Removing interior sponge lining - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-02-2008, 10:04 PM   #1
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Help! My wife is insisting on selling our beloved 1978 Boler because of the constant Mildew on the spongy interior lining. Its a constant battle. We will probably purchase a newer Scamp with hopes of no more mold. My question is, has anyone successfully replaced the stock spongy substance with a vinyl product so we can clean the mold? I don't want to sell my baby?
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:46 PM   #2
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Dave: Keep your baby. If anyone has had mold and mildew on ensolite it is moi.

I scrubbed ours with liquid TSP -- sprayed on. Then a stiff bristle brush to scrub it into the grooves followed by many rinsings. That was two years ago. Our Boler is stored outside in the winter and has had holes and leaks and there is no return mold or mildew.
We are ready to paint this month.

See our links about the cleaning process and some before and after pics (actually during) before you try replacing the lining. Cleaning is just time and some muscle. Replacing the ensolite is a bigger job than I would want to do.

If you do decide to try the liquid TSP (available at Home Depot), open all the windows and the door to get good ventilation and wear rubber gloves. It is VERY drying on the skin.
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Old 06-03-2008, 01:22 AM   #3
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Dave: Keep your baby. If anyone has had mold and mildew on ensolite it is moi.
I will add that we do store the trailer with the windows cracked open a bit for ventilation. I'll soon be posting our winter storage wrap in the thread Carol Ann just mentioned.

There is also a product called Concrobium for mold and mildew available at Home Depot. We bought a gallon of it, thinking we would need it before long, but the TSP cleaning seems to have been all we needed.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:22 AM   #4
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The sponge lining is actually a closed-cell ensolite. In of itself it doesn't absorb moisture, it's all on the outside (or under it next to the trailer shell). Cleaning thoroughly, then painting the outside surface with a mold inhibitor paint should solve the problem.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:43 AM   #5
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Any thoughts on removing the sponge liner and just spraying the interior a fiberglass paint?? I was hoping on gutting mine, spraying it all done with a pressure washer - getting it clean - - and just going in with a sprayer for now and spraying everything white.... with the hopes some day of putting carpet on the walls for insulation?

Has anyone ever used Carpet Tiles/Squares for their walls? figure it would be easier to work with than a big piece - and could cut as you go? As far as the seems, you still could use the 3M tape painted to the color of the carpet?

As a new 1970 Boler owner, I'm having a tough time believing that I'll be able to get the smell out of the trailer...

My Fiance is out of town right now and well I brought the Boler home, and right now she'll think I'm crazy if I don't get it to smell a bit better... as many of you know - it's sometimes tough to convince the partner that this was a "good" idea... so I'm hoping on doing some cleaning - or major renovation on her before she gets home.
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Old 06-19-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Any thoughts on removing the sponge liner and just spraying the interior a fiberglass paint?? I was hoping on gutting mine, spraying it all done with a pressure washer - getting it clean - - and just going in with a sprayer for now and spraying everything white.... with the hopes some day of putting carpet on the walls for insulation?

Has anyone ever used Carpet Tiles/Squares for their walls? figure it would be easier to work with than a big piece - and could cut as you go? As far as the seems, you still could use the 3M tape painted to the color of the carpet?

As a new 1970 Boler owner, I'm having a tough time believing that I'll be able to get the smell out of the trailer...

My Finance is out of town right now and well I brought the Boler home, and right now she'll think I'm crazy if I don't get it to smell a bit better... as many of you know - it's sometimes tough to convince the partner that this was a "good" idea... so I'm hoping on doing some cleaning - or major renovation on her before she gets home.
The liner is actually something that you want. Light shines through the fiberglass without it or carpet on the walls.
The treatment that I explained above actually did work. The first comment from a couple that met us the first year and then again the second year was about how "the trailer doesn't smell anymore". Then once you paint the walls, you'll have sealed it anyway.

BTW, I was the one that needed to be convinced about the sanity of the purchase. And before she comes back you may want to edit "Finance" to "Fiance" before she thinks you want her to pay all of the bills as well.
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:00 PM   #7
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Any thoughts on removing the sponge liner and just spraying the interior a fiberglass paint??
The interior of my Fiber Stream is just paint on the inside of the fiberglass shell. It had leaked so badly before I bought it, that I was glad I did not have to strip out any damaged interior wall covering.
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Old 06-20-2008, 08:33 AM   #8
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I have only removed the "sponge liner" in a few places for fiberglassing in cleats to mount additional shelves.

But I can assure you it would be a big job. Mine is apparently glued on with either a construction adhesive or a contact cement. Whatever it was, it is really glued down good.

If you were to replace it with something like carpeting, then it would be a lot easier because the residue could be left. But if you wanted to prepare it for painting, all the residue would need to be removed down to bare fiberglass. Once this was done it would require a lot of filling and sanding.

Years ago we had a Compact Jr. that was painted inside from the factory. The fiberglass lay-up on this trailer was quite nicely done in fiberglass roving. A spackle paint of white with brown flecks was originally applied. I cleaned it up well and applied a new coat of latex enamel. This went on nice and looked great. The problem was sweating due to no insulation.

Concerning the mildew smell -- I would bet the plywood floor is the main culprit. Another prime possibility is the cushions. The mildew that gets on the ceiling is mostly a cosmetic problem. I did as a previous poster, cleaned well, then used a mildew resistant paint as an undercoat, overcoated with a white floor enamel.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:15 AM   #9
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I have an older (84) Scamp - with the ensolite. It had carpet - and we tore it out and replaced it w/vinyl. There was some mold smell and that was where it seems it came from. Can you see the mold? I had a little of the black junk on the walls in a few small spots - TSP scrubbed 2x and that really cleaned up the walls. I then primered the walls with Zinsser 123 primer(interior/exterior) - it is a mildewcide paint that you would use in a bathroom and topcoated that with a quality exterior grade paint. I couldn't bear to tear out the ensolite - partly because of the work - and cuz its part of its weird old trailer charm. It has made an incredible difference in the look - its bright and very clean. I should also add that I took out the seam tape and caulked the seams. It is going to make a difference in cleaning I think - the texture is a bit more evened up due to the paint.

I did have some mold after the winter (damp damp PNW). I was only sorta kinda diligent about opening all the cabinets, cleaning everything out, leaving a window/roof vent cracked, interior humidity collector maintenance.....I did put a small heater in there near the end of the winter to dry everything out. Next winter I will be more diligent......

Maybe try the paint scene.....it wasn't too expensive - only time consuming for me. I used 2.5 quarts of primer and 2 quarts of paint. One small roller (4 inches) and one medium roller (6 inches?) and some foam brushes and you can go to town.


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Old 06-22-2008, 08:31 AM   #10
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We cleaned the ensolite in our '83 Scamp with a standard bathroom type mold cleaner that contained bleach and it worked just fine. Lots of scrubbing though to get the stuff out of the small wrinkles.

We store our camper for 6 months at a time in Florida where mold grows quicker than a bad habit. When we store our Scamp we close it up tight and place several Styrofoam bowls containing para-formaldehyde crystals inside. The crystals slowly vaporize and fill the interior with a gas that the mold won't grow in. It also tends to discourage bugs and other critters from taking up residence. One application served our camper for 6 months. You just want to be sure that you ventilate it well before you work or live in there. The stuff is really noxious not to mention carcinogenic, mutagenic and everything else genic ... I find things that say "...genic" to be generally bad stuff. Just don't breathe it.

We also use this on our boat which stored over the summer near the Everglades... works well there too.

The stuff we use is called Home-Zone and is manufactured and sold by:

Seminole Products Inc
3698 NW 16th St
Lauderhill, FL 33311
954-583-1935

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