Smelly mystery - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-26-2019, 01:45 PM   #1
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Name: Redwood Scamper
Trailer: Scamp
California
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Smelly mystery

I have a 1976 13' Scamp. Owned it for years.

There is always a slight musty sweet smell.

Have remodeled it, repaired small floor rot, painted ensolite, scrubbed all cabinets inside and out, put down new flooring, new cushions and upholstery, new curtains and sniffed everywhere.
Still can't find the source.
It is not from dead rodents.
The only thing I have not done is replace the ensolite and wondering if it may be the backing of it deteriorating?
Does anyone have any ideas?
Would love to hear your thoughts
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:43 PM   #2
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Do you have a way for fresh air circulation and/or air filtration in it when you are not using it? A lack of air exchange will cause the issue you are talking about. Of course there could also be some mildew/mold growing onto the foam backside and on the exterior surface of the ensolite. If you don't have fresh air circulation it will only get worse with time.



It is a totally natural phenomena that happens in nature in any closed space that is not a complete vacuum.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:11 PM   #3
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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visit your local tool rental place, and rent an Ozone generator for the day. run an extension cord into the trailer, close up all the windows and vents, leave all inside compartments propped open, plug in ozone generator to cord, close door, plug in extension cord to wall, wait 4 hours, unplug, wait 4 more, open door to trailer WITHOUT BREATHING and let trailer ventilate overnight.

voila, any organic odors, be they old cigars, molds and mildews, whatever, will be gone.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:12 PM   #4
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Name: John
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
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We've owned 3 molded fiberglass travel trailers with ensolite insulation on the walls and ceiling. All at least 40 years old. We haven't experienced any odor after deep cleaning, steam cleaning, de-molding, etc. Other possibilities to consider:

- We DID have to work hard to remove moldy smell where ensolite meets the floor and there were leaks. EDIT: Specifically, in the Boler 17, where the ensolite meets the floor inside cabinets, it is detached for several inches. Front and back of the ensolite in those detached areas had to be cleaned intensively.
- Its difficult to remove smells from old cushion foam. We have replaced all old cushion foam.
- Curtain and cushion fabric, if old, may need to be cleaned several times with strong cleaners.
- Rot in the wood sub-floor is a source of odor.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:24 PM   #5
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Name: Eddie
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21, Lil Joe
Florida
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Replacing the rotted floors usually takes care of the mystery odors. Ensolite is pretty bullet proof. Under the older Scamp benches they use a cheap foam with a thin vinyl covering. I would replace that material with Reflectix and attach it with 3M 90 spray contact glue. You will more than likely have to use a wire brush to get the old foam off. Also spray the inside of the cabinets with Mold Away. Most everything is available at the big box Hwd stores. If someone has sprayed Fabreeze in the trailer it is really had to get that odor out. Maybe an Ozone generator might clear up the mystery odor.

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Old 08-26-2019, 08:01 PM   #6
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Name: Redwood Scamper
Trailer: Scamp
California
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Smelly Mystery

Thanks for the suggestions.

I like the ozone idea!
Is it really that easy?
Great to have a group of people who have been there and done that who are willing to share.
Thanks
From the Redwoods
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:40 PM   #7
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Indeed, ozone works great at getting rid of mold and other such smells in old cars and scuh. Do read the precautions, mostly you do not want to exposure your eyes or mucus membranes to the ozone, its a very strong irritant when concentrated. it will completely dissipate in fresh air, and leave nothing toxic behind.
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