Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion combating condensation in van dwelling

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • Author
  • #63773

    Had this problem on a boat with a steel cabin. Warn damp air coming into contact with cold metal or windows. Result drips, not pleasant in the middle of the night.

    Solution 1

    Insulate, use cardboard as a stopgap,ideally have it sprayed with some insulating foam, preferably something non toxic, if such a product exists. you could Skin the inside in such a way that you can push the insulation in with a stick, then use warmcel insulation made from recycled paper which is also fire retardant, and harmless, or shredded paper treated with borax solution, which I believe is the basis of the flame retardant in warmcel insulation,

    Solution 2

    Drive somewhere warm.


    hi all. im currently traveling around europe in our converted mercedes 408 van, but we’ve had a problem over the last few days as the temperature has dropped…… condensation freezing on the inside of the roof.

    has anyone dealt with this problem before? can anyone give us some handy hints to sort it out?

    cheers, rob and bec


    thanks DaveBoat for your input, we couldnt find any non-toxic insulating foam where we are, but have used some aluminium-bubble insulation (if that makes sense) which has helped dramatically. We are also taking your 2nd piece of advice and heading south to Portugal and Spain in the next week.

    thanks again


    I live in a fully insulated van but we get a lot of condensation under the bed.

    I have raised the mattress up on slats with a 2″ air gap but it still gets wet under there.

    We have taken to putting baking tin with moisture crystals to suck up some of the water but I could do with a better solution really



    hi mamos let me know if you find solution.all the vans ive lived in same problem.the nearest solution ive found is to create a double gap ie like double glazed windows.and offset the gaps so no draughts.this reduces the amount a lot.also i turn my mattress every day when really bad this helps but is real pain.what heating in your van do you have?.


    hi rob and bec as too no toxic insulation try b&q as thay have loft insulation made from 98%recycled plastic bottles its really easy to use looks like fake snow and you can handle without masks etc.the trick is also not to leave any gaps as this will cause cold spots making problem worse.hope this helps.

    from a cold van in england.


    Hi Skippy

    I am thinking of installing some 12 volt fans (computer fans) in the bed base connected to a small solar panel so they only come on in the daylight. These should keep the bed nice and ventilated.

    As for heating, when we are near electricity we have a small halogen heater and when we are moving we have a diesel night heater like they have in boats and trucks.



    think about installing a small woodburner with a chimney, will warm the van (good) and the lower the humidity nicely. there are some suggestions here:

    good luck



    Hi ajnor

    Welcome to the forum

    Do you live in the van full time?

    I like the look of the still stoked web site

    I am an old skater myself

    Are you anything to do with still stoked?

    I would love to have a wood burner in the van but we don’t really have the room at the moment but I am thinking of adding another four feet to the length of the van so who knows.



    Hi All,

    I am living in a van here in NZ pretty much year around.

    My van is Toyota Hiace which I have been building for 3 years while living in it.

    I have used wool insulation on the walls and 10mm polystyrene under the floor panel. I would have put thicker insulation on the floor but it cuts into my headroom which is just enough for me to stand in.

    On the roof I have 25mm polystyrene blocks under the felt.

    Cooking causes a lot of condensation and before winter I should put in extractor fan over the stove.

    One important trick is to maximize the heating effect of the Sun and park such a way that you get sun heating the van in the morning.

    Also I try to chop my travel so that after cooking dinner I travel to another spot to spend a night. that way I can use the van heater to heat the van before I go to sleep.

    I have thought about inventing a micro wood heater which would use small sticks, pine cones or saw dust? Feel free to steal this idea as I would prefer to buy one off the shelf rather than spending money on developing one.


    Try lining the van with 1/4″ thick cork tiles – floor, ceiling, walls, but not windows!


    I almost hate to admit this, but I’ve tried numerous systems for combating this problem and the best one I’ve found is also the simplest: Keep at least two windows cracked open sufficiently for cross-ventilation.


    Hi guys,

    My boyfriend and I are going to be driving from UK down to Portugal soon, we are in the midst of converting an Iveco Daily van… the roof is fibre glass and I have a feeling it is going to act like a greenhouse, so rather than combating cold weather I’m trying to find a way to cool the van…. I have heard that lining the van with cork tiles or polystyrene would help keep it cool however Cyclopath has mentioned it for insulating against the cold and condensation does work in reverse as well? Cheers


    Hi all,

    I am completely new to this site so go easy on me, I was looking for advice on alternative living, power etc, and then I see you lot talking about vans and condensation. this is a topic I am familiar with having lived in a soaking wet caravan and am working on my second van conversion.

    Avoid foam mattresses, we had these in the caravan, and you could ring them out in the morning!!! for the base of our bed we used the slatted bed bases from Ikea and futon mattresses, these weren’t cheap but well worth it. Our last van had a small workshop wood stove, I work with wood so fuel is cheap, and if you run out you can always find wood to burn by the road. Never use gas for heating, terrible condensation and it’s not good for you. Don’t try to make your van air tight, JessenB is spot on, and finally curtains are good at stopping your bus heating up too much, you can line your ceiling with just about anything, we have a section in the middle which is just fibre glass and my wife has made a curtain for that too, amazing difference (I think bright colours work best :-) hope that is of some help to someone.


    Hello, maybe “super shammy’s” would help in some way. I have heard the ones that are made in Germay are superior to most other brands commnly used(only have heard this)… but they are supposed to absorb water in a magnificently way!(then just ring out later) I also saw somewhere that they also work to dry clothing faster… there was a demonstration where they just rolled a wet sweater from the wash up in a super shammy and it was much drier as it soaked up most of the water… maybe they might help, hope so anyway, have a good day

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.