Some RTT Questions

I've used my RTT last weekend and again this weekend and have some questions for you all in terms of taking care of these things.

I've noticed condensation build-up during this weekend's trip, likely due to the cooler weather (low of 44 degrees last night and the night before. When we got home today, I set up the tent again so the sun could dry it out between now and next weekend's trip.

My question is, is that necessary given I'll be using it again next weekend? I mean, we're not talking puddles of water, but there was certainly some dampness. I know it shouldn't be closed up for an extended period of time if wet, but does 5 days count as "extended?

Second, I'm wondering what should be done about the mattress (if you want to call 2" thick padding a "mattress"). Since that was a bit damp as well, should I remove that and perhaps store it in my basement? It's a finished basement with a living room, bedroom and full bathroom, so it's not an unfinished dark and damp torture chamber. The downside of doing that would be having to open the tent up before each trip to put the mattress inside before leaving. Then again, if I were to open it before each trip, I could also put in the inflatable mattress, pillows and sleeping bags, so those things won't take up space in the vehicle.

I'm aware of the anti-condensation mats that are sold for these, but the sites I checked that sell those were sold out. I've also read that while they help with condensation, they don't completely prevent it. Are there things I can do to help with this issue? While I closed 3 of the windows, I left the entry/exit one open in the hopes that would help decrease the amount of condensation. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. Should I have l left two other windows partially opened? Last weekend I left all 4 windows open, and didn't have any condensation at all, but it only got down to about 65 degrees last weekend.
 

NatersXJ6

Explorer
I have had tents mold with as little as 1 week closed up in mild temps (65-70 and sunny). Those had been in rain, not just condensation, but it is a real concern.

Anytime I’m in the wet and not opening back up each day, I set up in the driveway for 3-4 hours after returning and if it isn’t hot and sunny, I put a couple of box fans inside to move air.

I always open the windows at least a few inches, even in cold or bad weather.

I pull out the mattress and let it dry in the sun. If not possible, I lift it off the floor with some storage totes and run one of the fans under the mattress.

If it molds on you, a very mild mix of Lysol and water in a spray bottle and some soft brush action will help, but the smell will make you wish you took care of the tent earlier.
 
I have had tents mold with as little as 1 week closed up in mild temps (65-70 and sunny). Those had been in rain, not just condensation, but it is a real concern.

Anytime I’m in the wet and not opening back up each day, I set up in the driveway for 3-4 hours after returning and if it isn’t hot and sunny, I put a couple of box fans inside to move air.

I always open the windows at least a few inches, even in cold or bad weather.

I pull out the mattress and let it dry in the sun. If not possible, I lift it off the floor with some storage totes and run one of the fans under the mattress.

If it molds on you, a very mild mix of Lysol and water in a spray bottle and some soft brush action will help, but the smell will make you wish you took care of the tent earlier.
Thanks for the advice.

For now, the tent dried in the sun this afternoon. I pulled out the mattress and took that in the house, as I'll only use that when all 4 of us (me, wife, 8yo and 2yo) go camping, which won't be as often as when I go alone or with my 8yo. I have an inflatable Exped Mega Mat (the extra large one) and will use that when by myself or with my 8yo. It's much better than the mattress the the tent comes with, but doesn't cover the entire tent floor, which is why I cannot use it when all 4 of us are in there.

I'll keep each window open a bit, even during the winter months to help out.

I'm wondering what the life expectancy is going to be on this tent given I camp fall to spring and not in summer. It will see a lot of rainy and snowy days. I have a propane Buddy heater thing, and maybe I can use that to help dry out the tent on non-sunny winter days.
 

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rgallant

Adventurer
@Renegade Camping avoid the little buddy for drying it will add some moisture. If you can use one of those little electric ceramic heaters that would be better, put it near the door on a piece of plywood with the door and far window open. I find they heat up the inside pretty quick and fan moves the air well.

Pretty much no choice in the PNW, rain and heavy dew means generally a damp tent.
 
Thanks for the suggestions. When I camp alone, I didn't have any moisture, but I had 3 of the 4 windows completely opened. When there was 4 of us in there (me, wife, 8yo, 2yo) it was an olympic sized swimming pool. Okay, maybe not THAT bad. I was surprised because one window was completely opened.

When my 8yo returns from school the two of us are going camping. I'll try one window completely opened, one completely closed, and two halfway closed. Will probably take some trial and error to get the right combination.

I'll keep the Little Buddy heater out of the tent as suggested...perhaps save that for the garage or the basement during the cooler months. I'll look into the ceramic heaters...don't have any experience with those.
 
Heating the air in a tent is an exercise in futility. Warmth comes from capturing body heat in a sleeping bag.
My thought wasn't so much to heat the air as it was to curb the condensation. My sleeping bag is rated at -20, so the last thing I am in my tent is cold.;)

Went camping yesterday afternoon and returned today. The temp on dropped to maybe 60 degrees, so kept all the windows open...condensation still formed...it's obviously got something against me. :LOL: Eventually the sun burned it all off though, so all good.

The Hypervent looks cool, but at $10 per square foot, I'll be passing on that for now.
 

Kmrtnsn

Explorer
It's amazing how much water breathing alone can generate in a small space. We've camped in a small teardrop trailer and a lack of airflow will create the same issue. Airflow is key.
 

rgallant

Adventurer
@Renegade Camping You could try a little USB powered fan at night aimed out a window up high, you need the one across open too. That will get some airflow and should help.

When I slept in my truck I had one aimed out the sunroof with my windows down about 50% -10C and that kept most of the condensation out.

In my RTT I open the skylight window right above my head and 3 of the other 4 about 40% no condensation a bit nippy in the Am but not bad
 
I am going to hang a DampRid bag up in mine next time I go out to see if that helps any.
Now that's thinking outside the box! Let me know how that works out for you. Next weekend is my 2yo's birthday, so I won't be camping, but will go out again the day after that. Might try the DampRid bag on that trip.
 

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Milamr

Member
Now that's thinking outside the box! Let me know how that works out for you. Next weekend is my 2yo's birthday, so I won't be camping, but will go out again the day after that. Might try the DampRid bag on that trip.
Hopefully will get to go in the next few weeks and will give it a try.


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