Have you ever gotten condensation in your caravan and wondered what caused it? Do you tend to simply ignore it and move on? Well, don’t!
Caravan condensation might seem like a trivial issue at first, but as time goes on it can severely affect not just your caravan but your well-being too.
In this article, we will talk about the causes of caravan condensation, its effect, and how to stop it.
Why Is Caravan Condensation Important?
You may notice condensation forming as small droplets of water on the inside of your caravan, such as on the windows.
However, many caravan owners neglect the issue of condensation in their van. Condensation is very common and may not seem like a big issue, which may contribute to the lack of attention it receives.
However, in the long run, it can cause problems, such as those below.
Driving in cold weather with heavy condensation on the windshield is a recipe for disaster. Imagine what would happen if there was so much condensation on the windows that you couldn’t see anything!
This leads to visibility issues and in some cases, even car accidents.
So, rather than trying to repeatedly wipe down the windows while driving every time, why not try to find a solution to the root cause of the problem?
If you spend a lot of time in your caravan, condensation might actually be damaging your health!
How? Well, excessive condensation can promote the spread of dampness, mould, and mildew in your van. These things can further cause health problems such as asthma, lung infections, allergies, and breathing problems!
You certainly don’t want mould and mildew growing in your caravan.
Reduced Van Life
Condensation can damage your van by causing rust, mould growth in hard to clean areas, and even water damage. If neglected for too long, it can cost you a pretty penny to repair!
Caravans are expensive and a serious investment. You don’t want to let something as simple as condensation damage your pride and joy!
What Causes Caravan Condensation?
But how does it occur in the first place? Well, what happens here is that when warm, moist air in the caravan meets a cold surface, the air cools to the point where it can no longer hold all of its moisture, causing condensation to form on the surface.
Here are the fundamental reasons behind this phenomenon:
Reason 1: Poor Ventilation
One of the main reasons why caravan condensation occurs is poor ventilation. If you tend to keep your windows and doors closed all the time, you should open them up occasionally and let some fresh air in. A good caravan vent can be helpful here.
In cold weather, you will of course want to leave the heater on in your caravan and have the doors and windows shut to keep the cold out.
However, doing this creates a large difference in temperature between the inside and outside of the caravan that facilitates condensation. Open up your windows occasionally to ventilate and dehumidify your van.
Reason 2: Weather Conditions
As mentioned earlier, the main reason for caravan condensation is the difference in internal and external temperatures.
You can expect more condensation in cold, wet conditions compared to warm, dry conditions. This is because the air outside becomes much colder than the air inside, which is warm and moist.
However, note that condensation may also occur in summer as the air inside is cold due to your caravan aircon, and it’s hot outside. In this case, you may get condensation on the outside of your van rather than the inside.
This typically only happens on very humid days.
Reason 3: Cooking and Other Activities
Did you know that activities such as cooking, showering, bathing, etc. can cause caravan condensation too?
Cooking releases a lot of moisture into the air, which will accumulate in your van without appropriate ventilation.
Cooking also heats up the air in your van, allowing it to temporarily hold more moisture before it ultimately cools down and releases this moisture elsewhere as condensation.
Similarly, showering and bathing can have the same effect.
Reason 4: Wet Objects
Lastly, keeping wet clothes or towels inside the caravan may lead to increased humidity. This means that the air inside the van will be saturated with moisture, and only a slight decrease in temperature will result in condensation formation.
How To Stop Caravan Condensation?
Now, let’s talk about the elephant in the room - how to actually stop caravan condensation?
The answer is simple - reduce the humidity in your caravan and improve ventilation. Here are some tips to help you achieve this goal:
Try To Improve Overall Ventilation
First, the most important thing is to improve ventilation in your caravan by either installing permanent ventilation fans, or by frequently opening the doors and windows of your van.
If simply opening the windows and doors is not enough, use a 12V fan angled at the door to help exchange air between the inside and outside.
Make sure that you do this before showering, cooking or running the heater for an extended period of time to improve your chances of avoiding condensation.
Make Use of Campsite Facilities
If you are staying at a campsite with cooking, laundry, and other facilities, make the most of them and use them rather than the facilities in your caravan.
Cook at the provided BBQs and do your laundry with the onsite washing machines to avoid any additional moisture build-up!
Don’t Keep Any Wet Objects Inside Your Caravan
If you’re washing your clothes, we recommend drying them outside, if the weather allows.
Wet objects can increase the moisture content in your caravan, which ultimately leads to condensation, especially in winter!
Use Indirect Air Heaters
When purchasing a heater for your van, go for a heating system that is indirect. Indirect heating systems pull in air from outside your van and then use it to combust fuel and create hot gases. These hot gases are then used to warm a heat exchanger which ultimately heats the air inside your van.
In this way, the air used for combustion is kept separate from the air circulating inside your van. This means that the air in your van heats up without being humidified, which reduces the likelihood of condensation.
This is in contrast to portable heaters, which combust fuel and directly release the gases into your van, which humidifies the air and increases the likelihood of condensation.
These types of heaters shouldn’t be used anyway, as they have the potential to induce carbon monoxide poisoning.
Park Your Caravan Properly
Parking your caravan strategically may solve the problem of caravan condensation.
When you park your caravan in low-lying areas, such as valleys or depressions, it comes in contact with cold air, leading to condensation. Similarly, when you park it near water sources, the humidity inside and around the caravan will increase, causing condensation.
So, you need to find a balance. Try to find an elevated area, away from any water source, and park your vehicle there. For proper airflow, we recommend parking your caravan in the same direction as the wind!
Dry Out Your Caravan After Use
After a big trip in your van, don’t forget to dry it out! Here’s a quick checklist to help you:
- Keep the windows and doors open for some time
- Wipe the walls with a dry cloth
- If any furnishings are damp, use a hair-dryer to dry it out
- Use moisture absorption crystals if you won’t be using your van again for a while
- Buy a waterproof cover for storage
Is Condensation Same As Damp?
No, condensation isn’t as serious as damp. However, it can develop into damp if you don’t look into the matter quickly.
Damp occurs when water leaks through your caravan and gets trapped behind the wall. Unlike condensation, you may see some obvious signs of dampness such as visible black spots and an unpleasant musty odour.
Don’t let caravan condensation cause you problems in the long run! There are a wide variety of potential causes for caravan condensation, yet there are plenty of solutions that you can try to improve the situation.
If you still have any questions, you can always reach out to us by commenting below!
If you are having condensation problems in your tent or swag, check out my guide on stopping tent condensation!
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