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Old 01-29-2014, 01:17 PM   #1
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Condensation under bed??

Currently have a 2011 International 23 FB with an external storage trunk that is directly under the bed platform. Left Durham NC Jan 3 for a 2-3 month trek thru Fla. Took a week to get to Canopener with the lowest
temp in transit at 4F.
Noticed significant moisture/condensation on the bottom of the mattress and the top of the (plywood) platform. Both areas were very wet. Is this typical for winter travel? Did not notice this problem lastyear.
Any suggestions for managing this problem???
Thanks for the help.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:24 PM   #2
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I had the same issue on our 23FB. After a little research on the forums I installed a layer of Reflectix insulation on the plywood. No condensation since then. You can buy that insulation at Home Depot or Lowes, and I just stapled it to the plywood. Some folks install wood slats across the plywood to create an airspace between the plywood and the bottom of the mattress, but so far the insulation has worked for us.
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Old 01-29-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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We had a similar situation with our 25FB a number of years ago. We solved it with a similar resolution as CaptainNecro. We used foam rubber flooring material glued to the bed board. This also provided extra insulation from drafts under the bed. This worked so well for us that we have already done the same improvement to our new 23FB.

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Old 01-29-2014, 02:37 PM   #4
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This is a result of warm, moist interior air meeting a cold surface which drops the temperature to its dew point. It condenses there.

A vapor barrier on the warm side is a solution but who wants to sleep on a sheet of plastic. Additional insulation may help. Or provide warm air or heat to the space under the bed; that may be done by opening or removing storage doors, or directing heat into the area.

But if air is condensing under the mattress, it may also be condensing in other areas inside the shell where the dew point is reached, which may run down into the wood subfloor. So the best solution is to lower humidity in the trailer by opening vents or cracking windows open.

You should also be sure the exterior access doors under the bed are fitting snugly to their seals. We found two of these doors on two different new trailers slightly open, by turning on the interior storage light at night and seeing light around the door. Easy fix by bending the latch slightly to pull it tight.
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Old 01-29-2014, 03:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
A vapor barrier on the warm side is a solution but who wants to sleep on a sheet of plastic.
Actually, you might want to. Get a Mylar "space blanket" and place it under the mattress. It will reflect your body heat back up to you, allowing you to sleep warmer, as well as serving as a vapor barrier to help control condensation. And since it's under the mattress, not over it, you won't feel like you're sleeping on a piece of plastic.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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Many thanks. Next stop: Home Depot or Lowes and a load of Reflectix. Will report on the results soonest.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:28 AM   #7
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Condensation under bed??

Here's how we solved this problem:
* We carpet-taped a layer of Reflectix to the plywood base for insulation. We have enough Reflectix for a second layer, though we haven't seen a need to add it yet. This reduces the risk of condensation somewhat.
* On top of that we placed an old flannel sheet to protect the Reflectix.
* On top of that we added a layer of Hypervent http://hyperventmarine.com/, which permits air circulation between the mattress and the Reflectix. The circulating air helps prevent moisture build-up and mold. This stuff was a little tricky to cut to size (we used big kitchen shears), but it's awesome.
* On top of that we placed the mattress
* Then we added a memory foam topper - we had a foam shop cut a standard topper to perfectly fit our bed with 10"radius corners.
* Last, we added a typical mattress pad, sheets, etc.

It's ridiculously comfortable and we don't seem to have any trouble with condensation under the mattress.
We also open vents as needed to help prevent general moisture build-up inside the trailer.

BTW, there are several other threads on this topic across the forum. Seek and ye shall find.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:34 AM   #8
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Some helpful suggestions here...
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f44/...re-127669.html
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:48 AM   #9
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This shouldn't happen while the trailer is in storage should it? This only happens when you are camping in cold weather? How long would it take to occur? Are you safe on just a weekend trip? I would imagine this would affect all models that have bed storage with outside access.

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Old 12-26-2014, 01:19 AM   #10
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Condensation under bed??

Best answer to your question is, "It depends."

Condensation under the mattress would generally be the result of cooler temps outside and warmer temps inside. The issue is more likely to arise when you have storage under your bed(s) with access from the outside (e.g. under-bed storage that is un-heated and un-insulated). The bigger the temperature differential, the greater the chance of condensation. The more moisture that builds up inside the trailer, the more condensation you'd likely to have when it does occur.

So, are you safe if you never heat the trailer when it's cold outside? I dunno - it might depend on how long it takes the inside of the trailer to equalize vs. temps outside. It might also depend on the relative humidity inside the trailer. The faster temps equalize, the better, and the drier the air inside the trailer, the better. Even if you're camping in the trailer without heat, just breathing in there might be enough to generate condensation unless you're managing that via ventilation and/or a big old tub of Damp-Rid.

Are you safe if you just camp over a weekend? I dunno - I expect we've all seen plenty of RVs with horrendous condensation on the inside of their windows that develops just overnight when the temps outside are dropping and the heat is on inside. Under the right conditions, that could probably also happen under a bed with cold storage beneath.

Given we have cold storage under our queen bed, we built our bed sandwich to be safe. We don't want to have to worry about condensation under the bed if we decide to camp in the chill, which we did just last weekend.

Speaking of which, when we store our trailer for extended periods of non-camping, we toss in a bucket of Damp-Rid anyway to help ensure it stays nice and dry in there when we're not around.
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Old 12-26-2014, 08:36 AM   #11
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You shouldn't get condensation while in storage but if concerned about it lift or prop the bed up some, or open the interior storage doors underneath to equalize temperature.
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Old 12-28-2014, 08:01 PM   #12
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Moisture and Reflectix

With hopes this doesn't go too far off topic, we found a temporary fix to the moisture problem - rolled south to Jekyll Island. OK - it's not even a temporary fix but overnight lows in the mid- to high fifties is better than lows in the thirties in Virginia. Ah! Life is pretty good. It does take a bit of the urgency from the moisture barrier project. Perhaps we'll go find some fresh, sweet Georgia shrimp tomorrow.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:10 AM   #13
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The best solution to any condensation problem is ventilation. I just posted this on another thread concerning condensation on a skylight, but it's worth repeating here.

Consider installing one or more Nicro solar-powered "mushroom" vents. They're available in stainless steel, which would be relatively discrete on top of your Airstream, and they're rainproof. They were developed for boaters (for whom humidity is ALWAYS a problem!) but there's no reason why you can't use them on a trailer.
4 inch Stainless Steel Day/Night Plus Vent | Marinco

The 3" model would be pretty close to a drop-in replacement for a bathroom overhead vent, but 4" models on the centerline fore and aft might be better, with one set to intake and the other set to exhaust. As long as you have a source of daylight for part of the day, you'll have ventilation 'round the clock.

Rooftop vents won't keep your storage compartment from being cold, but as long as you keep the air circulating inside, the condensation will be minimized.

To ensure that you get air circulation under your mattress, you might consider installing this under the mattress:
DryMesh Anti-moisture layer for RVs, boats and yachts
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsmithii View Post
With hopes this doesn't go too far off topic, we found a temporary fix to the moisture problem - rolled south to Jekyll Island. OK - it's not even a temporary fix but overnight lows in the mid- to high fifties is better than lows in the thirties in Virginia. Ah! Life is pretty good. It does take a bit of the urgency from the moisture barrier project. Perhaps we'll go find some fresh, sweet Georgia shrimp tomorrow.


I agree, the best devices on an Airstream to manage temperature and humidity problems are the wheels.....


Regards,

JD
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