets holding cast "Excella" emblem onto side of trailer.. In heavy rain from north, rear of upholstered side panel and carpeting became damp.. That was all the proof we had, but fixing those pinhole leaks solved the problem...

That said, the dehumidifier granules tend to get saturated and worthless quickly in large space.. If you could run drain line outside, dehumidifier could work, but fresh air is best if you can find way to keep rainy air out...
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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I live in Lowcountry SC. It is very humid in the summer months. I have had SOBs and now an Airstream. They all need some type of DE-humidification in the summer. With temperature changes you will get condensation inside.

I use an electric dehumidifier to keep the humidity down to prevent mold and the musty smell.
It is better to eliminate the moisture than to deal with the problems it causes if it gets wet inside.
We have had lots of rain this year, so I check it daily to empty the drain pan. You will determine how often you need to check it based on the humidity level in your area.

But keep the the moisture out of your trailer.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:38 PM   #4
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As a long-term Gulf Coast resident, I'm very familiar with mold and mildew.

One of the best sources of dehumidifier granules is also one of the cheapest— the pet supply aisle of your local supermarket. Kitty litter makes an excellent granular dehumidifier. And placing a (clean) litter box in your trailer gives you a lot of exposed surface area for the granules to do their thing. You don't need a thick layer, just enough to completely hide the bottom of the litter box. One bag of litter, kept tightly closed, should last you a good long while, even with throwing out the damp litter every week or so. You may want to use a scented litter…

But there is no substitute for ventilation to keep out mold and mildew. Figure the total interior volume of your trailer in cubic feet: interior length×width×height. Divide by 10. The result is the number of cubic feet per minute of air circulation that you should try for. That amounts to six complete air changes every hour, and will create a breeze you can actually feel on your face. If you can't get that much air flow, don't sweat it, but get as close as you can manage. And don't forget, for all the air you extract with your fan, you've got to have replacement air coming in somewhere else. So two fans work best, one sucking air in, the other blowing air out.

But even ventilation and dehumidifier granules won't get rid of mildew that's already there. On hard surfaces, wash with white wine vinegar. The mild acid in the vinegar gets rid of the mildew. On soft surfaces, laundry detergent generally works. Once you've gotten rid of the mildew, the other measures should keep it from coming back.

Side note, if you've got mildew in a wooden sub-floor, you're hosed. It ain't coming out. You could try applying vinegar again, and letting it soak into the wood, but no guarantees…
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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We have had lots of rain this year, so I check it daily to empty the drain pan. You will determine how often you need to check it based on the humidity level in your area.
Could you not sit it over the sink or shower and let it drain in the grey water tank ?
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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I use a dehumidifier whenever the trailer is all closed up and in storage. It's an automatic unit, I set the humidity level I want and it keeps it there. It is sitting on the floor of the shower stall on small rubber furnature cushions and drains into the shower drain. I leave the door to the shower open so the air circulates around the unit and thru the trailer.
I also ran a dedicated power cord directly to the dehumidifer unit from the 110v outlet in my storage facility.
Hope this gives you some ideas.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
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So it sounds like ventilation and/or use of a dehumidifier is best during periods of storage. My trailer is kept at a campground, so i do have 30amp electric.

I've got the original vents in my trailer--3 of them. Only the front one has a fan, whereas the other two are simply a pop up lid to allow air to be drawn in. Any recommendations for an add on rainproof fan that would allow the interior light below to stay in tact? Also, how do people usually run this kind of fan? Constantly during the summer, or set it to kick on above a certain temp? Or would it be just as good to put a rain cover over my existing fan and rig a thermostat?

As far as Dehumidifiers, I see there are condenser vs noncondenser types (eg, Eva-Dry). Recommendations?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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How long does it take to fill up holding tank
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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Recommended dehumidifier

Any suggestions for the best dehumidifier? Source?
Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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How long does it take to fill up holding tank?

In Louisiana, it doesn't take long. 1-3 weeks. I just leave my tank valve open and let it drain on the ground.
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Old 08-20-2013, 10:07 PM   #11
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Any suggestions for the best dehumidifier? Source?

Bought mine from Lowes. Soleus. Mine is 45 pints per day. It's overkill, but it was on sale and not much more than a smaller one. We leave it at home when we travel as the A/C takes care of the moisture on the road, so size wasn't a factor.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:25 PM   #12
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Any thoughts on these smaller non-compressor units? Garbage?
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:14 PM   #13
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Any thoughts on these smaller non-compressor units? Garbage?
That is what I have been using for the past yr. Have it sitting over the kitchen sink on a wire grill. Still getting some mold on the walls and the humidity level is not constant. I will be getting a real one soon. Do not waste your $$.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:59 AM   #14
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I have always let a fan run on oscillate here in Fl to keep the air moving. Running the AC on a high temp setting also dehumidifies but is not always practical. I set the fan on the floor at one end of the trailer and periodically move it to the other end to make sure the air circulates well. Jim
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