9 Ways To Improve The Air Quality In Your RV

Is your RV air quality something that you should be thinking about? There is a lot that factors into the air quality that you breathe. So, air quality is really important, especially in a small space like an RV.

If you want to improve the air quality in your RV, here are some ways to do it effectively. Ventilation is important. Ensure that you air out the RV whenever you can. Run the exhaust fan after you shower and use dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and plants to help improve the air quality in your RV.

Several major things lead to poor air quality in RVs, such as dust, lit candles, cooking, pet dander, pollen, carpets, poor outdoor air filtering into the RV, etc. So, what are some of the ways you can improve the air quality in your RV? Don’t know where to start researching? Fear not. We cover all the important methods that you need to know in this article.

Photo 138328675 © Wipawan Thaithanan | Dreamstime.com

Controlling The Air While Cooking In Your RV

Vent hoods above the stove help to steer the odors and moisture generated from cooking away from the kitchen, unfortunately many of the hoods are not directly vented outdoors. Whenever you are cooking or using the stove top, open the windows on both sides of the kitchen to create a cross flow of air.

If there is an overhead vent in the kitchen area, keep it open with the fan pulling air out of the vehicle. Controlling the flow of the air will bring fresh air in the lower windows and exhaust the warmer moist air out the roof. 

Prevent Mold From Ruining The Air Quality In Your RV

The first area that you should focus on is not letting the air quality deteriorate in the first place. After all, it is better to be proactive instead of reactive. One of the things that compromise the air quality of your RV if left unchecked is mold and mildew.

The one way to combat this is to let your RV air out as often as possible. Whether your RV is in storage, preparing to hit the road or at the campsite, if it is a nice sunny day, and it is not too humid outside, open up all the windows and doors. 

Leaky windows will create high moisture areas in your RV or trailer that will lead to mildew and mold issues. mixing cold outdoor air with warm indoor air is a recipe mildew buildup. See my recent article on fixing leaky RV windows.

Air Purifiers Create Good Air Quality In RVs

Air purifiers are great for cleaning the air in your RV. They are also nice and compact, and most are HEPA certified. An air purifier is great to use when you want to keep your doors and your windows closed. An air purifier is always a great addition to your RV if you have a pet as it not only circulates the air, it also filters pet dander. 

Purifiers are excellent for people that struggle with seasonal allergies. An air purifier works especially well for RV owners that do remote work from inside their RVs because RVs can get pretty stuffy.  

Another thing that you can use if you are not a fan of air purifiers is salt lamps. If you are familiar with salt lamps, you will know that they emit negative ions, which help pick up dust and eliminate most particulate matter out of the air.

If you are in a high use area, like a campground with a lot of people frequently coming and going, the large tow vehicles will often idle nearby. This creates lots of exhaust fumes especially in larger diesel vehicles. A good quality air purifier will filter out the air if it enters your camper.

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See my recent article on the best RV air purifier

Use Fans To Improve The Airflow in Your RV

You can install ceiling fans in your overhead roof vents if they are not there already, especially in your bedroom. The increased airflow will prevent any mold or moisture buildup as it usually does on the side of the bed touching the side of the RV. 

Fans can get the air moving effectively because they suck the heavier air around the floor up from the bottom and exhaust it out of the roof. Let some fresh air circulate through your RV, opening up your roof vents and turning on the fans will increase the airflow and create better air circulation throughout the camper.

Use A Dehumidifier In Your RV

Generally, everyone that lives in a camper or fifth wheel needs a dehumidifier. Depending on the brand and size, most dehumidifiers are lightweight and compact. Dehumidifiers do a great job of sucking in the humid air, removing the humidity, and releasing fresh, dry, clean air. They are not too noisy and generally do not use much power.

Ideally, you want to use a dehumidifier in the rig while it is in storage, but what happens if you do not have power for that? Fear not because there is something else that you can use. The best thing to use while it is in storage is a product called DampRid. DampRid is appealing because it is refillable and helps clear out the humid air.

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Run The Exhaust Fan To Remove Moisture In The Bathroom

Always run the exhaust fan in your bathroom to prevent moisture buildup during showering, at least that long but if you can run it longer go for it. Usually, when your towels dry out is a good indication of when you can stop the fan.

These are necessary to ensure that all the moisture in the bathroom is pulled right out before pooling or creating a steam room effect. Start running the exhaust fan before you shower to start the moisture removal process early. 

The ideal time to keep the fan going after showering if you do not start it while you are showering is half an hour to stop mildew and mold from growing in the bathroom.

Increase Ventilation For Better RV Air Quality

Ventilation is key as it is the most effective way to keep the air quality in your RV fresh. Therefore, invest in a ventilation unit. These units will draw the stale air from the different areas of the RV and supply fresh air.

Use Plants To Help Purify The Air In Your RV

If you love plants, then this is the perfect way for you to improve the air quality in your RV. It also adds pleasing plants to look at. A lot of plants are known to help purify the air and there is a lot of evidence that shows how plants can remove pollutants from indoor air.

NASA’s research proved that certain plants remove some harmful chemicals that are commonly found, such as Benzene. However, which plants should you be thinking of getting in your RV to help improve the air quality? Here are some of the plants that will help purify the air in your RV:

  • Pot Mum is an indoor air purifying plant suitable for inside an RV. It removes many toxins like Benzene and xylene from indoor air. 
  • Spider Plant is known for its excellent ability to purify the air. Not only that but some are also known to produce pretty white flowers in summer, which would add some freshness and décor to your RV.
  • Dracaena is a plant that not only purifies the indoor air, so you breathe in fresh oxygen. It is also a great interior décor addition.
  • Snake Plant, although the name implies the opposite, these plants are attractive looking, and the best thing about snake plants is that they require little care while purifying indoor air. This makes them perfect for RV campers who do not want plants that require a lot of maintenance.
  • Aloe Vera The aloe vera plant is known for the numerous health, beauty, and medicinal benefits that it provides, but did you know that it is great at improving your air quality? Well, now you know. 

You may be a little concerned about keeping the plants in your RV alive if you are not a plant person or just generally don’t know much about plants. Here are several tips to help keep the plants you pick alive:

Choose hardy plants

If you intend to travel often, like on a cross-country journey, your plants will be moving around in the RV and exposed to a change in environment. Do not go with plants requiring constant environmental factors, like sunlight, because they will not work well in an RV.

Find a way to secure the plants

You need to ensure that your plants are secured so that they do not fall over, tumble around or create a mess when the RV is bouncing down the road. You can build a structure that will keep them in their designated spots. You can build frames that can hang on the walls of your RV where you can put your potted plants so that they are nice and secure while you are traveling.

Stick to succulent plants if you want low maintenance

Pick succulent plants that will still purify the air in your RV, like the Aloe plant. This way, you know that you won’t have to water the plants until the soil is bone dry, as they are hardy plants that rarely need to be watered.

Adding Filters To The Ducts In Your RV

Many people who own RVs like to add filters to the ducts. The duct system in the RV generally does not have a filter, especially the furnace part. You will find filters in stores, especially if you have square ducts on the floor. You can place these filters on the ducts.

The only uncertainty would be whether or not this adds too much strain to the furnace, depending on the type of RV you travel or camp in. The best way to find out is to check your manufacturers’ booklet. However, adding filters to your ducts is generally considered worthwhile. 

Be sure to regularly remove and vacuum or clean the filters as they gather up a lot of dust.

Is The Carpet Spoiling The Air Quality In Your RV?

The other tip that you may find helpful if you have a carpet in your RV is to consider removing that carpet. Although this may seem extreme, the carpet holds dander, mold spores, dust, etc., making it hard to improve the air quality in your RV.

If you feel like removing the carpet will leave your RV looking a little too plain, consider replacing it with vinyl or engineered planks that look like hardwood or tile etc. This way, your flooring will be less conducive to particulate matter and easier to clean.

Suppose you find that you are really attached to your carpet and have no desire to get rid of it but still want to improve the air quality in your RV, regularly vacuum and clean your carpets or rugs. This generally helps improve the air quality in your RV as it will help get rid of dust, pet fur, and dirt.

How Do You Know When The Air In The RV Is Not Good?

Wintertime window condensation is when you can find out when it is time to put measures in place to improve the quality of air in your RV. This is because more than a little water builds up on the inside of the windows during cold weather. This is a clear indication that your RV has insufficient ventilation.

Moisture will generally rise when you are cooking, breathing, etc. The humidity rises and may form mold spores on the roof of the RV. This is another indication that you need to get a dehumidifier.


Now that you know of a few suggestions on how to control and better your RV’s air quality, you can literally breathe easier. The goal is to keep the inside of your RV well ventilated. There are several ways that this can be done. Remember to explore other ways like getting plants and even trying out salt lamps.

Improving the air of your RV will ensure that you stay healthy and avoid any dangers that may be associated with indoor polluted air. RV air quality may be easy to overlook, but it is extremely vital to your health.


Beau is an electrical engineer with a knack for DIY repair and construction. When he's not tinkering with his projects he's on the road travelling and enjoying an exciting lifestyle with his young family.

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