Mold and Your RV: What You Need to Know

RV life has so many benefits that it’s hard to remember that RVs are homes—or second homes—and living in any building, wheels attached or not, takes a toll on the building. RVs may have different issues than foundation homes, but issues still exist. Mold can occur in all buildings, but the smaller, enclosed space of an RV can set the stage for mold faster than in other places.

RVs used seasonally may have additional factors. When storing your RV between uses, in covered storage or not, mold abatement is something to consider.

How mold starts

Mold spores are everywhere and no one can avoid them. So why do some places get mold and some don’t? Mold spores are carried in the air, attach to clothes and shoes, and under certain conditions can start growing on anything made of cellulose, wood, paper, carpets, fabric, and more.

Mildew starts in temperatures of 77 to 88 degrees and a relative humidity level of 70 to 95%.

When the temperature rises and the humidity is high, the spores grow. RVs, even when vented, intensify the density of humidity and warmth. Cooking, showering, and laundry, all create high humidity. In short, RVs are condensation factories.

Most of the time, with as much outdoor living that RVers typically do, this isn’t a problem. In some situations or locations, that can change. And if there’s leakage from pipes, windows, or even the roof, dampness will build up.

Dampness equals mildew; mildew can grow into mold. Mildew is much easier to remove than mold, so act fast!


You’ve heard the expression, “it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission”? It doesn’t apply to mold. It’s easier to prevent it than to eliminate it later.

  • Ventilate cooking areas, bathrooms, and laundry areas when used, or immediately after. Make use of any exhaust vents and windows after moisture-heavy activities. Just as your glass of iced tea starts dripping in high temperatures and even more in a humid climate, your RV will also, but probably in places you can’t see.
  • Turn the RV’s interior temperate a few degrees higher than you might normally have it, especially in a hot, damp climate. In a cold winter, keep the temperature a little lower.
  • Add insulation to your windows. Kits are inexpensive and easily installed. Check here for information about window insulation that does not block the light. This information also explains how to use bubble wrap as window insulation.
  • Consider a dehumidifier. These come either as a dry silicon-like material or as an electronic device. The opposite of what people in deserts do by using a humidifier! A commonly used dessicant product is sold as DampRid. Definitely use it when storing your RV off season.
  • After a travel season and before you store our RV, clean out and dry the interior of anything used with with water: the washer, the refrigerator etc. Leave the refrigerator door open when not used.
  • Check regularly for leaks, especially on the roof and on the RV seams. If you have had a flooding episode, don’t just mop the floor. Check the flooring and perhaps use a heater to dry the area thoroughly. Pipes and the connections are especially vulnerable to extremes of weather or frequent use.

Long-term RV storage and mold

Preventing mold in your RV during storage is as easy as arranging for a Luxelocker climate-control capable storage unit. Cleaning the RV thoroughly and take vermin-prevention measures before storage is essential in all periods of disuse.

Odors that are more than a bit of stale air may indicate the presence of unseen mold. Use a mold test kit if you suspect such a problem in your RV.

Luxelocker Luxury RV and Boat Storage is your best friend for fighting mold and mildew. With state-of-the-art storage units with climate control capabilities, your RV has the best protection possible. Luxelocker has numerous locations in the west and the climate ranges from dry and warm to cool and damp. Units are well insulated, including the doors. You may wish to purchase your unit, for additional tax benefits, or even to rent out when you aren’t using it.