You guys, I think I made every mistake in the book - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-19-2013, 09:16 PM   #1
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Name: Caitlin
Trailer: 1973 Trillium 1300
British Columbia
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You guys, I think I made every mistake in the book

Ugh.

Well I researched which trailer to buy for 3 years, taking my time to find the perfect deal. I am a fastidious packer, and prepare like crazy for every trip. Last year I finally bought our wonderful trillium trailer (10', 1973) and had a fantastic summer camping with my kids.

What I didn't do is spend a single minute researching how to store my trailer over the humid winters we have here on the Pacific Northwest coast.

I didn't even get all the cushions and sheets out.

I was seriously lazy.

And, I'm telling you this so you WON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE.

Also, I'd love to know what I should do to avoid this ever happening again. Please see the attached pictures (don't know how to put them in the post without photobucket or something).

Oh, and any tips for cleaning would be appreciated as I can only find threads with outside mold. I must be the only one this stupid
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moldytrailer1.jpg   Moldytrailer2.jpg  

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
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Hi Caitlin, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here, truly

First, breathe... this isn't a show stopper, just "lessons learned." The mold you're seeing is no different than you'd see in ANY brand of trailer. Don't think this is an "all molded" problem, it's not.

Folks will be a long shortly with suggestions!!!
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:43 PM   #3
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yeah, I'm glad to hear that, as it's what I was hoping. Can't wait to hear what I can do to avoid it happening again - to save my marriage and all HAHAHA
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
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Wow that look very extreme! Are you sure you don't have a leak (or several) somewhere? It is strange how the mold spreads from the window and vents.

I leave a bucket of damprid (brand) in the trailer if it is parked for longer and all the cabinets open a crack to prevent moisture. My campervan had a solar vent: a small fan that goes on when the sun shines and exchanges the air but is water tight ( Amazon.com: Solar Roof vent for Car, RV, Shed, Boat, Greenhouse: Automotive) which worked very well, too.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:54 PM   #5
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Name: Caitlin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chse View Post
Wow that look very extreme! Are you sure you don't have a leak (or several) somewhere? It is strange how the mold spreads from the window and vents.

I leave a bucket of damprid (brand) in the trailer if it is parked for longer and all the cabinets open a crack to prevent moisture. My campervan had a solar vent: a small fan that goes on when the sun shines and exchanges the air but is water tight ( Amazon.com: Solar Roof vent for Car, RV, Shed, Boat, Greenhouse: Automotive) which worked very well, too.
thanks, I'll look into those two products.

I checked in the few places there was enough of a gap in the ensolite to look between it and the fibreglass and so no sign of mildew or mold where there was definitely some outside of the fibreglass. I am assuming that a) it looks worse than it is in this photo because of the blue tarp over the whole trailer (we're working on the belly band right now) and b) that the condensation gathered on the ceiling and windows because they are where the biggest changes in temperature happened and also of course it collects up top, right? I mean I'm open to opinions. If most of you think this looks like a leak and I should pull the ensolite down I will of course strongly consider that.

The kids and I are supposed to leave on June 29th for a week of camping so I'm really, REALLY hoping that's not the case.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:00 PM   #6
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There's several of us live in the PNW, Oregon for me. I can and do park my trailer beside my house under a metal carport.
To prevent mold I put Dri-Z-Air in the trailer, a small electric heater set to keep the temperature above 45F, the ceiling vent open slightly, and a small window open a crack. When I was home all winter I would change the Dri-Z-Air about every other month, but I checked on it at least once a month.

So far I've not had any mold and have been doing this for over 7 years.

I don't remove cushions, clothing, bedding, etc. The Dri-Z-Air seems to take most of the moisture out of the air.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:07 PM   #7
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Mold

In the PNW, mold is sort of an exotic house plant.

Follow Donna D's advice, breathe, just not in the trailer.

We always remove our cushions and leave the windows cracked a little to allow air to circulate. You have a tarp over the trailer? that may be one source of your problem. It is not recommended to tarp trailers because of the wind action on the high points of the trailer with the tarp. It looks like the age of your rig may also be a factor. A good cleaning with bleach or mold/mildew cleaner is called for.

Just as your battery should be 'topped off' for one day a month, you should also air out the trailer occasionally.

GH5928 How to Prevent and Remove Mildew

Don't be upset. At its heart, your trailer is a fun guy.

Good Luck.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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I keep a window or vent open for ventilation.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
In the PNW, mold is sort of an exotic house plant.

Follow Donna D's advice, breathe, just not in the trailer.

We always remove our cushions and leave the windows cracked a little to allow air to circulate. You have a tarp over the trailer? that may be one source of your problem. It is not recommended to tarp trailers because of the wind action on the high points of the trailer with the tarp. It looks like the age of your rig may also be a factor. A good cleaning with bleach or mold/mildew cleaner is called for.

Just as your battery should be 'topped off' for one day a month, you should also air out the trailer occasionally.

GH5928 How to Prevent and Remove Mildew

Don't be upset. At its heart, your trailer is a fun guy.

Good Luck.
Yup, follow Donna's advice for both you and the trailer. The trailer's gotta breath too. No breathing is bad for both the trailer and the owner.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:48 PM   #10
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Caitlin, I don't really have useful suggestions to add, just the observation that you are certainly not the only one to have had this experience; I'm pretty sure I've even seen similar photos posted in this forum.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:37 AM   #11
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That's a hard lesson; my sympathies. It should scrub off the ensolite just fine. Might be another reason there's still a lot of trailers around Manitoba; one thing about 40 below, it's a dry cold! 8-)
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfandfinch View Post
If most of you think this looks like a leak and I should pull the ensolite down I will of course strongly consider that.

The kids and I are supposed to leave on June 29th for a week of camping so I'm really, REALLY hoping that's not the case.
I think it makes sense that the condensation started at the gaps in the ensolite and spread from there. Replacing the ensolite is a major pain - I would really try to clean it.

There is many posts here that describe how to clean ensolite, you can do an advanced google search and specify fiberglassrv.com as domain. See also these:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ean-43009.html
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post100087

TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) used by some is a powerful cleaner and there is versions that can be combined with bleach (others can not!), but it is not trivial to use (see the warnings on the box). I never cleaned ensolite myself so hopefully others can give better advice.
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Old 06-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #13
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Trailer: 19' Escape
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We live Washington and this winter we left ours under a tarp but also had a small heater running and had the windows cracked and didn't have a problem with mold. I did take out the cushions though. You might want to start by trying white distilled vinegar to see if that helps first before harsher cleaners. There are some videos on how to do it. It smells but at first but the smell dissipates and helps prevent it from coming back. When we bought our trailer there was a little mold in the closet but the vinegar worked and kept it away. I sprayed it on in the whole interior trailer and wiped it down afterwards.
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Old 06-20-2013, 08:55 AM   #14
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Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TammyV View Post
You shouldn't mix the vinegar with anything except water.
Used to mix it with baking soda to propel rockets as a kid. Some use it for volcano's. One might think the effervescence would help clean the little fissures of ensolite, much like polident gets between denture teeth.

Then again, red wine vinegar and olive oil makes a nice salad dressing.
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:03 AM   #15
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Name: Caitlin
Trailer: 1973 Trillium 1300
British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger C H View Post
In the PNW, mold is sort of an exotic house plant.

Follow Donna D's advice, breathe, just not in the trailer.

We always remove our cushions and leave the windows cracked a little to allow air to circulate. You have a tarp over the trailer? that may be one source of your problem. It is not recommended to tarp trailers because of the wind action on the high points of the trailer with the tarp. It looks like the age of your rig may also be a factor. A good cleaning with bleach or mold/mildew cleaner is called for.

Just as your battery should be 'topped off' for one day a month, you should also air out the trailer occasionally.

GH5928 How to Prevent and Remove Mildew

Don't be upset. At its heart, your trailer is a fun guy.

Good Luck.
thanks the tarp is only on right now as we've removed the belly band and of course it rains daily here. we didn't want rain getting in behind the fibreglass while we did the work on it. Otherwise no cover at all. We may build a carport now though!
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:04 AM   #16
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Trailer: 1973 Trillium 1300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
There's several of us live in the PNW, Oregon for me. I can and do park my trailer beside my house under a metal carport.
To prevent mold I put Dri-Z-Air in the trailer, a small electric heater set to keep the temperature above 45F, the ceiling vent open slightly, and a small window open a crack. When I was home all winter I would change the Dri-Z-Air about every other month, but I checked on it at least once a month.

So far I've not had any mold and have been doing this for over 7 years.

I don't remove cushions, clothing, bedding, etc. The Dri-Z-Air seems to take most of the moisture out of the air.
Very informative, thank you so much!
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfandfinch View Post
thanks the tarp is only on right now as we've removed the belly band and of course it rains daily here. we didn't want rain getting in behind the fibreglass while we did the work on it. Otherwise no cover at all. We may build a carport now though!
Caitlin, are you following my thread on the belly band?
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ead-58763.html
Is this what you are dealing with?
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Old 06-20-2013, 02:02 PM   #18
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Name: Christine
Trailer: 1976 Scamp 13'
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Star brite MDG Mildew Odor Control Bags (2 pack):Amazon:Sports & Outdoors

Those help to prevent moisture and mold also, we used it for our big rv.
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:28 PM   #19
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Trailer: 1973 Trillium 1300
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Originally Posted by chse View Post
I think it makes sense that the condensation started at the gaps in the ensolite and spread from there. Replacing the ensolite is a major pain - I would really try to clean it.

There is many posts here that describe how to clean ensolite, you can do an advanced google search and specify fiberglassrv.com as domain. See also these:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...ean-43009.html
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post100087

TSP (tri-sodium phosphate) used by some is a powerful cleaner and there is versions that can be combined with bleach (others can not!), but it is not trivial to use (see the warnings on the box). I never cleaned ensolite myself so hopefully others can give better advice.

Thanks! I've used TSP more than I care to admit so I planned on that if the bleach didn't work out. I'm actually going to try out Tilex's mold and mildew remover first. And read your links. Much appreciated!!
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Old 06-20-2013, 03:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Roy in TO View Post
Used to mix it with baking soda to propel rockets as a kid. Some use it for volcano's. One might think the effervescence would help clean the little fissures of ensolite, much like polident gets between denture teeth.

Then again, red wine vinegar and olive oil makes a nice salad dressing.
HA!

I use a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to clear clogged drains. Works a treat if you find it early enough - best for sluggish drains.

Given this is on the ceiling gravity is limiting my options though.
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