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Do I Need To Run A Dehumidifier When The RV AC Is Running?

High Humidity & RVs

Warm temperatures and high humidity are a recipe for disaster when it comes to RVs, travel trailers, and even vans.

Mold can start growing and before you know it you can have some serious problems forming even though you won’t be able to see it right away.

Related Product: Use the Den-Dry Mattress Underlay (click to view on Amazon) to prevent mold growth under the RV mattress.

Mold can destroy your walls, ceiling, mattress, and even your subflooring. If it gets too bad you will have to rip all of it out and possibly do some major renovations to your RV or travel trailer.

The best way to avoid all of that is by keeping the humidity levels below 50% as often as you can.

An AC unit is basically a high powered dehumidifier that uses a compressor to lower the temperature inside the unit much more than a standard dehumidifier can.

An RV AC has the ability to gather a lot of condensation which in turn dries out the air really well.

Related: RV Condensation And 14 Ways To Prevent Mold In Your Trailer

If you have the electrical means to run your AC every day you may be wondering if you need to use a dehumidifier at all.

The answer is slightly more complicated than a solid yes or no.

RV dehumidifier being run at the same time as an RV AC in a travel trailer
We normally have a small dehumidifier running daily in our RV. It’s powered using a small solar generator/power station.

Do I Need To Run A Dehumidifier When The RV AC Is Running?

I suggest using an indoor weather station in your RV that shows what the humidity level is inside (click here to see some great options for indoor/outdoor RV weather stations).

You can use it to monitor humidity and keep the levels of moisture in the air down.

If you are camping somewhere hot and moist like Florida you may need to run your AC and dehumidifier at the same time to keep the humidity levels in your RV at a safe level, which is 50% and below.

See Also: Best Small RV Dehumidifiers That Help Prevent Mold

You also may get cold from running your AC constantly and need to run the dehumidifier as well.

When we camp near the ocean, it’s usually pretty hot and humid, so we are able to run the AC often to keep things dry, but we don’t like to run it at night.

We have a small RV dehumidifier set up that runs 24/7, it mostly helps with water collection at night and it pairs well with using the RV AC.

What it really boils down to is how humid of a climate you are in. In places that have low humidity, an AC will be enough to keep everything dry. But in areas that are hot and humid, you may need both.

At the end of the day, keeping your RV or travel trailer as dry as possible is going to save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run.

The effects humidity has on RVs it’s something everyone should be aware of, especially full-time RVers.

See Also: Best RV AC Units Reviewed (13,500 & 15,000 BTU)

If you need to run both an RV AC and a dehumidifier at the same time to keep the humidity low, do it.

If you can control the humidity with the AC alone then that’s fine too.

It’s whatever works for you and the climate you are camping in.

What Else Should I Know?

The last thing to know is that you should close your windows and vents when running your AC.

It might seem like a good idea to keep the bathroom fan and a window open to circulate air, but you’re only making the AC less efficient by doing so.

The only fan we turn on when the AC is running is the stove fan since cooking adds additional moisture to the air.

Related: How Do I Stop My Clothes From Getting Damp In An RV Closet?

Have any questions about using an AC as a dehumidifier for your RV? Leave a comment below.

by Jesse
Jesse has always had an interest in camping, technology, and the outdoors. Who knew that growing up in a small town in Sweden with endless forests and lakes would do that to you?

8 thoughts on “Do I Need To Run A Dehumidifier When The RV AC Is Running?”

  1. We just bought a dehumidifier for our motorhome which is working but then we noticed the temp in the rig going up even with both air conditioning unit working. Is that a problem

    • Hi Margaret,

      When you say the temp in the rig is going up do you mean the humidity percentage or the temperature? The AC should be able to put out cold air even in low humidity.

  2. Am very interested in this and how to control humidity. We are in constant high humidity areas but usually cold. Was even thinking about the refrigerator coil type unit. Your smaller units seem to do good enough. So will experiment with them.

  3. I’ve been living in the south for the first time. UGH! After most of my life in CA, the humidity is unbearable.
    After 3 years, I finally got a dehumidifier a few days ago. I helps the the sticky feeling and is significantly more comfortable. However, open the door for even a minute, and in swoops more liquid air!

    The AC in the roof sounds like a jet engine, but it’s so hot here in SC, I can’t sleep without having it on full blast.
    Even then, sometimes I can only get it down to 73 degrees. I’d love to find an affordable unit that does both.
    Shinco SDL-1500 is a pretty quiet Dehumidifier. I clicked on the company’s Amazon store and see they do offer combo units. Hmm…that would be the perfect answer. I’d have to rig it to vent out a window and in this extremely small space, that would mean setting it on my sofa.

    To clarify, the AC does not dehumidify my trailer in this extreme climate.
    And the dehumidifier heats the room because it puts out heat.

    Whoa is me…

    • Hi Andrea,

      We feel for your situation! We had a similar experience in Texas last year. Super high temperatures and humidity.

      Our RV AC was also too noisy to sleep through and we found that even though it was effective in removing humidity while it was running, it often made it way to cold in the camper to run for very long.

      We also used a dehumidifier, but I think getting an AC/dehumidifier combo is a really good idea. A smaller air conditioner should be able to run for longer which means more dehumidifying.

      Keep us updated on how it works!

  4. I have a 50 pint GE dehumidifier from Home Depot $275.00 – keep my 35 ft travel trailer at 30 percent humidity – I run it 24/7 while also running ac at 73 degrees – in Florida !!!! Get one – drain it out the bottom of shower – it has a permanent hose drain option and a pump and bucket option


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