Do you keep a dehumidifier in your garage to keep your classic car from turning into a pile of rust?

Mopar Body and Trim

  1. Lord Sparky

    Lord Sparky Well-Known Member

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    If you keep a dehumidifier in your garage to protect your car from rust, what model do you prefer? Do you run it 24/7 at all times of year? Estimate of what it costs to run for a year?
     
  2. roccodart440

    roccodart440 Well-Known Member

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    24/7 and they all wear out eventually. Take your pick. I get about 5 years out of one.
     
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    • 72bluNblu

      72bluNblu FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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      If you're more than a couple miles inland you've got nothing to worry about. If you are within a few miles of the ocean it might not be a terrible idea because of the sea air and coastal layer. As far as time of year it's not really relevant, if you've been in Carlsbad more than a year or two then you know that "June gloom" with the coastal layer would be worse for humidity than January or February usually is.

      My car lives outside year round and we get twice as much rain here as Carlsbad does and a decent amount of fog in the winter too. If it has good paint you shouldn't have a problem. It's a car, not a sugar cube.
       
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      • halfafish

        halfafish 66 Valiant, hot-rod in training FABO Gold Member

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        When I moved to the PNW 20 years ago, I got surprised at the way things in the shop and garage deteriorated. Cardboard got soggy and weak, and steel would get surface rust. A buddy who lived here all his life told me to do nothing more complicated than set a cheap box fan or two on a timer and run them an hour or two a day. I did that and haven't had a problem since. Not sure if this would work in your climate but it sure did in mine.
         
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        • Steve 225

          Steve 225 Well-Known Member

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          One thing I do, Wal mart, rural king, places like that, sell something called a moisture absorber, its about the size of a motorcycle battery, it's for the inside of RVs and such, I keep one in the car, it really helps cut down on your Windows fogging up, and sure it would help keep the carpet dry after a rainy/ snowy day, I also keep one in the gun safe( gotta keep yer powder dry)
          you'd be surprised how much water it pulls out of the air in just a couple months
           
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          • like_A_pike

            like_A_pike Well-Known Member

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            I’ve had this car in Forks Washington (120” of rain winter and marine layer all summer!) I’m not sure any machine was going keep humidity down in my garage. I had it in Hilliard Florida and the salt air attracts moisture to everything. Not as humid as you’d think however. By far the worst has been this stint in east Texas. The air is like soup here. If I run an AC in the garage it has to have the water piped outside. The garage isn’t sealed like the house, so it never gets dry.
            Ya’ll are gonna hate this idea, but I’m going to toss it out there to see if I’m doing something terrible- I used to run a 65 dart year round in Massachusetts and to slow the road salt rot down I shot used motor oil up into the underside of the quarters,doors rockers even as high as possible into the rear quarters and rear widow. It takes a day or so to stop making a mess in the driveway, but it repelled salty water for weeks. I treat this car the same way but since I don’t drive it much in crappy weather, the oil doesn’t get washed off. It has ceased the surface rust that had started high in the inside surfaces on both sides of the back window and lower rear quarters. I recon you can’t get away with this if you show your car, but I wouldn’t know anything about that. Am I nuts?
             
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            • RustyRatRod

              RustyRatRod Weenie idiot loser. FABO Gold Member

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              I don't have one, but I surely need one. I am open to suggestions and experiences.
               
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              • Dana67Dart

                Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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                Move to Colorado, we have to add humidity to the house in the winter. Right now my house is 30% and would be lower without the humidifier.
                 
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                • Mike69cuda

                  Mike69cuda 64 is the new 17 FABO Gold Member

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                  Dehumidifiers and desiccants are only effective in spaces that are relatively well sealed up and have few air changes. Most garages with leaky doors likely do not meet that definition. A car with the windows rolled up would probably respond well to interior humidity reduction.

                  Humidity monitors are pretty cheap. If you are considering spending much money doing this, you should probably buy one and track the humidity to see if you are really accomplishing anything.
                   
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                  • rustycowll69

                    rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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                    i, too, am in PNW. I think it's a good idea to have air circulation in the garage., whether it's with some fans, or a dehumidifier, or both. If you have a way to plumb the water removed by a dehumidifier to a drain, that is a definite plus.
                     
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                    • moparmarks

                      moparmarks FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      Here in the high desert we run humidifiers in the winter and swamp coolers in the summer to get the humidity up to around 30% verses the 10% outside. Here we try to keep rubber from cracking.
                       
                      Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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                      • Bulldozer

                        Bulldozer Well-Known Member

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                        exactly.
                        which is why we have people from all over the us bringing trailers and buying up all our cars.
                         
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                        • Swingn’71

                          Swingn’71 Well-Known Member

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                          Yep, sure do I don’t run it all the time, I just watch the concrete and can tell by the color. Whirlpool and about 8-9 years old still working good. The catch bucket holds about 2-1/2 gallons auto shut off, empty when full. 110 voltage. Massachusetts weather kinda needs it..Swingn’
                           
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                          • Mrpatel

                            Mrpatel 512Dart

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                            I’ve been told that leaving a few incandescent light bulbs on helps as well. My friend leaves 2 on in a 53’ trailer that he stores parts in, and never has an issue. Andrew
                             
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                            • dibbons

                              dibbons FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              I am in the desert but about a mile from the Sea of Cortez and in the mornings there is a very heavy dew. After sunrise, things dry up quickly.

                              I was shocked to find a layer of rust on the front pulley disc of a new water pump I had purchased (and it was stored indoors). Just have to live with it here and make sure everything is painted or oil-protected.

                              I don't know how a metal garden gate is looking rusty again, the landlord re-painted it not too long ago and it is was looking like new.
                               
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                              • Lord Sparky

                                Lord Sparky Well-Known Member

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                                Thanks for all your replies. Much to ponder. Rust is evil.
                                 
                              • 66fs

                                66fs Well-Known Member

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                                Yes, 24/7 with constant drain.
                                 
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                                • RedFish

                                  RedFish Well-Known Member

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                                  Although not car related, I run a dehumidifier year round in my basement. I don't know how many years this Haier has ran. My guess, about 7.
                                  Back when a local K-Mart store was closing I almost bought a new larger Kenmore dehumidifier for a 3rd of its original retail price. I didn't truly need it, changed my mind and put it back on the shelf. A couple weeks later the nightly news reports them causing fires and a recall.
                                   
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                                  • toolmanmike

                                    toolmanmike FABO Staff Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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                                    My storage garage has a insulated slab and frost footings as well as insulated walls and ceiling. It's not completely tight but the floor insulation prevents the concrete from sweating. It keeps it nice and dry inside.
                                     
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                                    • Dana67Dart

                                      Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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                                      be careful with desiccant type dehumidifiers. The ones that you open and they absorb water from the air, no electricity etc. I had one opened it and put in on a hardwood floor, darn thing worked so well (not to mention I forgot about it) that it overflowed and left a nasty stain on the wood.

                                      regarding leaving lamps on... My mom lives near the coast in So Cal and has many "heat rods" sometimes referred to as "damp chasers". basically a heater rod that she has behind all her drapes (they get to about 120F) below is a link (not necessarily what she has but the same type)

                                      https://www.amazon.com/GoldenRod-De...1K4TNF6GXD2C70RVJ&refRID=34P1K4TNF6GXD2C70RVJ


                                      36" = 25 Watts 120V
                                      Storage DeHumidifier | Dampp Chaser
                                       
                                      Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
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                                      • Mike69cuda

                                        Mike69cuda 64 is the new 17 FABO Gold Member

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                                        As mentioned above, Air movement can very important in some cases. When we bought our current house they had a dehumidifier running in the basement and it still smelled a little. An hvac guy advised me to put a return air duct as large as I could to the furnace down there. I did that and there has been no smell or excess humidity since.
                                         
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                                        • 66fs

                                          66fs Well-Known Member

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                                          I also added a vent and intake to the garage/basement when we replaced our old system years ago. Great move for all the reasons you mentioned plus I can work down there all year round.
                                           
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                                          • FISHYPETE

                                            FISHYPETE Well-Known Member

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                                            I have a shop in a poll building. Cement floor and insulated and heated. I run a dehumidifier in the summer. I keep the doors and windows closed most of the time to keep it cooler so the moisture likes to collect inside. I just empty it daily on the flowers outside
                                             
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