Jump to content

Used A Cover For The First Time-so What Did We Do Wrong?


Rikster
 Share

Recommended Posts

This year we decided to keep our van on our driveway rather than putting it into storage and after much debate, used a 'breathable' Maypole cover. Apart from ruining the front window, after I made the mistake of 'protecting' it with cling film, which I have covered in a different thread, we also ended up with lots of mould inside the van!

So what did we do wrong? Should we have left the windows slightly open to allow some airflow?

Should we not have bothered with a cover at all, which did a great job of keeping the outside looking good?

I never dreamed there was so much to learn about caravanning!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear it wasn't a raging success, but although some will disagree I think it helps to use one.

 

You seem to have learned the lessons. ...make sure the van is clean and dry before fitting, then open all windows a smidgen. ...perhaps the ventilation position. .if you can, visit now and then and open the door to give it a blow through, not a problem if it's on the drive. ...and don't bother with the film. ...I find 3 or 4 footballs on the roof help to 'tent' the cover and help rainwater fall off instead of pooling. ...fit cover first then roll the balls up through the rooflights.

 

Yes, it's not totally fit & forget, but for me the saving on cleaning effort is worth the minor hassle

Edited by Coriolis
Link to comment
Share on other sites

+1 ;)


We also put 3 bowls of salt around the van soaks up any damp & we have never had any mould or damp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your mould is down to airflow and/or the uplift of the cover. We used the same brand cover whilst in storage and we had the same as it just didn't allow things to break he properly. We now use a protec full cover and it's perfect.

Do leave a couple of windows on the night vent as it does help with airflow.

 

To deal with the mould you need to get rid of the spores completely and there is a product called Sophis that actually breaks down the spores completely. It's pretty brutal on your hands, so wear gloves, but it really works.

73f48f4b.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caravans are designed and built to live outdoors, I don't see a need for a cover at all, ^^^ this further proves my point that cover cause more harm than do any good ^^^. Nobody covers a static caravan in winter do they.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Caravans are designed and built to live outdoors. . . . .

Would be nice then to ask these designers why do so many leak like sieves?

 

The big difference between statics and tourers is that statics do not undergo the continual twisting and flexing that our tourers do which can open up small cracks in the sealants.

 

In the winter water lying in these small cracks freezes, expands and gradually forces the joint further apart and sealants can become breached, this was my reason for choosing to fit a cover and keep freezing water out of any, well that's my theory anyhow. :unsure:

 

I use used a Protek cover for the first time from last November until the end of March.

 

The caravan was polished all over to a pristine finish before it went on.

 

The roof lights and windows at each end we're left ajar by about 10mm to ensure good air movement and all floor vents were left clear of obstacles.

 

I placed mouse traps by each open window just in case.

 

I did not use any of the salt bowls.

 

Cover off end of March and still pristine with no mould at all, I had been checking for that weekly though.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with j1966 on this one!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think its the cover that is at fault. I've always covered mine with a good quality Protec cover and never had any issues with damp or mould. I'm parked under trees so if I didnt cover it the fallout from them would take forever to get off. As it is a quick wash off the roof and flash round the van with Showroom Shine and it looks a million dollars again when it's time to go.

I do have one of those moisture trap thing in the kitchen sink which over a couple of months fills up (about half a pint) but never suffered with mould even when we used to park up from November to March.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Through various vents in your caravan the interior is "open to atmosphere"

therefore any chemical or electrical dehumidifier is a waste of time.

You need windows cracked and a roof vent just open so that air will move the

full length of the caravan. Cushions, and seats should be removed or "stooked"

so air can circulate under bed boxes and cupboards left open.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The roof vents in caravans have permanent ventilation, even when you have closed them. This roof ventilation together with the permanent floor ventilation has been designed correctly by the manufacturer to ventilate the caravan when it's closed up. Do not obstruct any of these vents and the caravan will take care of itself. It's probably a good idea to leave the cupboard doors ajar so that cupboards have air circulation too, but even these have permanent ventilation which should be adequate if you haven't blocked the vents. Allover covers do keep the airborn dirt off, but we find that if the caravan is cleaned after use, it stays pretty good while parked up between trips.

 

PS. I just noticed Durbanites post, and he has a point too.

Edited by Ern
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Through various vents in your caravan the interior is "open to atmosphere"

therefore any chemical or electrical dehumidifier is a waste of time.

You need windows cracked and a roof vent just open so that air will move the

full length of the caravan. Cushions, and seats should be removed or "stooked"

so air can circulate under bed boxes and cupboards left open.

 

Care to explain/elaborate exactly why please?

 

If a 'van has a cover on it surely the issue is that it's not fully 'open to atmosphere' - so why exactly would a small electric dehumidifier not work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used a Kampa cover for the first time this winter. Previous years with the wet Devon winters the caravan ended up green by the spring! This year, cover off, bright shiny caravan, no mould condensation inside. I did crack open a couple of windows just help the airflow. No scratching on windows or bodywork either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my opinion there is only one way that a caravan could possibly be dehumidified, and that is if the whole caravan is placed inside an enclosure with dry air. Simply removing a little moisture from the air within the caravan is pointless as it will quickly be replaced by air from outside the caravan via the fixed ventilation holes. The only thing that a full cover achieves is to keep falling debris (dirty rain, bird droppings, leaves etc.) from coming into contact with the caravan body.

I have never successfully used a cover for a caravan and decided years ago that the best protection for our pride and joy was polish. It therefore is washed regularly and polished every couple of months or so. Over the years the polish built up and and it can now be cleaned with little more effort than running a hose over it and leathering it off.

Look after your caravan and it will look after you, without the need for additional covers. I treat my cars the same way, well polished and stored either fully outdoors or under a car port but never in an enclosed garage.

Rallier

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Rallier above about dehumidifiers. It seems to me that with a ventilated structure like a caravan you'd be effectively trying to dry the world.

 

As we've been stored under trees our caravan has been covered since day one, whenever it's in storage. We use a Protec and have not had any issues with scratching, nor has lack of ventilation caused any problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Rallier above about dehumidifiers. It seems to me that with a ventilated structure like a caravan you'd be effectively trying to dry the world.

 

As we've been stored under trees our caravan has been covered since day one, whenever it's in storage. We use a Protec and have not had any issues with scratching, nor has lack of ventilation caused any problem.

 

Errr but isn't the problem that mould has developed precisely because the caravan in the OP isn't well ventilated if under it's cover?

 

When using a dehumidifier in a house the inside of the house is not hermetically sealed, so why should using one in a caravan under a cover not work in the same way?

 

If it was ventilated sufficiently to mean you were trying to 'dry the world' then surely it wouldn't need a humidifier anyway? - as mould wouldn't form.

Edited by Tin_Snail
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Care to explain/elaborate exactly why please?

 

If a 'van has a cover on it surely the issue is that it's not fully 'open to atmosphere' - so why exactly would a small electric dehumidifier not work?

 

As fast as the humidifier pulls moisture out of the air in the caravan, it is replaced by fresh air due to natural circulation from the permanent fixed ventilation.

 

Same applies to bowls of rice or salt both which naturally attract moisture, so when people see the bowl full of water they think they have "saved the caravan", putting a cover over the caravan reduces the natural flow of ventilating air.

 

We have always kept the caravan at the side of the house wih selected windows on the night setting, both Heiki roof lights on the first setting, and the heating set on 500w and No3 on the thermostat, in 20+ years of caravaning we have seen no condensation and no mould, the caravan is always aired and ready for use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm clearly not explaining myself very well. But to confirm that I am not talking about caravans stored without a cover, I am talking about a caravan with a cover on which is what this thread is about.


 

As fast as the humidifier pulls moisture out of the air in the caravan, it is replaced by fresh air due to natural circulation from the permanent fixed ventilation.

 

Same applies to bowls of rice or salt both which naturally attract moisture, so when people see the bowl full of water they think they have "saved the caravan", putting a cover over the caravan reduces the natural flow of ventilating air.

 

We have always kept the caravan at the side of the house wih selected windows on the night setting, both Heiki roof lights on the first setting, and the heating set on 500w and No3 on the thermostat, in 20+ years of caravaning we have seen no condensation and no mould, the caravan is always aired and ready for use.

 

Isn't the problem here though is that the cover is preventing or at least significantly inhibiting this? - because the permanent fixed ventilation in the roof vents at least is being obstructed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm clearly not explaining myself very well. But to confirm that I am not talking about caravans stored without a cover, I am talking about a caravan with a cover on which is what this thread is about.

 

Isn't the problem here though is that the cover is preventing or at least significantly inhibiting this? - because the permanent fixed ventilation in the roof vents at least is being obstructed?

 

The replies are to your suggestion of using a small humidifier in a caravan, the humidifier is removing moisture, and due to the natural ventilation (covered or not) fresh air containing more moisture is being drawn in, if the caravan was completely air tight then the humidifier would stand some chance of removing the moisture, but it's not so it can't.

 

The best way to prevent condensation and mould it to ensure the caravan has a clear air flow to all surfaces, cupboards and lockers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As an example with de-humidifiers. I tried using one in my garage, which is a workshop now. It had an up and over door with small gaps around it. After 2 months I was still emptying the same amount of water out of it as I was at the start. I then fitted a Roler door which was a good fit all round, the amount of water now is only a tenth of what I was getting.

To get the same effect in a caravan you would have to block all vents, including the ones in the floor, which is not a good idea :unsure:

'I know' is just 'I Believe' with delusions of grandeur

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 PHEV 4H

Unicorn 4 Cadiz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The replies are to your suggestion of using a small humidifier in a caravan, the humidifier is removing moisture, and due to the natural ventilation (covered or not) fresh air containing more moisture is being drawn in, if the caravan was completely air tight then the humidifier would stand some chance of removing the moisture, but it's not so it can't.

 

The best way to prevent condensation and mould it to ensure the caravan has a clear air flow to all surfaces, cupboards and lockers.

 

Then I am sorry but I don't understand how a dehumidifier works in a house (which as I said earlier is not airtight).

 

Anyway I've made a suggestion to try and help the OP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Then I am sorry but I don't understand how a dehumidifier works in a house (which as I said earlier is not airtight).

 

Anyway I've made a suggestion to try and help the OP.

 

Because a dehumidifier in a house has more of a chance as it is not a draughty tin box with permanent ventilation.

 

In a house if you close all the doors and windows there is very little circulation of air from outside, its the same reason you need to close all the doors and windows in a house for air conditioning to work correctly.

 

In both instances you need to exclude any external air from entering so the unit can concentrate on the air within the room.

 

So despite your best intentions, your suggestion is based on a lack of understanding and is unhelpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My suggestion is based on the fact that the ventilation in the 'van is obviously compromised probably by the presence of the cover and how my understanding of good ventilation in a caravan works, not by a lack of understanding.

 

My suggestion is the ventilation is being sufficiently compromised to such a degree it is equivalent to a room with closed windows and doors because clearly there is very little ability for air to get into the 'van other than through the floor vents (assuming even they are clear of course.

 

Therefore the usefulness (or otherwise) hangs on the degree to which the ventilation is compromised and whether it is compromised (or not) sufficiently to be equivalent to a room (or not), bearing in mind no room is sealed even with the doors and windows closed. Our house has gaps under the doors and vents in the DG window frames by way of example.

 

Without a proper study of how the air is flowing through the 'van (or isn't) and then to compare that to a room it isn't really possible to say whether it is unhelpful or not, for all we know the theory could actually hold water (pun intended)

 

:)

Edited by Tin_Snail
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My suggestion is based on the fact that the ventilation in the 'van is obviously compromised probably by the presence of the cover and how my understanding of good ventilation in a caravan works, not by a lack of understanding.

 

My suggestion is the ventilation is being sufficiently compromised to such a degree it is equivalent to a room with closed windows and doors because clearly there is very little ability for air to get into the 'van other than through the floor vents (assuming even they are clear of course.

 

Therefore the usefulness (or otherwise) hangs on the degree to which the ventilation is compromised and whether it is compromised (or not) sufficiently to be equivalent to a room (or not), bearing in mind no room is sealed even with the doors and windows closed. Our house has gaps under the doors and vents in the DG window frames by way of example.

 

Without a proper study of how the air is flowing through the 'van (or isn't) and then to compare that to a room it isn't really possible to say whether it is unhelpful or not, for all we know the theory could actually hold water (pun intended)

 

:)

 

So if you understand it that well why did you suggest a dehumidifier, perhaps you can explain how a dehumidifier will help air circulation?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...