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Old 12-31-2019, 01:38 PM   #1
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Talking HEY! I'M BACK!!! now how do I fix the front condensation problem?

Hey everybody!!! Did you miss me??? Guess what the Grand Design was a bad idea .... very very stressful year.

Thank heaven we didn't sell the Fun Finder when we sold the house! We have been living in it for the past two weeks. I had cleaned it out and removed almost all the mods in preparation to sell it. Well, now I'm having to put them all back LOL .... apparently this is our home for the foreseeable future.

Now to my problem. We have a 2008 189FBR - no slides, and the bed is built wall to wall in the front of the trailer.

It has been very cold here in Texas - the front wall is VERY wet due to condensation. I have set up a fan and a dehumidifer, which will hopefully aleviate most of the problem.

However - there seems to be a metal framing member that runs across at the level of the bottom of the front window. It accumulates condensation badly - pic shown

On one side, I have removed the molding and you can actually see the metal frame. 2nd pic - I put some packing tape over it to see if that would help

If I cover the entire front wall with a piece of styrofoam insulation - will that improve the situation? or merely trap moisture between the wall and the styro?

What have you done to aleviate the condensation? Hopefully, we'll be going to FL where it's warmer, but until then, I need to figure something out. (especially since I sleep on the cold wet side of the bed LOL)

Glad to be back

Liz
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:50 AM   #2
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Welcome back!

As for the condensation, the cold is your problem. That metal strip is cold due to outside temps and so moisture in the inside air is condensing on it. The dehumidifier should help a lot. You likely don't need to cover the whole wall with styrofoam (unless you're still getting a lot of condensation on it), just that metal strip. And make it as airtight as possible, the idea being to keep the humid inside air away from the metal.

Ultimately, moving to a warmer area should be the best fix.
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Old 01-01-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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What LJAZ said!
Even a thin strip of styrofoam covering the metal area will help block the cold transfer from the outside.

Sorry about your stressful year but glad y'all are back, missed your postings.

Alan
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Old 01-01-2020, 11:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LJAZ View Post
Welcome back!

As for the condensation, the cold is your problem. That metal strip is cold due to outside temps and so moisture in the inside air is condensing on it. The dehumidifier should help a lot. You likely don't need to cover the whole wall with styrofoam (unless you're still getting a lot of condensation on it), just that metal strip. And make it as airtight as possible, the idea being to keep the humid inside air away from the metal.

Ultimately, moving to a warmer area should be the best fix.
Yeah, I vote for Florida

Liz
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Old 01-01-2020, 12:14 PM   #5
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UPDATE: MUCH IMPROVED!

The problem is that I have a large husband, and a low bunk. Together, they cause my side (behind the husband, under the bunk) to be a very airless area. Couple that with the fact that I breathe out water vapor all night - it's a condensation nightmare. I guess I need to come up with a solution other than me not breathing (although some days, my husband would vote for that one )

So, I wedged the mattress away from the wall, and set up a fan to blow along that side of the mattress, and this morning there was NO CONDENSATION at all on the walls, and not as much on the window.

Another problem is the window itself. I replaced the factory solid pane window with a three panel window that has a slider in the middle. This has been problematic from the start, and I'm going to replace it with a solid pane this weekend. I'm also going to insulate the rock guard.

I do want to put some insulation along that wall, mostly for ... um ... insulation LOL it's very cold on that side of the bed. But at least it's not damp anymore.

I am thinking that I can remove the props I have pushing the mattress away from the wall, as long as I keep the fan blowing, it should be fine, since the mattress isn't wet at the head/foot areas. I'm going to caulk that crack where you can see the aluminum when I replace the window.

So, I guess this has been entirely a non-issue. Well a lot of my posts are non-issues LOL but at least it gave me an excuse to wave hi at everyone and say WE'RE SO GLAD WE'RE BACK - WE LOVE OUR LITTLE FUN-FINDER!!!!! We were actually very sad to move out of it. Just wish it had a back window.

Liz
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:15 PM   #6
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Welcome back even with issues to contend with.

How cold is cold in Texas?
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:51 AM   #7
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Liz -- yes, we did miss you! We are glad you are back.

In very cold conditions (in the low 20s and lower), we have had the same condensation issue -- I rigged up a string of fishing line even with the bottom of the window, and we suspend a bath towel on the string to absorb the moisture. It works. Not glamorous, though.

We also put a removable foam panel over the window at night. It definitely cuts down on the loss of heat -- but it did not stop the condensation on the lower window frame.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:37 AM   #8
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Liz -- yes, we did miss you! We are glad you are back.

In very cold conditions (in the low 20s and lower), we have had the same condensation issue -- I rigged up a string of fishing line even with the bottom of the window, and we suspend a bath towel on the string to absorb the moisture. It works. Not glamorous, though.

We also put a removable foam panel over the window at night. It definitely cuts down on the loss of heat -- but it did not stop the condensation on the lower window frame.
I keep a beach towel along the bottom of the window as well. I like the fishing line idea. I put a piece of reflectix across the window . It partially covers the wall. It has helped, but I get a lot of condensation, as I said I think part of it is the fact that it's a window that opens and doesn't seal well. It's a weird window I'm not sure what it was built for, I got it off eBay LOL

I'm replacing the weird window with a sheet of plexiglass this weekend. Probably won't be as warm, but will be airtight and more importantly watertight. I had the plexiglass/lexan (not sure which) laying around so it was a free fix as opposed to a new $250 window.

Liz
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:37 AM   #9
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Good luck cutting the plexiglass -- it can be tricky.

And I am sure you already know this, but butyl rubber tape is great for window replacements. It is much easier to use in cold weather --- not as sticky!
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Good luck cutting the plexiglass -- it can be tricky.

And I am sure you already know this, but butyl rubber tape is great for window replacements. It is much easier to use in cold weather --- not as sticky!
Tip for cutting plexi/lexan - use a grinder it works great! The plexi window is all cut and installed in the spare frame.

Thanks for the tip on the butyl. I have a roll, was wondering if it would adhere well enough when it's cool. I'm waiting for Sat when the temps are supposed to be in the 60's. Well, more for my comfort than for the butyl, but still ....

Liz
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:48 PM   #11
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So... the real issue is moisture vapor. The window frame being aluminum is thermally conductive and moisture in the air condensates on its surface.

A dehumidifier will help mitigate relative humidity inside the trailer- but the bigger question is... what is contributing to the moisture in the first place. It could be that because the trailer is small, extended stays (cooking, plants, and even pets or humans have moisture in your exhale) Could itself be the source of high moisture vapor or do you have a leak?

We deal with this in every home we build. New energy codes require homes to be very air tight and they don’t naturally ventilate like older homes (aka, air leaks). We actually engineer in extra ventilation for a high-efficiency home.

We have a saying- “if it can’t dry, it’s gonna die”
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Old 01-12-2020, 10:11 PM   #12
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Hi Liz. I think I snuck in while you were gone.

I don't know if this will work (we're in the Keys where condensing the moisture isn't the issue) but I think it will if you're willing to put up with a clunky solution.

Aluminum is a great thermal conductor so I think the answer is to keep the aluminum itself from getting cold. If you're stationary, could you run a strip of styrofoam or polyisocyanurate (Thermax™) on the outside of the shell to isolate the aluminum itself from contact with the lower temps? You'll want to seal it pretty well against air infiltration.

I'll try the grinder next time I need to cut acrylic sheet. One trick to help prevent splintering is to stick painter's tape over the cut line on both sides of the sheet to reduce splintering. Another is to start the cut at one end, then flip the sheet and make the rest of the cut from the other end to eliminate the breakout at the end of the cut.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:10 PM   #13
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Thanks all for the suggestions and information. I finished putting the window in, I have not finished blocking off the little aluminum area. However the biggest news is that condensation is no longer an issue! The fan pretty much got rid of it. I also added reflectix on the outside and inside of the window. Also the window is now plexiglass and does not conduct cold as did the glass. There is absolutely no condensation on the window itself only on the frame now. Amazing! I'm tempted to replace all my windows with plexiglass lol.

However, I think air flow was the biggest problem. So the fan really helped the situation. I also suggest replacing your front window with plexiglass if you spend a lot of time in the camper in the cold weather. It certainly cut down on the water around the mattress.

Thanks again! I love this group!

Liz
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:11 AM   #14
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Now let's hope the fan takes care of the water in the back closet . . . .
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Now let's hope the fan takes care of the water in the back closet . . . .
Yeah! That's exactly what I thought. I guess I've got to go find some more little fans to sit around on the floor. I'll give you the blow-by-blow

(Like we need more things to trip over)

Liz
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:18 PM   #16
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Hi there,
For the interior moisture problem. ...How about running a heat tape on the outside of the camper, parallel to the interior aluminum support..keep the aluminum strip warm enough to prevent condensation? Of course, then tape and insulate it on the outside.....

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