Remedy for smelly tow vehicle - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-08-2016, 09:28 AM   #15
Junior Member
Name: rob
Trailer: layton
Posts: 1
same problem..bought a new ozone machine from amazon. returned it after a week because no change in the smell. I first threw out anything that can absorb and hold an odor. All carpet, curtains, wood utensils, rugs, blankets, paper products, plates napkins towels out in the trash. I opened the cushions and threw out the padding and hand washed the naugahyde covers twice and dried in the sun. I placed several bowls of white vinegar, cat litter and baking soda through my 12 foot camper. I left windows and doors open 24/7 with a rotating fan. Finally after about two weeks the mildew smell I had started diminishing. Did I mention I washed the walls? It is possible to get a smell out but it can be a nightmare. I've purchased several used campers since and when I step into a camper for the first time if it has any smell at all I walk away.

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Old 09-08-2016, 09:48 AM   #16
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 790
Ozone can be used to purify water by "inactivating" microorganisms. That may or may not help.

Febreze traps and binds hydrocarbon molecules which effectively reduces the perceived odor. It seems that your Febreze and the offending molecules ultimately end up laying whereever you sprayed it but is a reasonably economical and popular product.

Granulated activated carbon (GAC) can actually trap organic molecules. GAC has a phenomenal amount of surface area at a microscopic level which lends to its ability to trap molecules. It is used in municipal water treatment plants to remove trace amounts of volatile organic chemicals such as dry cleaning solvents from contaminated water supplies.

I looked into GAC when we first bought our Casita as it has some vinyl odors. In my research I quickly learned that GAC is used to filter the ventilation of illegal grow rooms. They are fairly expensive (~$100+) setups, so I didn't pursue it.

There are also articles online concerning how to build a canister filter to be used with a fan. Here's some commercially marketed setups:

I have read (maybe on this forum) that placing a bag of charcoal in the trailer can serve the same purpose. That sort of makes sense to me, but I haven't looked into it deeply. Here's a page from a GAC supplier.

Activated Carbon & Charcoal Frequently Asked Questions | FAQ Page

I ultimately ended up just airing our trailer out every time the weather was nice, probably over 60 days, and that helped quite a bit.

Good luck Patricia.

- "Wag more, bark less." -
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:04 AM   #17
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Name: Larry
Trailer: 2010 13 ft Scamp
Posts: 26
You might want to try a product called "smells-be-gone".
A friend of mine left a watermelon in his camper and forgot about it for several months (camper parked and not used). When he opened the door the rotting watermelon odor was overwhelming. He used this product and it was successful.
This is anecdotal, so I don't have first hand experience.
Good luck !
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:04 AM   #18
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 2,421
Originally Posted by Patricia D. View Post
...It would cost over 200.00 and require the car to be there 2 days. On Amazon there is an ozone machine for 115.00 so I may go for that. I understand that these machines require very careful use.
I might not go the over $200 professional route as my first option but if other things don't work I would consider that price reasonable if it solved the problem. I would not waste my time with anything that just covered up the odor. For example, when the problem is pet urine, I use Nature's Miracle, an enzyme that breaks down the molecules that are causing the odor.

By the way, the last few replies refereed to eliminating odors in campers and not vehicles. While the advice might still apply, the OP's problem is not in a camper - it is in the tow vehicle.

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