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Mold in RV Walls: How to Kill and Get Rid of It

Mold in RV Walls: How to Kill and Get Rid of It

When it comes to four-letter words RVers don’t want to hear, mold is at the top of the list. Unfortunately, finding mold in RV walls isn’t all that uncommon, and it doesn’t just go away on its own. We have seen many RV’s with mold and had a few issues ourselves over the years. If you find mold in your RV, you must kill it immediately and repair the moisture source that caused it.

Today, we’ll help you develop a plan to get rid of the mold in your RV and help ensure it never comes back. Let’s get started.

What Is Mold? 

Mold is a common fungal growth that occurs on damp and decaying surfaces. It thrives in environments with lots of moisture from condensation and leaks. Unfortunately, RVs provide many opportunities for it to thrive.

Mold in an RV can cause health complications. Many people will experience a stuffy nose, wheezing, and itchy eyes and skin from extended mold exposure. However, those with severe allergies or asthma can experience more intense reactions. 

Sponge removing mold from RV wall
Unfortunately, most RVers will battle with mold at some point in their RV life.

Is Mold Common in RVs?

RVs are notorious for having mold. This is especially true of RVs owned by individuals who have not kept up the maintenance on them. RVers need to climb on the roof of their RV regularly and inspect the seals around any holes. If you have holes in the sealant, water will eventually find its way into your RV.

In addition, many RVers discover mold from condensation. This is especially common when an RV is used in a colder moist climate long term. The lower insulation in RV walls can condense the warmed air inside and cause moisture build-up. You must minimize the humidity in the air and help limit any areas with minimal air circulation.

Some of the most common places for mold in an RV include under mattresses, in closets, and behind drawers. Placing products like the DampRid Hanging Moisture Absorber in closets and the DampRid Disposable Moisture Absorber in drawers and storage compartments can help soak up any moisture and help prevent mold growth.

Even if an RV is not leaking, just being stored in a humid climate without air exchange can cause humidity build up and mold growth.

Pro Tip: Keep your RV leak free by using one of these 10 Best RV Roof Sealants (and How to Choose for Your Camper).

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Can Mold Be Washed Off RV Walls?

If you discover mold on your walls, it’s not the end of the world. It will take some effort, but you can wash mold off walls. We’ll share a few effective ways to accomplish this in a minute. However, it’s important to remember that cleaning the mold isn’t enough.

Washing the mold off your walls is a great first step. However, it is equally important to identify the reason and prevent it from happening again. You may need to do some repairs or start using a few products to eliminate the moisture. 

RV wall mold
Removing mold from your RV isn’t hard, but does require a little elbow grease.

How Do You Remove Mold From RV Walls? 

We have several effective ways to eliminate mold. Our favorite product for killing and controlling mold is Concrobium. This product uses three salts that create an alkaline solution that can remain in place and prevent mold growth. What we like about this product is that it has no VOC and is much safer than other products but we have found it very effective.

Concrobium 25326 Mold Control Spray, 32 oz
  • Use to eliminate mold, mildew, musty odors and prevent regrowth
  • EPA-registered formula crushes mold spores as it dries and leaves...
  • Odorless solution cleans between 80-110 sq. ft. per 32 oz. bottle

If you prefer you likely already have everything you need at home. Some of the most common household cleaning products can get the job done too.

Bleach and Water Combo

A bleach and water solution is one of the easiest and most effective to kill and remove mold. Use one part bleach to three parts water for your solution. Place the solution in a spray bottle and generously coat the mold. 

Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the surface and remove the mold. When finished, use a cloth and water to rinse the surface, then let it dry.

White Vinegar and Water Combo

Another highly effective method for removing mold from RV walls is to use white vinegar and water. This solution requires one part white vinegar and one part water. 

Spray the mold-infested area with the mixture and let it sit for 6 to 8 hours. Some people spray it on before bed and let it sit while they sleep.

In the morning, use a damp cloth to wash off the mold. Even if the solution is effective, you’ll likely need to use a bit of elbow grease. Use a dry cloth to remove any remaining moisture on the wall.

Homemade recipe of mold cleaner being used
Mix your own bleach, vinegar, or baking soda solution to remove mold from your RV walls.

How Do I Know If I Have Toxic Mold in My Walls?

“Toxic” mold is a bit of a misnomer. While some types of mold can cause neurologic problems, this is extremely uncommon. However, this does not mean that mold exposure doesn’t cause problems. If you notice signs of mold its possible you could have effects.

You may notice some common signs of mold growing in your RV walls. First, you may have a musty or stale smell. However, this can take some time to appear. And by the time you notice the smell, you could have a serious situation on your hands.

Another sign is if you find that you or a family member aren’t feeling well. Mold can cause an itchy nose, red eyes, and sneezing. Individuals with severe allergies or asthma can face even more serious health complications.

Some obvious signs also include stains on the wall, the base molding, or the ceiling. If your walls have enough moisture to stain through the construction materials, it’s likely been there long enough for mold to grow.

 If your walls often appear wet or damp, it’s likely either already present or starting to grow.

Additionally, a common sign of mold in an RV is seeing bumps in the wall panels. These tiny bumps come from moisture that has worked between the wood paneling and the wallpaper-like surface. To fix these issues, stop the moisture from getting into your RV, then replace the paneling. It’s not a fun project and may require a professional.

Can You Get Mold Out From Inside Your RV Walls?

It may not be entirely possible to get mold out of the walls, but controlling the moisture and spraying areas you can is possible, but it’ll take some work. If you’re uncomfortable with a mid-level difficulty DIY project, you’ll want to leave this to a professional. The last thing you want to do is to start removing pieces from your RV and not be able to put it back together.

To get mold out from inside your RV walls, you’ll need to remove the trim and wood paneling in the affected area. Its important to open up as much of the wall area as possible to let airflow in. We recommend wearing a mask, eye protection, and gloves to avoid touching or breathing in mold spores.

You want to be as careful as possible to avoid creating more damage than necessary when doing this project. Once you’ve removed the panels, peek behind them to inspect the damage. 

While assessing the walls, look for any obvious signs of where the moisture may enter. You can then use some of the methods we’ve shared above to kill the mold and remove it.

Also, inspect the wood paneling for any mold and clean it. Give the entire area plenty of time to dry and make sure there is airflow on the area. Make sure to find the area the moisture got in and seal it up as well.

Mold on carpet in RV
Use products, like DampRaid, to keep your RV mold free for good.

Do Air Purifiers Help With Mold?

An air purifier can be extremely helpful in capturing mold particles in the air. However, it’s not going to do anything with existing mold in your RV walls.

But you can clean it off any surface and use an air purifier to reduce the chances that mold will reappear.

It’s important to note that this will only work if you don’t have a lot of moisture in the air. Using a dehumidifier in combination with an air purifier can be highly effective in eliminating water from the air and prevent potential mold growth. 

If you have a leak allowing water into the space, you must fix this before you have any hope of dealing with the mold.

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How Do I Keep My RV Mold Free?

The key to staying mold free is to stay dry. Keep water from getting in and from condensing. Here are a few methods we use.

The best way to keep mold off your RV walls is to regularly check the seals on your RV. This will require you to climb onto your RV’s roof and examine it closely. Look for any signs of cracking or peeling around the edges, vents, and holes. The sun can cause these seals to dry and crack over time. Staying on top of reapplying it can help you avoid mold.

In addition, using products like DampRid and a dehumidifier can capture the moisture before it’s had the opportunity to grow into mold. These will be essential if you plan to use your RV during the cooler months when you’ll need a propane furnace. 

Running your RV air conditioner can greatly help eliminate moisture inside your rig. The air conditioner sucks air through it and pulls out the water before pumping it back into your RV. 

If you try to control the moisture level in your RV and can run your A/C, you can create a less-than-hospitable environment for mold.

Pro Top: Don’t believe us that DampRid Can Really Remove Moisture and Mold From Your Camper? We took a closer look at how it works.

RV Water Damage + Mold Removal

Check, Seal, Dehumidify, Repeat

When it comes to mold and RVs, it’s a never-ending battle. You must check your seals, repair them, and use several methods to dehumidify the inside of your RV. It’s an almost constant process that you must stay on top of to avoid mold in your RV. 

Failing to do so can create a dangerous and unhealthy situation. The longer you put off addressing mold, the worse the situation becomes. So take action immediately and stay engaged in the battle against mold in your RV walls.

Have you ever battled mold in your RV? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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