Jump to content

Filtering Dust in an RV ?

Recommended Posts

Hi guys!

I've always noticed a lot of dust in my RV, not from dirt roads or anything, just regular old dust. The other day it was windy and I pulled my awning in. This means my kitchen table gets full sunlight and then you can really see the dust flying around in the air. LOTS of it. I vacuum all the time but for the life of me can't understand where the dust comes from. The day/night shades? The ceiling material? The carpeting? I really don't know. It's parked full-time and occupied full time and the AC is not used at this time of the year. It's also wet or damp out so there should be zero dust from outside.

Where the heck does all the dust come from and is there any way to filter it out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Ivylog said:

Your skin replaces itself every month.

Mine is thick, it shouldn't float !!

5 hours ago, BobSchmeck said:

Yes, dust happens.  You can get a couple of air filters from Walmart or your local hardware store. They do help. My sinuses tell me they help.  If you think it's bad were your at you should try Arizona sometime.  Lol


I'm looking into it - seems everyone and their dog makes one and most of the ones I'm seeing are +$1,000

3 hours ago, Rikadoo said:

Hey for what its worth, seems dust happens, we got dogs an dirt happens🙀makes ya think how much are lungs deal with on a daily averge…

Tell me about it. I just wonder where it comes from!!

2 hours ago, Doug Cannon said:

Do you use your central vacuum? The return on them goes back into the coach. I use a Dyson and do not have any problems. 

No, I have a Dyson as well. I just did the day/night shades and the couch. I did the ceiling the other day. Other than that, I don't know what else to vacuum!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’ve noticed the same thing Bob. Its just my wife and me. No pets. Yet dust accumulates very quickly. I use my central vac and mop the floors regularly. I clean all flat surfaces regularly and even the cabinet surfaces and walls accumulate dust. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is good to know. I find it very odd that dust accumulates so quickly. I have sealed a LOT of the unit, while I can't say it's hermetically sealed, I can say that all the gaping holes from the factory have been filled and the ability of the unit to hold heat in the winter reflects this. It's also wet outside and the roads are paved. In my case, it's just me and no pets.

The furnace has no filter, so it could easily be a big part of the problem. Sucking in existing dust and re-distributing it out the vents in an endless cycle. 

I have a theory, assuming that there is, more/less, a fixed amount of dust in the unit from years of travel, can I reduce the amount with an air purifier? I've never bought one but likely will in a few days. The unit that I am looking at is this one => Winix C535

From Costco. So..if it does not live up to its expectation, it can be returned. 

I am thinking something like this. Install the unit, run it on highest speed, and then use an air compressor to blow the dust off of everything. In short, make a giant dust cloud for the unit to suck in to give it a massive head start on removing the dust. Ie, transfer the dust from all over to the first screen on the filter of the unit.

This year I have almost never had the windows open. It was too hot in the summer (AC) and the winters are too cold. It's parked, so it's not going anywhere. Therefore, to my mind, the only way dust should be able to get in, in any meaningful way, is when I enter and exit the front door. Yet, it's wet outside, so how much dust can there be?

This makes me wonder if what I am dealing with is 20 years of accumulation in places that don't get vacuumed? Anyway, I will get that unit and put the process to test to see if it makes a meaningful difference and report back the results. My laptop is black and I keep it clean. So it's very easy to see the dust accumulate. My calculator, next to it, has an accumulation of dust on the LCD display that's thick. Really, other than physical changes in my breathing/sinuses, all I have to do is look at those two items over time and it will be very easy to see if it's working. Pics to follow once I have the unit and have run it as described. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Find the openings to the outside.  Foam the smaller holes and stuff fiberglass in the gaping ones.

If you have a TV in the slideout make sure it is sealed to the inside (ours required a custom panel to be fabricated.

Vacuum behind the cabinets, under the bed, behind the walls like where the cables and plumbing enter the slideouts.

Have the carpet cleaned.  Have the furniture cleaned.  They both hold a lot of dirt and dust.

Call heating and air and have your ducts cleaned and sealed😊.  But really you should have a filter.  Maybe go outside and vacuum behind the access panels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks,  I appreciate the suggestions! Most have been done already, I sealed many areas of the unit over the years. It now holds heat much better and there's been a drastic drop in bugs etc.

I bought one of the Winix C535's the other day and put it next to the kitchen table. It was quite interesting. I can't say much yet but when I moved it to the bedroom for the night I woke up and was NOT congested. In fact, the air seemed much better in there. 

Today I bought a second C535 for dedicated use in the bedroom so I have two now. I wanted smaller ones but they were all too large to sit on the  the little tables on each side of the bed. 

I plan on running both of them on Turbo mode when I'm away so they circulate a lot of air and hopefully grab as much dust as possible. I'll update this thread as time goes by. I've never used an air purifier before so I was skeptical. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Richard, you raise a good point, which is maximizing space and keeping stuff off the floor if possible. Living in an RV, that's key. This is why I originally wanted desktop units but when I saw them their size was too large, IMHO. Then there is filter size, smaller the unit, smaller the filter. So I bought one large one and tried it out. Next day, I bought the other for the bedroom. 

Yes, one will do the job but.....if it's in the front, is it really pulling all the air/dust from the rear as well? They were on sale so...

I had dead space in the front for one of them and in the bedroom there are drawers I never really go into. So I sacrificed in the bedroom, so to speak. But...the units weigh nothing (5 pounds or so?) so if I have to move the one in the bedroom to get into a drawer, it's no problem. Lift and place and then put it back. 

I put the kill-o-watt on them and wow. Just WOW. On auto setting they use 5 watts (!!!!) That is low fan setting. On Turbo mode they use 52 watts that is MAX setting (!!!) 

5 watts x 24 hours x 30 days = 3,600 watts / 1,000 = 3.6 kW x .13 (price of electric) = .47 cents per month each (unless my math is wrong, which is ALWAYS possible). 

52 watts x 24 hours x 30 days = 37,440 watts / 1,000 = 37.44 kW x .13 (price of electric) = $4.87 per month on turbo each

But here's the thing, operationally, you run them on turbo for half a day when you're away to exchange as much air as possible and get rid of as much dust as possible. After that, they just run in auto mode. So... .47c per month each unit. But, it's actually much less. They have a sensor that determines if it's night time and then go to an even lower fan speed using even less electricity than the 5 watts. So you can easily sleep with one right next to your bed as pictured. 

They are very interesting. If you have eaten beans for dinner a red light will go on periodically as they have a sensor for air quality. Then they raise the fan speed accordingly until the air has been purified and then go back to the low fan setting. Up here in the winter there are periods of time where you sleep with the bedroom sliding door closed. That means you're in a very small space and keeping that air clean is important. 

The size of the units mean you get a large HEPA filter which means they are supposed to last a year. The Costco units come with enough extra filters for two years in the box! Quite a few people get more than a year out of the filters and I can see that happening. 

I've only had them a short time but there is a significant reduction in dust. My gut tells me that eventually they will get 'caught up' with the existing dust in the unit. At that point they should keep the unit as dust-free as it can be. I plan to put them both on Turbo when leaving for the day so that they stir up and capture as much dust as they can.  Pollen, at certain times up here can be very bad. The road can literally be coated in it and you can watch it get blown around in the wind. These things do filter that. I think they filter 99.98% of everything. Basically, if it's 3 microns or larger I think the HEPA filter will catch it. 

I'm NOT normally sensitive to things like air quality or what have you. I just motor on without a thought. But when I saw the amount of dust flying around on a sunny day I started thinking about it and I realized I always feel better outside the unit. The air always feels fresher. So, take it for whatever it's worth. I do know that for people that are sensitive to these things (allergy sufferers etc) they have a lot of good reports. I also think the better you seal your unit, the worse the air quality will be and I've done a lot on that front. 

Last night I made hot wings. Normally that means the unit gets a real stink in it that takes about a week to go away unless you have the vent/fan open on the roof. I was very surprised to wake up this morning and not smell them at all. You'd never know I made them last night. That heavy oil cooking smell is not present. 

To give you a better idea as to sizing, here's a pic of both of them in use. 



Edited by Bob Jones
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just more food for thought here.  I once read that around 80% of the dirt (dust) we bring into our homes comes in on out shoes.  I try to leave my shoes near the front door to help that out.  But, I too, notice the dust.  I figure having 2 dogs is a big part of my problem.  And this old carpet. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...