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Old 11-14-2016, 08:30 AM   #1
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How do you winter campers control humidity?

We've got a Sprinter highroof 4x4 on order, and one of the main trips we'll take are weekends into the Colorado high country for skiing. Many of the trails heads for BC skiing are 10K ft and can be dang cold, but dry. We know from winter camping experience that humidity build up is always an issue, and would assume so even more with lots of damp clothes, cooking, and typical respiration humidity.

We're going to have roof-mounted AC, and a fantastic fan. Heating will be either a D5 or D2/4 + 110V hot water heater.

I really want to find some way of getting a slow trickle of external air into the van. Using the fantastic fan seems obvious, as is cracking a window. But, those can be difficult to regulate if it's blowing snow like crazy. And I could potentially see the fan hood freezing in position if the conditions are right.

Two ideas I came up with:

1 - If we use a D2/D4, have the intake plumbed to pull exterior air. That way, we're always getting cold/dry air circulated into the van. Only issue I see is that it's unfiltered air. So, doing this when it's cold but dusty would coat the interior in a layer of grime. Not sure if there is some small filter than can be inserted into the hose.

2 - Use the van's HVAC fan. Install a switch that provides a small current to the fan so it runs on really low speed. It's pulling dry air into the van and since the vans have a built-in HVAC filter, it's clean air. While simple in theory, this could be tough to do. Would likely need some type of relay to ensure the switch isn't putting direct battery power into the fan at the same time as when the van is turned on.
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Old 11-14-2016, 09:27 AM   #2
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My Espar D4 makes for dry warm living conditions, I always have my fantastic fan open (with rain hood) and one of my front windows cracked open.
Sometimes I feel I could use a little more moisture...

Have you used the Espar D4 yet?
As for mounting it, stick with the instructions, don't deviate too far. I have no problems with mine in year since I put it in.
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Old 11-14-2016, 09:42 AM   #3
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IIRC, the D2 has a 'ventilating' mode which may help keep interior air moving around, but I don't think that solves your need to pull in exterior air.
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Old 11-14-2016, 09:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
My Espar D4 makes for dry warm living conditions, I always have my fantastic fan open (with rain hood) and one of my front windows cracked open.
Sometimes I feel I could use a little more moisture...

Have you used the Espar D4 yet?
As for mounting it, stick with the instructions, don't deviate too far. I have no problems with mine in year since I put it in.
I can remember issues with moisture when camping in an RV growing up. I haven't used it yet - van is in the planning phase at this point. I've seen a lot of installations from the sprinter forum where they are drawing in fresh air from outside.

What made you move up to the D4 over the D2? It seems only slightly bigger but seems much more efficient in so far is power ratios compared to the D2. Aside from the added cost and slightly larger size, I can't see a downside to it.
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbasso View Post
My Espar D4 makes for dry warm living conditions, I always have my fantastic fan open (with rain hood) and one of my front windows cracked open.
Sometimes I feel I could use a little more moisture...

Have you used the Espar D4 yet?
As for mounting it, stick with the instructions, don't deviate too far. I have no problems with mine in year since I put it in.
Also - do you have any issues with snow entering the van with the fan cracked or window open. it can get pretty damn windy when it snows at some of the areas we'll be camped at in the winter.
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Old 11-14-2016, 10:14 AM   #6
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As a side note - here is a switch that keeps the HVAC fan running, and shuts it off when the ignition is turned on.

Blower Control Module: Espar Heater Parts, Diesel Truck Heaters - Lubrication Specialist
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Old 11-14-2016, 11:27 AM   #7
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Aways crack the roof vent open 1/4-1/2 inch.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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I try to have the wind hit the front of the van when possible, when I do the vent visors and rain hood prevent precipitation from entering.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:05 PM   #9
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Wrap the inside penthouse in Reflectix and set the propane heater to come on if the temperature goes below 60 degree F. Then wipe off minor amount of condensation from fog buildup on plastic windows after removing Reflectix before dropping the penthouse in the morning.
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Old 11-14-2016, 06:10 PM   #10
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Allegedly it doesn't run hard enough to keep it self clean, but I haven't had any issues. It gets the interior up to desired temp with in 5 mins and will stay at the temp til I shut it down.
No negative side effects whatsoever, aside from the cost. But in the long run it will pay itself off vs propane.
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