Why Your RV Needs a Dehumidifier

Did you know that the #1 factor that will destroy your RV interior is moisture? This is precisely why you need an RV dehumidifier. Otherwise, mold, mildew and even mushrooms will invade the inside of your RV causing extensive damage to your camper’s interior and make your family sick and miserable! The good news is you can mitigate moisture problems simply by getting a dehumidifier specific to the size of your RV or camper. 

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Why Your RV Needs a Dehumidifier!

Best RV Dehumidifier Options that Extract Moisture in Your Camper or Motorhome!

What is a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a type of air conditioning device which reduces and maintains the level of humidity in the air. This is done usually for health or thermal comfort reasons, or to eliminate musty odor and to prevent the growth of mildew by extracting water from the air.

How does a dehumidifier work?

Now, when I think of a dehumidifier, I automatically think back to my parent’s basement where they kept that big, heavy appliance that seemingly sucked out all of the moisture so mushrooms wouldn’t grow down there.

As a kid, I remember one of my tasks was to empty the water container under the dehumidifier every day. Well, that was until my parents learned that they could attach a hose to channel the collected water into our sump pump crock instead.

Well, many decades later, dehumidifiers are greatly improved with state-of-the-art technology. All with better efficiency, they still maintain the same principles of extracting moisture from the air.

An electric dehumidifier uses the Peltier EffectEach dehumidification unit draws moist air into the appliance and heats it over a warm plate. During the process, that condensation is trapped in a small removable water reservoir. The dehumidifier then, returns cool dry air back into the atmosphere.

Once the water extraction reservoir is full, the dehumidifier will automatically shut off to prevent overflowing. 

What is an RV Dehumidifier

Okay honestly, I made that term ‘RV Dehumidifier’ up. There is no such thing as an RV Dehumidifier. I only say that to correlate RVing to dehumidifying a moist space.

Joking aside, a dehumidifier is a necessary tool in keeping your RV interior dry and healthy. Therefore, for intents and purposes, a dehumidifier that you use in your RV is essentially, an RV dehumidifier.

So, getting past that, you really don’t need one of those big clunky household dehumidifiers (like in your parent’s basement) inside your RV.

Actually, it wasn’t until we bought our first RV in 2014 that we learned that there are actually smaller, more portable dehumidifiers that do the job just as well as the big dogs.

These smaller appliances are in fact, the perfect solution for extracting dampness in a small van or truck camper all the way up to a big Class A motorhome, fifth wheel or even a park model. 

Why your RV needs a dehumidifier?

Woman pointing to mold on wall in RV

So here I go using the term again, let’s see the benefits of using an RV dehumidifier in your camper or motorhome.

      1. Helps to reduce toxic mold, smelly mildew and gross looking fungus amongus from growing anywhere in your RV.
      2. Any fabric, clothing, carpet and rugs, furniture, bedding and pillows will feel dryer.
      3. Your bread won’t mold as quickly. Boxed cereals and crackers will stay fresher and last longer.
      4. You’ll notice less corrosion and rust on electronics, wiring, cables or junctions and metal RV components.
      5. Little to no condensation will form on your windows, window frames or ceiling inside your RV 
      6. No more moldy walls or damaged wood in your RV or camper.
      7. Your RV will smell better.

So, as you see, using an RV dehumidifier is the most sensible way to eliminate that damp feeling inside your unit.

Just place one in any space or room in your RV. Simply plug it in, turn on the appliance and voila! As little as just a few hours, you’ll instantly notice that air will actually feel dryer.

Now, if you are traveling or parking your RV in a rainy or humid climate, it’s wise to get more than one to ensure all of your interior spaces remain dry.

This includes your basement storage compartments and even your camp box full of camping supplies. You certainly don’t want to open it up weeks or month from now only to find your camping gear coated with toxic mold.

So, trust me on this, your tools, RV batteries, wiring and components, and everything else that you store will thank you for putting a dehumidifier in your storage bays.

✰ RV PRO TIP Always plug your dehumidifier directly into available electrical receptacles inside your RV. Never use an extension cord in conjunction with plugging in such appliances in your RV!

What causes moisture in your RV to need a dehumidifier?

Steam coming from pot on cooktop causing moisture buildup

The causes of moisture in your RV are many. Cooking puts out a ton of water droplets into the air from steam. Also, the presence of water from doing dishes or running water that evaporates puts moisture in the air.

And in the bathroom, taking a hot shower humidifies as well. Lastly, humans and pets expel water droplets into the air simply by breathing.

All of this causes your windows to fog or present a form of condensation on surfaces where the colder outside temperatures meet the warm interior temperatures.

All of these causes, especially in the small confines of an RV, present the makings of a greenhouse effect. This happens because RV’s and campers are built to the point of being almost airtight.

Much like a terrarium or thick forest, RVs have such a limited air exchange that any moisture inside has nowhere to escape to.

It’s a given that your RV will be highly prone to mold and airborne toxic particles putting you, your family, and your pets’ respiratory health at a serious risk. It can trigger severe allergies and asthma; causing a laundry list of other serious health concerns.

This type of toxic environment also produces nasty-smelling odorsAnd if that’s not enough concerns about excessive moisture buildup inside your motorhome or camper, think about the structural damage that you may or may not see inside your RV

But, on a good note, there are proven solutions to mitigate those moisture issues in your RV before they even start. An RV dehumidifier is the answer to all of our prayers!

✰ RELATED   How to Stop Condensation in Your RV

Do you need a dehumidifier if you don’t see evidence of moisture damage?

The short answer is, well there is no short answer. That discretion is up to you, the RV owner. That said, everything we’ve shared here gives good reason to get one.

I highly recommend getting an RV dehumidifier if and when you are parked or traveling in high humidity areas, cook a lot in your RV, take a shower everyday, have lots of people living in your RV or endure leaks in your RV.

What size dehumidifier do you need in your RV?

Due to their monstrous size and weight, those household dehumidifiers our parents used are overkill for an RV. And besides, you really can’t afford the extra weight to overtax your GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating).  

This is where a small portable dehumidifier is more advantageous. Just measure the square footage of your RV interior with the slides out.

Now, if you have a big rig RV with multiple rooms or spaces, you may want to get a dehumidifier appropriate to the size of the room or space.

Again though, just be aware that getting multiple dehumidifiers add weight just the same as getting one big honkin’ one.

✰✰ RV PRO TIP ✰✰  dehumidifier in your toy hauler garage is a must! It will help keep your big toys from corroding or rusting in places of high humidity.

Best RV Dehumidifier Options for Motorhomes and Campers

So, without further ado, through our research and experience with using most of them, here are our highly recommended RV dehumidifiers…er…dehumidifiers you can use inside your RV.

You can also use portable humidifiers in the cabin of your boat, hunting cabin, beach cottage or whatever other small space where humidity is prevalent.

Eva-dry Mini Dehumidifier

Eva-dry E-333 Mini Dehumidifier

The lightweight & versatile battery-operated Eva-Dry Mini dehumidifier efficiently absorbs excess moisture in a small space.

Lasting approximately 4 weeks before recharging, this portable, renewable moisture extractor removes dampness without the use of toxic crystals or chemicals. Thus, being totally safe to use around kids and pets. 

This mini dehumidifier is the perfect size to hang in your closet, laundry closet, safe or in your RV’s basement compartments. You can even place one inside a basket, storage tote or camp box.

Eva-Dry Petite RV Dehumidifier

Eva Dry Petite Dehumidifier for RV, boat and cabin

The Eva-Dry Petite dehumidifier is our personal favorite since living full-time in our fifth wheel.

Now, even five years later, it’s working flawlessly in our Winnebago View! We keep ours on the bathroom floor to remove humidity from our shower as well as residual moisture from cooking and from breathing.

Its’ whisper technology has a 9V 2.5A electric input with minimal power draw of only 22 watts. Because of its’ low energy consumption, it’s the ideal moisture sucking appliance to use in small Class C motorhomes, tiny travel trailers, vans and truck campers.

It’s small compact size (about the size of a regularly size shoebox) makes it perfect for small rooms, closets and your RV’s basement compartments. 

Eva-Dry Mid-Size RV Dehumidifier

Eva Dry Mid Size RV Dehumidifier for RV Boat and Cabin

The Eva-Dry Mid-Size dehumidifier is the bigger sister to the Eva-Dry Petite above. It packs a little more moisture extraction power for small rooms. We used this particular model to remove moisture in the main living space of our fifth wheel.

The mid-size portable dehumidifier with Peltier technology works just as efficiently and quietly as our EvaDry Petite (above). The only difference is that the EvaDry Mid Size works in areas up to 2200 cubic feet.

It absorbs about 2 1/2 cups (20.5 ounces) of moisture in a 24-hour period with relative humidity of 80% at 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

dehumidifier

small dehumidifier

Yes, this dehumidifier IS actually the brand name. As weird as that is, this quiet little moisture absorber works under electric power with less than 35 decibels due to the Peltier Effect module.

Its’ moisture absorbing power covers 300 square feet of living space. You can place it in your larger motorhome or fifth wheel’s main living area or your RV’s bedroom. It’s also small enough to dehumidify your RV’s basement cargo compartments. 

But, this little dehumidifier has a bit or fun factor! It has an option to change the colors; bringing a bit of ambiance to small spaces. 

In fact, one Amazon reviewer posted,

“This machine is great, it helps with the condensation on our old wood windows. We bought it for my son’s room and he LOVES it too. He really enjoys the different color displays.”

PureDry Mini Dehumidifier

PureDry dehumidifier

The Pure Enrichment® PureDry™ Mini dehumidifier is powerful enough to extract up to 10 ounces per day into its’ 27 ounce (3.37 cups) water tank. You can nearly get three days of operation without having to empty the dehumidification reservoir.

And by extracting moisture from the air, it also reduces musty odors that makes your home on wheels smell a little more charming and less campy.

At just 2 pounds and the size of a shoe box, the modern and stylish PureDry Mini dehumidifier is easy to move around in your camper. 

Waykar Dehumidifier for Big Rig RVs

Waykar Dehumidifier for RV, Boat and Cabin

The Waykar dehumidifier will help eliminate odors and protect your mid size to big rig RV or park model as it covers up to 2000 square feet.

Do note though, this dehumidifier isn’t as portable as the smaller, compact models we talked about prior.

Though this moisture extractor is a little larger and heavier, the Waykar dehumidifier will improve air quality in Class A and Class C motorhomes, fifth wheels and longer travel trailers to the ideal 45%-55% humidity.

It comes with a variety of functions; intelligent humidity control, auto shut-off/on with 24 hour timer, tank alarm and power outage restart.

Also, with its’ built-in air purifying system, it can reduce odors, dirt or dust, etc. from any room. Thus, by keeping the air clean from impurities, it will bring you healthier and more comfortable RV living.

COLAZE Dehumidifier for Big Rig RVs

COLAZE DH01 Energy Star Dehumidifier for RVs

Now, if you live permanently in a destination trailer or park model at an RV park in humid climates, the energy star rated COLAZE dehumidifier is the answer to master humidity inside your big rig RV!

This power house dehumidifying appliance adopts the latest semiconductor refrigeration plate technology. Because of its’ larger size, it offers more obvious dehumidifying effect than any of the traditional portable dehumidifiers we listed above.

The super size dehumidifier covers 2500 square feet absorbing 405 ounces (30 pints!) of water before having to empty the reservoir! Even though it may be a bit of overkill on capacity, rest assured, you won’t have to worry about moisture damage inside your motorhome. 

The COLAZE dehumidifier has an auto drainage feature. You can directly attach to the drainpipe hole on the left side of the dehumidifier to achieve continuous drainage into your gray tank or through an access hole in your slide out.

With virtually no worry of the risk of the water overflowing, this makes it ideal for dehumidifying over a few days or while you’re away from your RV.

Now, it also has a manual drainage offering. When it reaches maximum capacity, the “Full” indicator will light up as well as an alarm will beep for 20 seconds to remind you to empty the water tank, it will stop working automatically to prevent overflowing.

Wrapping up

As a long-time RV owner of 3 different types of RVs, we think at least one dehumidifier is an absolute must!

If you’re living in your RV or park model permanently, camping in the woods or traveling through humid climates, an RV dehumidifier will not only keep your RV interior dryer. But also, these moisture suckers produce a more healthy environment for you, your family and your pets.

There’s a ton more dehumidifiers on the market; too many to count. Just read the reviews and go with your gut in getting the one that will work proficiently in your RV.

Having one or even 2 or 3 of these moisture extractors is money well spent considering what the result could be if you don’t have them. The small amount of money you pay now for one of these dehumidification units will be a huge amount of money saved from potential expensive structure repairs and mold mitigation.

More RV Lifestyle Tips! 

How to Stop Condensation from Happening in Your RV

Stinky Motorhome or Camper? How to Eliminate Odors in Your RV

How to Properly Clean and Maintain RV Air Conditioner

How to Take Care of Your RV’s Plumbing and Drains

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9 Replies to “Why Your RV Needs a Dehumidifier”

  1. This is very timely advice as we are victims of "unexpected" leaking during recent deluge of rain (who really expects trouble?). Thanks so much for your review. I'm subscribing to your blog.

  2. i bought one love it works great one question is ti normal for the air coming out to be very warm? ty

    1. Robbie, thank you for reading! I’m not sure. Make certain you check the manufacturer’s manual and/or their website. -Dan & Lisa

  3. Absolutely love my dehumidifier. It’s a different brand, but the same size as the larger one, mentioned. Even with the a/c running, I have to dump it once a week. I also use the refillable damp rid containers, and the nonrefillable ones from the Dollar Tree. They work great in closets and other small areas.

    1. Rebecca, we love ours too! And yes, we have Damp Rids in the closets and some drawers. We even have one in the cargo bay to keep tools and important stuff from rusting. Thank you for visiting our blog. Please come back soon! -Dan & Lisa

  4. I have the 2nd one you listed. I have a tiny teardrop…. this summer it has rained ALOT…so the camper felt damp… this dehumidifier did the trick. I had to empty it twice on a 5 day trip..
    Worth the money.

    1. Pam, those dehumidifiers ROCK, don’t they? We love ours; especially in the more tropical, humid and damp zones. How do you like your little teardrop trailer? We are enamored with them! Please travel safe and enjoy your journeys! -Dan & Lisa

  5. I have a Solace Deluxe Motorcycle Camping Trailer 23 cu ft behind my 107 cu in Harley I just got and am very happy the small dehumidifiers is all I need I hope I will find out Thank You

    1. Gary, Wow!! We’re envious that you are traveling with your Harley. That’s what we started out with; a Softail Fatboy and Softail Heritage Classic when we had our Cyclone Toyhauler. However, as full-timers, we had to re-evaluate our travels and expectations as motorcycle and RV nomads.

      We are glad that our suggestion of the dehumidifiers will work for you. We love ours! Small but mighty. Ours work great. We love their portability and price.

      Be safe on the road and keep the rubber side down. Ride safe! -Dan & Lisa

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