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Dealing with Steamy Windows

If you travel by boat or RV during cooler temperatures and you aren’t a robot, then you know. Condensation is an issue. We’ve tried many things to keep the windows clear. After all, so much of travel is about the view, right? On Airship, for a while I used just a squeegee, but then where does the water go? I added to that method a chamois to absorb the moisture first, then followed up with the squeegee, but it’s still a bit messy. And if you have living breathing human beings inside with the heat on, no amount of staying on top of it will take care of it for good.

We recently picked up one of these babies on Amazon, based on a recommendation from a friend (Hi Wanda!). It’s the Karcher WV50 window vacuum cleaner.

It was thirty bucks, it’s rechargeable, and we have room for it on the boat. All that, and it’s fun to use! You vacuum/squeegee your windows when they get fogged up, and they end up clean and clear and dry. Sure, they’ll fog right back up when you boil water for tea or pasta (or have ten people over for a cocktail party), but hey, remember — it’s fun to use! 🙂 It has a good-sized reservoir that you empty when it gets full, and it gets full surprisingly fast!

All in all, it was a great purchase and it’ll stay on the boat. On cold and rainy days like today, we’re anchored off of Orcas Island near Double Island, and the windows pretty much look like this, all the time:

Until I use the “vacu-squeege.” (That’s rain on the outside…I won’t bother with that.) Yeah, the condensation eventuallys come back, but at least I know I’m getting a lot of the moisture out of the air each time.

Anyway. There you go. Recommended product!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The photos above are taken in the salon, while at anchor…not underway. We have fans to keep the pilothouse windows defogged while underway. Whew!


  1. eheffa eheffa

    Thanks for the recommendation Laura.

    We were at anchor last week in Nanaimo harbour with the snow falling and our windows all fogged up. I was using the squeegee and paper towels but wasn’t really keeping up with the extra water. Now there is an alternative.

    Great idea. Thanks.


  2. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    How about running a small dehumidifier while underway? Mine does very well at decreasing moisture levels and drying condenstation. I have a 25 pint unit, compact, relatively low amp draw. In this weather any drying effort makes a difference.

  3. Kevin McLaughlin Kevin McLaughlin

    I’m in a sailboat. We only have teeny tiny ports.

    • Yeah this thing’s got a high percentage of glass.

  4. GMertl GMertl

    Cool, looks like an interesting product. I’ll have a look, thanks. Ventilation is the only cure for condensation that I know of but, of course, that’s difficult during winter cruising.

    • Definitely less attractive when it’s 37 degrees out. 🙂

  5. Steve Price Steve Price

    Thanks for the tip Laura. We just ordered one. We use our boat all year and have lots of windows.

    • Hope you like it, Steve! We’re sitting in our Airstream right now at the Oregon Coast (in the rain) and I think we may need another one! 🙂

      • Steve Price Steve Price

        Rain on the Oregon coast…. who knew… :))

        • I know, I know. But yesterday, it was sunny and 60 degrees! We went for a nice bike ride…without jackets, even! Today on Accuweather, however, every single hour shows rain. We now have a moat around the Airstream. 🙂

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