Do you live in a small RV with a memory foam mattress? Have you ever looked underneath the mattress?
If you’ve never lifted up your memory foam mattress, you might want to do so. Just be prepared for a soggy, mildewy mess.
Mildewy Memory Foam Muck
Last Fall we wanted to replace the original mattress that came with our 24′ Arctic Fox fifth wheel. But our bedroom is so small, the only way to do so was to order one that arrives rolled up, which only memory foam can do.
While researching how to replace a mattress inside a small RV, we learned that when small RVs are built, the mattress is already inside when the roof is put on and the rig is sealed up, making a mattress replacement difficult. Is that crazy or what?
So we purchased a new $450 memory foam mattress made specifically for RVs. The mattress was really comfortable but just one month into using it we discovered a gross mildewy mess growing underneath the mattress and on the bed platform, which was becoming warped.
We called the manufacturer to say “What the heck?” They tried to be helpful but they told us we might have a leak somewhere, or that we installed a wet mattress. They were completely unaware of the fact that when a foam mattress is installed in a teeny bedroom, condensation creates mildew underneath the RV mattress.
You see, memory foam doesn’t breathe the way traditional mattresses do, and condensation gets trapped between the mattress and the bed plank. Why a manufacturer couldn’t figure this out was beyond me.
HyperVent to the Rescue
After spraying bleach on the mildew and drying the surface thoroughly, we began talking to fellow RVers about our mildew issue. Unfortunately only a few who also live in small rigs have encountered the same problem. Of those who have, they presented what we considered unworkable solutions to help the mattress breathe; from drilling holes in the wood plank to lifting the mattress up each morning with 2′ x 4′ boards.
Finally a fellow Escapees member introduced us to HyperVent, a great solution for RV mattress mildew muck:
Had we just searched online for “marine bedding” we would have learned that the marine industry already has this problem figured out, as solutions like HyperVent have been used by boaters for years.
How HyperVent Prevents Foam Mattress Mildew
According to the manufacturer of Hypervent:
“HyperVent is a special material that consists of a white spun polymer woven into a large open configuration that is bonded to a breathable white fabric layer. This light mesh of polymer does not compress, allowing an open layer of air to form. It is 3/4″ thick, allowing plenty of dry air to circulate.”
HyperVent comes in 39″ wide rolls, so we had to measure our bed platform carefully for a good fit. When HyperVent is set down, the edges must be overlapped to give complete ventilation. HyperVent prevents dampness and accompanying annoyances in three ways:
- Allows warm air to circulate under the mattress, thereby minimizing an essential condition for condensation.
- The circulating air allowed by HyperVent promotes evaporation of moisture.
- HyperVent separates the bedding from any moisture that might form.”
Finally! HyperVent gave us the answer to our RV mattress mildew problem. We just have to be careful to lift the blankets off the edges of the bed when humitidy is high, to allow air circulation between mattress and platform.
The total cost of HyperVent for our short queen bed was $142 with shipping: a small price to pay for getting rid of this annoying, icky problem.
This is yet another example of the value of talking to other RVers. Even if you have the most obscure dilemma with your rig, eventually you’ll find another RVer who has experienced the same problem and found a solution for it.