You just can’t rely on the weather, especially in the UK. As much as you might dream about the perfect caravan holiday, you could be met with rain at any time of year.
So, it’s important to check your caravan for damp. Damp can not only damage the very fabric of the caravan itself, but this can also really devalue the caravan.
A caravaneer's worst nightmare. To let damp to take root there is to effectively throw your hard-earned money away.
Moreover, it can also invite toxic mould into the caravan, causing no end of health issues if not promptly and thoroughly dealt with.
We would argue that it’s best to keep on top of this potential issue by monitoring the level of moisture inside your caravan. Early detection puts you in a position where you can take action before it’s too late.
The good news is that this is very easy to do. All you need is a moisture meter or humidity meter/sensor. The market for these meters is saturated (excuse the pun), so there’s plenty out there to choose from.
And with this article in hand, choosing one is easy.
We’ve been checking out some of the best moisture and humidity meters on the market, and after much deliberation, we were able to handpick our top 5 favourites.
Our reviews on these are coming up very shortly and following on from that, we’ve also got a handy buying guide for you.
This will walk you through the various key points to think about before you decide which one to buy, including explaining the different types of moisture detectors.
Then, we’ve also included a link to a Youtube video that shows you how to check for damp in your caravan. Followed by how to interpret the moisture meter’s results, and some quick tips on preventing damp in your caravan.
Then we’re going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight to it!
OUR TOP PICK
This device is a bestseller with online retailers, and on Amazon, for example, it earned over 11,000 individual customer ratings. But better yet is the customer feedback.
Even after so many ratings, the average customer rating comes out at an impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5.
It’s also earned the title of “Amazon’s Choice” for moisture meter for caravans. Such a title is only given to top quality products that are available at a fair and reasonable price.
It’s very easy to use. You can grip it in one hand, which means you can get into small and awkward areas. You simply remove the protective cap covering the pins and insert the pins where you want to test the moisture levels.
The percentage of moisture content is then very clearly displayed on the large LCD display.
There’s a handy guide on the back of the device to tell you whether the moisture level is low, medium, or high. However, this changes according to the material being tested.
If in any doubt, please refer to the section in our buying guide entitled “How to interpret the moisture meter’s results”.
It takes a 9-volt battery, which you’ll find is very easy to get hold of, and better yet, if you leave the battery in it will automatically switch off after about 3 minutes after the last use, so you don’t waste the battery.
It’s also easy to spot in your toolbox, thanks to the bright yellow coloring that makes up a significant part of the device’s housing.
Amazon occasionally has deals on this meter - certainly worth a look.
- Great customer ratings
- Very easy to use & read
- Handy guide on the device
- Batteries not included
This little beauty is also a bestseller with online retailers, and again it has earned 4 and a half stars out of 5 as an average customer rating on Amazon.
It’s very easy to use with a very intuitive control panel. And better yet it’s also very easy to read, thanks to the large LCD display with an accompanying backlight option.
This meter doesn’t just measure moisture but also measures temperature too. This is good because you can ascertain whether warmer temperatures are effective at drying the walls out. And that’s not all, it also provides readings on the relative humidity too.
The other thing we love about it is that you can specify the precise material you are testing, in order to get a more reliable reading.
And we also love how it automatically re-calibrates itself. Very convenient - saves a lot of hassle.
It fits comfortably into your hand, and with its ergonomic non-slip design, you don’t have to worry about whether you might drop it at the crucial moment.
It takes a 9-volt battery, and better yet, you get the battery included in the box when it arrives. And better yet there’s also a low battery indicator.
And the user manual you get with it is really good as well, full of useful tips. And that’s not all, you also get a storage pouch, a protective cap for the pins, and a spare set of electrode pins.
The after-sales service is superb, not that you’ll ever need it. The limited lifetime warranty is very reassuring.
- A bestseller with great customer ratings
- Very easy to use & read with a backlight
- Also measures temperature & humidity
- Several accessories included
- Automatically re-calibrates
- Some customers were sent a German manual rather than one in English, however, you can obtain an English PDF of the manual from the manufacturer’s website
What we love about this damp detector is its simplicity. There are only two buttons to be concerned about, the power button and a hold button. So completely uncomplicated.
Perfect for those who are unfamiliar with more complicated devices that measure for several different things.
It’s super easy to use. All you have to do is remove the protective cup, insert the two electrode pins where you want to take the reading, and hey presto, you get a very clear reading on the large LCD display.
It has a very good accuracy coming in at +/- 1%, so you can make very reliable judgments as to whether action needs to be taken.
It comes in its own pouch and comes complete with a 9-volt battery included. And once in place, the battery can run for an entire 150 hours.
It comes highly recommended by customers, again earning a 4 and a half stars average customer rating on Amazon.
And the customers have praised an array of different aspects of the device, including ease of use, value for money, and accuracy.
- Very straightforward & uncomplicated
- Includes pouch and 9-volt battery
- Excellent value for money
- Comes highly recommended
- It’s a little small to hold
Here’s another bestseller. This one comes from the top, well-established tool brand Stanley.
Stanley has been in the business of DIY tools for well over a hundred years, and the reliability and quality is still to be surpassed.
And again this moisture meter has received a lot of positive customer feedback, earning an average customer rating of 4 and a half stars on Amazon, where customers have praised its ease of use, its accuracy, and how easy it is to read.
And speaking of being easy to read, you not only get a numeric display of percentage moisture content, but you also get a bar graph, which is far more intuitive to interpret.
And better yet, you can get the large LCD display to light up for you. Couldn’t be clearer.
It measures not only moisture content but also the temperature. This is good because you can ascertain whether warmer temperatures are effective at drying the walls out.
We like that it still works well under high humidity (80%) because it’s when wet and humid conditions that you’d be more concerned about potential damp coming through, and will be reminded to get the meter out to carry out a quick test.
It takes 4 triple A batteries, which is very convenient because you can get those anywhere. But better yet, you get your first set included in the box when it arrives.
It’s nice and slim to hold and grip, and it comes complete with a protective cap for the electrode pins. And it’s an easy device to find in your toolbox, thanks to its bright yellow housing.
- A bestseller from a top brand
- Displays measurements in a bar graph
- Very large light-up display
- Also measures temperature
- Works well under high humidity
- Comes with 4 triple A batteries
- Some customers have complained that it’s hard to read in certain angles, but that’s without activating the illumination LED
Now, this is a popular moisture meter, a bestseller with online retailers, it earned well over 9,000 individual customer ratings on Amazon.
And better yet it’s seen some great customer feedback, obtaining an average Amazon customer rating of 4 and a half stars out of a possible 5 stars.
What we love about this moisture meter, is that rather than having to consult a guide to moisture levels as you use the meter, instead the level of moisture content is displayed in the form of a bar graph on its large and rather easy to read display. So you can really gauge the situation.
And the device is very accurate indeed, able to get the moisture content within an accuracy of +/- 1%. You’ll know exactly where you stand.
We were also impressed with the protective cap over the electrode pins - it doubles as a calibration checker - how handy is that!
It takes a 9-volt battery, and your first set is included in the box. And there’s a handy low battery indicator on there too.
Please note that there are several different versions of this product available on the Amazon page. Please be careful to select only the one you want.
- Very popular with customers
- Great value for money
- Displays moisture content on a bra graph
- Very easy to read and understand
- 9-volt battery included in the box
- It measures moisture content in two separate ranges, but if you don’t know which one to set, it can be a little frustrating and unnecessarily overcomplicated
Best Caravan Moisture Meters to Check for Damp Buying Guide
As promised, here’s your buying guide!
Types of Moisture Meter
This is the most common and most affordable option. Two pins are inserted into the material being tested, and it’s the meter’s job to measure the electrical resistance between the two pins and provide a percentage measure of the moisture content below the surface.
Unlike with the pin needle, sensor plate only moisture meters are non-invasive.
The disadvantage of this however is that most models would struggle to get an accurate measure of sub-surface moisture levels.
You can also get moisture meters that feature both the pin needle system and a sensor plate.
Humidity meters measure the water vapor in the air. Thus they are also non-invasive.
Be careful not to mistake humidity meters with moisture meters because their readings have entirely different meanings.
What to Look for in a Moisture Meter for Your Caravan
Easy to Read
The meter’s display should very clear and easy to read.
The figure should be displayed prominently and leave you in complete understanding of the caravan’s moisture levels, and in turn, tell you whether you need to take action.
Easy to Use
Moisture meters are not overly complicated and are quite straightforward to use.
But we say the easier, the better.
It would be annoying if you needed to change the meter’s batteries every time you wanted to check for damp, so it’s wise to go for one that has decent battery life.
How to Check Your Caravan for Damp
Here’s the link for a really good video, that explains just how to check your caravan for damp:
How to Interpret the Moisture Meter’s Results
Here’s a quick breakdown of the different ranges of moisture you might find, and how to respond:
- 0 – 15%: The surface is dry, no damp to worry about
- 15-20%: Make a note of the area, you’ll need to check there again a few months down the line
- 20-25%: This is a concern - the area needs further damp investigation
- 25-30%: There seems to be water ingress into the caravan
- Above 30%: Take action immediately
Please note: The above guide is for use with moisture meters only, and not for humidity meters which are different.
What to Do If Your Caravan Has Damp
If you find a patch of mould or mildew, you need to treat it with a mould removal spray.
If however, you can’t effectively treat the damp yourself, you will need to find expert assistance.
How to Prevent Damp in Your Caravan
There are a number of measures you can take to prevent damp from seeping into your caravan, and some of them rather quite simple and straightforward. Here are a few quick tips:
- Keep the caravan well ventilated
- Avoid drying laundry inside the caravan
- Don’t allow steam from the shower into the rest of your caravan. (In fact we have a guide to best portable camping showers, so you COULD do it outside!)
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between moisture meters and humidity meters?
Sometimes the term moisture is used interchangeably with humidity. But there is a difference between the two.
Moisture content represents the amount of water in liquid form, but humidity levels, on the other hand, represent the amount of water in vapor form.
Both moisture and humidity meters can be valuable in determining how damp your caravan is.