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Author Topic: Condensation!  (Read 5081 times)
MissLou
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« on: March 30, 2012, 11:14:18 AM »

We camped in popups for more than 25 years and never, ever had a problem with condensation.  Last week we were "christened" in a big way.  The weather was very warm and a cool front was approaching.  As it began to rain and turn somewhat cooler we started to experience a little condensation on the bunk ends.  As the day wore on, I realized that the bedding was getting wet in the corners and assumed that the seams were leaking.  I toweled everything off and the condensation formed once again on the bunkend roofs.  I had the stove exhaust fan running, the zippers opened a bit on each end and the A/C fan on.  Nothing helped for long.  We slept that night with droplets falling on our faces.  The next day everything dried out and we had no more problems.  I know that another factor contributing to the dampness was the fact that I was boiling chicken to make chicken & dumplings.  I won't do that in the rain again!
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MissLou
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 11:53:19 AM »

Yep - the boiling chicken was the problem. You loaded the air with moisture that the temperature change wrung right out. Hybrids are tighter than pop-ups and therefore the humidity builds up more.

Don't feel too bad - most of us have done that a time or two before we learned better.
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 11:57:13 AM »

*note to self- cook chicken dumplings outside*

 Cool
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miataman
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 02:32:05 PM »

You will exhale more moisture than that chicken will.  I never had a problem with the popup, either.  It is a fact of HTT life.  Good thing, my 'tenting' does not condensate at all.  Ours collects all under the mattress.  I use reflectix under the mattress, which helps.  While packing up, I prop up the mattress and blast it with a 12v turbo fan (from truck stop or amazon), which dries it in 10-15 minutes.

This year, I have hauled in the mattress and have an inflatable queen with a memory foam topper.  See what that does for us.  Set it up for the 1st time and laid on it last night.  It felt really good.
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bikendan
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 09:58:18 PM »

did you have PUGs or solar blankets over your tent ends?
if not, they help a lot with condensation, along with leaving overhead vents open and allowing for air movement inside.
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Dan-Firefighter
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MissLou
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 10:01:20 AM »

We did start out with solar blankets on the bunkends but the wind changed direction and they started blowing off so we removed them.  Our Coleman popups had either Evolution or Sunbrella bunkends but the Shamrock has vinyl.  I wondered about that too.  Definitely - no more chicken boiling inside!
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MissLou
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 10:18:22 AM »

Our Coleman popups had either Evolution or Sunbrella bunkends but the Shamrock has vinyl.

Well, not quite.  Evolution tenting wasn't particularly breathable and was one of the major reasons Fleetwood switched to Sunbrella, HOWEVER ... keep in mind that although the entire bunk end tenting may have been Sunbrella the top section was vinyl coated and therefore didn't breathe at all.  If one also kept the windows zipped up then the vinyl windows also significantly reduced how well the bunk ends would actually breathe.  In the real world, if the bunk end window were closed I'd suggest there would have been little difference between the Sunbrella on your Fleetwood popup and the vinyl tenting on your Shamrock.  Bottom line - if you want to avoid condensation issues then you need to ventilate the camper, no matter what the weather may be outside.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2012, 10:19:14 AM by Oz and Us » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 04:50:12 PM »

We ran in the same problem at the end of Feb. Our shamrock was condensating so bad i thought the bunk ends was leaking... Cool out with the ceramic heater   Hybrid   Pickup Grey
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 04:28:45 AM »

You will exhale more moisture than that chicken will.  I never had a problem with the popup, either.  It is a fact of HTT life.  Good thing, my 'tenting' does not condensate at all.  Ours collects all under the mattress.  I use reflectix under the mattress, which helps.  While packing up, I prop up the mattress and blast it with a 12v turbo fan (from truck stop or amazon), which dries it in 10-15 minutes.

This year, I have hauled in the mattress and have an inflatable queen with a memory foam topper.  See what that does for us.  Set it up for the 1st time and laid on it last night.  It felt really good.

So why do hybrids seem to have issues with condensation under the mattress where regular old popups do not?  You would think that the bed board of the hybrid would be better insulated than the 5/8" OSB that the popups have and you would also think that the condensation would appear first and most heavily on the canvas ends.  Any theories?
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bikendan
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 11:15:52 AM »

So why do hybrids seem to have issues with condensation under the mattress where regular old popups do not?  You would think that the bed board of the hybrid would be better insulated than the 5/8" OSB that the popups have and you would also think that the condensation would appear first and most heavily on the canvas ends.  Any theories?

i think it has to do with the bunk door absorbing the cooler outside temp more than the OSB.
put a warm body on top of it and you get a bigger temp difference.
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Dan-Firefighter
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 12:16:43 PM »

So why do hybrids seem to have issues with condensation under the mattress where regular old popups do not?

First, I'd say "some" hybrids because I never had any problems with condensation forming under the one bunk end mattress on our TrailCruiser hybrid. Approve  However, even though I always made sure the camper was always well ventilated I did on one occasion have noticeable condensation form on the metal shepherd's pole Disapprove ... I later solved that by enclosing the entire length of the pole with shrink wrap tubing.  As for why condensation can be so much more of an issue in a hybrid than a popup I'd say it's simply because the body of the camper is so much more air tight than a popup which is all tenting above the camper body.  As we used our hybrid earlier in the spring and much later in the fall than we ever did our popups we had several occasions on which the body of the camper would be nice & toasty but the front hybrid bunk still somewhat damp and drafty, even with PUGs over the bunk end top and Reflectix window inserts in place.  In those situations we increasingly began to leave the bunk end closed and would turtle instead, effectively turning our hybrid into a travel trailer, which in the end convinced us that for us a travel trailer was the better solution. Approve
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miataman
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2012, 04:23:13 PM »

Agree this seems to be the logical reason.  A large space full of moist air, with the nice cool tenting at the ends for it all to condense.  Due to our breathing vinyl(?) tenting, it never collects there, but settles under the mattress against the cool bunk end door. 

Our windows are always cracked inches open, and bunk end windows always open, if not raining.

So why do hybrids seem to have issues with condensation under the mattress where regular old popups do not?
As for why condensation can be so much more of an issue in a hybrid than a popup I'd say it's simply because the body of the camper is so much more air tight than a popup which is all tenting above the camper body. 
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 05:52:33 PM »

We have never had a problem rain or shine/cold or hot with our Shamrock. One thing we always have running is a small 10" box fan I purchased at Dollar General. We keep it by the front bulk on the floor. We always use PUG's to protect from sun, and also gaurd against limbs, leaves, etc.

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dadmomh
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2012, 07:21:52 PM »

Those chickens will do it every time  Wink.  For as many posts as there are re condensation, you'll get as many "fixes" for this problem.  It happens.  Not always, but it happens.  Sounds like you just had the perfect storm going on and the chicken was the topper.  We have never had it as bad as you described - mostly just the dampness under the mattress or on the inside tent walls.  You might invest in an oscillating fan to give the air circulation a helping hand.  That is a key in controlling condensation.  What works for one won't work for all, so you'll need to experiment.  Do you use the bunkend fan lights??  They are also a help.  Definitely Pop Up Gizmos.  I've never been able to understand how unzipping an area on the bunkends will help eliminate condensation when it's cold and pouring down rain outside - seems like that would just add more moisture.  But maybe that's just my brain not working.  And if it's cold outside, DH is not about to open a vent and let in more cold air that he's trying to heat in the first place.  In any event - fix the chicken outdoors and be sure to make enough for DH - his all time favorite!   
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« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2012, 06:30:56 AM »

I have found that if I leave the "crank" window over the couch we don't have any condensation issues.  The window cranks out so I don't worry about rain coming in and it is far enough away from the beds that it does not seem to affect the tempurature of the HTT.  If it does we just adjust the heat or air.  Also, I have never noticed any consdensation under the mattresses.  THANK GOODNESS!
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Melany
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