Wednesday, January 8, 2014

RV jump or swim

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
First let me thank all your wonderful readers for the vacuum cleaner suggestions. After reading that column we found an unused, still in the box, Shark Pet Perfect Cordless Vac at a thrift store for eight bucks. I figured for that price how could I go wrong? It is scary how much that little thing picks up out of the carpet even after we steam cleaned last fall before putting the motorhome in storage. We keep taking turns using it, then popping it open to see how much dirt, hair and dust we've collected. So, now "I" have a question. We are in Texas and it is cold enough that you wouldn’t want to stick your tongue on a metal pole. Our forced air, propane furnace is running 24/7. When we get up in the morning the windows are solid condensation. I’m afraid we are going to start to grow gills, and mildew if we don't control it. I know this is a physics problem more than a mental one, but if you can help us with this I will sleep much better at night. I have been having this recurring dream that mildew is building up on my body like barnacles on a ship.
--Dewdrops in Del Rio

Dear Dewdrops:
If you are talking about your forced air furnace, that is not your problem. It is vented to the outside. If you are talking about a catalytic heater that isn't vented, that can put a lot of moisture into your rig. You do not say whether you have an electic hook-up or not. If you do, go out and buy yourself an electric space heater. Propane from heat and cooking are only part of your problem. You would also have to stop showering and breathing. I would suggest you use your range hood fan when cooking and bathroom vent when showering. When it gets cold, all this moisture condenses out to cooler surfaces like your windows. If not dealt with, it can eventually lead to mold, water stains, mildew and even ruin equipment. This hopefully is a temporary problem for you. Once the Polar Vortex passes and the Tahiti Vortex comes through, you can open your windows again. When this is an ongoing problem you might want to try a small dehumidifier. Some of the small 12v models are a joke, so read a lot of reviews before you open your wallet. For short term, and tight space areas you can also try products like Damp Rid. One summer in Alaska we had mildew invade our Airstream. We had to attack it with bleach and head for Arizona for a winter of dry heat to cure the the black cancer taking over our silver trailer. Bottom line, control your breathing and pay attention to venting.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


Anonymous said...

Shrink,they did not say if they are connected to electric,but if they are i would invest in one of the electric heaters that go right on to your furnace,it would pay for itself in short time as your propane can be rather expensive and would probably take care of most of the condensation without worry if you might wake up in the morning,as it would not use up your oxygen in the air.

Unknown said...

We are parked on a small farm in northwest Oregon, where it rains A LOT. We woke one morning and it seemed like it was raining on the inside of our elderly fiver. Not to mention really cold despite a pretty good space heater. We researched around and found a small dehumidifier. Boy that has made all the difference in the world in our small (25 ft) trailer. A bonus it is now much warmer inside too. Our area had that cold spell before you and this really helped. We got it at Home Depot for around $150.

Anonymous said...

I live in Florida and leave an electric dehumidifier running in my motor home except when I have the air conditioner running. It has been a life saver. It is Windchaser and I got it on line at Walmart. It wasn't that expensive.

gary munro said...

we live in kelowna, BC, in the north central desert. without a de-humidifier,..we- 2 adults and a maltese, would drown. a gallon of water every 3 days. improved air circulation reduces propane and elec costs