Your RV should feel like home. An RV with condensation on the windows can reduce your ability to see the beautiful open road – which we think is part of the reason for travels in the first place. RVs can also get damp due to excess moisture caused by humidity and rainfall.
Does it help that you can fix this issue and make your RV feel nice again? Many manufacturers have responded to the issue of moist RVs by developing battery powered dehumidifiers.
Battery powered 12 volt dehumidifiers are great for small spaces like your RV. Their ability to run on battery greatly helps reduce the electrical load of our RV too.
Why a 12 volt dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier uses a fan that is consistently on, trying to gather air from your home and remove the moisture and place it in a tank via a filter. The non-stop use of fan can be a gradual drain on an RV battery or generator, especially considering that the problem might be consistent enough to require long term use.
A 12 volt also keeps cords from cluttering your RV floor and frees up outlets for more important things.
A battery powered dehumidifier can sit anywhere, too. Rather than a clunky power supply adding weight to a regular dehumidifier, you could put the dehumidifier in a spot where it’s out of the way, while also adding it in just the right place to get rid of moisture.
Why not a plug in dehumidifier?
Besides all the electricity they use – regular dehumidifiers can be big and heavy. While they suck lots of moisture out of the air – you probably don’t need it for an average RV.
A regular dehumidifier also has a bucket and in our experience, that bucket can be really heavy once it’s filled with water. If you don’t want to empty out a heavy bucket into the bathtub or sink (or outside to avoid filling your gray tank), then get a battery or cordless.
What makes 12 volt dehumidifiers the best?
A few things make a battery powered dehumidifier worthwhile compared to a plug in dehumidifier.
Sicilia Gel Desiccants
A renewable dehumidifier must be powered by a non-toxic silica gel that can be recharged repeatedly. The more the silica gel surface area, the more moisture the porous beads can draw and retain and send to a bucket to dump.
Ease of Use
A rechargeable dehumidifier should be really easy to use and have buttons that are clearly visible. In other words, the dehumidifier should be readily adjustable and understandable.
Our picks for a rechargeable dehumidifier
This one is really simple. It has just two lights that indicate wet and dry. The Eva-Dry is small enough to throw into the bathroom or even a gym bag to suck the moisture out of the air.
The sicilia gel that captures moisture changes colors as it works so you know when it’s ready to go again.
The Eva-Dry does not need to be emptied iven the silica gel, which traps moisture.
The Eva-Dry has a couple negative points – while the battery lasts for use of 10-12 hours per month. The battery does take a while to charge, so you’ll want to either plan for a time when moisture isn’t an issue or have two them. For under $20, this is a steal.
From the same company, you get a more powerful dehumidifier. The 500 retains a bit more moisture at 6 to 8 punches and uses the same silica gel to retain moisture. The E500 also has a 5 year warranty and 10 year usage life.
The E500 also adds a built in hook so you can put it on a wall hook if needed, instead of putting it up against a wall on the table.
Pro Breeze PB-04-US
The Pro Breeze reduces moisture in the air by 5 ounces before needing recharging. This isn’t a lot, but it’s a good start. The Pro Breeze is spill proof and is built well enough to not be destroyed in the event it falls.
Pro Breeze uses the same silica gel technology as Eva Dry, which also indicates via colors when recharging is needed rather than failing to stop moisture without communicating.
The warranty is not as great as the E500 though a one year warranty is still appreciated. Given the sturdy build on the Pro Breeze, it’s child and pet safe – even if they knock it off the wall, it’s still safe.
Hypersorbent OSG-40 Dehumidifer
This one is really small – literally the size of a deck of cards. The casing is still aluminum and tough.
This also uses silica gel technology and can hold up to 40% of it’s own weight in water.
The Hypersorbent can be recharged by placing it on your oven. Follow the instructions for this, as it’s among the methods of drying out the dehumidifier.
The biggest issue here is that given the small size, this one doesn’t absorb much area. Realistically, this is good for one room.
You get a lifetime warranty too – which is really cool and rare.
Battery powered versus passive
Some of these work even without a 12V battery. A passive humidifier gathers moisture more slowly and works better in a small area, but really only requires emptying via charging in a wall outlet or baking.
These are a bit less work since they don’t require a battery, and are often even cheaper because they don’t have moving parts and doesn’t require battery replacement.
Either one is great for your RV. If you want faster removal, consider battery-powered so the dehumidifier actively attempts to remove moisture from the air rather than waiting for it to come.
Passive also provides an even smaller footprint on average because it doesn’t need room for a removable battery.
A battery powered or passive dehumidifier can be very convenient. You don’t need a large, humming fan for a dehumidifier in your RV – nor the rather significant weight of hauling one around.
Best of all, they are fairly cheap compared to a huge regular dehumidifier.