4 Tips For Tackling Humidity & Moisture In Your RV On The Coast
Paul’s away in Portland picking up his niece (who you may remember from last year) while I while away the day hanging by the beach and rocking out to The Cure (yes, I regress whenever hubby leaves town….as long as the thick black eyeliner doesn’t come out I consider it just a minor aberration). Not much to report apart from more beach goodness and a few very humid days, the latter of which makes for a good blog topic.
You see moisture is a thing of inevitability on the coast. Many Oregonians, especially those who reside on the “dry” side joke about the Westerners walking around with webbing on their feet. I’ve never been one to mind the moisture having grown up in Asia (where humidity often exceeds 100%…yes, this can happen) and living for 10 years in San Francisco where the thick fog that rolls over the city is a daily event. In summer it gets even worse when the marine layer sucks right into the coast creating May Grey and June Gloom, the foggiest months of the year! No, I don’t mind this at all and in fact I find the thick air almost comforting. The fog seals in sounds and muffles the waves, creating a silent microcosm. On particularly thick days you can walk the beach and lose sight of the shore making it seem like you’re in a manufactured bubble, miles from anything living. It’s really kinda cool…
But it does make for interesting living in the RV. There’s no doubt that marine moisture can be a bane for metal objects and I often get asked what we do to prevent corrosion and damp in the RV. I don’t claim to have the magic solution, water is water after all, but I do think there are things you can do to prepare your rig and manage excessive moistness. Here are my top tips:
1/ Wash & Wax (and Rinse!) -> One of the easiest things you can do for the outside of your rig is wash and wax it. We typically wash and wax before we get on the coast, and will try to rinse whenever we can while we’re here. A simple rinse will get rid of any salt accumulation from sea air and goes a long way to limiting corrosion. The wax helps to seal everything in.
2/ Protective Spray on Moving Metal Bits -> We use T-9 Boeshield on all of our exposed and moving metal bits including our jacks & tow bar. It keeps everything slick as well as providing a great barrier against moisture. Wherever we’ve used it we’ve never seen corrosion so I take that as a testament to it’s effectiveness. We really like this product.
3/ Ventilation, Ventilation, Ventilation -> Internally to the RV heavy moisture is not only uncomfortable, but encourages mold/mildew growth as well as clothing and linen destruction. On days when the sun is out and the air is dryer nothing works better to clear out your RV than simple ventilation. Open up the windows, air out your closets, fluff out your bedding in the sun and get the air moving in your RV. We have vent fans in the bathroom & living room which we’ll run on a sunny days plus we have a large ceiling fan in our bedroom. If you have neither any kind of cheap plug-in fan will work. The key is to get that air moving so you exchange dead, moist air (from inside) with dryer air (from outside). Propane releases moisture to the air too, so everytime you cook make sure to open and run those ceiling vents. Moving air is dry(er) air.
4/ Dehumidifiers -> Sometimes ventilation simply isn’t a viable option especially when it’s raining and the outside air humidity is over 80%. In these cases there’s not much to do except close up the rig and look at additional options. Your air conditioner will definitely do the job and is a great option in hot places like FL, but on the OR/WA coast where it’s typically cool (around 60-70 degrees all summer), running the air all day really isn’t practical. A decent ceramic heater will also dry the air some, but again may not be practical all the time depending on temperature. We use Damp Rid in our closets (both the bucket and the hanging kind) and recommend a dehumidifier for the main rooms. The Eva-Air dehumidifiers are compact, quiet and get decent reviews, but are not nearly as effective as the noisy good old-fashioned compressor-based versions. Which one you chose just depends on whether you can handle the noise of a compressor and how dry you want your RV to be (you’ll feel best if you can get below ~60% humidity). As a bonus, a dehumidifier is a great addition if you decide to winter in a cold, humid spot with your RV.
Of the course the ultimate protection against humidity? Just don’t RV anywhere humid at all, and definitely (of all places) avoid the coast. Then again who would want to do that? With a bit of planning & just a few extra items you can happily while away the summer with your feet in the water and your butt in the sand. Just be ready for some moisture and prepare yourself to bask in it all 🙂
Extra Notice: Did You Know You Have To Register Your Cellular Internet/Phone Boosters Now?
Those of you travelling with cellular boosters may not know that it’s now an FCC requirement to register those same boosters with your cellphone provider. The new rules went into effect May 1st so it’s way past time to act. Thankfully our buddies Technomadia wrote a comprehensive guide which means we’re now “legal” (our Wilson Sleek & Wilson Amp are now both registered with Millenicom), plus I don’t have to write it myself (love it when that happens). If you have a booster and/or are planning to get one, definitely read this -> The Definitive Guide to Cellular Booster Registration