What percentage of damp is acceptable in a caravan?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: What percentage of damp is acceptable in a caravan? We will also give you a few essential tips to prevent and deal with dampness in a motorhome.

What percentage of damp is acceptable in a caravan?

A maximum of 15% of damp is more than acceptable in a caravan. If the humidity level regularly exceeds 70%, it can cause rust, mould, musty odour and rot. To remedy this, dehumidification must be carried regularly. 

If there is a high percentage of damp in a caravan, the high humidity levels can be due to internal or external factors.

Internal factors that can create dampness in a caravan:

  •   You have not emptied the water tanks and there has been a leak;
  •   You have left a blanket inside that has absorbed the humidity from the environment;
  •   You have unplugged the fridge but it was closed and it was damp and cold for a long period.

External factors that can create dampness in a caravan:

  • A window has been damaged by the sun, water and cold, it has given way and water has entered;
  • Puddles have been created in the ceiling and have ended up getting into the internal materials of the ceiling, by the fixing screws of the accessories or by the skylight.

Quick tips to avoid high humidity in a caravan

  1. A fundamental tip to avoid high humidity in a caravan is to carry out an inspection every year to avoid further damage. It is convenient to remember that when we observe humidity in our caravan, the filtration has occurred for a long time and it has been able to damage the structure without realizing what the cost of the repair can multiply. 

The structures of motorhomes are generally made of wood, which is very absorbent to water and ends up rotting.

  1. Visually check the condition of the exterior sealants. If we detect that they are cracked, broken or hardened, there is no doubt – we must replace them.
  1. Park the caravan (if possible) with a certain inclination, so that there is no stagnation of water on the roof. Many motorhomes have flat roofs and become pools of water. This causes the water level to rise on the roof and seep through skylights or profiles. 
  1. Although it may not seem like it, interior condensation is also a problem that can generate breakdowns. As in any building, airing is convenient. And if possible use dehumidifiers from time to time.
  1. Using awnings if we park a caravan outside is essential. But you have to use awnings that allow room to breathe or semi-awnings that only cover the roof. Because if the awnings are too tight we will cause external condensation.

More tips for preventing and dealing with dampness in a caravan

A recurrent issue in the cold season and when caravans are not as used is that they are affected by humidity. As you already know, this is one of the worst problems you can have since it will force us to put up with reforms, which are expensive and complicated to do if it affects the vehicle’s internal structure.

So that this winter you are fully prepared to avoid this setback, we leave you ten tips to prevent humidity and its effects on your travel companion.

  1. Place an anti-humidity dry-ball in the caravan.: One of the best solutions and one of the easiest to put into practice is to place this humidity sensor. The dry-ball is a plastic device that is designed to absorb it thanks to internal crystals, made up mostly of calcium chloride salts that are drying. This accessory does not produce gases, odours, or smoke and much less steam.
  1. Lean your caravan forward: The problem with winter is that it brings with it a good number of rains (in most of the territory). If we leave the trailer straight, puddles can be generated that end up getting into the internal materials of the roof and oxidizing the metal. 

To avoid this, the best we can do is place the harrows or some lifters at the rear of the vehicle by tilting it forward and causing the water to fall.

  1. Protect the doors and the locks: Another great damage that we can face at this time of year is that due to humidity, doors and locks tend to break or give way. This is because water has entered them and caused the material to expand. To prevent this from happening, it is best to cover the locks and door frames with insulating tape to ensure that water does not enter and that it can freeze.
  1. Empty the pipes and tanks: The most expert in caravanning will be hardened in this aspect but the most novice will surely not know that this is necessary. You must empty the water tanks, pipes and taps so that there are no water leaks and they end up generating mould behind the wall. 

In addition, if we forget this step it is possible that if the temperatures are very low, the water will freeze and this will cause some pipes to explode. The damage can be much more serious than you think.

  1. Use wheels chocks: When the shafts are subjected to low temperatures they tend to rust and therefore to be damaged. To prevent this from happening to us, the best thing we can do is chock the wheels so that the humidity of the rubber does not end up penetrating the metal and corrodes. In addition, this is important so that the rubber does not expand and contract excessively due to the change in temperatures.
  1. Prevents moisture from affecting the bass: The best way to achieve this is that we place studs ( or a waterproof tarpaulin under the wheels, especially if the ground is dirt. In this way, we will protect the front and underbody of the vehicle from soil moisture.
  1. Avoid leaving textiles near wet spots: This point is very important since textiles, especially blankets, produce condensation as they absorb humidity from the environment. If we leave it near the ceiling or a window or door, it will most likely absorb it and end up transferring it to the walls or furniture, producing mould behind the wall.
  1. Grease the caravan: Greasing the leg spindles, stabilizer and moving parts of the brakes is essential so that moisture does not penetrate and end up corroding the material in these areas of the vehicle. 

The best thing is that you cover them with grease to waterproof them and prevent them from spoiling. This trick also works very well for the silicone in the windows because due to time the silicone is also susceptible to contracting and expanding causing moisture to enter. To coat it, it is better to use neutral petroleum jelly.

  1. Ventilate your vehicle: It is essential to ventilate the caravan or motorhome every week, preferably once or twice in the morning. In addition to checking the status of the caravan or motorhome, by ventilating the area, we will ensure that there is no concentration of humidity. You must emphasise the bathrooms and bedrooms as they are smaller rooms and will have more condensation.
  1. Leave the aerators open: Another detail that we have to consider to ensure that humidity does not form in our vehicle is to leave the aerators empty. With this, we will ensure that the air is recycled and renewed day by day.

The bottom line

A well-maintained caravan or motorhome can be a travel companion for a long time and as you can see, preventing a high level of humidity in a caravan is not complicated at all. We hope these tips have helped you.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about the content. 

FAQ on What percentage of damp is acceptable in a caravan?

Will caravan damp dry out?

Yes, caravan damp will dry out in time. However, it is recommended to speed up the process with a dehumidifier, as too high humidity can be a great place for mould. 

Can damp be repaired in a caravan?

Yes, damp can be repaired in a caravan, but it is laborious and expensive work. You will have to replace most of the structure of the caravan. 

How do I keep my caravan damp-free?

To keep your caravan damp-free you must keep it ventilated at all times, shower outside when possible, cook with the windows/door open, don’t dry your laundry inside the caravan and invest in a good humidifier. 

How do I keep my caravan dry in the winter?

To keep your caravan dry in the winter make sure it is well ventilated. Use a garage dehumidifier for winter storage.

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