One of the biggest issues that all caravan owners have to face is that of excessive moisture and mould. At Caravan Helper we have already covered how you can measure the humidity levels, or levels of damp in your caravan and the effects of excessive moisture and how to deal with mould. Therefore, we thought it was time to provide help for caravan accessories for their caravan out so it is able to prevent the problem of mould before it starts.
To do that, you need some kind of moisture trap or dehumidifier (it may actually be best using both, but we will come to that later). This is particularly the case when your caravan is in storage over the winter months, when excess moisture in the stale air has a chance to settle on the interior. The perfect breeding ground for mould.
Below we have put together a list of some of the best ones suitable for use in caravans or motorhomes. They are essential the same as a home dehumidifier but we feel these are the ones that are best suited.
Caravan Dehumidifiers (Some Choices)
Although it may not look like much, we think the Unibond Aero 360-degrees Moisture Absorber is ideal for caravans. It utilises a very natural process of absorbing the excess humidity present in the air.
The air circulates through the device and it has a tab that is made fully-patented anti-odour tech and incredibly absorbent crystals that helps convert the humidity into a salt-based solution. The resulting solution is what is collected in the reservoir.
As it does not need electricity to power it, it is very ecologically-friendly. What’s more, if you use it while you are in your caravan, you won’t even notice it because it makes little to no noise. There is even a special mechanism that protects against accidental knocks so that it doesn’t spill out. These are sometimes available as a twin pack as well.
Okay, so there’s quite a price jump from the above item to this one. However, if you are looking for something a little more robust, then this is a great choice. If you are worried about it running constantly and using more energy than is necessary, don’t. It comes equipped with a digital control display and you can actually set the level of moisture you want to extract, between 40 to 80% humidity. This means that once the level has been reached, the machine will turn itself off.
You also benefit from a 24-hour timer, that means you can set the actual time it will operate. Regardless of the settings you have in place, once the water collection tank is full, it will switch itself off.
When you have to deal with larger volumes of water extraction, there is an overflow pipe included in the package.
With a wheeled base and all of the great features above, this is a great option to consider, even with its high-ticket price.
Pro Breeze may not be the first manufacturer you opt for when you are looking at electrical appliances, but their products are some of the most popular available at the moment. It looks relatively simple in design but is very small, compact and portable.
It has a 500ml water tank and is capable of extracting as much as 250ml of water from the air a day. As it uses thermo-electric Peltier tech, it does not need a compressor and offers whisper-quiet functionality that makes it perfect for caravans, particularly if you are using it while staying in yours.
Although it doesn’t have an adjustable humidity level setting or anything as fancy as that, it does have an automatic shut-off feature that means once the tank is full, it will switch itself off, to avoid overfilling.
There is a simple plug that can be pulled out of the removable water reservoir when you need to empty it. A perfect, lightweight and cost-effective option.
This little 500ml PureMate is a great option for removing moisture, mould and damp from just about anywhere, including your caravan. Similarly, to the above, it features thermoelectric cooling, so does not need a compressor and operates with next to no noise at all. Again, this does not feature any adjustable humidity settings or anything as fancy as digital display control but does come equipped with an automatic shut-off feature that prevents the water reservoir from overfilling.
The next item is another that does not look like anything special. That being said, it has been designed and produced by Kampa, a company that many caravanners opt for when buying various accessories for their tourers.
This is a simplistic device that uses Damp Buster Calcium Chloride Crystals to absorb water vapour found in the air. It can actually absorb around 3 times its weight in water and each refill will work effectively for four months before it needs to be replaced. Similarly, to other items on our list, the moisture is absorbed by the crystals and changed into a salty brine that collects in the container so that it can be easily and safely poured out.
The last item on our list is more of a moisture trap than anything else. However, it performs the exact same job as a dehumidifier and offers a more energy-efficient and budget-friendly solution to dealing with excessive levels of moisture in the air of your caravan.
There is not much to say about it really, it is a small box that your setup in an area where there is lots of moisture present in the air. It does not need to be switched on and you don’t need to worry about it overfilling.
What are Dehumidifiers?
They are electrical (though there are non-electrical models too) appliances that help to reduce and manage the humidity level in the air. They are used for both comfort and health reasons, but more importantly with regards to caravans, can remove musty odours and stop mildew and mould from growing.
That will probably not be news to anyone, but it is still worth establishing the basics. Furthermore, there are some people who misunderstand the process and these great appliances.
Some Common Misunderstandings
One of the most common misunderstandings people have regarding caravan dehumidifiers is that because caravans, even in storage, have fresh air constantly streaming inside them they will always be working. Unless you buy a dehumidifier that does not have a cut-off feature, it will act just the same as it does in your home. Obviously, it is up to you to make sure that the windows and doors are properly sealed, but if it is the right kind it should switch off when the pre-decided level of humidity in your caravan has been achieved.
Another misunderstanding of how they work that many people seem to have and believe is that because it extracts moisture from the air it can actually make the atmosphere inside your caravan too dry. The belief that this will then cause the wood in your tourer to crack is complete hogwash. Particularly as you often have the option to set the level of humidity.
Different Types of Caravan Dehumidifiers, Which is Best?
As we mentioned before, you can actually get both electric dehumidifiers and non-electric models. There are some good points and bad points about both, so it’s best to consider these with an open mind before you choose one, the other or perhaps even both.
While the main benefit of non-electric models is that they do not require any electricity to run and therefore do not generate running costs, they are often too small and therefore, ineffective for running over winter.
When it comes to electric dehumidifiers, there’s actually two you can choose from:
- Compressor Dehumidifiers – these work in a similar way to fridges and draw in the air which is then passed through a filter and cold coils. The cold coils cause the water present in the air to condense and drip into the reservoir inside. Afterwards, the air is then reheated and blown out again.
- Desiccant Dehumidifiers – these use a desiccant material, that is materials that absorb water. One of the most commonly used desiccants in these kinds of dehumidifiers is Zeolite, that works similarly to silica gel at absorbing water from the air. A built-in fan helps to direct the air inside the unit and through a series of wheels that hold the desiccant and slowly rotate to dry the air. Moisture collected by the desiccant is extracted when a portion of the wheel that is not used in drying the air is heated.
Desiccant dehumidifiers will generally work in areas where there are temperatures as low as 1-degree Celsius and are best for caravans, compared to compressor dehumidifiers that appear to function better in warmer areas because the coils have a much harder time extracting water when the temperature is lower than 10-degrees Celsius.
It depends on your setup of course, but we think a combination of non-electric and electric dehumidifiers might be a great option. That way you don’t always have to rely on electricity to tackle the problem of damp in your caravan, but can invest in a couple of smaller moisture traps that perform a very similar job to the electric-powered devices.
If you are going to regularly check on your caravan during winter, moisture traps could be an easier option to deal with, even if they fill up, you will be there to replace them.
There you have it guys, our guide to some of the best options for caravan dehumidifiers. We know we have not exactly provided an exhaustive list of products, but we are sure you will be able to find the best model for your setup. Even if you don’t, we hope we’ve pushed you in the right direction.