Traveling in Winter: How to Prevent Frost and Condensation on Your Campervan

There’s nothing worse than being ready for your next journey but you can’t see out of your campervans windows. It can be so uncomfortable to have reduced vision when driving, and of course, it’s extremely dangerous. The burden of fogged up windows can occur all year round but especially in the winter when it’s colder.

Top products to reduce condensation

Before we get into what causes condensation and how to stop it, here are some products to check out that will help reduce the amount of condensation you get when it’s cold out.

Traveling in Winter: How to Prevent Frost and Condensation on Your Campervan

DampRid Moisture Absorber Best Values

Removes moisture from the air. Lovely lavender smell also removes musty odours.
Traveling in Winter: How to Prevent Frost and Condensation on Your Campervan

Kärcher Window Vac Best Values

Quick & easy way to reduce reduce condensation by cleaning your screen.
Really useful for cleaning your entire van, not just for helping to prevent condensation.

Your campervan is much larger than a normal car and is typically used for longer journeys, so it is essential to find an effective way to prevent any condensation or frost from forming. There are a few magic tricks to put into place to ensure you have an ideal travelling experience with no hiccups due to reduced vision.   

Why Your Campervan Gets Condensation   

The reason that condensation occurs more during winter is that the temperature outside is colder than usual. This mismatches the warmer temperature inside your campervan and therefore leads to windows fogging up. The warm moisture particles inside come into contact with surfaces, such as a cold windscreen, and convert into water droplets. This in turn causes the glass to mist up, as well as the potential of mold growing on damp surfaces within the van. 

You’ll find the highest levels of condensation after leaving your van overnight rather than driving it for long lengths of time. Leaving items such as wet blankets, towels, and coats can increase dampness in your vehicle. However, not to worry, there are various easy solutions for this and you’ll have a dry and condensation-free campervan in no time.   

Top Tips for Preventing Your Campervan from Fogging Up   

There are obvious quick fixes to demisting and removing frost from your van. This could be using the heating and air con provided with the van, which you’ll know to use from driving a standard car. However, cars are different from campervans and your van needs extra care when preventing condensation and dampness. There are various short-term solutions as well as tricks to keep condensation away for longer.   

Crack Open a Window   

You’ll find there are several things you can do to get rid of condensation straight away. One thing is as simple as just opening a window for a little bit. This allows some cold air to get into your campervan and the temperatures on your windows and walls will match. It doesn’t take long and before you know it, you’ll see any mist disappearing. 

The only problem is that this is only a short-term solution since you’ll want to close the window when it starts to get cold.  

Warm Up Your Van   

Another way to balance the temperature between your interior and windows is by using heating inside your vehicle. You can do this quickly by turning on the provided heating and turning your blowers up high. It’s good to start cool and then increase the heat. This will warm up your windows and allow the condensation to dry up and disappear along with any other damp in the rest of the van. For a long-term solution, you can invest in a larger diesel heater that’s more powerful and strains your engine less.   

Keep Items Clean and Dry   

If you keep wet clothes, blankets, and umbrellas in your van, make sure they get dried off before putting them in. More wet items increase moisture in your car and therefore can lead to higher condensation. Ensuring everything within your campervan is clean and dry is a simple but effective trick.   

Use a Dehumidifier   

You may find it difficult to keep everything in your van dry, so that’s where a dehumidifier will come in handy. They’re designed to remove any excess moisture and keep surfaces dry, which means fewer water droplets causing your windows to fog up. They are a great investment and range in price and power so ensure you choose the right one for the size and needs of your campervan. You may find yourself not needing anything else.  

Protect Your Windows  

The hassle of having to remove the condensation or frost off of your van before a journey can be annoying. Since most condensation occurs overnight and when your camper is idle, it may be handy to use a window protector. If insulated, it can prevent your windows from freezing, and therefore they will be clean and clear in the morning.   

Consider Moisture Removing Products   

There are a vast number of products out there to help with the exact problem of fogged up windows and condensation. Of course, I’ve already mentioned a dehumidifier but there are some great quick fix items if you are in a hurry. 

A handheld window cleaner vacuum such as the Karcher Window Vac cleans as well as vacuums the windows surface allowing it to stay dry and streak-free.

Another excellent moisture removing product is Damp Rid which you place inside your campervan and it removes any damp from the air and can last for up to a month.

Advice from Fellow Campervan Owners  

There’s no better advice for condensation on your van than getting it from fellow campervanners who have experienced the same problems. Here are a few tips from them:  

  • If you find your stereo has a build-up of condensation on it, cover it with a damp cloth overnight.  
  • Invest in a roof vent (the spinning type).  
  • Fill up a sock with cat litter and leave it in your van, this will absorb moisture.  
  • Use car dehumidifier bags, once the beads turn green you can microwave them and use them again.  

As you can see, there’s no reason to have condensation on your van with the number of preventative measures you can take. Test out a few and find out which one works best for you and your camper. You’ll find your camping trips less stressful with maximum vision. 

Joe Tannorella

Joe Tannorella

Joe grew up wanting to live the van life. In 2020 he and his wife bought their first VW Transporter campervan (called Vinnie) and have been enjoying it ever since. Together they write about their experiences of van life and provide useful information, reviews, and more via their writing on Camperbrain.

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