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Old 01-02-2014, 11:13 PM   #1
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Condensation in Interior Wardrobe Closet

We are traveling in our Itasca Ellipse during winter months and have a perplexing condensation issue in cold weather, typically when outside temps are below 40 degrees. Although we routinely vent the coach to provide fresh air and reduce interior moisture buildup, one of the bedroom wardrobe closets, which is on the aft end of the 28-foot slide-out, condensates on the inner wall surface, typically only the short sidewall and not the broader back wall. At first we thought it was a possible roof leak, but found if we leave one of the closet doors open there is no dampness even during heavy rains. It seems this is due to the closet and inner wall remaining warmer as a result of warmer ambient air from the bedroom of which we keep about 65 degrees at night and 68 during the day. With the door closed the closet interior temperature gets fairly cool, the wall cold to the touch, and enough condensation develops to fully wet a paper towel when wiped down. I have considered installing a whisper quiet circulation fan for continuous air circulation in the closet. Any thoughts on the topic?
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:22 PM   #2
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I'm faced with a similar issue in the slide out in our bedroom. I did find a small leak but most of the pesky water problem was from condensation. I am going to install several of those fans in the space below our bed where the water accumulates.

Here are the responses to my thread. Some good ideas in here I am pondering.

Water, water every where, I think I need a drink
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:12 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggested thread, very informative reading, following which I started investigating further the issue of condensation throughout all of the inner spaces of our Itasca Ellipse 42QD motorcoach. As suggested in the forum thread, I found that the rear closet attached to the coach structure was at the same ambient temperature as that of the coach (higher R-value walls) and NO condensation. The cabinets and closets attached to the slides had lower temperatures than that of the coach, had no air circulation as expected, and had condensation along the upper seam, ah nuts. The most immediate action available was to simply open these normally closed spaces overnight to allow trapped air to circulate. Second, I selected the mid-deck, zone 2 air conditioner equipped to run as a heat pump, and at freezing temperatures when the thermostat calls for heat the heat pump activates its ventilation fan and the diesel Aqua-Hot heating system as supplemental heat. Typically we had never run the heat pumps in freezing weather since you must have adequate shore power to run these units, they are somewhat noisy during sleeping hours, and they require supplemental heat from the Aqua-Hot, so why run them. The simple answer may well be for air circulation, if no other reason. Two people sleeping for eight hours in an enclosed bedroom, we keep the inner door closed to keep the two family dogs from roaming the coach at night, builds up a lot of moisture overnight I expect. Our preliminary results this morning, and given inside temperatures and outside temperatures alike were the same as the night before, are significantly different. The forward windows in the coach where virtually clear of any condensation, nor was there but only slight evidence of condensation in any of the cabinets and closets. Short of purchasing and using a portable dehumidifier, it seems that having 30 or 50 amps shore power and running at least one of the two heat pumps in conjunction with the diesel AquaHot heater was a significant first step in reducing our condensation issues during winter operations. We shall see how this change turns out over the upcoming weeks of cold weather. And, not that I am an engineer, but I have great interest in this issue so we have two new tools to collect some data and better understand thermal properties, a humidity monitor and a laser spot thermometer. Meanwhile, I also recognize that different coaches have significant design differences not to mention different heating systems, so my observations are only applicable to our model of motorcoach and our operational environment, but sharing may be of interest to others.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:24 AM   #4
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As known, humidity is the problem for condensation, Whenever there is excess humidity in a home, it manifests itself in the form of condensation on the coldest area of a wall, which is normally the windows. The warmer the air, the more moisture it will retain, so when air in your home comes in contact with the colder glass surface, or a cold wall, it is subsequently cooled and moisture is released in the form of condensation on the glass or wall surface. When it is really cold, open exterior drawers and closets to allow as much air circulation as possible in the rooms, this will help along with a humidity gauge from Wal-Mart to monitor your humidity levels.
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