Why is Birchsorb better than an electric heater?

An electric heater might seem like the most obvious choice for tackling moisture in your motorhome, but it’s not really ideal and in this edition of our blog we’ll look at that – and explain why BirchSorb is best...

If you’ve ever fired up your laptop and been on the forums looking for advice about different techniques you could use to counter the potential moisture problems in your motorhome, you will definitely have come across some unorthodox suggestions: cat litter, wash powder, rice and salt etc. We’ve blogged about each of these in the past, so you can read up and discover for yourself why BirchSorb is better…

It’s a safe bet to assume that on those internet forums some people will also have mentioned using an electric heater – particularly during winterisation (when your vehicle is off the road and recuperating ahead of the next season you plan to put it through).

Can a heater get rid of moisture? Well, an electric heater does actually seem like the most obvious choice to make to deal with any issues. For a start, any device that you can plug in and switch on makes you feel like you’re serious and actively ‘doing something’. Plus, you’ll already have used heaters in other areas of your life and know what they can do in terms of warming up and/or drying out. So, if that’s actually the case, why opt for something else?


Condensation and damp

It’s important to note that condensation and motorhome damp are two different slightly different moisture problems – you can reduce it down and think of them as ‘in’ and ‘on’...

Damp is caused by water ingress at weak points (damaged window seals, perhaps) and it’s a phenomenon which tends to creep through the material aspects of your vehicle – the walls, the fixtures and fittings and (in the worst case scenario) even through the framework structure. Damp can cause serious damage.

Condensation, however, is caused by high moisture content in the air and sits on those material aspects. When warm air comes into contact with surfaces at a lower temperature, water vapour is turned back into liquid – this is known as condensation.

Increasing the airflow in your motorhome or caravan (ie. opening the main door or windows) will help either situation to some degree. Regular cleaning of surfaces is a smart move when condensation occurs, and in the case of damp you will find that spot repairs may be needed (window seals etc). But why do motorhomes get damp and what other basic behavioural steps can you take?

  • Drying Clothes: Limit condensation issues by not drying your clothes within the motorhome or caravan after washing them or coming in from a wet day out. Dry them on a line or stand in the awning, if your vehicle has one.
  • Cooking / Kettles: There’s no getting round the fact that cooking generates moisture and the right way to immediately deal with this is to switch on the extractor fan (if there is one) and open the kitchen area’s window. If you’re boiling the kettle for a cuppa it’s worth doing the same.
  • Showering: When you’re taking a shower you should always keep the motorhome’s bathroom window ajar so that steam can make its way outside – and keep the interior door shut so that the escape of steam into the general living areas is absolutely minimised.


Heaters in motorhomes

It’s a misconception that the warmer your motorhome is, the less likely there will be a damp problem. This isn’t really true – especially so if there is inadequate ventilation.  Gentle heat from a heater will certainly increase the temperature of the air within your vehicle, and therefore contribute to drying things out but there must also be airflow. Using a heater in this scenario may seem to be an attractive proposition - but there are actually serious risks involved. Who knows exactly when a fault will occur with the device? 

Having a heater running on a high setting for a long period of time increases the probability of the device ‘burning out’ – and you really do not want that to happen. It’s likely that the heater would be a small unit with a plastic grill. If this overheats due to severely prolonged use, or there is an electrical fault, melting plastic is a serious danger. The fumes alone are dangerous, but imagine the chaos of plastic globules. Melting things they come into contact with, if not igniting them. Similarly if the heater is metal and, say, tips over it could ignite flammable materials in the motorhome.

With anything electrical, your safety (we mean the safety of your vehicle) should be of primary concern. Leaving a heater running unmonitored for long periods of time (during motorhome winterisation, for example, when you’re storing a motorhome in winter, or even during days out while you’re away on the road) is just not sensible. If the worst came to the worst and your motorhome or caravan was seriously damaged by fire, you’d have big regrets – including questioning whether the heater approach was actually worth it.

Heating should be a subtle process, with a heater on a lower heat for a longer time. It takes time and energy to heat up humid and moist air - but as well as the safety aspects, this also comes with the problem of expense. Energy is not cheap, these days, and running a heater as your solution to the problem of how to prevent damp in motorhomes whilst in storage is a process is going to cost you way more than you want to pay.

Not going for the heater option boils down to two things – safety and expense. Luckily for anyone who is sensible enough to want to take the steps to tackle the moisture problems in their motorhome or caravan, BirchSorb is neither unsafe or expensive.


What is BirchSorb?

It’s a hyperdesiccant – which is our fancy name for a high performance absorber. It’s a specially created chemical formula which is a truly effective frontline fighter at preventing moisture problems in motorhomes. It protects against mold, mildew, wood rot and metal rusting by ‘locking in’ moisture it has removed from the environment and sets it in solid form. There’s no leakage and no re-evaporation, meaning no re-release of humidity. It can handle at least 200% of its own weight in moisture, and will last for a minimum of eight weeks. It’s perfect for all-year use in your motorhome, so is as effective during winterisation and storage as it is when you’re out on the road. It’s also easy to install and entirely safe.

Don’t waste money and worry on electric heaters. Opt for BirchSorb.