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Old 10-25-2020, 10:44 AM   #1
afd
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Exclamation Condensation turning to ICE on my walls?

Hello everyone! This is my first post here and I am new to RVing... we bought our 2020 16RK last November and now find ourselves living in it in the Kootenay region of BC, Canada (Rocky Mountains). I hope this post is in the right place... I'm hoping our fellow fulltimers will have some thoughts on this!
The last few weeks we have developed condensation issues. It started on the windows (fine, we can deal with that), then it has started to show up on the plastic trim between the roof and the walls (also fine, we ordered a dehumidifier, hasn't arrived yet), but this morning, the condensation turned to ICE in the front bedroom area. We have an oil filled heater set at around 20C/70F that sits in the middle of the trailer and the propane furnace is set to kick on at 18C/65F as backup. The ice is between the wall and the plywood bed platform. This area is above the storage bays accessed from outside. It is always cold in this area and it doesn't get good airflow (we should get a fan). We don't have a hygrometer yet, but the humidity doesn't seem especially high (we shower with the vent on and run the stove vent if cooking steamy things).
It was especially cold last night, -12C/10F. Our water pipes are all fine. The ice build up cannot be normal though. I am thinking that there is a manufacturing error and the insulation in the front of our trailer is missing or has gaps? I am worried there may be water inside the walls that I cannot wipe up and we will have mold and major damage down the line. Would love some advice before I call the dealer or Jayco.
Pictures are ice built up on the mattress () and on the wall/plywood mattress platform (it is all ice though it looks like water). The icy area is marked in red on the floorplan.

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Old 10-25-2020, 10:55 AM   #2
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Condensation is one issue that is covered in most RV owner's manuals. It happens in small, heated enclosures. There are a couple of standard suggestions.


1. Open a vent or window enough to equalize humidity. It is usually less humid outside than in because of the heating, cooking, breathing inside. It won't be any colder because you have vented but it will get a lot wetter, and eventually mold if you don't.



2. Get a dehumidifier. This will help but I still recommend cracking a vent or window.


It is possible but not likely that there is some manufacturer defect. Moisture can build rapidly in walls, on window, between items that are against a wall, and the wall.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:43 AM   #3
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From the One of the Jayco users manual:



Cold Weather Usage When used in freezing or below freezing temperatures, the precautions should be taken:Fresh water and drainage systems - preparations to avoid freeze-ups.Propane gas (if so equipped) and sufficient power is needed for protection from possible freeze-ups on the propane gas regulator. Keep in mind that more frequent furnace operation will substantially increase battery draw and propane gas use.During cool weather usage, ventilation or addition of a dehumidifier may be required to reduce condensation.Check outside extrusions on compartment doors, locks, slide outs, windows, vents, etc., for frozen moisture before operating to avoid damage to parts. Continuous or permanent living in your recreation vehicle may affect your warranty coverage and may void the “Limited Warranty” applicable to your vehicle.%#76+10CondensationCondensation is a natural phenomenon. The amount of condensation will vary with climate conditions, particularly the relative humidity. Condensation occurs because there is water vapor present in the air. When the temperature reaches the “dew point” the water vapor in Condensation may cause dampness, mildew, mold, staining and, if allowed to continue, it may result in damage to the recreation vehicle (damage caused by condensation is not warrantable). It can also lead to mold or mildew issues, which could be a health hazard.9#40+0)
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Old 10-25-2020, 12:24 PM   #4
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Looking at your floorplan, it appears to be an area that doesn't get much heat circulation. almost like an air dead spot, so any condensation isn't evaporating well. A small fan blowing in that corner may help it.
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:00 PM   #5
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Looking at your floorplan, it appears to be an area that doesn't get much heat circulation. almost like an air dead spot, so any condensation isn't evaporating well. A small fan blowing in that corner may help it.
Also, these rigs are notoriously under insulated, which is why they're more of a 3 season rig and not four. There's hardly any insulation in the walls, and maybe in those corners, none at all.
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:13 PM   #6
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Your dehumidifier will solve this problem provided you ordered a big enough one. I use a 30 pt from Wallmart. On the plus inside you will get added heat from it.
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:23 PM   #7
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Hi Cavie, Thanks for your reply, it gave me a bit of relief while I waited for the dehumidifier! Our dehumidifier came in and we've been running it for a week or two now (sorry for the slow reply!) and you're right, it's not big enough to completely fix the issue but now our humidity stays below 60%, which is an improvement from before. Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:31 PM   #8
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Also, these rigs are notoriously under insulated, which is why they're more of a 3 season rig and not four. There's hardly any insulation in the walls, and maybe in those corners, none at all.
JFlightRisk and RetiredOne - thank you both for the advice. The fan is helping and is keeping the bedroom warmer. Good to know about the insulation - we bought the unit near Vancouver and were told it would be fine for 4 season use... looks like that doesn't hold up now that we've moved east!

It has the "Glacier Package" on it but that doesn't seem to mean much for the living area. However, the insulated underbelly seems to be doing well to protect our pipes. Our furnace broke yet again, so we don't have heat going to the pipes and tanks (the area is ducted), but they have been fine in consistently below freezing nights with skirting up.
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Old 11-11-2020, 02:36 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CAG View Post
Condensation is one issue that is covered in most RV owner's manuals. It happens in small, heated enclosures. There are a couple of standard suggestions.


1. Open a vent or window enough to equalize humidity. It is usually less humid outside than in because of the heating, cooking, breathing inside. It won't be any colder because you have vented but it will get a lot wetter, and eventually mold if you don't.



2. Get a dehumidifier. This will help but I still recommend cracking a vent or window.


It is possible but not likely that there is some manufacturer defect. Moisture can build rapidly in walls, on window, between items that are against a wall, and the wall.
Hi CAG - Thanks for your response. We've started cracking the windows and it definitely helps, but it does drop the temperature in our little RV. I'm sure we'll figure out a good balance eventually. Thanks for the advice!
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:03 PM   #10
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In the floor plan I see you have a cargo door right below the area your having issues with. I suspect your cargo hold is very cold on that side. Might recommend adding some additional insulation to the door, could be a piece of pink foam cut oversized and pulled up tight to the cargo door.

X2 on an open window or vent. I leave a roof vent cracked open all year, we do have a roof vent cover, to keep the weather out.

How cold has it been getting?
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Old 11-11-2020, 04:51 PM   #11
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In the floor plan I see you have a cargo door right below the area your having issues with. I suspect your cargo hold is very cold on that side. Might recommend adding some additional insulation to the door, could be a piece of pink foam cut oversized and pulled up tight to the cargo door.

X2 on an open window or vent. I leave a roof vent cracked open all year, we do have a roof vent cover, to keep the weather out.

How cold has it been getting?
Jagiven - Cargo hold is definitely cold. It's a pass through under the bedroom area. I have some leftover insulation from doing my slide and I'll put that up this weekend on the cargo doors. What do you think about putting a heat lamp/incandescent bulb in the cargo area to take the chill out?



It's hovering around freezing pretty consistently. Mid 20s F/~-3C at night and mid 30s/~3C during the day.



I've been home all day by myself, with 3 windows cracked (in the kitchen, slide, and bedroom), with a fan going and the dehumidifier on and I'm at 50% humidity. We have to really open the windows to get it down to 40-45%... our record is 38%.



Our propane furnace broke again, so that's been off for a few weeks. I'm now trying to decide whether it's better to fix the furnace and have warmer air (holds more moisture) plus the added humidity from the propane burning or have lower temperatures (16C/60F night - 18C/65F day) with the electric oil heater.
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