Desiccant Vs Dehumidifier: Which Dehumidifier Is Better For RV?

Desiccant Vs Dehumidifier: Which Dehumidifier Is Better For RV?

There are numerous dehumidifiers on the market. Even though a Desiccant dehumidifier and a traditional compressor dehumidifier have similar functions, they work best in different conditions. These two dehumidifiers are like android and iOS, they do not have a similar operating system, but the primary function is the same. The primary function is to remove humidity or moisture from the air and make the environment fresh and dry.

So, when you think about Desiccant vs dehumidifier, it is difficult to decide which dehumidifier is best for your RV. Read this article till the end to find out the difference between desiccant and compressor dehumidifiers.

What’s a Desiccant Dehumidifier and Its Features?

A desiccant dehumidifier uses chemicals or hygroscopic substances that are called desiccants to remove moisture from the air. A desiccant adsorbs the moisture and it also has the ability to release the same moisture when it is heated. So you can just put it in an oven for a few minutes to restore it. You can also put it in the sunlight for a few hours and it will be as good as new.

Desiccant Dehumidifier
Desiccant Dehumidifier

There are many types of desiccant dehumidifiers.

  • Disposable desiccant dehumidifiers: They are also called moisture absorbers. These dehumidifiers are very inexpensive but they cannot be reused. Their moisture-removing capacity is very low so they cannot be used for large spaces. But that doesn’t mean that they are useless, you can use them in your RV’s washroom or in your cupboard.
  • Moisture absorbing bags: Moisture absorbing bags also use desiccant to remove moisture from the air and they operate on silica gel, charcoal, etc. Some moisture-absorbing bags have the ability to rejuvenate after lying in the sunlight for some time.
  • Rechargeable desiccant dehumidifiers: They are also inexpensive and have a higher moisture removal rate in comparison to disposable dehumidifiers. These dehumidifiers are wireless so they do not need any socket to work in your RV.
  • Full-size consumer-grade desiccant dehumidifiers: This is the type of desiccant dehumidifier that is comparable to a compressor dehumidifier in terms of size and moisture removal capacity. It ranges from $150 to $350. The desiccant dehumidifier draws humid air and when the air passes through the desiccant. The moisture gets absorbed and dry air is exhausted. Another stream of air enters the dehumidifier and passes through a heating element. Then the hot air removes the moisture from the desiccant. And then warm humid air condenses and drips down into the collection bucket.

Features of a Desiccant Dehumidifier.

  1. Heat generation when operating: It can increase the temperature up to 3 to 5℃.
  2. No maintenance: Maintenance and replacement are negligible because desiccant dehumidifiers have heaters inside them that can infinitely regenerate the desiccant.
  3. Not affected by the surrounding temperature: As temperature difference does not affect their performance, they can work all year round.
  4. Low noise. They are quiet while operating.
  5. Portable: They weigh 5 to 9 kg or 11 to 20lbs.

What’s a Dehumidifier and Its Features?

When we talk about dehumidifiers, compressor dehumidifiers are considered the traditional dehumidifiers because people are using them since the 1960s. These dehumidifiers remove the humidity from the air by condensing the air and collecting the moisture in the drainage tank. Various types of dehumidifiers are available in the market such as battery-operated dehumidifiers, mini dehumidifiers, and huge-sized dehumidifiers.


Features of Compressor Dehumidifiers

  1. Work best in a warm climate: These dehumidifiers work best in warm environments because a temperature difference is essential for condensation to take place.
  2. Low energy consumption: Compressor dehumidifiers are energy efficient and they do not use a lot of energy to function.
  3. Noise level: They are suitable for places where you need to maintain silence because they are not very noisy.
  4. Indicator: Some of the dehumidifiers come with an LED indicator light that lits up when the drainage tank fills up.
Desiccant Vs Dehumidifier: Which Dehumidifier Is Better For RV?

Desiccant vs Dehumidifier: Which Dehumidifier Is Better For RV?

Let’s directly compare both dehumidifiers to find the best choice and the winner of desiccant vs dehumidifier

Best working temperature comparison

Desiccant dehumidifiers work well in both summer and winter and weather does not affect the performance of a desiccant dehumidifier. However, when the heat is unbearable in summer, you do not want to raise even a single degree of temperature in your RV. When the desiccant dehumidifier operates, it increases the temperature by 3 to 5℃. This might be beneficial in winter but not in summer.

A compressor dehumidifier does not have any effect on the room temperature and it works efficiently in summers. Winter could slow the functioning of this dehumidifier. So if you live in areas where the temperature goes below 10℃, you should use a desiccant dehumidifier otherwise a compressor dehumidifier is also a good choice.

Maintenance comparison

Both types of dehumidifiers require low to no maintenance, so you don’t have to worry about humidity in your RV because they do not require a lot of maintenance.

Energy consumption comparison

Energy consumption is a very important factor to consider whenever you buy an electrical device. A desiccant dehumidifier requires more energy than a compressor dehumidifier. A compressor or traditional dehumidifier can save almost 50% more electricity than a desiccant dehumidifier, especially in warm climates.

Noise level comparison

If you want silence in your RV, compressor technology is the way to go. These dehumidifiers are much quieter than desiccant-based dehumidifiers.

Portability comparison

They both are portable and none of these two are extremely difficult to move around. But when we compare the two, a desiccant dehumidifier is lighter than a compressor dehumidifier. A desiccant dehumidifier weighs around 5kg to 9kg (11 to 20lbs) while a compressor dehumidifier weighs around 10kg (approximately 22lbs).


Many people confuse desiccant and compressor dehumidifiers and think that both are the same. But now you know the difference between the two. Now you can make the choice on your own about which dehumidifier is better for your RV. So the winner of Desiccant vs dehumidifier is different for different people.

People who live in extremely cold areas should go with the desiccant dehumidifier to control humidity. People who live in regions with moderate or warm climates can go with a compressor dehumidifier as it will not increase the temperature and will also save a lot of energy.


I am Johnson, welcome here. I love RV travel, and RV is more than simply a mode of travel for me, it is a way of life. But terrible humidity and mold destroy my freedom and happiness, so I started to share my own experiences and sources of dehumidifiers to generate even more value. You can find out more about my story here or follow me on Youtube if you wish. If the humidity is also trapped around you, the articles here will have some tips and suggestions and reviews of dehumidifier, hoping to help you and more people.

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