Friday, October 10, 2008

Humidity, the enemy of all Full-Timers

Well, winter is coming upon me now, and the long periods of dry weather and air conditioning are giving way to days upon days of rain.

High moisture content in your air is a bad thing when you live inside a 7 1/2 x 18 foot box! Its more so a problem when the air in the cabover bed area doesn't move worth a damn.

I wound up needing to find a solution to my condensation problems.

photo of ADS-400 Mini Dehumidifier I wound up settling after much discussion with fellow campers on the NewAir ADS-400 Mini Humidifier from Air N' Water Inc for around $50 (they had a sale on at the time) and it came with free shipping.

I purchased this particular unit because of its size (roughly the size of an electric coffee maker) and the fact that it could run off its own 110volt power brick, or a 12 volt cigarette plug.

I initially set the unit up at the foot of my bed where I had the most trouble with condensation build up and used its 110 volt brick.

I installed a cigarette lighter outlet up in the cab over after discovering that the dehumidifier's brick got dangerously hot when in constant use. The unit actually worked better running off the camper's 12-volt feed than it did running off the brick.

The unit ran fine for about 6-7 months before the fan started to screech like the brakes on a run-away semi truck. You could "bop" the top of the unit periodically and it would stop squealing for a while, but it would eventually start back up.

This worked okay until the time I came home to visit family for Christmas (also about the time I was moving off the farm and over to my new living location closer to work) and a gave the unit a bop and the blades on the fan broke.

I wound up having to dismantle the unit and replace the fan with a spare, higher flow computer fan I had stuffed away in a parts box.

After that the unit worked fine for quite some time.

Eventually, another problem cropped up in that the little tabs for the contact switches broke rather easily when attempting to remove the tank when it was full. The little safety switch that kept the unit from running when the tank was removed broke off leaving only the thin metal arm that actuated the switch.

A simple fix involving a quarter and a couple pieces of duct tape wound up fixing this problem.

Given all its problems, the unit did its job, but definitely wasn't the quality level demanded of its price tag.

1 comment:

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