Have you got a caravan, motorhome or RV?
For those who enjoy the freedom of hitting the road without the restrictions of expensive hotels, these vehicles really come into their own.
How about at the end of the season, though?
Many climates do not lend well to year-round use. Over the colder winter period, there’s every chance you will lock your caravan up until the sun is blazing once again.
Most people with any kind of damp issues in their home immediately invest in a dehumidifier. How about the moisture in your caravan?
The good news is that improved ventilation and an increased use in double-glazing has stopped condensation plaguing caravans in quite the same way that it used to.
Still, whether it’s a rainy day in the summer with people inside and water dripping down the windows or leaving your caravan empty over the winter, a good dehumidifier is worth investigating.
Damp leads to mold. Whether it’s weakened rubber seals, worn sealant or boilers that have not been drained, moisture can easily leak in. Even under normal conditions, simply showering, hanging up washing or the very act of breathing can induce damp and bring in that enemy mold to ravage your pride and joy.
You have decided to fight back with a dehumidifier but what should you look out for when thinking about which model to buy?
There are 3 main factors that should dictate your buying decision:
- Refrigerant or desiccant?
- A dehumidifier that’s suitable for a small space
- Being able to safely run the dehumidifier if your caravan is left unattended
Which Type of Dehumidifier is Best For Caravans?
When it comes to dehumidifiers, you can choose between a refrigerant or desiccant model.
Each has its own pros and cons so focus specifically on the job at hand.
There are 4 main ways in which these different dehumidifiers when thinking about using one in a caravan or motorhome.
1. Refrigerant dehumidifiers with a compressor will cost you much less to run than desiccant models. These savings can be considerable. If you know that you’ll be abandoning your vehicle over the winter months, reduced costs can really mount up
2. Next, you should think about temperature. Desiccant dehumidifiers work most effectively at lower temperatures. If it’s less than 8 degrees then a desiccant is ideal. When the mercury rises above that level, there’s not much to choose between the two types. A refrigerant edges ahead at room temperature or above. Think about whether or not your caravan is heated and factor this into your decision
3. In terms of reliability, refrigerants are generally superior. In the home, this issue is not so critical. If you want your dehumidifier to work in your absence without letting you down, refrigerants are the safest option
4. When it comes to noise, a desiccant wins hands down. Again, take into consideration whether it will be mainly used while you are in the caravan or during the winter months. Everyone’s needs are different so be honest about how you will use your dehumidifier.
Even if you have one of the larger caravans or a bulky static unit, space is still something to take into account.
The last thing you want is an oversized appliance that will simply get in the way.
There’s also another little secret that many people overlook…
The majority of dehumidifiers need 20cm or so of clearance from the walls on all sides. This promotes proper air circulation and allows your unit to function at maximum efficiency. Not only that, if you fail to adhere to these guidelines, you’re risking a fire hazard. Don’t take a chance and return to a caravan burned to the ground through carelessness.
Finding space to correctly position a dehumidifier in your home is rarely an issue. In the sometimes cramped confines of a caravan, though, it can prove more problematic.
One solution is to investigate the innovative DES range of dehumidifiers from De’Longhi. If space is too tight to mention, these units can be pushed flush to the wall. The inflow and outflow air patterns are designed to make this possible without the standard amount of clearance.
Leaving Your Dehumidifier Running Unattended
If you are hoping to prevent damp, moisture and mold from ruining your precious caravan, an overflowing dehumidifier would spoil all your efforts.
The snag arises when the built-in water collection bucket fills up. What happens, then, if you are not there to monitor it? It overflows and adds even more water to an already-damp environment!
Luckily, most dehumidifiers come with a handy auto-drain valve fitted. This is normally located either at the rear of the dehumidifier or inside the cavity where your water bucket is found.
Just grab yourself some pipe - anywhere from 10mm to 20mm is ideal – and run your piping from the auto-drain valve into a sink or drain to prevent the nightmare scenario of overflowing. Some models of dehumidifier even supply the pipe so check your box before buying any more.
This useful hack means that you can safely run your dehumidifier continuously even if you are not around to watch over it.
If you have a caravan or any kind of motorhome, investing in a dehumidifier is money very well spent.
Damp leads to mold and, evidently, mold can be very damaging to furniture and fittings as well as introducing a very unpleasant smell.
Opt for a mains-powered refrigerant model that’s small enough not to get in the way and enjoy the confidence of returning to a dry and fragrant caravan not a damp, stinking mess!