Awning Condensation

Oct 24, 2007
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I've recently tried out our new Kampa Pro Air 400 awning (bought end of last year so may be a 2017 model or 2018) and was very disappointed with the amount of condensation that formed overnight. We left canvas chairs in there and by morning they looked like they'd been left out in the rain! The second night both doors were left open at the top, leaving about 12" of ventilation on each door however there was still a lot of condensation. The awning was pitched on a hard standing, the skirt along the bottom of the caravan wasn't fitted and the nights were fairly chilly.

I'm reading quite a few reports along the same lines and a possible cure being mentioned sort of third hand is fitting a roof liner plus I've read one report of the problem reducing over time.

I'm wondering if anyone has first hand of using the roof liner themselves and can give me feedback on how successful it was? We're away again in a few weeks and it was intended that a sleeping inner would be used in the awning but if last week's experience is how it will be then it won't be possible!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Tony.

It might help if you understand the reason for condensation forming. Most absorbent material (including air) when they are warm air have a greater capacity to take up moisture than when they are cooler. Items will continue to absorb moisture provide their saturation level has not been reached. The saturation level is dependant on the temperature of the material. If a saturated material is cooled, its saturation level reduces and it has to get rid of excess moisture by condensing it out as droplets. As materials cool at different rates, you can get the situation when as one material is cooling slowly it will release moisture to the air, and as others cool more rapidly like metal they will condense moisture from the air Its a classic water cycle.

Non absorbent materials like metal frames. often lose heat more quickly, and they will condense moisture from the air that comes into contact with them.

One mustn't forget that simply by breathing an adult can easily produce 50ml to 70ml of water vapour over night, If you caravan window is open into the awning your warm moist breath will contribute to the moisture in the awning . Also if the fridge if running on gas, for every gram of gas it burns, it will produce roughly 1gram or water vapour, and many fridges exhaust into awnings.

Even hard standings will give some absorbed water vapour, and grass has even more potential. Weather conditions, such as ambient humidity will also affect how much condensation you might experience.

Basically the way to help get rid of condensation is by trying to ensure the air is dryer so it will tend to absorb moisture produced from materials that are cooling. and the best way is through ventilation. Electric or chemical Moisture absorbers only have a limited effect, They are of little value over long periods when the items in the vicinity have returned to the ambient moisture levels in the air.

I remember camping in canvas tents and real canvas awnings, and condensation was less of an issue that it is today with synthetic materials, and I suspect the reasons is canvas would allow moisture to be absorbed into the material, and becasue it was porous by capillary action , the moisture would wick its way to the outside surface , where the air moving over the outside would evaporate it and carry it away. Yes the canvas may be wet to the touch, but it always dried quite quickly compared to modern materials.

Modern materials won't allow the moisture to wick through the material so it stays wet until you allow full ventilation to circulate inside and out.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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We have a Kampa air awning and use a roof liner, when first bought we didn’t use the liner and had same problem with condensation, bought a liner and the improvement has been massive, I will say tho that I have found with every awning we’ve ever owned we’ve had condensation so the Kampa air is no better or worse, I’d deff recommend the liner.

BP
 
Oct 12, 2013
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If it makes you feel any better our Kampa Pole awning also receives condensation when I get up in the morning and that's with a draught skirt on , it's just depends on the weather , the difference in temperatures inside your awning in comparisons to outside.

Craig .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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We have a Dorema which is quite a heavy synthetic material with a pretty impervious roof. We too will experience some condensation and it seems to be worse in spring after a warm day and clear night. Probably because the ground has still got a reasonable moisture content. Like you we make sure its vents are opened up. It’s never as bad as you describe yours to be but I think that could be down to the difference in materials used. I’ve read good reports of the roof liners which seem to do a similar job to the inner tent now used in virtually all lightweight camping tents. The old single skin nylon tents were awful for condensation. I’d give the roof liner a try.
 
Oct 24, 2007
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Hi Craigyoung and Otherclive, thank you for responding. I was thinking it was the use of the impermeable material that was the making matters worse. For the money they charge for these awnings I was surprised it wasn't a breathable fabric but if a roof liner is the answer that's the way I'll go.
What was almost as disappointing as the problem though was that I contacted Kampa through their website and they haven't bothered to answer. You'd have thought if they could sell you something else they'd jump at the chance!
 
May 11, 2017
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We had a similar Kampa awning and found that the plastic 'window' panels on the roof meant it got incredibly hot in there on hot days and also made the caravan really hot too. In the end we sold it :(
 
Jun 20, 2005
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My Kampa Rallye Air Pro resides in the loft. However as we soon found out condensation was a real problem. The official Kampa Roof liner alleviated 90% of the problem as Beephee says.
Never had a condensation problem with the Izzy. I guess it’s a materials issue views in conjunction with the Prof’s scientific explanation.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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We had the Kampa Air Ace 400 and besides quality issues condensation was a big bug bear and one of the reasons why we got rid of it after only 5 - 6 times of using it. I don't buy into the roof liner and some other theories about condensation otherwise we would have the same condensation issues with our Magnum porch awning.
 
Mar 27, 2011
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I’m not sure what you mean Buckman by your statement of not buying into roof liner theories, it’s not a theory that using the roof lining reduces condensation its fact.

BP
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Buckman said:
We had the Kampa Air Ace 400 and besides quality issues condensation was a big bug bear and one of the reasons why we got rid of it after only 5 - 6 times of using it. I don't buy into the roof liner and some other theories about condensation otherwise we would have the same condensation issues with our Magnum porch awning.

It’s not the same with a conventional awning made with heavier grade material. I’ve had a Magnum midi awning as well as other makes full size awnings and have had condensation in some circumstances but certainly not to the extent suffered by the OP. My current Dorema gets some particularly when the ground is moist but again not to any level that causes concern and it tends to stay on the roof. The only awning I had that suffered more than most was an ultra lightweight nylon porch and in anything other than summer that did get things inside wet under some ambient conditions. So I can’t see why the roof liner shouldn’t improve things just as inner tents have pretty well removed condensation for campers.
 
Sep 4, 2017
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I guess you are aware that there are special triangular air vents on both sides at the top against the van that must be opened. This helps dissipate warmer air in the awning at night and prevents most of the condensation.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Grey13 said:
I guess you are aware that there are special triangular air vents on both sides at the top against the van that must be opened. This helps dissipate warmer air in the awning at night and prevents most of the condensation.

On our Kampa awning we tried every thing to prevent condensation even to the extent of leaving the doors open, but it did not help. After all why should one have to go to the expense of buying a roof liner to help reduce the condensation especially when the manufacturer is aware of the problem?
 
Sep 4, 2017
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Right. We also have a new one. First time it was very bad, chairs wet etc, after a few runs it seems [strike]much [/strike]better. Anyway we tend to have shorter stays so use the Sunncamp Canopy more often. That is just great.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Buckman said:
Grey13 said:
I guess you are aware that there are special triangular air vents on both sides at the top against the van that must be opened. This helps dissipate warmer air in the awning at night and prevents most of the condensation.

On our Kampa awning we tried every thing to prevent condensation even to the extent of leaving the doors open, but it did not help. After all why should one have to go to the expense of buying a roof liner to help reduce the condensation especially when the manufacturer is aware of the problem?

You can't change the laws of nature, condensation is a perfectly normal effect when you create any sort of barrier between air masses that have different temperatures and levels of humidity. No awning manufacture can prevent condensation, the best you can do is to manage it. The very best way of managing it is with good or even forced ventilation.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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ProfJohnL said:
Buckman said:
Grey13 said:
I guess you are aware that there are special triangular air vents on both sides at the top against the van that must be opened. This helps dissipate warmer air in the awning at night and prevents most of the condensation.

On our Kampa awning we tried every thing to prevent condensation even to the extent of leaving the doors open, but it did not help. After all why should one have to go to the expense of buying a roof liner to help reduce the condensation especially when the manufacturer is aware of the problem?

You can't change the laws of nature, condensation is a perfectly normal effect when you create any sort of barrier between air masses that have different temperatures and levels of humidity. No awning manufacture can prevent condensation, the best you can do is to manage it. The very best way of managing it is with good or even forced ventilation.

Quite correct but why don't people with traditional awnings have the same issues? We have never had the condensation issue in our Magnum, but with the Kampa Air awning with doors open to the elements, condensation was bad. I guess the pole Kampa versions would be the same?
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Buckman said:
....I guess the pole Kampa versions would be the same?...

Like I said we get a little bit on our windows in our pole kampa awning but nowhere near dripping off the roof and making our seats soaked like some people are saying .
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Buckman said:
ProfJohnL said:
Buckman said:
Grey13 said:
I guess you are aware that there are special triangular air vents on both sides at the top against the van that must be opened. This helps dissipate warmer air in the awning at night and prevents most of the condensation.

On our Kampa awning we tried every thing to prevent condensation even to the extent of leaving the doors open, but it did not help. After all why should one have to go to the expense of buying a roof liner to help reduce the condensation especially when the manufacturer is aware of the problem?

You can't change the laws of nature, condensation is a perfectly normal effect when you create any sort of barrier between air masses that have different temperatures and levels of humidity. No awning manufacture can prevent condensation, the best you can do is to manage it. The very best way of managing it is with good or even forced ventilation.

Quite correct but why don't people with traditional awnings have the same issues? We have never had the condensation issue in our Magnum, but with the Kampa Air awning with doors open to the elements, condensation was bad. I guess the pole Kampa versions would be the same?
The Laws of nature are of course governed by numerous factors.
I can say with experience the Kampa Rallye Air Pro I have is a condensation nightmare. As I said previously the roof lining helps but why should it be necessary?
The Isabellas have never suffered condensation on the scale of the Kampa. I can only conclude it is a materials issue .
 
Sep 4, 2017
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Craig
Like I said we get a little bit on our windows in our pole kampa awning but nowhere near dripping off the roof and making our seats soaked like some people are saying .
I have read that it seems to improve over time. Perhaps surface of material wears causing less condensation.
 
Sep 4, 2017
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Thank heaven's for awning condensation, something to keep my mind of the political chaos unfolding! Well between that and footy!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dustydog said:
Buckman said:
ProfJohnL said:
Buckman said:
Grey13 said:
I guess you are aware that there are special triangular air vents on both sides at the top against the van that must be opened. This helps dissipate warmer air in the awning at night and prevents most of the condensation.

On our Kampa awning we tried every thing to prevent condensation even to the extent of leaving the doors open, but it did not help. After all why should one have to go to the expense of buying a roof liner to help reduce the condensation especially when the manufacturer is aware of the problem?

You can't change the laws of nature, condensation is a perfectly normal effect when you create any sort of barrier between air masses that have different temperatures and levels of humidity. No awning manufacture can prevent condensation, the best you can do is to manage it. The very best way of managing it is with good or even forced ventilation.

Quite correct but why don't people with traditional awnings have the same issues? We have never had the condensation issue in our Magnum, but with the Kampa Air awning with doors open to the elements, condensation was bad. I guess the pole Kampa versions would be the same?
The Laws of nature are of course governed by numerous factors.
I can say with experience the Kampa Rallye Air Pro I have is a condensation nightmare. As I said previously the roof lining helps but why should it be necessary?
The Isabellas have never suffered condensation on the scale of the Kampa. I can only conclude it is a materials issue .

I agree with what Dusty has said it must be a material issue as the only awning we have had were condensation was really noticeable was a very light nylon one. All our others Isabella, Dorema, Bradcot have used thicker materials and rarely had a problem. Except in certain conditions with quick temperature change and moist under base. But even then it stays attached to the roof. We always use an awning carpet but being breathable it should let under moisture rise into the awning but will slow the rate which seemingly balances the equation.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Of course the materials used will affect the condensation issue. If you have an absorbent material, condensation can be wicked into the material. Presuming there is some airflow on the outside, that will naturally draw the moisture through the thickness and away out side. But if its impervious the water cant go anywhere so it beads on the surface. Liners will most likely simply be acting as a sponge, and absorbing some of the the moisture so the awning roof and walls will seem to be drier, but the total amount of moisture in the awning space will be much the same.

Older canvas covers could breath but when they became damp the fibres in the material would swell reducing the small gaps and making more water proof.
 
Oct 24, 2007
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Well guys, thank you all for your contributions. After much much searching I eventually tracked down a liner, (seems Kampa have been caught out by a surge in demand!) and whilst I agree one shouldn't be necessary I have purchased one and will be trying it out on my next outing in a few weeks.
 

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