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Old 11-04-2014, 11:10 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Northern Virginia
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Issue with Excessive Moisture on Walls During Winter Camping

Hello All,
This summer we purchased the 2014 MicroLite 23LB and have taken it out for a few area test drives with the family. This last weekend we headed to the mountains for a final camping trip before putting it away for the winter and were anxious to see how it handles in colder weather and for a first time use of the heater. Daytime temps topped out at 49 degrees with strong winds, evenings down to the 20s. Noticed on the first morning we had moisture on the front walls behind the Murphy bed at about the level of the curve of the front wall. Did not go any higher. Next morning it definitely went higher, almost to the ceiling, and each time we used a fan to dry the walls. Before we left the campground on Monday we had the kids strip their bedding to get it ready for winterizing and they each reported moisture on the outside walls. We also detected moisture on the base boards in the front of the trailer. While I would (and did) expect to have moisture on the windows from condensation, I did not anticipate this much on the walls. Would have thought the insulation would have been able to handle the temperature extremes while running the heater. Is this something else you have noticed on any Forest River model and how did you handle it? Is this something I need to take up with an authorized warranty dealer? That was the second problem we experienced.

The first problem was with not being able to tow above 57 mph without excessive swaying. Used the manual brakes for the trailer extensively during five trips before we directed our sales shop to take our truck AND trailer and find out why it was giving us so much of a problem. They replaced the ball (said it was defective), replaced the anti-sway bars for lighter ones, added half a tank of water to add more weight to the front, test drove it many times on the highway and now we can travel fairly comfortably at the posted speed limit. Do not understand why I have to carry water for weight if the vehicle and trailer were balanced properly to begin with, but I will live and learn. I would prefer to travel dry and fill up later. Would be interested in hearing if anyone else had this problem straight from the dealer.

On the plus side the kids really enjoyed the camping. All for now. Interested in hearing your comments.

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Old 11-04-2014, 11:29 AM   #2
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I wonder if you use a weight distribution hitch (Equalizer or other wdh). If not the wdh will make a huge improvement in towing. I believe the 23lb has a Murphy bed which with the integrated sofa puts a lot of weight on the hitch. What type of TV are you using? Moisture will be a problem using the furnace during cold weather. We open bathroom vent a bit to reduce moisture buildup.

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Old 11-04-2014, 11:49 AM   #3
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RV walls are never going to insulate to the level you are used to in a house so the walls are always going to condense moisture above a certain relative humidity (technically, if the temperature of the surface drops below the dewpoint). With bonded walls its going to be worst over the aluminum structure - there's no insulation there.

Plus, RV's have always had a problem with humidity. There is not enough air exchange to get rid of the humidity created by cooking, showering, washing and just breathing. People never ventilate enough because the insulation is bad enough that the heating can barely keep up with the heat leaking out of the structure without intentionally drawing in fresh, dry but cold air.

Best you can do is to be very vigilant about the water you put in the air... always use the range vent, squeegee the shower walls and floor as much as possible, sponge up as much water as you can, never leave water standing in the sink, do not leave wet towels hanging to dry in the RV, try not to breathe so much (just kidding about the last - maybe).
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Old 11-04-2014, 12:04 PM   #4
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We have a 23lb and have no trouble with towing. I must say though, I have a hensley hitch so that is a whole different discussion.
The wife and I have camped many times in cold weather and the moisture is always something to deal with. We leave the bathroom vent open slightly and Usually clean off the excess moisture from the windows and sometimes walls in the morning. Then tie the drapes and blinds up to let the sun warm the camper.
Moisture issues are just part of winter camping and have been with past trailers and tent camping.
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:20 PM   #5
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Moisture is always a problem in cold weather with campers which are not "four season". We always leave the vent in the bathroom and a window cracked to allow air exchange.

With a small trailer like yours (and ours), where you load your gear is important. We always try to move the heavier stuff to the front. That being said, it sounds as if your hitch isn't set up properly. Our 21FBRS tows like it isn't there. What kind of truck is your tow vehicle (TV)?
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Old 11-04-2014, 04:37 PM   #6
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I owned your campers twin (Rockwood 2306) for two seasons... Towed it with a Nissan Armada (close in wheelbase and tow capacity as your TV)... I used a 4-pt Equal-i-zer. It didn't matter how I loaded the camper, heavy front or back made no difference, I never once had a sway issue at any speed. I'd reconsider your hitch setup or get someone else to adjust it. Theres no way you should have to put water in it just to tow.

As others have said, condensation buildup is just an issue that we have to deal with. For us, it seems that using a ceramic electric heater cuts down a little bit. We also cracked open both ceiling vents. That helped the most.

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Old 11-05-2014, 08:43 PM   #7
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Excess Moisture and Sway

Everyone thanks for all your comments. Will have to learn how to vent better in the wintertime to avoid as much moisture as possible.
Regarding the sway issue - I believe we purchased the Reese Dual Cam High Performance Sway Control $1000 Weight Distribution Hitch anti-sway package over the $500 package because it was (1) closer to the weight rating for upgrading to the next level and (2) we didn't want to get the model that you had to remove the bars every time you wanted to back up. (Had to look at all their models online to be sure which brand we went with) The technician did spend three hours reconfiguring everything to make it drive right and also replaced the bars with lighter ones that somehow seem to be doing the job. Will look at not using water as our additional weight balancing system.
We currently use a 2003 GMC Yukon as our tow vehicle and it has performed well even with over 100K miles on it. Would prefer to get a newer model before consider driving over some higher mountains in the mid-west area. Thanks again and hoe to see you all on the road somewhere.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:10 PM   #8
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I bought a 30 pint dehumidifier and that helped by about 75% or so and reduced moisture on front window that got my bed wet.

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