When you decide to store your RV for the winter or other reasons, it’s critical to take the appropriate precautions to prevent mold growth. These precautions ensure it’s ready when needed and prevents any structural damage. However, how to prevent mold in your RV during storage is a challenging issue for many RV owners.
The most crucial step in preventing mold in your RV is keeping moisture out and enhancing airflow. Mold thrives in moist and poorly ventilated spaces. You can use a dehumidifier, a fan, open RV windows, and moisture absorbers to improve ventilation, drain excessive moisture, and inhibit mold growth.
How To Keep Mold Out Of Camper During Storage
The primary origin of mold is mold spores naturally present in the atmosphere, which looks to flourish in damp and poorly ventilated places.
Since a stored RV trap moisture from the inside and the outside, it becomes a viable environment for mold growth and multiplication.
Grown mold may be visible on your RV’s walls, carpet, or flooring, but the quickest method to detect it is the musty odor. If ignored, mold spreads, causing respiratory illnesses and structural damage to your RV.
Here are some ways to prevent mold growth in your camper.
1. Inspect The RV
It’s critical to inspect your camper’s interior and exterior thoroughly before storage. Look for damaged seams, dried caulking, tears, leakages, cracks, or holes in the roofing, doors, window seals, and the vent fan.
Inspect the RV’s plumbing for traces of dampness or mold, especially around the bathrooms, toilets, shower, water heater, and sinks. Once you’ve identified a problem, try to resolve it as soon as possible.
When your camper is in storage, inspect it regularly for any symptoms of mold or moisture build-ups. It may be easier to clean up and prevent mold if you identify its formation early.
2. Using A Dehumidifier
Consider running a dehumidifier for some hours before preparing your camper for storage. This process keeps excess moisture from building up and causing mold to bloom.
When possible, dehumidify your recreational vehicle frequently while in the storage to maintain proper humidity levels and absorb extra moisture. This maintains harmless humidity levels and keeps the RV from condensing.
3. Store Your RV Indoors
You can minimize the risks of moisture, fog, or condensation entering your motorhome by storing it indoors in a climate-controlled RV storage facility.
If you don’t have enough indoor space for your RV storage, consider the facilities in most regions that offer convenient storage at a price.
You may also store your RV outside, but it’s necessary to cover it with a custom RV tarp that protects it from the weather while allowing moisture to escape.
4. Use Desiccants Granules
Desiccant granules are a stress-free and power-free technique to eliminate moisture from your camper while in storage. These are identical to the silica sachets that come with most shoe and clothes packages.
Because they absorb moisture from the environment, desiccants are an excellent technique to prevent and inhibit mold growth.
You can buy this moisture absorber from companies, such as DampRid, that manufacture large packages specifically for RVs.
To use this product, just remove the lid from the desiccant container, place it in your camper, and it will absorb moisture for about 60 days.
There’re other packages for hanging in closets, placing in cupboards, and other places.
5. Ventilate Your RV
As previously stated, mold grows in your RV if there’s little air circulation and humidity accumulates.
Use a fan while the vent, doors, and windows open to remove as much dampness as possible from your camper before storing it.
Opening RV’s vents and windows allow fresh air and let moisture drain out. If you live in a high-humidity zone, it’s advisable not to open your RV vents or doors unless the humidity inside is significantly higher than outside.
For optimal airflow, consider opening up your cupboards and closet doors. If any dampness or humid air is in the cupboards or closets, trapping it for many months might lead to mold growth.
Maintaining your camper as open as possible allows air circulation, inhibiting mold.
6. Ensure Dryness In Pipes And Surfaces
This procedure might help you avoid a lot of damage and repair costs. Blow out the water tank and piping systems to ensure it’s free from any water, as mold may form in difficult to inspect piping and plumbing.
Before storing your RV, you can also use a space heater to dry all pipes. This technique is excellent for cleaning your pipes while also preventing mold growth.
You can also use a dry rag to wipe down all surfaces to remove any dampness or water spillage. This step is crucial while using your camper and before you store it.
While storing your RV, wipe dry all surfaces thoroughly, including every cupboard, windows, and floor, and ensure the bathroom is dry.
How To Get Rid Of Mold & Mildew In An RV
One of the most efficient organic solutions for removing mold and mildew is vinegar, which you may already have in your kitchen.
Although it has a pungent smell, it always works when removing mold or mildew. Because vinegar is naturally antifungal, combining it with anything is unnecessary.
Simply pour it right onto the surface with mold and begin cleaning. However, if you want to neutralize the unpleasant odor, mix an equal amount of water with an equal amount of vinegar in a spray bottle.
You may also consider trying any of the below methods:
- Fill a spray bottle halfway with water and add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil. Spray the mixture on the mold and let it sit for an hour before scrubbing and air-drying it.
- Spray 3% concentrated hydrogen peroxide on the mold and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then wipe it off and clean the area with soap.
- Wipe the mold-infested surface with distilled ethanol or bottom-shelf alcohol until you remove all the visible mold. Alcohol does not need dilution, and it kills mold effectively.
- Spray grapefruit seed extract, which prevents and kills molds. For optimal results, put 10 drops of the extract in a glass of water, spay on the surface and allow it to rest for about 15 minutes before wiping and drying.
- Fill a spray bottle with water and add one teaspoon of baking soda. Mix well and spray the solution on the mold invested surface. Let it sit for about an hour before scrubbing and rinsing it.
You can use bleach or ammonia as supplementary solutions for more difficult-to-remove mold. Ensure to dilute them in a 1:1 ratio with water because both chemicals can be harsh when concentrated.
Also, only use bleach or ammonia on hard, non-porous surfaces since they may leave stains or destroy soft surfaces such as carpets and fabrics.
When cleaning, consider putting on protective gear such as a mask, gloves, and an apron because both the mold and the cleaning chemicals might be harmful.