Do you love escaping to the countryside or mountains in your RV? What is better than packing up your motorhome and getting out onto the open road for a few days?
But all that time spent in a small space can mean you end up building up condensation and damp. Cooking, sleeping and showering in a small space inevitably builds up water vapour in the atmosphere.
This could damage your soft furnishing and even make your cozy travel trailer feel uncomfortable. At worst, you could end up cutting your precious vacation time short if the atmosphere inside your moving home gets too unbearable. Excess humidity can also cause breathing difficulties and health problems in people with allergies or asthma.
A dehumidifier is the answer to controlling excess moisture in your RV. But what is the best dehumidifier for an RV? We’ve put together a great comparison guide to explore the features and benefits of a unit for your RV and help you choose the best RV dehumidifier.
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An RV is a small space – even if you have the largest travel trailer on the market it is still considerably smaller than the average home. This is actually a great benefit when you’re looking to buy a dehumidifier as most of the models are set to work in an average home with a floor space of around 1,000 square feet being the smallest appliance.
If you’ve invested in an RV, you’re going to want a dehumidifier to be as discreet as possible and blend in with the surroundings. Look at appliances that are small in size but have the power of a larger model. Another thing to bear in mind is where it will be installed and what drainage method you will use, if you know this to begin with you can eliminate a lot of different units immediately.
Every dehumidifier will remove moisture from the air. Whether it is the most complicated, expensive model or a budget unit the mechanisms stay roughly the same. Air from your RV is drawn into the dehumidifier through a vent and then passed over cold coils. This causes condensation to form on the cold coils as the warmer air hits them. The droplets of condensation then drip down into a collection bucket or water reservoir.
This is where the two different types of machine differ. The water can be collected in the bucket and then will be manually emptied when it becomes full. Sophisticated models have an automatic shut off which senses when the bucket is full and shuts off the dehumidifier. Other types have a transparent window into the water reservoir so you can keep a manual check on the amount of water in your dehumidifier.
In a model without a bucket which needs to be emptied manually, the water will be drained away. This is either done through a hose mounted at the bottom of the unit and then angled downwards into a drain – allowing gravity to do the work – or a pump system.
A pump means water can be pushed further along a drainage hose and also sent vertically, out of a window for example. This can be useful if your drain or emptying point is far away or higher up than your dehumidifier unit.
A standard dehumidifier, that you would usually see in a home or basement, will be a refrigerant model. These use a fan and cold coil technique (explained previously) to cool the air and form droplets.
A desiccant dehumidifier is filled with a water-soaking material that pulls moisture out of the air without needing a power source or regular emptying. These models often have an indicator light or colour changing feature to let you know when they are at full capacity for collecting water. You can just leave it in a room until it indicates it is full, then plug into a socket until it dries out and the colour goes back to normal.
Desiccant dehumidifiers are great if you have a particular problem area in your RV – the shower room for example. But as they are smaller in capacity, they’re not able to be used for an entire RV. If you needed to remove moisture from the entire RV, you would have to buy several desiccant units or invest in a refrigerant dehumidifier.
However, a desiccant model is quieter, cheaper and lighter than a refrigerant dehumidifier which may work better if you’re tight on space.
There are hundreds of different types and models of dehumidifiers and all of them come with their own set of specifications and special features. More on that here.The main things to look out for when you are choosing the best RV dehumidifier is capacity (how much water can it hold), size (space will be at a premium) and noise level.
You can also get different power methods so if you don’t want to plug it in and have it running off the main RV supply all the time, you can use a rechargeable or battery powered system.
A “laundry button” or “boost” setting can give some models extra power at the touch of a button. This is particularly good in an RV in the morning for example, when you have the build up of condensation overnight, breakfast cooking steam and even water in the air from a shower. By pushing this button, you can temporarily boost the performance of your dehumidifier and clear the air of moisture faster.
Getting a dehumidifier with a built in humidistat is also a great idea. The humidistat actually measures the amount of water in the air and will activate the dehumidifier when it reaches above a pre-set level. This is great if you don’t always want to be thinking about switching it on and off.
This Ivation model is specifically for smaller rooms and areas. Designed to collect water in a removable 17 ounce water tank it has an indicator light which will light up when the water collection bucket is full. For added peace of mind, it also has an automatic shut off function when the tank is full to prevent any leakages. This compact unit has no moving parts which should cut down on maintenance and repairs.
It works in spaces up to 1,100 cubic feet so is suited for RVs or motorhomes. The manufacturers state 17 ounces is around two days of dehumidifying so it will only need to be emptied every other day. A 9v DC power adaptor is included.
This petite dehumidifier is perfect for small spaces. It is light and quiet and will easily fit in a small, compact space. The water is extracted from the air and then stored in a spill proof reservoir. It has an automatic shut off for when the reservoir fills up which means you have peace of mind if you were to leave it running in your RV.
It has no compressor so it is a very quiet dehumidifier unit.
This tiny dehumidifier is a desiccant model which means it uses a water-absorbing material to draw moisture from the air. It only works in very small enclosed areas up to 333 cubic feet but could be the best dehumidifier for your RV if you only need it in a shower room or cupboard. This unit does not need power so it won’t have to be plugged in. Depending on the humidity level in your RV, this unit will last up to eight weeks before it needs to be recharged. The silica gel is fragrance free and non toxic which means it is safe around children and pets. It can’t leak or spill as the silica gel holds the moisture in place. It comes with a five year warranty.
This compact refrigerant dehumidifier works up to 2,200 square feet while also managing to keep the noise down. The Peltier technology means it has no moving parts so it is small, lightweight and cheap to run. The manufacturers state it works in everywhere from bedrooms to boats and it will eliminate odors and fungus from your space. The automatic humidistat measures the humidity in the room and allows you to set the relative humidity level in the RV.
This sleek, portable dehumidifier is ideal for small spaces. While it lacks the power to clear a whole RV of moisture, it will work effectively in a small space like a shower room or closet space. You can use it regularly to reduce the moisture in the air and eliminate the risk of bacteria or mould growth in your RV. It takes 10 ounces of water from the air per day and has an automatic shut off feature. The water collection tank holds 27 ounces so you can nearly get three days operation from the unit without having to empty it.
In conclusion, there is only one clear winner for the best dehumidifier for an RV. The Ivation IVADM10 Powerful Small-Size Thermo-Electric Dehumidifier is the right choice for your motorhome or static caravan. It works in areas up to 1,100 square feet which is perfect for an RV.
It is small, quiet and compact so it will take up minimal space in your RV while also removing the maximum moisture. The indicator light tells you when the 17 ounce tank needs to be emptied but it also features an automatic shut off function for your peace of mind. There are no moving parts which is what makes it so quiet – perfect for the compact conditions of an RV. It only needs to be emptied every other day and a power adaptor is included so it can just be plugged straight in.
In short, when you are looking for an RV dehumidifier, then the Ivation IVADM10 is the right size and power to make sure your motorhome is kept moisture free and ready for your vacation! I hope this article helped you in finding the right machine for your RV. If you have any questions, feel free to share and comment below!
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