High humidity can be extremely uncomfortable even when you’re out in the open or in your house. Now, imagine the same humidity level in an RV, and you’ll shudder at the thought.
Maintaining humidity in the trailer isn’t only a requirement for your health but also your campers’ longevity. Thus, you need to be aware of how and when to use the AC and dehumidifier.
So, do you need to run a dehumidifier when the RV AC is running? It’s not always necessary, but a lot depends on the outside climate outside as well as inside. A cool exterior and warm interior can quickly lead to condensation, which is undesirable, in these circumstances a dehumidifier is beneficial.
Let’s discuss the use of humidifiers and air conditioners for RVing in peace.
In simple words, humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. High humidity means more water content in the air around you, while low humidity indicates lesser moisture.
Thus, anything that adds moisture to the surrounding air plays a role in increasing your motorhome’s humidity.
First and foremost, cooking makes the air in the RV humid. A great way to counter this is by opening the windows during and after cooking. Also, try cooking as little as possible or barbecue outside if you have a travel trailer with a wide-enough awning.
Secondly, it’s that fancy shower in your Class B RV that is causing humidity. Most often, the bathrooms are close to the RV exit, so you can open the door after you shower to let the humid air out.
Not that you can help it, but breathing also causes humidity.
The more people there are in the RV, the higher the humidity will be. Also, a larger party means more sweating, and that further increases the air’s moisture content.
One of the biggest contributors to humidity is the location. If you’re traveling in a place like Florida, the weather is bound to be humid. However, if you’re further up North, the air will be drier, thus, less humid.
When you’re in an RV, high humidity can be a much bigger concern to your health than in the outdoors. For instance, microorganisms and dust mites love a humid environment.
The humidity can quickly make your trailer a breeding ground for allergy-causing bacteria and mold. If you already have allergies, this could be quite concerning.
Likewise, if mold starts growing in the camper, you’ll be at risk of getting respiratory infections.
Even when humidity doesn’t cause serious health issues, it can cause discomfort. When the air around you is humid, your body produces excessive sweat, leading to water loss.
The optimum humidity range is 40% to 60%. When the moisture in the air gets above or below this limit, it can take a toll on your immune system’s functioning, making you an easy victim of infective agents and diseases.
Moreover, humidity causes issues for skin health. In humid air, your skin tends to flake off, providing an entryway to harmful bacteria that can cause infection.
I’ll save the extensive details of infections for the medical journals, but my biggest concern with humidity is the sweat. Not only is it gross, but it also creates a stink in the RV air that can ruin any trip in minutes.
As mentioned earlier, it’s majorly the environment that determines the level of humidity. Therefore, in some areas, you may need both the AC and the dehumidifier, while in others, the AC will suffice.
First of all, you should get an RV humidity monitor, which shows the air’s water levels.
Along with indicating if the RV humidity is above the ideal levels, it will also alert if there’s a leak in the RV pipes.
If you’re camping in a humid environment, turn on both the AC and the humidifier. They will work together to keep the humidity below 50%.
However, if you’re in a drier area, simply use your AC to manage the humidity. Your AC lowers humidity by condensing air and cooling it. On the contrary, a dehumidifier is suitable when you’re in an environment that isn’t very hot but is quite humid.
Keep in mind that running an AC costs much more than using a dehumidifier, so use them according to your location’s climate.
Using a Dehumidifier Alone
You should only use a dehumidifier alone if the fan is also on. Keep the AC on 78 degrees and turn on the dehumidifier, along with the fan.
If the temperature gets higher, the AC will turn on and help the dehumidifier in lowering humidity. It’s beneficial to keep the dehumidifier on as it dries the air around you.
For your AC, it’s harder to cool humid air than dry air, so it uses more energy for the former. Using a dehumidifier can lower energy consumption by keeping the air dry in the RV.
How to Reduce Humidity in the RV?
You can’t do much about the external environment but can play a significant role in reducing its impact on the internal air.
Wash Clothes Outside
It’s quite convenient to have a washing machine onboard, but it may be the culprit behind the excessive humidity. If possible, try to use Laundromats on your way, rather than washing clothes in the RV.
Along with having multiple washers and dryer options in the Laundromat, you’ll also be lowering the water vapor formation in your motorhome.
Also, check if your camping ground allows hanging clothes on a line outside. If so, you can dry your clothes outside.
Fixing leaks in the RV isn’t just important for lowering humidity but also for increasing your trailer’s lifespan. If there’s a leak in the bathroom or kitchen sink, there will probably be standing water in the area.
As this water evaporates, it adds to the environmental humidity, causing subsequent problems.
If you spot a leak in the motorhome, no matter how small it is, fix it as soon as possible to prevent bigger damage.
Use Alternative Cooking Methods
Another efficient way to reduce humidity in the RV is by cooking outside or using alternate cooking methods. I don’t remember ever boiling water for my tea in the RV. Instead, I make iced tea from concentrate, eliminating the need for boiling water while having the same taste.
Also, try using Instant pots for cooking, as they take less time than traditional pots to heat up. While cooking, open the windows in the RV, to let the hot air out.
Most RVs also have microwaves, so you can take some microwave meals to reduce the need for stovetop cooking.
Lastly, the best way to reduce humidity is to turn on the AC or/and the dehumidifier. Although it will increase energy consumption, spending a little extra can help make the RV’s internal environment comfortable for extended travel periods.
All in all, you must do everything in your power to reduce humidity if you want to have an enjoyable trip. You wouldn’t want to spend half the time complaining about the sweating and the heat, would you?
As mentioned in the article, there are several ways to lessen humidity and monitor it. Make sure that the humidity levels do not exceed 50%.
If they do, turn on the AC and dehumidifier together to keep the RV environment comfortable.