Can A Small RV Dehumidifier Help Prevent Mold?
Not many people think about mold growing in their RV but it happens all the time and can be a big problem, especially if you live in it full time.
I’ve heard stories about people finding mold in their RV or travel trailer and having to tear out walls, ceilings, and even subfloors.
It takes a lot of work to fix mold issues. Doing what you can to stop mold growth is very worth it.
Related Product: Did you know the RV AC also works as a powerful dehumidifier? Power an RV AC with a smaller generator using a Hutch Mountain Microair Easy Start (click to view on Amazon)
There are a few ways to prevent mold in a small space like an R. One of the best ways is with a small dehumidifier that will help keep the humidity levels low.
You don’t need a big dehumidifier, like what you would find in a basement because campers just aren’t as big. They also have vents and fans that can aid in moisture removal.
We use a weather station (click to view) inside our travel trailer to monitor the humidity inside.
When it gets over 50% we bring out our small RV dehumidifier and let it run until the humidity decreases. It’s especially useful after it’s rained and cloudy weather.
See Also: RV Condensation And 14 Ways To Prevent Mold In Your Trailer
Here are my reviews of some of the most powerful small dehumidifiers for RVs on the market today, including the one I use myself.
Note that they can also be used for the home in small rooms such as bathrooms and bedrooms.
Summary (Links to Amazon)
- Best Overall – Tenergy Sorbi Air Dehumidifier
- Small but Powerful – Pro Breeze Mini Dehumidifier
- Non-Electric* – Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier
- Quietest Fan – TABYIK Small Dehumidifier
- Highest Absorption Rating – Gocheer Portable Dehumidifier
- Lowest Power Usage – Makayla RV Dehumidifier
*Eva-Dry only uses a little electricity when you need to dry the beads for reuse. Only necessary about once a month.
Small & Powerful
Lowest Power Usage
Last update on 2023-03-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Small RV Dehumidifier Reviews & Info
1. Tenergy Sorbi Air Dehumidifier
The Tenergy Sorbi is the dehumidifier we use in our travel trailer and so far I’ve been nothing but impressed.
The reason we got this one instead of a more basic model was the air purifying function the Sorbi has.
None of the other RV dehumidifiers in this review have that option.
We felt it would be useful because there can be a lot of smog in the air when camping outside of cities and dust from passing vehicles.
Most RVs, like travel trailers, are more open than houses and it’s easier for impurities to enter.
Aside from the purifying capabilities, the Tenergy has a 1 liter or 34 oz water tank and an automatic shut-off with an LED indicator for when the reservoir gets full.
Even with the large tank, the Sorbi is only 8.5 inches long, 7.7 inches wide, and 12.4 inches tall, which is still very portable and small especially considering the power this unit has.
It can draw more water from the air than any of the other RV dehumidifiers in this review.
It’s a whopping 25 oz daily and can cover an area as large as 200 square feet, which is perfect for large RVs, 5th-wheels, and travel trailers.
You can run the air purifying mode at the same time as the dehumidifier mode or on its own.
It works by using a HEPA filter to capture 99.7% of the microparticles in the air which includes things like pollen, dust, and dander.
If you have trouble with allergies while camping then this will help make the inside of your RV or trailer an allergen-free zone.
It’s also surprisingly quiet even with the fan having to work to run air through a filter.
Even with it on the high setting, the noise level is minimal and it’s easy to sleep while it’s running.
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There is a high and a low setting and it can use up to 45 watts on the highest setting.
It’s nice to have both options because you can turn it up to suck out the extra moisture in the mornings then have it on low the rest of the day.
The Tenergy Sorbi Air Dehumidifier is a great investment if you want a multipurpose dehumidifier that will capture all the extra moisture in the air, freshen your RV, and clean the air at the same time.
It’s the most powerful dehumidifier in this review and still a small size.
Maybe I’m a little biased because I use this dehumidifier in my camper, but putting all the stats together and using my personal experience with this product I give it a 10/10 for RV use.
- Purifies Air With HEPA Filter
- Can Draw Up To 25 oz Of Water Daily
- High & Low Setting
- Small & Portable
- Fairly Low Energy Use
- Automatic Shut Off
- HEPA Filter Requires Replacement Occasionally
2. Pro Breeze Mini Dehumidifier
The Pro Breeze mini dehumidifier is an excellent option for large RVs, travel trailers, 5th-wheels, buses, bathrooms, and bedrooms.
It is rated for spaces that are no larger than 250 square feet.
It’s very portable for RV use measuring only 6.6 inches long, 9 inches wide, and 12.7 inches tall.
It can draw up to 18 oz of water out of the air per day which is the second highest amount in this review.
The energy usage is low, about 40 watts an hour, which shouldn’t be a problem if you are connected to power or if you are using a solar powered system.
RV Life Hack: Stop Moisture & Mold Growth Under RV Mattress
The water tank holds 52 oz and there is an automatic shut-off feature when it’s full and it also lights up to alert you.
Much like the other dehumidifiers on this list, the Pro Breeze uses thermoelectric cooling (Peltier Effect) to operate and uses no compressor.
That keeps the watt usage down, and only the fan makes noise.
The optimal running temperature is 59-86F. Do not use this RV dehumidifier below 41F.
The Pro Breeze Mini Dehumidifier is the perfect option for RVers who won’t have to worry about electricity.
If you live somewhere with high humidity a dehumidifier this powerful is an absolute necessity.
We recently spent the winter on the Texas coast. The humidity was unbelievable, especially in the morning.
We stayed in an RV park and could use the AC in the morning to get out most of the moisture but we didn’t want to run it all the time.
To help our Tenergy dehumidifier, we got the ProBreeze as well.
On the most humid days it really helped keep the inside of our RV down to reasonable humidity levels.
So far it’s been working great and the water reservoir fills up pretty fast and needs to be emptied about every two days.
We wanted something really small, so that’s why we got the ProBreeze. The size is perfect for placing in the closet or bathroom.
One thing to note, it’s pretty loud, much louder than our other dehumidifier. We only use it during the day.
I recommend this RV dehumidifier if you need something small and very portable.
If you’re a light sleeper and you need something that can be on at night, this isn’t a good option.
- Very Powerful
- Very Small & Portable
- Automatic Shut Off
- Decent Daily Water Absorption
- No Air Filter
- Only 1 Fan Speed
3. Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier
The Eva-Dry is a little different from the other RV dehumidifiers in this review.
When being used, it doesn’t use any power but will use 22 watts when it comes time to recharge it which is about once a month.
It works like the dehumidifier boxes you see in closets that use calcium chloride crystals with moisture absorbing properties.
The main difference between those and the Eva-Dry is you don’t have to throw it away or refill it when it’s full.
Instead of crystals, the mini dehumidifier is filled with silica beads. Silica gel beads are a common material used to absorb moisture in small spaces.
Those small packages inside of bags or even food containers that are there to keep moisture out are filled will silica beads.
When dry, the silica beads are orange, but they will slowly turn green as they fill with water. If they are dark green, it’s time for a recharge.
To recharge, you plug it into an outlet until the beads turn orange again.
Basically, the silica is being gently heated to remove the moisture trapped inside of them.
They can be used and recharged again for over 10 years, which means you won’t have to get a new one for a while.
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This mini RV dehumidifier can hold 4-6 ounces of liquid and depending on how high the humidity is they can last for up to 4 weeks before needing a recharge.
They can be used for spaces that are up to 48 square feet or 333 cubic feet.
You can use them in closets, safes, bags, and even small rooms like bathrooms and pretty much anywhere in an RV or van.
They make no noise and are absorbing moisture 24/7.
It’s also made to never leak even when full of water. There is a hanger included or it can be set on a flat surface, like a counter or the floor of a closet.
The Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier is a fantastic option for all RVers.
You should always have a small dehumidifier like this in your closets and if you put one in every room in the RV, you will always have dangerous moisture being absorbed to reduce the risk of mold growth.
It’s especially nice for people with limited or no power and those who live in small vans or trailers. They take up hardly any space and are effective.
- Use No Power (Except To Recharge)
- Very Small
- Work 24/7
- Can Be Placed Or Hanged Anywhere
- Will Last At Least 10 Years
- Full Water Indicator (Turns Green)
- Onl For Small Spaces
- Holds Only 6 oz Of Water
- Won’t Absorb Moisture As Fast As Electric Dehumidifier
- Multiple Needed For High Humidity Areas
4. TABYIK Small Dehumidifier
Washable filter screen, LED lights, low power usage, the TABYIK is a fantastic small and portable dehumidifier for RV living.
Measuring 6 inches on both sides and 10 inches tall, it’s one of the smallest options in this review.
The air intake is on the back of the unit. That’s also where the removable filter screen is located.
It’s not a fancy HEPA filter that will catch microparticles, but it will keep out a lot of dust and other debris that might damage the inside of the dehumidifier.
Instead of putting the air outtake on the side, the TABYIK has it on the top. This makes it a little easier to place in tight spaces.
You still need to keep the back open so air can go in, but you can put the other sides against something if you need to.
There’s an LED light that shines into the water tank. There are 7 different colors to choose from.
It will shine red and automatically turn off when the water reservoir is full.
The light can also be turned off if you don’t like it.
See Also: TopTes TS-630 Moisture Meter Review & Firewood Test
There are two buttons on the top of the TABYIK. An on/off and a light button for changing the colors or turning off the light.
Since this is a very small dehumidifier, the water reservoir only holds 35 ounces of water.
It’s rated to draw 16 ounces of water from the air in warm and humid environments.
The energy usage is around 40 watts an hour. Pretty standard for a portable dehumidifier.
A huge pro with this option is the noise level. It’s the quietest dehumidifier in this review, with an advertised 28dB sound level.
That information tells me the fan is pretty small, which takes down the moisture absorption ability.
If you’re looking for something that you won’t notice, this is a fantastic option.
For very small dehumidifiers like the TABYIK, expect it to work well in small spaces, but for a large living area in an RV, it might be too small.
The TABYIK Dehumidifier is going to be perfect for RV bedrooms and large storage closets. It’s small, can fit in tight spots, and the LED lighting is a nice touch.
- Small & Portable
- Automatic Shut Off
- Removable Mesh Dust Filter
- Output On Top (fits in tight spots)
- Colorful LED Light
- Very Quiet
- High Power Usage For Size
- Only 1 Fan Speed Setting
- Low Daily Absorption
5. Gocheer Portable Dehumidifier
For larger RVs, like 5th-wheels and travel trailers, the Gocheer is the biggest and most powerful dehumidifier in this review.
Measuring 6 inches long, 8.2 inches wide, and 13.2 inches tall, it’s big enough to handle large rooms that are up to 800 square feet, but still small enough for RV use.
The clear water tank has a 64 fl. oz. capacity. The Gocheer is advertised to remove up to 32 fl. oz. of water from the air in a 24-hour period.
Moisture removal ratings are usually done in high temperatures (86°F) and high humidity (80%). Expect it to be less effective in colder and dryer climates.
Even though it’s a good sized dehumidifier, it’s still fairly quiet with a 30dB noise rating.
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The power usage isn’t much higher than some of the other options in this review. It will use around 48 watts an hour.
There’s only one fan speed setting, and the only control is an on/off rocker switch near the top.
On the back there are three LED lights that shine when the unit is on, running, and if the water tank is full.
It will also turn off automatically when it needs to be emptied.
If you live in a large RV, or a very humid climate that might require a more powerful dehumidifier, the Gocheer Portable Dehumidifier is an excellent option.
It doesn’t use a ton of power, so you can run it with a power station or solar set up, and it’s small enough to not be in the way.
- Highest Water Absorption Rate
- Large Water Tank
- Automatic Shut Off
- Good for Large RVs
- No Air Filter
- Highest Power Usage
- Only 1 Fan Speed
6. Makayla RV Dehumidifier
The Makayla mini dehumidifier is the smallest powered option in this review. It’s also the most efficient using only 22 watts an hour.
With the small size and low power usage, you lose some absorption power. The rated daily water removal is only 10 fl. oz.
The fan in this little RV dehumidifier is pretty quiet, 35dB, but not the most quiet.
Measuring 5.7 inches wide and long, and 10 inches tall, the Makayla will fit almost anywhere.
Even though it has a low daily water removal, the water tank is still pretty large with a 30 ounce capacity.
There’s an auto shut-off feature when the tank is full. An LED light will also shine red when it needs to be emptied.
The air intake is on the back of the unit, and the fan is on the top.
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Like the TABIK dehumidifier, there’s an LED light in the water take that has 7 color options.
The tank is clear, but it’s mostly visible the back. There’s a small window on the front you can see the light and water levels through.
There’s only one fan speed and one control button on the top.
The Makayla RV Dehumidifier is the perfect option for small RVs, vans, and closets.
It doesn’t use hardly any power, but it’s still effective and a good way to control moderate humidity.
- Small & Portable
- LED Lights
- Automatic Shut Off
- Lowest Power Usage
- Large Water Tank
- No Air Filter
- Moderately Loud Fan
- Low Daily Water Absorption
- Only 1 Fan Speed
What To Look For In An RV Dehumidifier
If you need a dehumidifier for your RV, the size of the unit is going to be one of the first things to look at.
I recommend deciding on the place you are going to store and use it before making a final decision on which kind to get.
All the dehumidifiers in this review are small and will easily fit in most RVs.
But if you have an extra small travel trailer or van, consider getting a mini dehumidifier that won’t be in the way.
Since this review focuses on RV dehumidifiers, energy usage is a vital spec to look at.
Most campers boondock or have limited power, which means you may not have the electricity to run a dehumidifier 24/7.
Of course, if you mostly camp in RV parks or campgrounds with electrical hookups, you won’t need to worry about it as much.
If you pay a monthly electrical bill getting an energy efficient dehumidifier can still help you save.
We use a 1000 watt solar power station (click to view) charged by solar panels to get power inside our travel trailer.
So far the Tenergy Sorbi Air Dehumidifier (click to view on Amazon) which uses 45 watts an hour on high hasn’t killed our power station when we run it a few hours every morning.
If you don’t have any way to get AC power in your RV, consider getting the non-electric Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier.
The Eva-Dry only needs a little bit of power about once every month and it’s so small it can be placed anywhere.
See Also: Best Portable Power Station/Solar Generator For Camping
Max Daily Moisture Absorption
All the dehumidifiers in this review absorb different amounts of moisture daily.
If you camp in humid climates, you are going to need the most effective small dehumidifier you can get.
There are RV dehumidifiers in this review that range from just a few 6 to 34 fl. oz. of daily water removal.
Normally, more daily water absorption equals more power usage.
Finding the right balance for your camper’s needs is going to help you get the most out of an RV dehumidifier.
The portable dehumidifiers in this review that use electricity have a square footage rating of at least 200 feet.
A decent sized travel trailer, like mine, is around 225 square feet in total.
I’ve found that it’s more effective to run our small dehumidifier in different parts of the RV for a couple of hours every day.
The square footage rating is mostly for open rooms that have good airflow, but RVs usually have narrow hallways and closed off bedrooms that need the dehumidifier placed nearby for a few hours on humid days.
In short, don’t expect a dehumidifier to reach the bedroom that’s on the other side of your RV, even though the square footage rating is technically high enough for your entire RV.
You are going to have to move it around every few hours to get the best results.
Conclusion & My Recommendation For Best RV Dehumidifier
Mold is never a good thing, but it can be especially dangerous in small living spaces like RVs, vans, and tiny homes.
It can destroy your mattress, couch, walls, ceilings, and sometimes even the floors.
Doing something now to help prevent mold, like using a small RV dehumidifier, is going to help a lot in the long run.
Make sure you closely monitor the humidity levels in your living space to make sure they stay below 50%.
Here are my recommendations for the best RV dehumidifiers.
Best Overall – Tenergy Sorbi Air Dehumidifier
RVs and trailers don’t always have a lot of space and a small dehumidifier may seem like just another thing that needs to be stored, but it is so important to keep the humidity down to stop mold damage.
That’s why the Tenergy is my choice for the best RV dehumidifier.
Even though it’s small, it’s powerful and can draw twice as much water from the air in a day as other dehumidifiers of the same size.
You also get the air purifying HEPA filter that cleans the air in your RV.
And it doesn’t use very much power to boot.
All-in-all you get the most for your money with the Tenergy. It’s a solid unit that I’ve used for years and it’s still going strong.
Best For 24/7 Use – Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier
Since the Eva-Dry doesn’t use power, except for when it needs a recharge, it will basically run 24/7 with zero noise and power consumption.
It’s very versatile and can be used in closets, storage compartments, the bathroom, bedrooms, pretty much anywhere.
It’s very budget-friendly, which means you can get a bunch to have in multiple places in your RV or van.
The Eva-Dry doesn’t work actively like electric RV dehumidifiers. It won’t remove as much moisture as fan driven dehumidifiers, but for moderate climates and small spaces, it’s perfect.
The ultimate mold prevention would be to use these in combination with one of the other small dehumidifiers in this review.
You can place the Eva-Dry in problem areas with limited airflow. The electric ones won’t be as effective.
For RV use, the Eva-Dry is a fantastic option for slow around the clock moisture absorption.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Dehumidifiers
Where should I put a dehumidifier in an RV?
You want to put an RV dehumidifier in a spot with good airflow that’s close to the ground or on the floor and at least 6 inches from the wall.
A bedroom is a common place for mold to grow because it is a small area that builds up moisture when you sleep at night.
For best results, move the RV dehumidifier around every couple of hours to make sure it’s covering the entire RV.
Can an RV dehumidifier help asthma?
A small dehumidifier in your RV can help with asthma, but if you want to really help your asthma and allergies, make sure you get one with an air purifier.
It will run the air through a filter and remove particles, dust, and pollen.
The Tenergy Sorbi Air Dehumidifier (click to view on Amazon) uses a true HEPA filter that removes 99.7% of microparticles in the air.
It’s perfect for an RV or travel trailer as they can get dusty and filled with pollen.
What do I do when a dehumidifier ices up?
Dehumidifiers don’t work very well in low temperatures below 41°F.
If you run one when it’s too cold outside, ice can build up inside it.
If it ices up, turn off the dehumidifier and let it thaw before turning it back on.
How do small dehumidifiers work?
Small RV dehumidifiers use thermoelectric cooling (the Peltier Effect) which cools the inside of the unit.
When air passes through, moisture in the air collects on the cold coils and drips down into a water holding tank.
Because the coils have to be colder than the air being passed through to work properly, it’s not worth it to run one when the temperature is under 41°F.
When do I need to use a dehumidifier in an RV?
Mold grows the fastest when it’s over 55% humidity and 70°F.
To stay comfortable, most people keep the temperature inside their RV at least 70°F, so there’s almost always a chance for mold to be growing.
It’s especially important to have a dehumidifier running when it’s warm and moist outside.
Places by the ocean or near water can be especially humid when it’s hot.
Not using a dehumidifier in your RV could end up causing irreversible damage to the walls, ceiling, sub-floor, and mattress.
Will a dehumidifier help with condensation on my RV windows?
If you’ve ever been camping in an RV or travel trailer, you have most likely experienced condensation on the windows.
RV dehumidifiers are a great way to minimize the condensation that happens but they may not get rid of all of it especially if it’s humid outside.
If I’m camping in an extra humid area, I will wipe the condensation off the windows while running the dehumidifier in the morning to soak up some of the moisture inside.
Can an RV dehumidifier be run 24/7?
High-quality dehumidifiers are made to be run 24/7 and it shouldn’t be a problem.
That being said, make sure you monitor your new dehumidifier for a few days before leaving it on overnight or unattended.
It’s especially important to make sure your dehumidifier is running safely inside an RV where the risk for a fire is higher than in a house.
If you want 24/7 moisture absorption, the safest option is the Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Dehumidifier (click to view on Amazon).
It uses silica gel beads to absorb moisture in the air passively. Once full, it can be recharged by plugging it into a wall outlet for a day.
It’s effective in RVs, reusable, and will last for at least 10 years.
Can a dehumidifier make you sick or uncomfortable?
Humans are the most comfortable at 30-50% humidity.
While it’s best to keep the humidity low in an RV or travel trailer, you don’t need to worry about keeping it below 30%.
So long as it’s below 50% most of the time and the walls are not damp, your trailer should stay mold free and you can be comfortable in your RV or trailer.
The most uncomfortable thing about a dehumidifier is the noise, especially when you’re trying to sleep.
Can a small dehumidifier stop my clothes from getting damp in my RV’s closets?
Damp clothes are a common problem in RVs. There are a few ways you can stop it from happening.
For more information, check out this post here.
Do I need to run the dehumidifier while my RV AC is on?
An AC acts as a dehumidifier and you can sometimes use just the AC to control the humidity in your RV or travel trailer.
For more information on that, check out this post here.
Have questions about portable RV dehumidifiers? Leave a comment below.