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MountainApple

Climate problems: Tank freeze risk, temp/humidity sensors, dehumidifying hull

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Hi folks.

 

This is my first post as an owner! I'm having problems with heating and humidity, and have been scared to unwinterize for reasons you'll see below.

 

A) I'm not convinced yet that this is a 4 season trailer as I've read and was marketed to. I've registered basement temperatures of 28F while continually running the furnace inside at 74F for days and after installing a 1.5" thick blue board skirt around the trailer! This concept of the furnace leakage heating the tanks looks kind of wish washy to me in practice on my hull.  I read that others are doing it but I'm spooked. I hope those 28F measurements were an error or that there's something wrong with my furnace. Yes this is with the upgrade furnace. I'm looking at installing a more complex temp/humidity sensor system (see below), so I can diagnose/prove if something is wrong with our unit.

 

B) Has anyone installed tank and valve heaters, or other diy things like light bulbs for heat under their rig?

 

C)) I'm trying to figure out what the possibilities could be for adding compressor dehumidification that would access the space between the hulls and inside the hatches. Anyone have any ideas on where something like a crawl space dehumidifier or marine dehumidifier could fit in a Legacy II model and have access to a weep hole for continuous drainage? I haven't found a structural schematic of the body. They're usually 8-13" tall and 15-22" long depending on power. The basement seems obvious, but I'm not sure that has enough air exchange with the rest of the hull.

 

I've been monitoring temperature and humidity here in Massachusetts in different parts of my Ollie for a couple of weeks. For reasons of health, I really need to be able to keep it low, in the 35-40% range. I've been running a 50 pint aerus pure&dry dehumidifier in the cabin, and it's steadily 30-35% up there, and it can even go down to 26%,  but it doesn't seem to be able to access the basement and hatches, which can get up to 70% humidity.  Outside temperatures here are often right around the dewpoint, so I'm concerned there could be a lot of condensation between the hulls.   Please no one say damp rid or dessicant as that's not a viable long term solution.

 

D) I'm looking at the BlueMaestro Tempo sensor system so I can monitor and graph dew point and temperature at locations all around the trailer. Hopefully that will work and I can get some better data on heat distribution, where airflow is going, and condensation might be. I'll report back on it in case anybody's interested. It transmits via Bluetooth to a mobile phone, which seems better than the wifi sensor systems since my wifi is spotty. You can buy a hub that will transmit the data and alerts to you over internet when you're away, but it's not necessary to operate the system. It seems like a very user configurable, high powered, expandable system for a decent price.

 

mermaid Dry Pal marine dehumidifier roughly 15x15x8" https://www.mmair.com/marine-division/dehumidifier/

 

Santa Fe compact/crawl space  dehumidifiers 13x12x21"L https://www.nashdistribution.com/our-products/by-industry/indoor-air-quality/dehumidifier-products/santa-fe/dehumidifiers/compact-2.html

 

blue maestro tempo sensors https://www.bluemaestro.com/product/tempo-disc-temperature-humidity-data-logger/

 

Thanks for reading and considering! Julia

 

 

 

 

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When setting up to run below freezing, you need to have a tank full of water to help keep it warm down there. I don't see how you could get any numbers with only dead air space down below but then we've never tried a dry run. We've had it down to 18° with plenty of heat down there but we have a completely different configuration with the Suburban heater and the Truma tankless water heater that we are running in winter mode as it is snowing a little here tonight with about half of a tank of water.

 

Reed

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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I dont see the need for a dehumidifier in that kind of weather. If your running a dehumidifier in the cabin you are basically heating the cabin with the dehumidifier and not getting enough run time on the furnace to heat the tank area. The heat from the furnace should dry out the cabin and lower the humidity without a need to run the dehumidifier in the winter even to the point that the humidity could get too low in some cases and require a humidifier to raise it back up. 30% relative humidity is on the low side of comfort level for most people.

 

I use the sensor push wireless sensors for data logging. They are great for monitoring the fridge temps too. It has alarms you can set and we can get readings in the truck while driving.

 

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AEQ9X9I/ref=asc_df_B01AEQ9X9I5289797/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=395033&creativeASIN=B01AEQ9X9I&linkCode=df0&hvadid=194026055947&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=6089814792019922864&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9013674&hvtargid=pla-375433369637

 

 

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Tom & Cheryl 

LE II #305

2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax

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MountainApple -  I"m aware of at least one Elite II that has tank heaters and they were installed at the factory.  The original owner was from South Carolina and did extensive winter job site camping in the North East.  I know that this unit was sold about a year and a half ago, but, unfortunately, I do not remember to whom it was sold.

 

While I've not done any extensive camping in my Oliver in consistently cold weather, it sounds like something is amiss here.  With that big old cold air return vent on the street side of the isle I wouldn't think that it would be even possible to have that big a difference between the hulls (at least anywhere on the street side).

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Hi Reed,

 

thanks for commenting, I was thinking of you two andnyour success in cold weather. How long have you been in those kind of temperatures for continuously?

 

Jason never mentioned that the water itself would be insulating for the air space...I hadn't thought of that.

 

I do have the Suburban heater, but the regular water tank. How do you see the on demand heater effecting the freeze risk as opposed to the regular system? When you mention winter mode is that a feature on the Truma or on the Suburban?

 

Thanks,

 

Julia

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...it sounds like something is amiss here. With that big old cold air return vent on the street side of the isle I wouldn’t think that it would be even possible to have that big a difference between the hulls (at least anywhere on the street side). Bill

 

+1

 

28° for a couple hours in the morning isn't going to freeze the pipes but what was the outside air temp, what time of day was it? Still with a tank full of water there isn't an issue above 10°, I haven't been below 10° in this trailer yet, but still it really depends on the average temp outside. Ours works fine in all seasons boondocking or not but when the temps really drop, I fill the tank and disconnect from outside water lines. They have heated RV hoses but I just haven't needed them myself. It sounds like a trip to the desert is in your forecast :)

 

Reed

 

Reed

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Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Hi KountryKamper.

 

Great to hear you like the Sensorpush. I looked at that too. Does the software calculate dewpoint for you, and will it overlay dewpoint and temperature on a graph?

 

I would have thought I would have really low humidity too. I'm pretty sure I the high humidity readings and low hull temps before I started running the dehumidifier. Having a digital system with history would be really helpful for tracking this, as this old analog human memory is not so good! I get your point about the dehumidifier heat output tricking the thermostat though, and I'll check that out. Thanks.

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Hi Reed, thanks for commenting, I was thinking of you two andnyour success in cold weather. How long have you been in those kind of temperatures for continuously? Jason never mentioned that the water itself would be insulating for the air space…I hadn’t thought of that. I do have the Suburban heater, but the regular water tank. How do you see the on demand heater effecting the freeze risk as opposed to the regular system? When you mention winter mode is that a feature on the Truma or on the Suburban? Thanks, Julia

 

Looks like we were typing at the same time :) We've been in hull #200 basically from February until the end of last winter and right now, we're in it just at the snow line at home in Alta, California. We bought the Truma for the winter mode because it just keeps the hot waterline above 37° but with the Suburban water heater, though it doesn't have a winter mode, you just leave it on with the tank full and that coupled with the heater is what keeps the basement warm enough to not worry about it down to 10°s for us so far. If it's going to be below that, I will be turning the Truma on for the night and that will keep the water heater at 118° and that coupled with the heater should be good to 0° but only time will tell :)

 

Reed

  • Thanks 2

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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…it sounds like something is amiss here. With that big old cold air return vent on the street side of the isle I wouldn’t think that it would be even possible to have that big a difference between the hulls (at least anywhere on the street side). Bill

+1 28° for a couple hours in the morning isn’t going to freeze the pipes but what was the outside air temp, what time of day was it? Still with a tank full of water there isn’t an issue above 10°, I haven’t been below 10° in this trailer yet, but still it really depends on the average temp outside. Ours works fine in all seasons boondocking or not but when the temps really drop, I fill the tank and disconnect from outside water lines. They have heated RV hoses but I just haven’t needed them myself. It sounds like a trip to the desert is in your forecast ???? Reed Reed

 

 

 

Wowee, well that's encouraging to hear, water in the tanks down to 10 and haven't used a heated RV hose. I went to my local RV supply right after delivery to get a longer hose for filling the tanks and they scared the pants off me once they sussed out that I was planning to dewinterize and full time through the winter, rattling off a bunch of brands they'd seen freeze up here. They told me to buy a new camper or move south, and another service department down the road told me the same. Neither had heard of Oliver but were not impressed by the idea of an enclosed double hull with reflectix and passive hull heat. I cried in the parking lot. Thus I started taking bucket showers and tracking temps with little freestanding hygrometers.

 

I really need a digital monitoring system to be able to answer a question like time of day and outside air temp. I'm going to run things as is for a week or so with that and see what I find, without dehumidifier and with. In general last month we had nightly lows of 16-38, and highs of 32-58. RH is HIGH in my spot here in MA-rivers, farms, in a valley.

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... In general last month we had nightly lows of 16-38, and highs of 32-58. RH is HIGH in my spot here in MA-rivers, farms, in a valley.

 

Don't sweat it, those temps are easy. Below 20° for a low, turn on the water heater at night...

 

You just don't want to be hooked up to a water supply when it's below freezing because the water will freeze in the hose and work it's way inside. But filling the tank, then unhooking is no problem. Just drain out your hose and put it away. I just switched out our hoses to collapsible that fits into a Good Sam storage bag -

 

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/zerog-hose-25-x-1-2-/101067

 

Reed

  • Thanks 2

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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Don’t sweat it, those temps are easy.  

 

I just realized I mistyped, we've got the Atwood furnace and the Suburban gas water heater.

 

Maybe these folks just want to sell me a new RV!

 

Thanks for the hose link too.

 

 

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MountainApple – I”m aware of at least one Elite II that has tank heaters and they were installed at the factory. The original owner was from South Carolina and did extensive winter job site camping in the North East. I know that this unit was sold about a year and a half ago, but, unfortunately, I do not remember to whom it was sold.  Bill

 

Here is the original owners report on that trailer.

 

******************************

 

Cold weather performance has been excellent.  As you can see here, this is what a beautiful spring morning in PA looks like today:

 

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Being the cheapskate that I am, I'd prefer not to gobble up my propane using the furnace if I can get away with it.  So I've been just running the overhead heat strip and my ceramic cube heater instead.   Luckily, I brought the cube heater to use in the space in between the hulls, as I thought that if I ran the overhead, that the floor would get cold.   Well, it didn't work out that way.  I just set the cube under the dinette and blow out down the hallway.

 

Here you see the temps I'm getting on electric alone:

 

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Sensor 1 is the outside temp.  #2 is in the bathroom.  #3 is the space between the hulls and #4 is the cabin temperature there by the door where the display is mounted.  Quite comfortable and not so cold under the floor.   If I run the gas furnace, then the intra-hull temp is generally around 10 degrees less than the cabin.

 

So far, I've haven't noticed any sweating inside or condensation buildup in between the hulls

 

************************

 

Full disclosure - this trailer has 12v tank heaters and 120v tank heaters, I've never used either. The trailer also has what Ron described as an artic package, this being an extra insulation package...

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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I asked for the same and they said they didn't know what I was talking about.


Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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I'm not really sure, after his (hull 69) they may have just incorporated the "extra" insulation as standard, I don't really know what they look like during production. These are some of the photos from his build, does anyone else's look like this?

 

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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Hey Folks,

 

Hope y'all don't mind me putting in my .02 in here. I have been doing some advertising for Olivers since I discovered how well built they are. I've told folks that they are a rugged 4 season camper. I also said tnat if boondocking they should be good to about -20degF. Now as I see it, the outer hull is insulated and the inner hull is not. There is a heater duct hose that basically runs from aft to forward to heat the bathroom. There is a dead air space between the inner and outer hull that contains the water tanks. I would bet that the heat radiated from the inner hull combined with the heater return being located in the basement would effectively heat the basement enough to keep the tanks from freezing. If I were really concerned with this issue I would simply increase the air flow between the two hulls. I believe this could easily be accomplished by adding a boat bilge ventilation fan on the street side blowing into the basement. Turn up the cabin heat to compensate for any temp loss. Just my opinion, feel free to disagree.

 

Ray


ALAZARCOFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMNMSMOMTNMNCOHSCSDTNTXUTWYmed.jpg


Ray and Betty Jo Bayless


Our two pups Muffinz and Maddie


2018 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax 6.6 liter 4WD Crew 


2018 Oliver LE2 Twin Bed, Hull #322, Our Igloo on Wheels

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Never a problem with the .02 cents here - the more the merrier.

 

Rugged - yes.

 

4 season - yes.

 

-20 degree F - (in my opinion) no.  Or, did you mean simply 20 degrees F?  There are not many places in the continental US that get to -20F, at least for very long.  I simply can't imagine trying to camp in that temperature.  Heck, the coldest I've ever been in was -16 and the door seals on my BMW were very stiff.  I guess that in the event you were stuck out someplace and the temps did get that low, you could get away with the procedure that you describe, but I sure would not want to do that for very long.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Temporary temperature plunges are not likely to freeze the tanks, there is a lot of energy in tanks of water.  I think the most vulnerable place may be the city water and fresh water connections on the street side rear.  This area is not well heated, the lines are metal and therefore not freeze tolerant like PEX, and they are exposed to the outside.

 

-20 is a miserable temperature to be avoided if possible.  It's dangerous to be out in and it comes with a lot of other problems, so I won't be the one to see how an Oliver would manage it.  I'm not sure the propane tanks would keep working to heat the water and run the heating system at that temp.  If not, the trailer and it's occupants would be in trouble very soon.

 

 


John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Here's what I've been noticing since I added fresh water to my trailer, started monitoring temperatures, and was running the cabin between 66F and 78 with exterior temperatures ranging from 7 to the 40s. Yes 78 is high-I've learned that my thermostat is set higher than the actual temperature. Anyway I n short I'm no longer worried about freezing. It seems like the water tanks really do help retain heat between the hulls. I am worried about humidity. Humidity is pretty well controlled in the cabin and the curb side bed hatches by the combination of the furnace and my dehumidifier, but the street side and basement humidity are not good. I haven't measured any other spots inside the hull but I'd expect them to be as humid or worse because of distance from the furnace. I'm working against high exterior humidity, and the furnace alone just doesn't dry out the street side. I also don't think the heat from the dehumidifier is causing the furnace to run significantly less (this was a theory above).

 

I wonder again about installing either a crawl space dehumidifier between the hulls or a fan to try to help even out the temperature and humidity differences. I think the fan shouldn't be on the outside hull for humidity purposes, as suggested above for temperature control, but I don't know where either would be best placed.

 

Measurements:

 

-the fresh tank, measured from the curb side hatch, is usually around 9 degrees cooler than the cabin, and slightly more humid. The lowest temperature it's registered so far is 58.

 

-the grey tank, measured from the street side hatch, is about 17 degrees cooler than the cabin, and more humid day still. The lowest grey tank temperature so far has been 48. But it is regularly over 50% relative humidity, and in that temperature range above 40 where mold grows slowly.

 

-the basement is the most humid, close to outdoors in humidity, and about 22 degrees cooler than the cabin. This often approaches 60% relative humidity.

 

Julia

 

 

 

 

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Never a problem with the .02 cents here – the more the merrier. Rugged – yes. 4 season – yes. -20 degree F – (in my opinion) no. Or, did you mean simply 20 degrees F? There are not many places in the continental US that get to -20F, at least for very long. I simply can’t imagine trying to camp in that temperature. Heck, the coldest I’ve ever been in was -16 and the door seals on my BMW were very stiff. I guess that in the event you were stuck out someplace and the temps did get that low, you could get away with the procedure that you describe, but I sure would not want to do that for very long. Bill

 

Temporary temperature plunges are not likely to freeze the tanks, there is a lot of energy in tanks of water. I think the most vulnerable place may be the city water and fresh water connections on the street side rear. This area is not well heated, the lines are metal and therefore not freeze tolerant like PEX, and they are exposed to the outside. -20 is a miserable temperature to be avoided if possible. It’s dangerous to be out in and it comes with a lot of other problems, so I won’t be the one to see how an Oliver would manage it. I’m not sure the propane tanks would keep working to heat the water and run the heating system at that temp. If not, the trailer and it’s occupants would be in trouble very soon.

 

 

I agree with you both. That low of a temperature would be no fun to camp in and could be dangerous if an equipment failure occurred. That being said, I believe that these campers could take an overnight temperature plunge of this magnatude. I was simply trying to help calm the worries of the OP concerning freeze protection.

 

I plan to put my rig to the test and do some winter camping. My wife has a dream of camping in an area that experiences heavy snow. She is from South Carolina and has never experienced a 12" overnight snow fall. There are plenty of places I can pick to grant this wish to her. The ability of this rig to take the cold is one of the main reasons I made this purchase.

 

 

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Ray and Betty Jo Bayless


Our two pups Muffinz and Maddie


2018 Chevy Silverado 2500 Duramax 6.6 liter 4WD Crew 


2018 Oliver LE2 Twin Bed, Hull #322, Our Igloo on Wheels

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Sometimes, you don't have to go far. And don't have to be that cold.

Taken by our neighbors, a few weeks ago, outside Asheville.

About 8; to 10 inches of snow overnight. Neighbor reported lows in the teens.

Sherry

 

28338.thumb.jpeg.bfaa14994444de84739f0d20a603db27.jpeg

 

28337.thumb.jpeg.58c89f88bdea7f61ec2e9f7a1dbadbfc.jpeg


2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I was in the curb side rear compartment this fall. I was checking anything and everything to make sure all was tight. What I saw was a little daylight. Evidently there are hull drains in the hull, in case of an internal leak. When looking at the hull from underneath they seems to be a SS guard over the hole. Then we noticed more. We have not crawled under or really looked at any of them. But two things come to mind. You can never pressurise the space between the hulls without shutting the holes. And any heat you add would 'leak' out. One thing about cold temps, at least around here, we have to add humidity. As I see it there is no active air exchange in the space between the hulls. Maybe a small low power, low volume exhaust fan installed on the street side inner hull would create negative inner hull pressure. A little higher cabin pressure would then flow into the curb side air return. This in turn would circulate heated air throughout the inner hull, keeping everything warmer and dryer. Heated air is dryer air. This the same way a home air ducted furnace system works..

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Living in Florida all my life, most of this is foreign to me, but I get it. What I have never heard before are concerns about problems with too much humidity in winter. What do I need to look out for?

 

Thank you all!

 

Chris

 

 


Chris & Duke Chadwell
🐾Maddie & Baxter🐾
Elite II Hull 292
2017 F-150 Lariat 3.5 EB 4x4 Lakeland, FL 

 

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We've experienced condensation in three areas - under the mats in both the basement and closet, and on the side walls by the beds.  The condensation under the mats isn't enough for me to worry about, other than making sure to pull those mats out when in storage and just making sure the floors underneath stay clean and no mold.

 

By the sides of the bed is more of a problem, as I woke to wet bedding most every morning on this last trip.  Cracking the window and running the vent fan on low helps, but not completely.  I'm not sure what my solution is going to be.  I'm going to get a couple of the large RidgeRest pads to put under the mattresses though, just in case there's condensation there, or enough from the walls to drip down.

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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