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Old 02-19-2003, 06:49 PM   #1
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HI. I have a '76 Soveriegn. We keep the rig at the Beach in Washington State. (Mighty WEt) We are having a problem with water condensing inside the windows to such a degree that it runs downs the windows and drips off the tops of what I call the small eyebrow windows in the living area. In the bedroom the condensation is so bad that beads of water collect on the metal window latches and on the walls. We have looked at other airstreams in our area and we don't see this, at least not from the outside. We have tried leaving light bulbs on and putting Driz-Aire about. Nothing seems to stop the problem. Someone suggested leaving a window open while we are gone, but we fear break in. We have taken to not leaving bedding in the trailer. The bedding gets so wet between the wall and the bed that it is actually more than damp. We left a box of envelopes on the floor in the livingroom book case and when we returned it was actually very wet, but the floor was just damp. By the way, we have hunted and hunted and there is no sign of any leaking. Does anyone think we may have unseen leaks? Has anyone a suggestion as to the cause of and the solution to our problem.

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Old 02-19-2003, 07:08 PM   #2
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You're asking a bunch of great questions tonight.

Here's a few suggestions and I'm sure others will share too .

I leave my windows unlatched, but with the latch in the up position so you can't easily open the window from the outside. This seems to let just enough air in to help with the condensation.

Also leaving the bathroom exhaust fan open helps to circulate the air. I'm not saying to leave the fan on, just open.

Do you have exterior covers over your exhaust fans in the living room and the bedroom? Is so, leaving these open helps with circulation too.

Have you looked into a dehumidifer? I haven't tried this, but it's a thought.

During cold days. leaving the heater on, either furnace or electric ceramic heaters may also help.

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Old 02-19-2003, 08:57 PM   #3
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Greetings Joan!

A possible solution to your poblem, although not necessarily inexpensive, would be to install a pair of Fantastic Vent fans with rain sensors and thermostats. One could be set on intake and the other on exhaust (fan speeds set to low) to keep the air circulating in the coach. The question in my mind would be concerning temperature - - I know that this works during Southern Illinois summers, but don't know whether it would work along the West Coast. With the Fantastic Fans adjusted in this manner it isn't absolutely necessary to open a window, and the rain sensors have reliably closed the vent openings on my Overlander since 1999. This method has kept my Overlander from experiencing condensation in all but the soggiest of Southern Illinois Summer weather.

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 02-19-2003, 10:03 PM   #4
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Thanks to the both of you for the good ideas. I will be back at the beach in a week and intend to put ALL of the ideas to work. My idea is to try regular fans before I pop for vented fans, I have two medium size oscilating fans I use in the summer on timers. To that I will add ceramic heaters that are also on timers and are relatively inexpensive and safe to run, and open the vents over the bedroom and the living room since I am positive that neither leaks. since water is centralized between the kitchen galley and the bathroom, I will try leaving the window oopen in the bath with the locks up for a little extra there. I will let you know what happens. It certainly will be better. Right now we can't leave towels, bedding etc. Clothes that are put in hatches are dam**, damp. I figure come summer I will have to haul over to Eastern Washington to dry out. That is the blessing of living in a state with two very opposite climates. A few hours on the road and I am in dry, dry weather. Thanks again. Joan
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Old 02-20-2003, 06:03 AM   #5
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You mentioned that you're going to leave the window open in the bathroom with the latches up.

I believe you'll have better success if you did this to all of your windows.

Have you tried "Damp-Rid" yet" Try using 2: 1 in the back & the other up front. Buy those cheap throw-away baking pans and sit the Damp-Rid in them. This is to catch any over flow of water from the Damp-Rid container.

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Old 02-20-2003, 06:41 AM   #6
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Thumbs up Charcoal!


Also regular charcoal (non-self lighting, no lighter fluid) placed inside those throw-away baking pans, will really helps to absorb odors.

If you're experiencing high humidity, things can get musty inside and the charcoal will help.

Also are going to be fulltiming?

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Old 01-28-2008, 06:08 PM   #7
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This is a reply to all who have wondered what to do about humidity and the answer I came up with in 2003 when I posted the former question.

We solved our problems with two approaches. Primarily we purchased heated pans from our local RV shop. For $50 you can buy a large, electric, humidity reducing pan that you plug into an outlet. Of course you have to be plugged in in the first place. We bought two and put one in the front and one in the back.

Second, we repaired our overhead vents so they would open on the lowest setting and leave them open about an inch or so. That allows for air circulation inside the trailer.

Last. When it is quite cold and damp we leave an electric heater on in the trailer. Yes, I know they say you shouldn't, but we purchased two 8" square box type heaters of high quality, set them on low. They both will not run if they fall over, but since they are perfect squares I see no chance of that. One is set on low and comes on at 50 degrees. The other is placed in the hallway between the bath and the plumbing box where the pump and water inlet resides. The pipes run directly under the floor. It is plugged into a plug that is designed to only come on when it drops to freezing. Just as you would cover your pipes in a very cold climate, we insulate in and around our trailer pipes. This has worked extremely well. We haven't had a frozen pipe since Idid it and the humidity levels are all reasonable. We NEVER leave the propane on when we are gone.

Before doing this inside the trailer I experimented for a season with it in our outdoor pump house. The below freezing plugs, available in most hardware stores near rural areas and on line, work perfectly. The amount of power used has been minimal and well below our alloted basic use fee at the beach. We have also given a key to a neighbor with a house who regularly checks on the trailer. Our Airstream is not only a travel vehicle, but also a base camp.

We have found that as long as we provide adequate ventilation, the de-humidifying pans, and a small amount of heat inside the trailer, we are O.K. Interestingly enough a friend with a trailer recently told us he does the same thing in his trailer by closing off areas of the trailer and leaving an uncovered light globe burning in each area. (One for the bedroom, one for the bath are, on in the kitchen, one in the dining) I think that would draw more power, but am not sure.

Good luck to everyone trying to get the wet out. We return monthly to dry windows and beds. It helps, if you do not use sleeping bags during the winter, to roll your bedding and wrap it in a wool blanket you use on top of the bed.

Joan in wet, wet, wet Seattle
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