Skip to main content
Sunday January 8, 2023

How Can Damp Affect a Motorhome’s Value?

4 minutes well spent

Written by John Broderick
Motorhome Damp Blog Image

Buying a motorhome can be a big investment, whether it’s from brand new or ‘just’ new to you. As an owner you’ll want to protect that investment. When the time comes, and you think “I want to sell my motorhome” or “it’s time to sell my campervan” you really want the maximum you can get for it. But protection is not just for financial reasons, either. Keeping your motorhome free from damp is an essential part of ensuring you continue to enjoy spending comfortable and relaxing time in it.

Because it is, essentially, a fairly closed and self-contained unit, the fixtures and fittings of your motorhome are liable to attack from damp and mould. The worst case scenario is that damp damage can compromise the structural integrity of your vehicle. Even though the build quality of motorhomes is excellent – and improving year on year – damp is a natural phenomenon. The very air around us contains moisture and so it will always arise in some way in your motorhome, and needs to be managed. Here are our tips for keeping on top of any damp issues which may arise.

What Causes Damp in Motorhomes?

Damp in motorhomes and campervans is caused by the same factors as it is in your house, or any other relatively closed environment. Moist air is created by condensation (generated when cooking meals or showering). This moisture does not ‘escape’ and therefore condenses on surfaces such as windows, walls and worktops.

Water ingress is also a problem. This is where rain gets in to your motorhome via gaps and compromised seals. Structural seals around doors and windows which have been made with low quality sealants can be points at which water ingress occurs.

How to Get Rid of Damp in a Motorhome

There’s no getting around the fact that your motorhome will never be completely moisture free. The steps you take are not about total prevention but about mitigating against moisture, and managing the situation when it occurs. These are the things you can do, in terms of your own behaviour within the motorhome, which will limit the likelihood of excess moisture.

1. Taking a Shower

A shower is one of the day’s great pleasures – a fantastic way to freshen up. However, it causes a lot of moisture in the air, so to combat this you should keep the window of your bathroom open for the steam to escape. In addition, keep the bathroom door closed so that the steam doesn’t enter the rest of the interior of your motorhome.

2. Washing

Don’t dry clothes within the motorhome itself. The moisture present in your wet or damp washing is going to make its way into the internal environment if you do. If you have an awning on the exterior of your motorhome, you could dry your clothes in there. Or, if you do not have an awning, wash on a day when the weather means drying outside is possible.

3. Cooking

Preparing meals and cooking can create a lot of moisture. You have to eat, of course, so simmering lightly on the hob and using lids on your pans is the most effective method. Your kitchen area is likely to have an extractor fan and you should switch this on as it will literally extract moisture out of the motorhome.

4. Sleeping

It may surprise you to learn that human beings (and their pets) generate condensation during sleep. So make sure there is some ventilation which will allow this moisture to escape the interior of your motorhome.

After any of these activities you should make the effort to clean your motorhome or campervan, wiping down walls and surfaces to clear condensation as best you possibly can. Similarly, when your weekend break or longer holiday is over and you’ve arrived home, the temptation may be to just take your suitcases and bags inside your house, shut the door and collapse on the sofa for a bit. As fine as that is, however, as soon as you possibly can you should make the effort to clean your campervan or motorhome – wiping down surfaces and making sure things are clean and dry. You should also open cupboards, lockers and area doors, and adjust furnishings to maximise the airflow in the motorhome.

How Do I Check for Damp in My Motorhome?

A small piece of equipment called moisture meter is a decent investment to make if you are very serious about keeping your motorhome in tip-top condition. This will cost you, by current standards, around £150 so it is a little bit of an outlay – but it’s worth it as this meter will indicate moisture or damp before big problems occur. It can be used to test in specific areas of the motorhome or campervan every couple of months, and will help you catch issues early enough to do something about. It really could save you a lot of money in costly repairs to areas damaged by damp that lay undetected for too long.

Other Steps You Can Take Are:

  • Check window, door and vent seals for cracks or compromised sealant.
  • Check the smell of furnishings to see if there is a ‘musty’ smell.
  • Run your hand over the walls to check for wetness, pimpling, bumps and warps.
  • Check everything for discolouration (including black spots or marks).
  • Walk the floors to check whether they feel spongy or soft or creaky.
  • Check internal metallics (screws, handles etc) for rust.

Having to put right the damage caused by damp after it has really taken hold of your campervan or motorhome is a costly business, which will leave an unpleasant feeling in your heart as well as your wallet! Your whole investment being undermined by moisture is not a situation you want to occur – and so, as we’ve explained in this blog, it’s best to take preventative steps. If you’re wondering “how much is my motorhome worth?” then make sure to follow our guide during and after each trip, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the time comes to sell. Make the effort and really protect your investment!