Do I Really Need a Dehumidifier in My RV?

A dehumidifier removes moisture from the air in an RV and prevents several problems in the process.

Every time I feel like I have all of the gear I need, I find that one more thing that quickly moves to my necessity list.  Many RV owners use products like Damp Rid or other similar products to reduce moisture in the air, but I'm not a big fan of disposable products.  I use cloth napkins, real plates, and cutlery.  Don't stop reading.  It's just a choice that I make.  If you are wondering if you need a dehumidifier, this is for you.

Remove the holding compartment to empty out the water that it has pulled from the air.

Do I Really Need a Dehumidifier in My RV?

I'm going to answer this for you right away.  Yes.  You need a dehumidifier.  But I'd prefer to give you some reasons so you know why you need one and what it is used for.  And hopefully, this will encourge you to consistently use a dehumidifier.

What does a dehumidifier do?

A dehumidifier is an appliance that you plug in and let it do its job.  It removes moisture from the air but it also does so much more than that.  A dehumidifier cuts down on the growth of mold and dust mites.  Also, if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies, a dehumidifier is helpful for them as well in terms of air quality.  It's a multipurpose product.  Overall, you will just have better air to breathe by using this little appliance no matter who you are.

For us living in the deep south, a dehumidifier is huge because eliminating dust and mold in the air also helps reduce invaders like silverish, cockroaches, and spiders.  I would prefer not to think about any of those creatures, but it's real life.  And, I want to keep our RV in good shape for as long as possible.

A dehumidifier can help protect your investment if you live in a humid climate.  Mold and mildew are not healthy to breathe in and will just cause everything to smell bad.  Plus, moisture is very bad for RVs.  I keep ours running all of the time and empty it every few days.  

Open the valve on the holding tray and empty it.

How big of one do I need?

Base the size of your dehumidifier on the size of your RV.  Even if you are tempted to buy a tiny one, get the right size.  This will ensure that it has the capability to pull moisture out of the air efficiently.  The one we have is pretty small but works well for our small RV.  You could also purchase more than one and have them placed at each end of your RV for maximum results.  

I also encourage you to check and empty the water tray often.  During the summer, we empty our dehumidifier about twice a week.  It seems to need less attention if I am running the air conditioner.  But, I have also been trying not to run up a huge electric bill at our house when we are not traveling.  So, running this dehumidifier seems to eliminate the need to run the AC all summer.  

If you are worried about the holding tray overflowing in your dehumidifier, place it in a shallow tray or even the bottom of a sink.  This will prohibit it from making a mess if you forget to dump it!

What is the difference between products like Damp Rid and an electric dehumidifier?

An electric dehumidifier will draw warm air into the coils with the built-in fan within the system.  The warm air will condense and collect the water droplets into a storage tank.  A typical dehumidifier will bring the moisture down to a humidity level of 30 to 50%.  In Mississippi where we can see 90% humidity on any given day, this is huge!

A dehumidifier will give more control overall.  Products like Damp Rid won't require batteries or electricity.  So, for some this may be the best option like in a pop-up camper.  But in a travel trailer, I highly recommend getting an electric dehumidifier because it actually draws the moisture out of the air actively and at a faster rate.  

I have found that our dehumidifier in our RV needs to be emptied about twice a week during the summer to keep up with the demand.  And, since I'm out in our RV a couple of times a week checking on things or getting ready for a trip, its an easy task.

Do you have a dehumidifier or do your use a product like Damp Rid?  Don't leave your RV to chance.  A dehumidifier is a small investment for a big return.  Until next time...

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