moss/mildew on trailer? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-27-2018, 02:01 PM   #1
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Name: Judy
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
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moss/mildew on trailer?

We live outside Portland, OR, and we need to know what we can use to clean the trailer without destroying it in the process. We have a 1 year old Scamp that spent the winter outside under a cover, but has been uncovered since our first trip this spring the last week of March. We have what looks like it might be moss or mildew or mold growing on the trim strip around the middle of the trailer and on the top...basically anywhere there is a crack or crevice or ledge it can grow on. Are we going to hurt the finish if we use certain products? How do we get this "stuff" off?
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:27 PM   #2
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
Washington
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Originally Posted by Judy in Oregon View Post
We live outside Portland, OR, and we need to know what we can use to clean the trailer without destroying it in the process. We have a 1 year old Scamp that spent the winter outside under a cover, but has been uncovered since our first trip this spring the last week of March. We have what looks like it might be moss or mildew or mold growing on the trim strip around the middle of the trailer and on the top...basically anywhere there is a crack or crevice or ledge it can grow on. Are we going to hurt the finish if we use certain products? How do we get this "stuff" off?
Wash it as you normally would but use a tooth brush for the cracks and crevices plus a micro fiber washcloth. No special soap required. The moss is not actually growing into the fiberglass finish or into the vinyl trims, it is just growing in the dirt that has stuck to those surfaces. When you wash off the dirt the mold and mildew will go away with it. People get in a real panic at the words mold and mildew but fiberglass resin does not itself host mold, it is just feeding on the dirt.
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:43 PM   #3
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Name: Judy
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THANK you...I feel much better. We are giving her a bath this afternoon.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:43 PM   #4
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judy in Oregon View Post
... We have a 1 year old Scamp ... We have what looks like it might be moss or mildew or mold growing on the trim strip around the middle of the trailer ...
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
..but fiberglass resin does not itself host mold, it is just feeding on the dirt.
The sealant around the belly band is a different matter. The mold is in the sealant and it will not just wash off. I'll leave it to people who know better than me to advise you about that issue.
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Old 05-27-2018, 08:06 PM   #5
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Not sure why it does that- little black spots in the belly band sealant- but it doesn't seem harmful. I brush once a year with a toothbrush using a scrubbing paste containing bleach. Seems to get rid of some but not all. Beyond that, I decided not to worry about it.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:02 PM   #6
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Name: Kim
Trailer: 1985 13' U Haul Camper
Michigan
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Ok. I've researched and tried a couple things. Trying to work smarter not harder.
Barkeepers friend. - recommended from egg community. Will not harm gel coat. Requires some work for scrubbing. Left egg super clean.
Me.... "there has got to be an easier way."
Toilet Bowl Cleaner with hydrochloric acid.
Spray on.... wait... lightly wash with scrubby pad... rince.
Recommended by boating community. Have to wear gloves and eye protection. Not sure what it does to gel coat but my gel coat is rough anyway.
Left my egg just as clean as barkeepers friend without the fuss.
The important thing to do here is to let the product work. Once I was comfortable that I wasn't peeling my fiberglass, I was able to simply spray, lightly wash and rince.
Got my toilet bowl cleaner at dollar store. Bought spray bottle there too with some scrubby pads. Total investment maybe $5...
Good luck.
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Old 05-28-2018, 02:08 PM   #7
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Name: Kim
Trailer: 1985 13' U Haul Camper
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Word of caution...
I watched many YouTube videos on this method.
You will want to concentrate on the egg itself. Do not use TB Cleaner on chrome...
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:49 PM   #8
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Name: K C
Trailer: 1971 Trailswest Campster
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If the sealant is spotty with mold it is most likely time to remove and renew it.

The Proflex sealant I put on about 5 years ago was rated as mold resistant once it has cured. I had accumulated two years worth of mossy mess on the exterior before I got it washed this spring. The sealant washed up nice and clean with absolutely no spots on it.

If you are going to put new Pro Flex sealant on I have an important tip. Do it on a cloudy day or in shade. Work during the cool part of the day. This is not a hot, sunny day job as you will have a lot of trouble getting it nice and smoothly faired into a nicely radiused fillet. Do get a filleting tool. Keep it clean, dip it in a little bit of denatured alcohol if needed to help keep it more slippery instead of balling up the sealant.

If you are not good at applying caulking you can acquire better skill at it with some practice. Just practice on some scrap material such as the corners on the inside of a cabinet in your house where it does not matter if you mess it up a bit. No one is an expert when they first try it. Be sure you have a good quality caulk gun that has a good trigger for releasing the pressure. Sometimes the cause of a really messed up job of caulking comes from using a low quality caulk gun.

I am lucky in that years ago when I worked at Boeing I had to go to their special training classes on caulking, you have to get certified in the proper techniques of applying caulking and sealant if you do any work related to it on aircraft. It was training that has served me well as a home, boat and RV owner.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:57 PM   #9
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Name: Gordon
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
If the sealant is spotty with mold it is most likely time to remove and renew it.
.....
Y?

I understand the sealant on a Scamp belly band is for appearance only. If the black spots don't bother the owner, is there any other reason to do all that work?

So far the mold on mine has not bothered me enough to deal with it, but with this discussion I might start obsessing about it and decide I can't live with it. If its anything more than cosmetic I will get on it right away.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:58 PM   #10
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Name: David
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Originally Posted by Judy in Oregon View Post
We live outside Portland, OR, and we need to know what we can use to clean the trailer without destroying it in the process. We have a 1 year old Scamp that spent the winter outside under a cover, but has been uncovered since our first trip this spring the last week of March. We have what looks like it might be moss or mildew or mold growing on the trim strip around the middle of the trailer and on the top...basically anywhere there is a crack or crevice or ledge it can grow on. Are we going to hurt the finish if we use certain products? How do we get this "stuff" off?
I get heavy mineral deposits in my fiberglass shower, along with blackish dots that I assume is mildew somehow forming. I researched how to possibly get rid of the stuff on the Internet. Believe it or not, Easy Off No Fume Oven cleaner kept coming up as a cure. I decided to give it a try, and it WORKS GREAT. The stuff has a mild pleasant scent, is not harsh to skin or breathing it, and works in about 2 hours. I test a spot first and it seemed to work. I then sprayed down the whole shower and let it sit for the 2 hours. It comes in a large spray can is about $6 at Home Depot. It was enough to do a double sized shower stall. I then actually got into the shower and hosed it down with the flexible shower head. You would not believe what crude came down the walls! The shower looks like new after 18 years! Proof of the pudding is that when I squeegee the fiberglass, the squeegee now glides over it with no resistance.
I don't know how this would work out in the open air. It would probably be a idea to find a shady spot on a cool, dry day or wait for an overcast day. Those marine layer mornings here in Oregon would be ideal.
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:58 AM   #11
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Trailer: Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette
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A product called Wet and Forget gets rid of moss, mold, mildew, algae. Used it on my deck and it worked great. Spray it on once or twice a year. Don't have to do anything else. Supposed to be safe for all surfaces.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:23 AM   #12
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Name: Tom
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I lived in Portland for many years, and kept a fiberglass boat at a Marina in the Columbia River. Needless to say, I have dealt with mold on fiberglass!

West Marine has an article on this topic that recommends a mix of bleach, water, TSP, and laundry detergent:
To remove mold and mildew, try using a solution of bleach, water, TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) and powdered laundry detergent mixed in the following proportions: Four quarts of freshwater, one quart of bleach, 2/3 cup TSP and 1/3 cup of laundry detergent. Alternatively, you can use an off-the-shelf product specifically formulated for mold and mildew removal, of which there are two types: those that contain bleach and those that donít.
The full article is here:

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...old-and-Mildew

This recipe works very well, and will not harm fiberglass.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:15 PM   #13
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Name: Pam
Trailer: Scamp
Georgia
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Moss/Mildew removal on Scamper

We use a spray bottle half full of apple cider vinegar and half plain unconcentrated Dawn (non-concentrated simply clean) dishwashing liquid. Shake it up, spray down the camper with water, spray with cleaning solution, wash, and rinse... cleans bathrooms, showers, practically anything! We even use it for the aluminum house trim, gutters and windows!
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:08 PM   #14
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Name: bill
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FWIW, vinegar is acetic acid, bar keeper's friend main ingredient is oxalic acid, TB cleaner ingredients include hydrochloric acid. Pretty common approach there.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:22 PM   #15
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Name: Bill & Sherry
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Washington
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We use "Wet & Forget" available at Costco, Amazon, Walmart. It's from Australia or New Zeland, removes mold, moss algae. Non-toxic, doesn't harm animals or sea life. Reactivates every time it rains. We spray it on the trailer, patio furniture, decking annually. Even the roof. Great stuff!
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:26 PM   #16
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Name: Kim
Trailer: 1985 13' U Haul Camper
Michigan
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Thank you TB! Your stating of the obvious made me smile and say... oh, yeah. That's right ! 😊
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