Nothing is better than a long road trip! Seeing the country from your RV or camper and traveling down the open road is an experience many of us look forward to. Whether you’re a full-time RVer, a weekend warrior, or a newbie, there are some issues you should be aware of that can impact your trips.
Two of your RV’s worst enemies are mold and mildew. They can cause an allergic reaction or even long-term illness. Plus, they can seriously undermine the value of your RV. Mold and mildew are highly persistent and can spread if you don’t address the problem quickly.
These issues stem from two main culprits… dampness coupled with a lack of airflow. Most of the time, these problems arise from improper storage. Storing your RV in a humid storage facility or parking it under a tarp during the summer can turn it into an incubator for mold and mildew.
Once mold and mildew have become established, it can be tricky to remove them. Prevention is the best way to combat mold and mildew. This post will explore several ways to prevent mold and mildew from growing and what to do if you find it growing.
Tips For Preventing Mold and Mildew Growth in Your RV
Prevention is the best method for keeping your RV free from mold and mildew. Here are some tips!
- Store your RV Properly
When covering your RV in the off-season, find a cover that will protect it while allowing it to breathe and release moisture. Specialized RV tarps can be a bit pricey, but they work best to keep your RV mold and mildew free!
- Regularly Inspect your RV
Before heading out on the open road, give your rig a once over. Check it for leaks and cracks and make sure it’s not allowing moisture to infiltrate. If you find any, fix them ASAP. Closely inspect your RV at least twice a year!
- Run a Fan or Dehumidifier
If your RV has electricity, a dehumidifier can reduce moisture keeping it mold-free. If you don’t have electricity, desiccant crystals also work. Fans are another good option as they can keep air moving throughout your RV, so moisture doesn’t settle.
- Focus on Ventilation
Condensation that doesn’t dry out fosters mold and mildew growth. Open the windows and vents to get air flowing through your RV, especially after taking a shower! Make sure you dry out your RV completely.
- Wipe It Down
Whenever you see any condensation on any surface, wipe it down immediately!
While prevention is always the best technique, if you find mold and mildew in your RV, it should be addressed immediately.
Removing Mold and Mildew from Your RV
Preventing mold and mildew is important. However, even the best prevention regimen can sometimes “miss a spot”.
- Check for sources of moisture. Check seams, window seals, and areas like the shower, toilet, and sink.
- When mold is present, make sure that any product you choose is designed for the surface to be cleaned. For example, some cleaning agents designed for hard surfaces can damage fabric or carpeting.
- Hard surfaces are often where mold and mildew first take hold. Check high moisture areas first – like the bathroom, kitchen, and adjacent surfaces.
Cleaning Interior Surfaces
While there are many commercial products available for cleaning your RV, if you don’t like using chemicals, it’s possible to make your own cleaning products just as effective.
Natural mold and mildew killers are also much less likely to damage carpet and fabric than chemical cleaners. Try mixing:
Tea Tree Oil with Water 1:1 mix
White Vinegar and Warm Water 1:1 mix
To 2 cups of warm water add 2 dozen drops of grapefruit seed extract
Spray any of the solutions onto the mold or mildew and let them sit and work in. The infection will die off within a week (grapefruit), a couple of days (tea tree oil), or even hours (vinegar solution). Then wash the area with soap and rinse. Be sure to open the windows or turn on a fan to dry the area thoroughly, or you could enable more growth.
If a stronger remedy is necessary, mix one-part bleach with four parts water in a spray bottle, shake and spray. Let the solution work for about an hour, wipe, wash with soap and water and rinse. Use this solution only on hard surfaces like countertops, sinks, or backsplashes to prevent damage to fabric or carpet.
Keeping your RV free from mold and mildew can help keep your family safe and make your trip more enjoyable! Remember, eliminating mold and mildew starts with prevention, but if you find it, be sure to use the proper cleaning agent!
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