How to keep RV Windows from Sweating [11 helpful tips]

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Living in a small space has its challenges, yet it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences. Condensation on RV windows is a common issue encountered by many campers. In this article we’ll look at 11 ways on how to keep RV windows from sweating.

How to keep RV windows from sweating - 11 ways to reduce condensation in an RV
How to keep RV Windows from Sweating [11 ways]

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What causes RV Windows to Sweat?

The “sweating” of RV windows is caused by condensation.

If we quickly look at the definition of condensation from the Cambridge dictionary we see:

“the drops of water that appear on cold surfaces such as windows as a result of hot air or steam becoming cool.”  (Reference)

The water droplets that form on the inside of RV windows occurs when warm moist air inside the RV (i.e. water vapor) hits the cold glass of the windows (when it is colder outside).

This temperature difference between the warm moist air and the cold window triggers the airborne water molecules to condense on the window pane and form water droplets.







Why is condensation a problem in RVs?

These sweaty RV windows may initially seem like no big deal, but it can get serious fast. Moisture buildup can cause mold and mildew to form, wood to rot, and even metal to rust inside the RV.








What can you do to prevent RV windows from sweating?

Looking at the definition of condensation gives us clues.

It is the moisture in the interior air colliding with the cooler windows that triggers the water vapor (gaseous state) to condense into water drops (liquid state).

2 Main Ways to Reduce Condensation in your RV

  1. So if we can decrease the moisture in the air we can reduce the amount of water vapor colliding with the cooler windows.
  2. And another way to combat condensation in an RV is to decrease the temperature difference between the interior air and the temperature of the windows.






Where does the moisture in an RV come from?

The three most common sources of moisture in an RV are:

  • Cooking (Releases steam into the air.)
  • Showering (Ever had the mirrors fog up after a shower? That is moisture you’ve put into the air.)
  • Humans breathing (Yes, just breathing in an RV increases the moisture in the air because when we exhale we release water vapor.)

So these are the main sources of water vapor (moisture) in the air inside an RV, and it also gives us some good tips on how we might reduce moisture in our RV.






11 Practical Tips on how to keep RV windows from sweating

Lucky for you, we have a list of tried-and-true solutions to prevent condensation once and for all…



1) Use Ventilation.

Open up your RV windows to help air flow.

Many RV’s have a vent fan above the stove as well as one or two more on the ceiling. Allowing the air to circulate in the cabin may help prevent moisture from building up over time.

If you’re able to, leaving windows open during the day will allow the drier outdoor air in, and for the inside moisture to blow out.

If your stock vent fan isn’t working well you can buy replacement RV vent fans that fit standard 14″x14″ roof opening to help move air better.


How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating:

This helps prevent RV windows from sweating by trying to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.









2) Get toasty.

Although condensation forms from the presence of warm, moist air, it’s possible to fight it with even warmer conditions. Invest in an electric space heater to keep things warm while also drying out the air inside the RV.



How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating:

This may seem counter-intuitive but what you’re trying to do is heat up the inside of your RV so that the windows actually get warmer, hence there won’t be as much of a temperature difference between the interior air and the windows to trigger condensation.

Alternatively, another way to decrease the temperature difference between the interior air of your RV and the outdoors is to not heat the RV at all and leave the windows open so that the temperature inside the RV is closer to the outside temperature. But, of course this may make your RV so cold it’ll be uninhabitable or potentially damage plumbing if your system isn’t winterized.







3) Cook outdoors.

Cooking outdoors while camping is a good way to help reduce moisture inside your RV and to help reduce condensation in your RV
GCI Outdoor Cook Kitchen Table – click to see details on Amazon

Cooking with pots and pans on the stove inside the RV releases steam, which increases moisture in the air and increases the chances of condensation. Many campers prefer to cook outdoors on grills or stoves and take advantage of their beautiful surroundings.



How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating:

As we read earlier, cooking is one of the main sources of moisture inside an RV. If you’re able to cook outside you can reduce the amount of water vapor released into the air of your RV.







4) Spend more time outdoors

Getting outside helps reduce moisture in your RV because every time we breath we release water vapor into the air.
Image by 11417994 from Pixabay

By just breathing inside our RV’s we release water vapor into the air. So the more time we can spend outside, the less water vapor we’ll breath out into the air of our RV.


If you want some ideas on how to add more adventure into your camping, check out this article.

Or for 9 ideas on how to enhance your outdoor RV space check this out.








5) Hang your Clothes outside

Travel clothesline by Nasdom Travel

Never hang things inside the cabin, as this will lead to mildew buildup on fabrics and it’ll release more water vapor into the interior air.

Instead, go old-fashioned with a clothesline and hang your things outside.


How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating:

Similar to not cooking inside, this is another way to reduce the amount of moisture inside your RV.








6) Skip your shower.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I know showering away camping grime can feel amazing, but you should skip showering while camping, or at least use an outdoor shower or the public showers at your campground. If you’re trying to avoid condensation buildup, the last thing you’d want to do is take an extra steamy shower in your bathroom and put more moisture in the air.

(But idea #11 on this list may still make showering possible.)


How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating:

Showering outside, at the public facilities – or waiting until home – will reduce the amount of moisture that you introduce to the air inside your RV.








7) Pick your camping season and weather.

Photo credit: Mitch Barrie on Flickr.com

Though many avoid camping in the winter months because of the colder conditions and risks of frozen pipes, a common issue also encountered in the winter is condensation. Because of the colder air outside, this means there is a greater temperature difference between the heated inside air and the outside air triggering more condensation. And many campers do not want to open windows for ventilation or venture outside because of the cold.

If you do not own a four-season camper with specialized insulation, you might be best waiting for things to thaw before setting out on the road.

Or another way to help reduce condensation in your RV is to travel to a warmer, drier climate to camp.  This is another way to reduce the temperature difference between inside the RV and outside because you’ll be in a warmer, more pleasant location.


Idea 7B – install plastic film over your RV windows.

You could also try adding plastic window film to the inside of your RV windows to make your own version of “double pane” windows. Creating this sealed layer of air between the plastic film and the glass window makes an insulating “air blanket” and can prevent the warm inside air from contacting the cold window.


How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating:

Choosing to camp in warmer locations or during warmer seasons helps decrease the temperature difference between the air inside your RV and the temperature outside. And using a plastic window film has the same effect. It acts as buffer zone between the warm inside air and the cold window pane.








8) Wipe down the windows

Photo credit: Rainbow International on Flickr.com

If you see condensation on your RV windows you can wipe it down with a dry towel before the water droplets have time to settle and create little pools of water.

And then dry the towel off outside.









9) Open up the cabinet doors and closets

Moist air can get stuck in enclosed spaces – such as inside cabinets and closets – and may cause problems you don’t even know about until damage is done.

To help get that air moving around, it is important to occasionally ventilate these spaces by opening up the cabinet doors and closet doors.







10) Soak it up

How to stop RV windows from sweating - DampRid can help reduce moisture in the air of your RV
Click picture to see more details on Amazon.

There are many moisture-absorbing products on the market, yet an RV favorite is DampRid.

This offers moisture control in your RV space by absorbing moisture it comes in contact with. Many campers place this in cabinets and closets as well as in the bathroom where air doesn’t circulate well.

You can click here to check out this product on Amazon.


How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating:

This product uses a chemical to absorb the water from the air: you can loosely think of it as a chemical dehumidifier. And less moisture in the air means less water vapor molecules to collide and condense on the cooler windows.







11) Suck it out with a Dehumidifier

We have saved the most powerful and effective tip for last. A classic way to reduce the moisture in the air of your RV is to use a dehumidifier. These electronic devices “suck” the water vapor from the air, collect it in a bucket and then you pour out the water.

And if you’re camping in an area with naturally high humidity and lots of rain – like the Pacific Northwest – then even if you do the above the suggestions…it still may not be enough.

You’ll need extra help to reduce the moisture inside your RV, and that is where a dehumidifier really shines.

You could get a small little dehumidifier and hope it works…or you could just get a larger one (designed for 1500 sq.ft home) and feel more confident that you’re dropped the humidity down inside your RV.

A dehumidifier is a great way to stop RV windows from sweating because it helps take the water vapor out of the air
Click the picture to see more details of this dehumidifier on Amazon

 Here is a link to a well-rated dehumidifier on Amazon (currently 4.6 stars out of 5) that is quiet and energy efficient.


How it can help prevent RV windows from sweating

By reducing the amount of moisture in the air there is less water vapor to collide with the cooler windows, therefore less condensation.  If you have access to electrical hookups or a good solar electricity set-up then you should get yourself a dehumidifier for your RV.

I’ve seen some RV videos on YouTube where campers claim that using a dehumidifier made all the difference in reducing condensation in their RV.  So if you want to get to the bottom line and sort out the condensation problems in your RV, buy a dehumidifier.







Another key gadget is a humidity monitor:

How to keep your RV windows from sweating - get a humidity monirotr so you can keep track of the humidity (moisture level) inside your RV
Click the picture to see ratings on Amazon

Keep an eye on the humidity inside your RV with a humidity monitor like this one from GOVEE. Using this before and after you use a dehumidifier will help you gauge how well your dehumidifier is working.









Conclusion:

Since it can cause so many problems, camper condensation is not something that you want to mess around with.

Using these 11 practical tips and products, you’ll find the answer to how to stop RV window from sweating, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you hit the road.




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