Prevent Mold From Growing In Your RV This Winter
Mold is the nemesis of every RV owner. It smells bad, causes health issues, contaminates the living space, and can be very difficult to completely remove. You can usually spot it before it gets too bad if you use your RV regularly, but what about when you store it for long periods of time? Let’s cover how to keep mold out of your camper during storage.
Clean before storing
Mold thrives in damp, unclean areas. Even small spills and stains can introduce mold spores into the RV environment. This is why it’s so important to do a thorough cleaning of your camper before storing it. It’s a good idea to do this anyway so you won’t come back to a mess next time you want to use it!
Begin by removing all food and water from your vehicle (except for maybe shelf-stable canned goods). Dump all the holding tanks as well and thoroughly clean them out so there is no bacteria or standing water left behind. Wipe down all your work surfaces with antibacterial wipes/sprays and make sure you pay special attention to cabinets, closets, or other closed-off and dark areas.
Reduce moisture/humidity in RV
Moisture leads to mold, so the best way to prevent mold in your camper is to keep it as dry as possible during storage. Once everything is clean, thoroughly dry every surface. Pay extra close attention to the kitchen and bathroom because these are often sources of moisture.
Check under the sinks for any leaky pipes and blow out your water lines. Double check for any leaks or signs of standing water.
Run a dehumidifier
Going along with the point above, it’s a good idea to set up your RV with a dehumidifier while it’s in storage. If you’re storing your RV indoors (whether in a garage or a storage facility), see if it’s possible to run a dehumidifier occasionally. This will help prevent moisture from accumulating and will make the interior less receptive to mold.
Use covers that won’t trap moisture
If you are planning to store your RV outdoors or in an open-air storage shed, you’ll need to know how to keep mold out of your camper during storage. Campers that are left outside are more exposed to shifting levels of humidity and temperature fluctutations.
RV covers are always good to use when you leave your camper outside, but you will need a cover with certain features for long-term outdoor storage. In addition to providing protection against snow, bugs, and dirt, this cover should help regulate the moisture in your RV.
RVs that are stored outdoors for long periods of time should have covers that won’t trap moisture. These covers need to be somewhat breathable so the vehicle can release moisture that might accumulate over time. If you keep your RV in a garage or an indoor storage facility, you won’t need to worry about this step.
This water repellent RV cover is a good option to keep in mind!
If you want to know how to keep mold out of your camper during storage, you need to understand that different climates and times of year call for different solutions. Generally, it’s best to seal up your RV during storage so that no pests or dirt can get in.
But if mold is one of your main concerns, then you may want to leave a window or vent cracked open. Doing this helps your RV get some airflow and ventilation. You can also run your RV’s heater or A/C so that the air doesn’t become stale and moist.
If you live in an area that is particularly wet or humid, cracking a window during storage isn’t a good idea. You can use this solution if it’s warm and dry outside, so it’s best suited for summer storage. During the fall, spring, or winter, it usually isn’t a good idea.
Use indoor storage (if possible)
One of the best ways to keep mold out of your camper during storage is to use an indoor storage facility. These can be somewhat expensive and may have limited availability, so it isn’t always an option. However, if it is a practical solution for you, these can be awesome!
These are temperature-regulated and won’t have fluctuating levels of humidity. If your RV is constantly warming up and cooling down, that’s an opportunity for condensation to form and mold to grow! But in a storage facility, you can rest assured that your RV will be kept safe and dry until you’re ready to reclaim it!
If you can’t afford an indoor facility or just want to do it yourself, you can also store your RV in a garage, barn, or other building. This can also be a good solution because it will give you a bit more control over the situation, and you’ll be able to run the A/C and dehumidifier as often as you want.
Spread desiccants around the camper
Finally, as an extra protective measure, you can spread some desiccants around your RV before closing it up for storage. Desiccants are materials that absorb moisture from the surrounding air and prevent small areas from becoming too humid.
Place desiccants around areas that might let in outside moisture. For instance, place them near sinks, windows, and vents. It’s also smart to introduce desiccants to dark and enclosed areas like cabinets, storage spaces, and the space below the sink. Mold thrives in warm, dark places, so it’s best to think ahead and suck out all the moisture you can.
You can use desiccants like silica packets, bentonite clay, and diatomaceous earth. There are also RV-specific options like DampRid Fragrance Free Disposable Moisture Absorber. It’s easy to scatter some desiccants around and then clean them up when you’re ready to head out in your camper again.
Dealing with mold is never fun, so hopefully this guide helped you discover how to keep mold out of your camper during storage.
Track your RV maintenance
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.