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Old 09-16-2012, 07:37 AM   #1
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Camper Condensation Question

So, my family and I have been doing some later season camping here in western PA and the temperature has gone down to the lower 40 s to upper 30 s at the coldest. We always carry a small ceramic electric heater that we use that was sufficient to keep us snug and warm, but we always had the condensation problem on the windows. This year we not only kept a small window open, but also the bathroom vent with a maxxair cover (no fan on) and we also ran the a/c fan (no a/c on of course) and the windows have been completely dry.

I like the idea of the dry windows, that has been great, but my question is - Am I harming anything to run the fan all night like that? I hope not. I sure have been enjoying these dry windows.

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:29 AM   #2
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I think you are doing the right thing with keeping a window open and running a fan, but I would change the fans you are running. You are certainly right to try to eliminate as much condensation and wet conditions as possible as this will only cause problems later on with mold, rot. etc. Running your A/C fan continuously won't hurt it - they are built for that and people certainly run them almost constantly in hot camping weather. With your A/C fan on and your bath vent open, you are probably causing enough turbulence so that air is escaping up the vent and dry air is infiltrating in via the vent and the many other orifices and gaps in the RV.
And you are doing nothing wrong and if it works then it works.

But I'd suggest a slightly different approach.

I believe most A/C fans only recirculate interior air. Therefore, it won't cause negative pressure, which you want because you want to vent moist air and replace it with dry air. I'd suggest getting a much smaller fan, and hanging it over a window that you've cracked open an inch or two. You can also keep the bathroom vent open, but again only an inch or so. This should actually be enough to eliminate your moisture problem, but you'll need to experiment a bit. Don't get too big of a fan, or you'll be sending all your heated air out the window at too fast a rate. Some people find that a very small cooling fan for a computer (about 4 inches) works adequately. It is essentially silent, runs on your 12 volt system (so you can even use it when boondocking). or with an alt. current adapter if you have shore power. You might find it a lot more quiet with a small fan operating rather than that very noisy A/C fan. Also, the fan by the window will actually cause a great deal of negative pressure, venting the moist air and bringing in enough dryer, but cooler air that your heater will heat up.

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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I would maybe suggest the following if you want to save on some noise. Try an occilating fan somewhere in the mid point of your unit and also leave the vents with maxx air slightly cracked open to allow for some air to leave the unit. Also add a damp rid pitcher around the fan location. Your AC fan is providing the key ellement, which is air movement. Having the AC fan running is not actually drying the air but simply moving it. It won't hurt anything running it.
I can't run mine and the heat at the same time since it's the same thermostat.

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #4
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Here is what we do in our Hybrid and it works for us. We place our ceramic heater on our stove top, which is close to the center of our TT. We keep a bunk end side window slightly open (about 6 inches) in the upper corner, of each bunk. I open the bathroom vent about an inch or two. Since doing this we have zero condensation within our TT. I do not run the AC fan at all.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:33 PM   #5
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I wonder if running a small de-humidifier would do the same thing?
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #6
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I keep 2 windows slightly open and run a fan to circulate the air. I also have Pop Up Gizmos solar covers on the bunkends. They help prevent condensation on the tenting. It works well.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:41 AM   #7
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In my 5th wheel and POPUP I use the small profile oil filled heaters when running all night. I always didn't like the idea of a heated red hot core visible or a flame from those other type of heaters. Especially with animals around. The oil filled heaters are fully contained and are also silent running. All you hear is a CLICCK every now and then. The only place we use something like the ceramic heater would be in the bath room where we wanted instant heat.

Just a thought...

We also have the O2COOL 10-inch fans (WALMART) that runs on both batteries or 120VAC. They have come in real handy... I've been told its the humans breathing that causes all of the condensation on the windows - guess we can all quit breathing during the night...

Our trailer has the roof mounted fantastic fan and that is the way I like to sleep with a couple of windows open and the roof mounted fan pulling in cool night air through the whole trailer.

My POPUP is very easy to having condensation with the fabric tops and sides and plastic windows. Anything metal inside drips water especially on high humid nights. We have our bed ends covered with tarps and always have the O2COOL fans in both ends of the trailer going at night.

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