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Old 02-08-2015, 08:28 PM   #57
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Step by step

We spent last week camping in Williamsburg where the lowest overnight temperature was about 15 degrees. Temperatures in the twenties were pretty common and we now have a fair test of our Reflectix/1/2 inch neoprene/Reflectix sandwich under the mattress.

The moisture under the mattress has been dramatically reduced from really wet to - just slightly damp when we checked it in the morning. The top surface of the sandwich was significantly warmer than the bed platform which suggests that the insulating properties of the sandwich were pretty good.

Next step - winterize the trailer and fly to a tropical destination.

Oh! For this problem I plan to ponder the mysteries of the universe until we prepare for next winter's camping. Choices are to do nothing and see what happens or to add another layer to the sandwich. HyperVent, anyone?

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Old 02-09-2015, 04:39 PM   #58
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How about some foam core insulation? That's probably not the right term but the 4x8 sheet stuff they sell at a hardware store. Shiny side down. It's light, it's rigid and that's what it's designed to do.

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Old 02-09-2015, 09:07 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by chaseav View Post
How about some foam core insulation? That's probably not the right term but the 4x8 sheet stuff they sell at a hardware store. Shiny side down. It's light, it's rigid and that's what it's designed to do.
On underside of bed plywood perhaps to stop cold from getting to the bed to begin with.

I wonder, was mattress warm underneath?
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:00 PM   #60
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I'm thinking above the wood so that the heat in the mattress and therefore the moisture, never transfers to the wood which would then retain water.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:20 PM   #61
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I think you could insulate under the bed (i.e. beneath the wood) if you put a vapour barrier above the wood to keep humidity away from the wood. Insulating beneath the wood without an upper vapour barrier might cause more problems than it solves.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:24 PM   #62
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Dumb question, but why not coat the plywood with Thompson's Water Seal to keep it from absorbing moisture? That way the plywood itself becomes a vapor barrier.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:47 PM   #63
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I asked that same question in a different thread on this subject. One reply was that they would be concerned about using a chemical product like that in an enclosed space, and that close to your person. Made sense to me. Whenever I have used Thomson's on a deck, it was pretty stinky. I am going with your Reflectix plan. Have it down, and will get to try it out this coming weekend.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:52 PM   #64
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I have used Thompsons Water Seal, but never would indoors.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:46 PM   #65
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Nooooo... that's outdoor use only and even then it needs a stiff breeze during application. Been using it for years on concrete and decks. It would only repel the moisture and cause it to build up on the outside of the wood which doesn't solve the problem. I'd rather replace the wood every few years. Foam core is the solution I think. Probably on the door, semi-permanent for winter use.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:41 PM   #66
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The moisture under the mattress is not from the outside unless you have a leak.
Condensation from the inside moisture is the cause. The plywood is cold and the moisture condenses on it just like when the windows in your TV fog up.
Adding to the problem. The moisture is absorbed into the mattress. Plus the mattress acts as an insulator from the warm space.
Heating the space below the plywood is one answer. It does not have to be as warm as the cabin temp. Just enough to where the dew point is not reached.
Another solution might be to raise the mattress off of the plywood. What comes to mind is the teak slats used in shower stalls to keep your feet off of the floor.
The idea is; they are slats that would allow air to flow under the matters. Any material that will not absorb moisture and create a sort of grate under the mattress may work. Something that would not rust.
Just thinking out loud.

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Old 02-11-2015, 03:58 AM   #67
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There is a product specifically designed to eliminate the problem of moisture condensation under cushions. It is a spacer fabric that provides both lift and air circulation. Spacer fabrics are used for marine, automotive, and other applications. There are several sources for spacer fabrics you can find on the Internet. Here is a link to one resource;

I have no personal experience with the vendor listed above so I cannot attest to the quality or suitability of the product. I have direct access to a US textile mill producing these fabrics but I am unable to obtain product for resale as my client will not sell directly to the public.

My knowledge of these products comes from years of work in the textile industry. If you have air cooled seats in your automobile or truck there is likely a spacer fabric directly under the leather or vinyl seat cover. Air does not circulate easily through the dense foam used in vehicle seats. The layer of spacer fabric over foam allows cool air to circulate from an air blower to the holes in your seat cover. The foam under the spacer compresses to provide cushioning while the spacer fabric lifts the seat cover above the foam allowing air to move.

Some high tech running shoes also employ spacer fabrics. Athletic shoes have both moisture management and compression requirements. Spacers are also employed instead of foam in some high end brassiere molded cups. No further comments but you ladies understand the issues.

Spacer fabrics can be purchased in various thicknesses. The amount of compression the fabric allows can be varied as can the density of the fabric. Some spacers actually employ moisture wicking fibers.

An inch to two inch thick roll of spacer fabric, with a fairly open construction and limited compression should be perfect for air circulation under an RV mattress, using a synthetic fiber such as polyester. The right spacer fabric will hold your mattress above the plywood, allow air to circulate under the mattress, and prevent condensation from being trapped.

I suggest doing an Internet search for suppliers, do some reading, and then call suppliers to talk about the application. Some of them may be willing to send you a small sample before you make a purchase.

There are only a few textile mills remaining in the US capable of producing these specialized fabrics. While I know what it costs to produce the fabric, I don't know the markup structure between the mill, the retailer, and the consumer. I'm guessing a spacer with enough loft and sized for a queen mattress would cost a consumer between $60 and $100, but this is pure speculation.

If anyone has questions, post on this thread or send me a PM.

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Old 02-13-2015, 03:40 PM   #68
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Condensation under bed??

Camped this week with our Reflectix and Hypervent sandwich. External temps were in the low 40's at night with an internal temp of 63. Not a particularly tough test, but no moisture formed on the Reflectix, though we did get some condensation on the windows. A good start.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:47 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Dumb question, but why not coat the plywood with Thompson's Water Seal to keep it from absorbing moisture? That way the plywood itself becomes a vapor barrier.
How about linseed oil, wood oil, or varnish?
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Old 02-14-2015, 02:54 AM   #70
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Since the Classic solid Hickory cabinets are sealed with a clear finish, I would think the same finished applied to the plywood might help and be safe.

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