Controlling humidity while camped in the Southeast
Today I wanted to talk about something I didnít know anything about before we started living in our airstream: HUMIDITY! Before we bought and moved into the airstream we did extensive research on full-time RV living! We watched TONS of YouTube videos, followed so many instagram accounts, and read hundreds upon hundreds of articles on Air Forums. One of the topics we did not encounter before we purchased however was any information on how important it is to control humidity inside the airstream itself. The day after we bought our Bambi I read our owners manual, the newbies guide to airstreaming, and the moisture management book that came with our airstream. As I was reading the moisture management book it occurred to me that I have never had to think about humidity before. We had no way of knowing how humid it was inside the airstream. But being new to airstreaming I assumed everything was probably fine inside our rig because we felt so comfortable. I quickly realized that I was wrong.
The moisture management guide suggests keeping the humidity below 60% to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Just because we were curious we went to Lowes to purchase a thermometer and hygrometer. We ended up buying one from Acurite that tells us indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity. We were horrified when we set it up and found out the humidity in our camper was 80%. We didnít feel uncomfortable at all! Slowly we started noticing signs of the high humidity. It was winter time and cold outside and we would wake up with water droplets running down the aluminum walls on the inside of the camper. One day we were making our bed and noticed the entire underside of our mattress was completely wet! We are currently parked in Georgia where the humidity is constantly in the 80ís-100%ís every single day.
Controlling humidity is important in Airstream because owning an Airstream is an investment. They are quite expensive but they hold their value and we see controlling humidity as protecting our investment. So I wanted to compile a list of everything we have done to control humidity/moisture in our Airstream.
First of all you should know that our humidity sweet spot is about 40-50% in the summertime and 20-40% in the winter time. It is nearly impossible to get the humidity below 40% in the summertime in the southeast because outside the humidity is nearly 100% every single day.
After we figured out our sweet spot we purchased a dehumidifier. The first thing you need to know about dehumidifiers is there are several different kinds; compressor, desiccant, and peltier. We have all three and I will tell you their pros and cons. A compressor style dehumidifier uses coils and a coolant to dehumidify the air. This is our summertime dehumidifier. Compressor dehumidifiers work best with warm air because they work by the warm air passing over the cold coils and it condenses the moisture out of the air. Also the air that comes out of the dehumidifier may only be 1-2 degrees warmer than the air that came in. Thus this is why it is our summertime dehumidifier. Our wintertime dehumidifier is a desiccant dehumidifier which doesnít require warm air like a compressor style dehumidifier. They air passes through a wheel that contains a desiccant, such as silica, and that dessicant removes moisture. The air that then comes out of the dehumidifier is 3-5 degrees warmer than the air that came in, thus why we use it in the winter and not the summer.
And then we have a small peltier dehumidifier for our bathroom. This works similar to a compressor style where the air is condensed over a cool surface. The nice thing about this dehumidifier is that it is virtually noiseless. Our compressor dehumidifier is our loudest.
With those dehumidifiers we can easily drop the humidity in our rig from 80%-50% in an hour. Our Airstream is only 22í long so we only require one unit to successfully dehumidify. Longer rigs may need more than one dehumidifier.
We also placed several DampRid buckets in small storage spaces throughout our Airstream. We have a DampRid under our dinette bench, underneath our bed, in our pantry, and behind our toilet. These help lower the humidity in the storage areas where air is not circulating.
To rid the moisture underneath our mattress we used an auger to drill a series on holes in the plywood base to allow for airflow. Then we purchased a product called Ravenwolf Marine Den-Dry which is a spun polymer and plastic that you put under the mattress and helps with airflow to prevent moisture. This stuff really works and has solved all of our mattress moisture problems.
We also suggest insulating your windows with reflectix. This helps with window condensation.
All-in-all controlling humidity/moisture in our rig took us a long time to figure out and it was a steep learning curve. We hope this helps fellow full-timers with their moisture woes.
Here is a list of all the products we use to control moisture:
https://www.amazon.com/DampRid-HI-Capacity-Moisture-Absorber-4-Pound/dp/B06ZXXLQTR/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=9C2YHGVV9PE5&dchild=1&keyword s=damp+rid+bucket&qid=1592527301&sprefix=Damprid+b ucke%2Caps%2C269&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzS1BPU VVGQUhXQTBEJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTE2NDcxMlpVNVFaR1E 0SzRaOSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNTgxNTM2MjBaSDFSRElIT DdESSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2F0ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWR pcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
https://www.amazon.com/Ivation-13-Pint-Small-Area-Desiccant-Dehumidifier/dp/B07B8SCPZ4/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?ie=UTF8&aaxitk=Plrc5QSUiZ 8A.ReKoVCsqg&hsa_cr_id=3777955060901&ref_=sbx_be_s _sparkle_mcd_asin_1
https://www.amazon.com/Ivation-14-7-Small-Area-Compressor-Dehumidifier/dp/B07XBPDL7R/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2SYWHX6JV62TY&dchild=1&keywords=iv ation+compressor+dehumidifier&qid=1592527415&s=hom e-garden&sprefix=Ivation+compressor+deh%2Cgarden%2C1 75&sr=1-5
https://www.amazon.com/Pro-Breeze-Electric-Dehumidifier-Portable/dp/B01DC5PPWM/ref=sr_1_14_sspa?crid=1DSXHR9VGJS85&dchild=1&keywo rds=ivation+peltier+dehumidifier&qid=1592527457&s= home-garden&sprefix=Ivation+pel%2Cgarden%2C257&sr=1-14-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzSEJZN 1ZRRk1BSFNEJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMzkwMjEwMlVRTVVXRU4 1NldaRCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMDIzNDYxMlMzR1lPTkFEV FRKRCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX210ZiZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWR pcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=
Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer and Hygrometer
https://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-00611A3-Wireless-Thermometer-Humidity/dp/B001B35APA/ref=sr_1_9?crid=1K4R05M9ICC8G&dchild=1&keywords=ac curate+temperature+and+humidity+sensor&qid=1592527 512&s=home-garden&sprefix=Acurite%2Cgarden%2C238&sr=1-9
Ravenwolf Marine Den-Dry
https://www.amazon.com/Ravenwolf-Marine-Den-Dry-Mattress-Underlay-Queen/dp/B07BHJRDDG/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=Ravenwolf+marine +den+dry&qid=1592527598&s=home-garden&sr=1-3-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFMRlNVV TdHUDZDT00mZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAwOTc2MjUxSEZVNUxHSTh PUTNPJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAyMDIzMjMxQllBMzFPM09YT VgxJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGl yZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==