SOMETHING SMELLS...eeek :( - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2009, 12:27 AM   #1
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I have cleaned my new to me 1979 boler top to bottom, as much as I can reach without taking any of the cabinets out. But, there is a pervasive stinky smell coming out of the dinette bench. I have gone in with spray and cleaned as much as I can, but there is a ton of wiring in there and I am nervous to get a shock or pour water in there and ruin the electrical.

I know I sound like a girl, but I am one, and I am tackling this myself. My husband has no interest in this trailer.

I poured bleach and hot water into the toilet, because I thought that it might be the black water tank smelling, but that did not seem to help.

The is really gross, so avert your attention if you are squeamish: there were a number of mouse traps that I pulled out of this area. There were none elsewhere in the trailer, so I am wondering if there is a dead mouse in behind the tank under the bench where I can't see it.
BLECH!!!

But it smells more musty and dank than "dead creature" rottish. DOUBLE BLECH!!

I am sorry to bring you this gross question.

I have a 17' boler with the rear goucho floor plan.

What can I do? Should I take it to an RV centre and ask them to pull all the wiring out and examine the whole area???

Dawn
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:52 AM   #2
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Dead mouse has its own unique Oh Der. If you have ever smelled it, you'll remember forever.

Is there carpet? I would venture to guess that 99% of all stinkies in a trailer come from mold, and carpet would be the prime suspect.

Or..

someone spilled their bong.

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:01 AM   #3
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Trailer: 1973 Compact Jr
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The presence of mouse traps does seem to be a clue. Mouse nests, turds, and urine seem likely.

Before getting too nosey in that area, read the Hantavirus info at the CDC -- here's the link:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/h...oframes/FAQ.htm

Notice they mention fresh, as in "Individuals become infected with HPS after breathing fresh aerosolized urine, droppings, saliva, or nesting materials."

Also, they say " Hantaviruses have been shown to be viable in the environment for 2 to 3 days at normal room temperature."

So as long as you don't have any mice currently living in your trailer, you should be fine, at least as far as hantavirus is concerned.

--------

The way I would attack this problem is to disconnect the trailer from AC power, disconnect any batteries that are in or on the trailer. In other words, disconnect all power sources to the trailer and all power sources that are in the trailer. Now if you accidently short-circuit some wires it won't have any effect.

Then I would clean out that whole area, moving the wires about as necessary to really mop, wash, and bleach everything in there. If you have a converter, battery charger, or other electronic equipment in that area (not just wires), they may have to be removed and cleaned or replaced. Whatever you do, do not get water or any other liquid on or in any electronic equipment.

You will need to get access to the area behind the tank. Look it over and determine the best way of getting there.

Once everything is cleaned, let all the wires and connections dry out. Look carefully for gnawed insulation (rodents find certain kinds very tasty) and replace any wires that have been damaged.

Then you should be ready to reconnect the batteries and AC power.

I look forward to hearing how it all turns out!
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Old 08-06-2009, 01:01 AM   #4
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Dead mouse has its own unique Oh Der. If you have ever smelled it, you'll remember forever.

Is there carpet? I would venture to guess that 99% of all stinkies in a trailer come from mold, and carpet would be the prime suspect.

Or..

someone spilled their bong.

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!
I don't have a carpet, and I have never smelled a dead mouse, so I can't be sure!!

I don't know what it is but it is driving me crazy!!!!! Someone may have spilled something, but I don't know what, it is quite rank!
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:13 AM   #5
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Get a flashlight and a hand held mirror... Use those in tandem to check out every corner and crevice you can't get your head/eyes directly to for viewing. You should be able to check out the cupboard thoroughly.

Have you looked under the trailer and up to that area? Maybe that one corner has a rotten floor.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
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Finish gutting it all the way down and remove all the cabinets. You're almost there anyway and it makes the interior/floor repainting, and sealing so much easier. Also, easier to lay your new flooring throughout so it will be under the cabinets, etc when you reintstall. Makes the dinette cubbies much better for storage when they have nice flooring throughout.

Once you get it gutted, you'll find the source or sources of your odor! Nothing a good ammonia wipe down won't fix. Then seal it real good with a Kilz or the Zinsser Mold sealing paint.

When I pulled all my cabinets, I was treated to many unidentifiable things and spiders as big as my hand that I never would have gotten to if I hadn't gutted it.
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Old 08-06-2009, 04:07 PM   #7
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Greg's got a good point. Nothing like working around things for days and then having to take them all apart anyway (which would have made it easier in the first place).

On the other hand, if you don't do that - or if you want another way (in addition to Donna's suggestion) to check things out in advance, I find that just stuffing my digital camera "blind" into holes and snapping pictures is very helpful (lots of inaccessible crannies on boats).

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 08-06-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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Oh GAWD!!! I know I should just remove the cabinets!!!! I am not this handy, but I guess I am about to become schooled in electrical and nuts and bolts BOLER 101.

I will give the results as soon as I finish this project.

Thank you all so very much for your time and energy with my problem.

Dawn
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #9
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Oh GAWD!!! I know I should just remove the cabinets!!!! I am not this handy, but I guess I am about to become schooled in electrical and nuts and bolts BOLER 101.

I will give the results as soon as I finish this project.

Thank you all so very much for your time and energy with my problem.

Dawn
You go girl!

The bench should be pretty easy to take out, hopefully it's just screwed in place. If you need help with the removal just holler. We love to tear apart trailers.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:43 PM   #10
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Oh GAWD!!! I know I should just remove the cabinets!!!! I am not this handy, but I guess I am about to become schooled in electrical and nuts and bolts BOLER 101.

I will give the results as soon as I finish this project.

Thank you all so very much for your time and energy with my problem.

Dawn
Dawn,

It may seem overwhelming at the moment, but the learning you are doing about your trailer will be invaluable when camping later on. If something stops working or is causing problems, you'll know exactly where the issue is located and be able to troubleshoot and fix easily. You are also less likely to have issues later if you take it down and build it back up. We now have over 10,000 miles and 3 years of camping in our Scamp since our gut and rebuild and have had no failures of any of the systems. Sure makes camping much more enjoyable when you know your unit and it is solid. Hang in there, you may look back and enjoy this stage of your Boler more then you think right now. Be sure and take lots of pictures of all the mess, etc so people will believe you later when you tell the stories.
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:00 PM   #11
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When we acquired our Scamp a leak had occurred. Apparently enough water had accumulated on the floor to saturate the backing of the vinyl flooring and top surface of the plywood underneath and cause mildew/mold in some areas.

I ended up tearing out all the vinyl flooring and leaving the plywood floor bare for a summer. At the end of summer I painted the floor with several coats of water-based gray floor enamel.

We stayed with this for a couple of years mostly to be sure there would be no more dampness to develop the problem again.

A year ago I installed Allure strip vinyl flooring. It seems to be OK so far.
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