We’ve looked at many dehumidifiers to find the best dehumidifier for RV use. There are many options on the market but we’ve narrowed down our list to what we consider the 5 best options for RVs. Here are our top picks!
If you’re in a hurry check out our top pick: Ivation 13-Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier
What's the Best Dehumidifier for RV Use?
Whether you live in your RV year-round or are storing it for any length of time, a dehumidifier is a great investment.
Because RVs are used in an outdoor setting, they are highly prone to humidity and the negative effects that go along with it. Things like changes in temperature, cooking, showering, and washing dishes can all change the humidity level within your RV. As a result, damp air can settle on the walls and cause irreparable damage to the body and contents of your RV.
Due to this, finding the best dehumidifier for an RV is an important thing to do to care for your investment as well as your health.
In this article, we’re going to review the following dehumidifiers for RV use:
How does a dehumidifier work?
Air is circulated throughout the device so that water can be removed from the air. Basically, wet air goes in and dry air comes out. As a result, mold or mildew is far less likely to settle on your walls or anywhere else it is not wanted. In addition, it can help to keep everyone healthy and keep out any moisture-loving bug life.
Why should I use a dehumidifier?
Moisture problems within an RV cannot be solved simply by keeping the windows open. You need to be proactive when it comes to reducing the amount of humidity that exists in your RV. Otherwise, you will have a whole host of issues to deal with like bacteria growth and deterioration of your RV.
Dehumidifiers are quite simple to use. You only need to turn the device on and let it do its work. Most will only require you to empty the reservoir when it becomes full.
They come at a minimal cost for the amount of piece of mind they provide. From the minute you turn it on, the air surrounding you will become less humid. It will also provide you with a comfortable temperature while it’s running.
In addition, the portable units are great for RV living. Most models are quite light, making them easy to move around your RV when you need to.
A dehumidifier will allow you to handle the problem quickly and quietly, which brings me to my next most asked question.
Are dehumidifiers noisy?
While the older models did make some noise, this is not the case today. New dehumidifiers are a lot quieter while in use. Many also come with the option to lower the fan speed to further reduce the noise.
Where should I put a dehumidifier?
A portable dehumidifier would be a great option for an RV as it can be easily moved around throughout the unit. Although there is no “perfect spot” for the device in your RV, you will want to place it close to where the moisture is the most problematic.
How do I know what the humidity level is in my RV?
You can use a hygrometer to measure humidity levels. A hygrometer is like a thermometer but reads humidity, not temperature. Although many stand alone hygrometers also have a thermometer attached to them.
How long should I leave my dehumidifier running?
Your dehumidifier will perform best if it runs for a certain period of time, especially if it is being placed in a storage facility. It is a good idea to set the device to run on its automatic mode. This way, the dehumidifier will check the humidity levels in your RV without having to constantly check on it yourself.
When storing your RV, remember that the dehumidifier will use energy while in use. As such, you should check on it on a regular basis. You should look for an Energy Star unit with an Auto Power Saver feature to reduce your power bill.
At what humidity level should I keep my RV?
It’s best to keep the humidity levels between 30 and 50% to prevent mold from growing inside your RV.
What types of dehumidifiers are there?
Peltier dehumidifiers (also called thermo-electric) pull in damp air over of a cold heat sink. As the air passes over the cold surface, it condenses. The water released from the condensed air then drips down into the water tank. The dry air then blows out into the room.
- Portable and lightweight
- Low noise levels
- Little to no maintenance
- Cheaper than desiccants and compressors
- Only removes minimal amount of moisture daily (8 and 20 ounces per day)
- Can only be used in small rooms
Compressor dehumidifiers (also called refrigerant) use a compressed refrigerant to cool metal coils (evaporator coils). The hot humid air enters the dehumidifier and condenses on the cool coils. This leaves the air that comes out of the dehumidifier still warm but drier than when it entered.
- Lower power consumption
- Can collect large amounts of moisture
- Larger capacity than desiccants
- High performance dehumidifying larger spaces
- Do not work very well at temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit
- Higher noise levels
- Heavier than desiccant models
Unlike compressor dehumidifiers, desiccant dehumidifiers have no compressor and don’t use a cold surface to extract the excess moisture from the air. Instead, they have a desiccant wheel that absorbs the moisture from the air, in a similar way to a sponge.
- Easy to use
- Requires no power
- Removes little moisture daily
- Cannot be used in large spaces
There are 2 types of moisture absorbers; disposable and rechargeable. They are inexpensive and don’t have to be plugged-in but they remove very little moisture per day and are not ideal for large spaces. They work best in cupboards and closets.
- Lower noise levels
- Not as heavy as compressors
- Can work at temperatures as low as 33 degree Fahrenheit
- Higher power consumption
- Don’t work well at higher temperatures
Other ways to help reduce moisture in your RV
Wipe-off the condensation on the windows and countertops as soon as you notice it.
Eliminate the RV Condensation Source
You can control and reduce many different moisture sources inside your RV to help prevent the formation of condensation. For example, when cooking, make sure you cover all pots and pans to reduce the water vapors from escaping. Also, hang your wet clothes outside to dry instead of inside to prevent increases in humidity levels.
Ventilating your RV
To ensure water vapor gets released from the bathroom after showering and the kitchen when cooking, we suggest opening a window for a few minutes to air out the inside of your RV.
Increasing Inside Temperature
Cold and wet weather may increase humidity levels inside your RV. If possible, run the thermostat in your RV a little warmer than the outside temperature. This will help reduce the levels of condensation inside the RV. A programmable RV digital thermostat can assist with climate control.
You can buy a kit such as 3M insulator kit at any home improvement and RV supply stores. They usually come with plastic sheeting and double sided tape. All you have to do is run the tape around the window and then stick the plastic to it. You can then shrink the plastic sheet to tighten it with a hair dryer. This will create a barrier between the window and the humid air, which will reduce the humidity created by the condensation. Plus, the plastic sheeting is pretty much invisible to the eye so your views out of the windows won’t be obstructed.
How To Choose The Best Dehumidifier For RV Use
While any dehumidifier will work well, a great option for RV travel or storage is one that is small enough to fit in the space you have. You need a unit that will get the job done while running as quietly as possible.
Models do exist that do not require electricity to operate. Meanwhile others highlight being free of any noise. These typically have a lower capacity and will have to empty the reservoir more often.
The geographical location in which you store your RV will also have an effect on the kind of dehumidifier you will want to buy.
A location with normal humidity levels will do fine with a dehumidifier of up to 15 pint. An excessively humid location will need a larger device of 30 pint +.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Dehumidifier for your RV
Space to dehumidify
A dehumidifier’s size is determined by its total capacity to remove moisture. The capacity is measured by how many pints of the dehumidifier can remove from the air in 24 hours. To pick the right dehumidifier, you need to know the square footage of the room you want to dehumidify and the amount of moisture present in the air.
How do you plan to use your dehumidifier, and how often? Will it live in you RV permanently, or do you intend to use it in your home as well, and move it to the RV and back? Some units weigh as much as 30 lbs, so I recommend always keeping weight in mind. Wheels and a carry handles are a handy feature on larger dehumidifiers.
A dehumidifier with a small water-collection tank makes it easier to carry around. But, if the tank is too small, you’ll have to empty it several times a week. Units with larger tubs need to be emptied less often. These would be a better choice if you plan on being away from your RV for longer periods. You can also look at a unit with a draining hose outlet which allows you to leave the unit unattended for longer.
Manufacturers use different extraction rates depending on the temperature and relative humidity. Generally, compressor dehumidifiers have a higher extraction rate.
Features to look out for:
This measures the humidity levels, and will automatically switch the unit off when the levels are optimal.
The laundry setting helps dry clothes by operating the unit continuously. To dry your clothes, you simply need to place your damp clothes onto a clothes airer or rack, and place the dehumidifier nearby.
This is a feature that comes in handy if you are away from the RV for an extended period of time. It enables you to set the unit to run for a selected number of hours per day.
Unless you live in a climate that is warm year-round, consider a unit with an auto-defrost feature. Auto-defrost prevents wasted energy and protects evaporator coils. This will spare you the expense of having to replace a unit damaged from iced coils.
Below you will find a listing of five great options for dehumidifiers that would work well in your RV.
Top 5 Best Dehumidifier For RV Use - Reviews
EcoSeb DD122EA-CLASSIC Desiccant Dehumidifier with Ionizer
In addition, it comes with a “laundry mode,” allowing the unit to act as a dryer. It typically takes between two and four hours to dry a load of laundry.
Its ergonomic shape help to reduce the amount of spilling that can occur. It features a handle for easy transportation and the side tank easily slides out so you do not have to carry the entire unit each time it needs to be emptied. In addition, a hose can be added to the back to allow the unit to drain on its own directly into a sink.
- Whisper quiet
- Automatic shut off
- Anti-tilt protection
- Heat temperature protection
- Laundry mode
- Side tank for easy emptying
- No timer and digital display
- Moisture removal: Up to 15 pints/day
- Tank Capacity 4.2 pints (2L)
- Power consumption [H/L]: 615W/330W
- Noise Level: Low (34 dBa)
- Dimensions: 6.9 x 11.4 x 18.7 inches
- Weight 13.2 Lbs
Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier
The Eva-dry has seen a revamping recently, works in areas up to 333 cubic feet, and does not require a battery or cord to use.
Instead, a renewable silica gel technology is used to quickly and quietly absorb surrounding moisture in the air, sucking the water into silica gel beads. An indicator window will change in color from orange to green as the humidity level decreases. It is important to note that these are not actual lights.
Instead, the unit makes use of crystals, which can sometimes be difficult to see the color of, so you will need to look closely.
It can take a total of two to four weeks for the unit to reach its capacity of between four and six ounces. At this point, the crystals should be green and you can plug the unit in for somewhere between eight and ten hours in a well ventilated area. When the crystals return to their original orange color it is ready to be used again. Essentially, this process is allowing the silica gel beads to dry out.
Having two small children of my own, I really enjoy that this unit is non-toxic, making it a great choice for people with children or pets.
Even Though the Eva-dry is not efficient in large spaces, it is still works well in the bathroom and in the cupboards.
- works for 10 years
- 100 percent renewable
- no battery or cord
- can take between 2-4 weeks to collect six ounces
- takes 8-10 hours to recharge
- Dimensions: 9 x 8.25 x 2.88 inches
- Noise Level: None
- Weight: 0.01 ounces
- Capacity: 4-8 oz (lasts 20-30 days before renewing)
- Room Size: small (approx. 50 sq ft)
Ivation 13-Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier
This compact unit is great for use during the colder months as it tends to slightly increase the temperature of the surrounding air. The noiseless operation works well in spaces as large as 270 square feet. It features a handle for easy carrying, making it a great portable option for RV users.
The Ivation 13 also has an automatic shut-off feature for optimal safety. This operates when it appears the unit is going to tilt over as well as when the reservoir is full to prevent any spillage.
The reservoir will hold up to half a gallon of water. A connection hose is also included if you choose to have it hooked up to a sink for continual drainage.
The main difference between this option and the compressor type is the temperature range at which they will operate. A compressor dehumidifier may have problems running at temperatures below 50 degrees. This dehumidifier will operate between a wide range of temperatures, from 33 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees.
In addition it uses about 250 watts on the low setting, which is important to keep in mind for RV use.
We have used this one while storing our RV around the Chesapeake Bay, which has constant humidity, year-round. Despite losing power a few times during its stay due to several storms in the area, the unit was still working when we went back to check on it. Imagine our surprise when everything was dry – even the canvas!
In addition, it is a great energy saver, I have not seen much of an increase in our energy bill at all since we bought it.
- automatic shut-off
- connection hose
- can operate between 33 and 104 degrees
- May increase the temperature of your room
- Moisture Removal: Up to 13 pints per day [68°F/60% RH]
- Tank Capacity: 0.5 gal [3.8 pints]
- Power consumption [H/L]: 470W/280W
- Noise Level: Low
- Weight: 13.8 lb
- Dimensions: 10.6 x 6.8 x 17.35 inches
- Room Size: Up to 270 sq ft
Pro Breeze PB-03-US Electric Mini Dehumidifier
This unit is small and lightweight, yet is able to collect as much as 18 ounces of water each day. The water tank can hold as much as 52 ounces, meaning you will only have to empty the tank a couple times each week.
The unit works well in rooms up to 220 square feet in size. While it works great between temperatures of 59 degrees Fahrenheit and 86 degrees, it will not work when in colder areas that are below 41 degrees.
Because it makes use of thermo-electric cooling technology, the machine does not need a compressor to work. As a result, it is incredibly quiet, making it a great choice for RV living. The unit can be run constantly day and night without any interruption to your life noise-wise. We have been unable to hear it from even just two feet away!
Even though this technology is said to be energy efficient, it can cause a bit of a dramatic rise in your monthly bill. Although this can be the case with many dehumidifiers, this is something to be aware of. The Pro Breeze also features an automatic shut-off which turns the motor off when the reservoir is full. At this point a LED light will turn on, notifying you that the water collected needs to be drained.
This unit is a great choice size-wise but some people with shorter fingernails or arthritis may find it difficult to empty the reservoir. It is not designed to have the top lid come off. You must pull off a small black plug and then tip the device upside down to drain it, something that may be difficult to do for some. A collection hose is not an option for this unit.
- Compact & Lightweight
- Automatic shut-off
- Does not work below 41 degrees
- Difficult to empty the reservoir
- Dimensions: 6.6 x 9 x 12.69 inches
- Dehumidification: Up to 18 ounces per day
- Power consumption [H/L]: 470W/280W
- Noise Level: Low
- Weight: 5.1 pounds
- Tank Capacity: 52 ounces
- Room Size: Up to 250 sq ft
Ivation 30 Pint Energy Star Dehumidifier
The Ivation compressor dehumidifier removes up to 30 pints from the air per day which is the equivalent of 4 gallons of beer! It can remove moisture in areas up to 2,000 sq/ft.
This is an Energy Star dehumidifier which absorbs moisture with minimal energy consumption. It is suitable for medium to large spaces. This makes it a great unit for larger RV’s or if you are in a location with high humidity.
This dehumidifier has built-in wheels and handles that make it easy to carry in and out of the RV. It is also built with an auto shut off feature when the tank is full to let you know when it’s time to empty it. If you don’t want to deal with the emptying of the tank, it also has a gravity-fed drain hose outlet for continuous draining. Note that the hose is not included and needs to be purchased separately.
The Ivation comes with great features: A long 6-foot power cord, adjustable fan speed and 24 hour timer. It also has a frost sensor and LCD display with built-in humidity meter. This is a pretty useful feature as it enables you to set your ideal levels and receive important filter and reservoir alerts .
We believe the Ivation compressor dehumidifier is a great choice for larger campers or RVs. You can place it in the middle of the camper to keep the moisture out from the bedroom to the bunkhouse.
- Energy Star Certified
- Continuous drainage feature
- A bit noisy
- May warm up the room where it’s being used
- Moisture Removal: Up to 30 pints/day (70 gallons)
- Tank Capacity: 1.3 gallon
- Room Size: Up to 1500 sq ft
- Power consumption [H/L]: 650W-580W
- Noise Level: Medium
- Dimensions: 14.2 x 9.9 x 20.1 inches
- Weight: 31 pounds
Life in an RV means you are accomplishing all your daily tasks in a small and enclosed space. That’s why you need a small dehumidifier that, while not taking up much space, is capable of putting out a lot of power. As such, we like the Ivation 13-Pint Desiccant Dehumidifier for RV use. It is portable, noiseless, and has a large reservoir. It can also be hooked up to a connection hose if you are forgetful or too busy to be bothered with another daily chore.
Whatever you decide in the end, it is a good idea to have a dehumidifier in your RV. These little devices can save you thousands in the end, from repairing mold damage to hospital bills for your own health. Happy RVing!