Dehumidifiers are an RV’s best friend. They’re essential for controlling moisture levels and helping you maintain your investment.
But there are so many options on the market. It’s no surprise that buyers are often overwhelmed with their choices.
We’ve compiled a list of the best and worst dehumidifiers for your RV so that you can be confident with your pick.
Why Do You Need RV Dehumidifiers?
Humidity is one of the most critical factors affecting the lifetime of your RV. Whether it’s on the road year-round or kept in storage, increased moisture can rot wood and corrode metal inside your recreational vehicle.
In addition to structural damage, high humidity encourages mold growth. This is bad for your camper and your health.
Outside weather conditions certainly affect internal humidity levels, but so do things like indoor cooking, showering, and breathing. In fact, the average person emits about 23 ounces of water by sweating and breathing every day.
An indoor weather station is great for knowing the humidity inside your motorhome. But that’s just the first step. You’ll also need to buy a dehumidifier to keep those levels in check. Plenty of options are out there to meet your needs.
Pro Tip: Use the Drivin’ and Vibin’ guide on How to Control Humidity in an RV Camper.
Key Features to Keep in Mind When Buying a Dehumidifier
Most RV dehumidifiers fall into one of two categories. First are rechargeable desiccant models. These are good for small, enclosed spaces, but you’ll need more than one to control humidity throughout your camper. Desiccant models are usually more expensive and require more power to run.
Then there are refrigerant, or compressor, models. They’re slightly cheaper and consume less power than desiccants, but they’re bulkier and tend to be noisy. The best thing about refrigerants is that they should only take one for your space.
You’ll want to look for some key features when shopping for the right model. For example, some come with humidistats that work like thermostats. They automatically turn your unit off when the air reaches your desired level of water vapor.
Timers are helpful for when you’ll be away, and want to ensure your unit turns on and off at certain times. Some devices also come with a laundry setting that can reduce the time it takes your clothes to dry on the line. Adjustable louvers are handy for redirecting the airflow from your vents. However, they aren’t essential.
Finally, you’ll want to consider the size of your RV before making a purchase. It’s generally better to buy a unit that works for bigger spaces. So even if your camper is 250 square feet, you’ll want a dehumidifier that can handle as much as 1000 square feet.
5 of the Best and Worst RV Dehumidifiers
Trying to pick between all the dehumidifiers for your RV can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst on the market.
#1 HomeLabs Energy Star Dehumidifier
Our top pick is the HomeLabs Energy Star. This bad boy can suck 50 pints of water out of a 1,500-square-foot space daily. With a tank of over 350 fluid ounces, it only needs to be emptied about once a week. Plus, an alarm will alert you when it’s getting full!
This model is quiet and energy efficient. It’s easy to use and a breeze to clean. But there are a couple of drawbacks.
The HomeLabs dehumidifier weighs in at just over 30 pounds. It’s also pretty bulky. You’ll want to make it won’t take up too much space in your RV.
#2 Eva-dry Mini Dehumidifier
If you want a more economical device, the battery-operated Eva-dry Mini might be right up your alley. It’s super compact and weighs only one pound. This model can only hold 16 ounces of water, making it a cinch to empty.
However, you’ll need more than one of these dehumidifiers if you have a large RV. Fortunately, they’re priced to sell so you won’t break the bank.
Minis are also super energy efficient. You should only need to recharge the batteries every 20 to 30 days.
#3 ProBreeze Electric Dehumidifier
For small RVs in areas with lower humidity, ProBreeze Electric dehumidifiers are another great choice. It’s small, lightweight, and nearly silent. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest units on the market.
Perhaps the most convenient trait is its automatic shut-off feature that kicks in when the basin is full. A small light will come on, indicating it’s no longer running. That way, you won’t have to worry about wasting energy.
Pro Tip: We uncovered more about Why You Need an RV Dehumidifier (and the Most Portable Options)
#4 Do-It-Yourself Calcium Chloride Desiccants
Calcium chloride, or calcium salt, is edible in minimal amounts. It’s commonly used in canned and pickled foods for flavor and preservation. This chemical is also used in desiccant dehumidifiers to suck moisture out of the air. And it can be highly toxic if not used carefully.
Long-term exposure to calcium chloride can cause serious lung damage. Not to mention, acute exposure can cause chemical burns to the skin and respiratory system. Even if the compound seems contained, microparticles from DIY dehumidifiers can easily get into your RV’s air.
Do yourself a favor, and avoid making your own here. The risks aren’t worth it, especially with many affordable alternatives.
#5 Non-Electric Dehumidifiers for RVs
Non-electric options are passive systems that collect moisture from the air. They’re often placed in the wettest areas, like bathrooms and kitchens. But they don’t actively remove water vapor. At best, they reduce humidity by fractions of what an electric unit can do.
You’ve already invested time and money into your RV, and purchasing a decent dehumidifier will help retain its value. Sure, bags of activated charcoal are cheap, but you get what you pay for. After all, it may eventually affect your personal health.
Protect Your RV With the Best Dehumidifiers
Modern compressor units rate highest on our list of RV dehumidifiers. They bypass harmful chemicals and use less power than you might think!
If you’re in the market, remember to consider the size of your rig and the climate you’ll spend time in. And when in doubt, it’s safer to choose a unit that can handle more moisture.
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