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Old 04-23-2019, 08:32 PM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Lo
Trailer: scamp 19
Posts: 1
Help for moldy wood

I am new to this forum. Last fall the cover was removed from my Deluxe Scamp. There were torrential rains all winter long here in Northern California. When I opened the trailer today I was dismayed to find that there is mold everywhere. The wood cabinets are ruined! Where to start? Is there any remedy for a bad mold problem? Any advice that you have will be appreciated.
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:16 PM   #2
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Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 3.5L 4door, SB
Posts: 1,777
Welcome to the forum, and sorry to hear about the mold. First bit of advice: do not despair. Second: dry it up as fast as possible, do a careful cleanup and then search for leaks and fix them. Then see if refinishing of the cabinets is necessary.

I am sure real help is on the way. Try to search the forum in the meantime, people here have dealt with all kinds of challenges, mold and mildew included. Winter storage, combating leaks and condensation are perennial topics. What year is your Scamp?
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:42 PM   #3
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Posts: 3,011
Here are good instructions from Bob Villa's this old house website for cleaning up the mold from wood surfaces.

If it is still damp inside I recommend that you buy or rent a dehumidifier to remove the moisture as quickly as possible.

Once you have cleaned it up try to find an Ion generator air cleaner. You won't be able to buy one in California as they are banned. Not even sure if you can rent one there. You may have to go out of state. But they do kill mold spores and get rid of the smells. Just put it inside, close the doors and come back a few days later, depending on the size of the unit. Ionic air cleaners do work miracles on getting rid of the lingering musty mildew smells.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:09 AM   #4
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Trailer: Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Posts: 1,853
Mold Control

I use Concrobium Mold Control on wood and other surfaces inside enclosed spaces and on things the bleach will damage. It kills and prevents mold. I use it on wood in trailers and have treated complete crawl spaces under houses.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:39 AM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 4,067
+10 once dry, ozone generator. If you can't find one to rent in CA, try the next closest state. But I think CA may still be an option.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:56 AM   #6
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MK Evenson's Avatar
Name: mark
Trailer: ,Retro by Riverside RV
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by lorrainebarlow14 View Post
I am new to this forum. Last fall the cover was removed from my Deluxe Scamp. There were torrential rains all winter long here in Northern California. When I opened the trailer today I was dismayed to find that there is mold everywhere. The wood cabinets are ruined! Where to start? Is there any remedy for a bad mold problem? Any advice that you have will be appreciated.
Lorraine, I too live in Kalifornia. I too went thru the winter rain. No moisture in my trailer. Bottom line is preventure is easier than the cure. I am not making light of your mold situation and would be asking the same question if I had it.
I use a CalMark cover. I also use 4-5 moisture reducers in the trailer all year.

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There are many on the market, the best and least expensive in the long run are those that you dry out by plugging in to an AC socket. The ones I have come with a separate base which blows hot air into the unit thereby drying the crystals. Takes 3-4 hrs but they last several weeks before you need to dry again. The crystals change color which lets you know when to dry. I keep one in my closet, bathroom, and three in the main cabin.
I also keep the windows open a bit even during rain. It doesn't leak but allows air circulation. When it is not raining, I open the door to allow more air exchange.
So sorry to hear about your problem, I am sure the suggestions presented here are good.
Former Casita owner.
If you have a choice, Please buy, "Made in America"
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:59 AM   #7
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 1,283
Originally Posted by lorrainebarlow14 View Post
I am new to this forum. Last fall the cover was removed from my Deluxe Scamp. There were torrential rains all winter long here in Northern California. When I opened the trailer today I was dismayed to find that there is mold everywhere. The wood cabinets are ruined! Where to start? Is there any remedy for a bad mold problem? Any advice that you have will be appreciated.
We had friends that their house burned mostly down. When the contractors finally got to cleaning out the insulation, etc from the crawl space there was mold all over. They used something they sprayed all over to kill the mold. I know a company called HealthyHome 365 phone 1-800-628-0479 in Richardson, TX that has a good mold killer. So check things out before you do much. First get rid of the moisture inside and use a good dehumidifier. Then do as the mold killers tell you to do. You can Google mold killers and don't go with a cheap one as you get what you pay for.
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Old 04-24-2019, 10:48 AM   #8
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Name: R.T.
Trailer: Big Foot
Posts: 197
I had good luck treating everything moldy with white vinegar. You might want to check it out.

Good luck.

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Old 04-24-2019, 07:48 PM   #9
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,768
Beyond cleaning the trailer, it's important to protect people and pets from spores.

There's quite a bit of information here in these links.

Personally, I favor borax for ease of use and not being so toxic to work with.

I think the ozone generator is important too as it will reach places that you likely cannot.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:25 PM   #10
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Name: John
Trailer: Roamer 1
Smith Valley, Nevada
Posts: 2,781
Remove all cushions, blankets, pillows and towels first. After everything is dried out, you can spray or wipe down with a strong bleach and water solution to kill the mold. Or a borax solution as Mike suggested (I've never tried Borax). When that is dry and wiped clean, apply a coat of Zinsser Mold Killing Interior/Exterior Primer. This will not only kill and cover any remaining mold, it will protect the pressboard cabinets from future moisture damage. Then you are ready to paint with a durable top coat.
I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:40 AM   #11
Name: Alan
Trailer: 1983 Casita & 1972 home-built
Posts: 58
Using a dehumidifier to stop mold

By way of discouraging mold and wood fungus, I use a water based 9% copper napthenate product called Woodlife on wood: It has a smell for awhile, but if you need to clean up something like a plywood floor and also stop wood rot from continuing this does the job. This smells a lot less than any of the petroleum distillate-based copper products and the elemental copper is pretty non-toxic. You will want to leave your trailer open in summer weather for awhile until the smell settles down. (The ozone air cleaners can help, possibly.) I use it for a deck coating/treatment and treating wood for projects. The wood treated takes on a nice copper-greenish brown color after the stuff sits for awhile. You have to use an oil-based primer to paint it.

I have a question in to the product expert at Lowes as to the actual active ingredient in the Concrobium product. The EPA considers all kinds of toxic things "safe". Does anybody have a bottle of this stuff that shows the actual active ingredient?

Be aware that mold-resistant paints and such will contain some bio-cide to discourage mold. Any synthetic product that kills mold will also be toxic to humans like us. Some of the synthetic products used are basically pesticides you really don't want to have inside your trailer. The safest anti-mold paint additive I ever found was thiabendazole, which is also used to protect bananas, but I only used this outside the house, not inside. You have to read the labels and look up the active ingredients to decide for yourself if you want to breathe them.

Safe practice is to discard all the fabrics and carpets that got moldy. It is better to keep these organisms out of your breathing space entirely.

Use an inexpensive half-face HEPA cartridge respirator when you handle moldy objects.

A note on ozone-producing air purifiers and such; ozone has many beneficial uses inside and outside the human body, but it is very destructive to lungs and eyes. Do not breathe the atmosphere produced by these systems; use them for cleanup, then ventilate the space thoroughly before occupying it.

To prevent mold: You need a cheap digital hygrometer for monitoring your indoor relative humidity (RH) and to compare to the one that may be integral on the dehumidifier you need. This website allows you to get a working sense of the relationship between air temperature, RH, and mold risk.
Dew Point Calculator

Play with the slide bars and watch the mold risk indicator change. Ideally you want to maintain any trailer to less than 60% RH most of the time; if it has gotten moldy before, keep the RH in the 40-50 range so the mold organisms can't function well. Having a higher indoor RH can cause problems if it happens too many hours of the day or too many days of the week. Lots of rain, tracking water indoors on your feet and clothes, leaks, etc. will increase your indoor RH to higher levels. You never want to allow your stuff to get moldy or mildewed; the health risks are very consequential and there is no way to completely decontaminate moldy objects that have any porosity to them, like clothing or wood.

Ventilating to stop mold in a trailer is very risky. It has to stay warm enough inside to warm up and dry out the outside air that is coming in, and then that warm wet air that picked up some water from the trailer has to leave the trailer without condensing on any trailer parts on its way out. You might get away with this in east San Diego or Phoenix...

Any compressor dehumidifier is also a 2 COP heater. (2 COP means half as much electricity for the same amount of heat production as any electric resistance heater or light bulb (COP 1 or less)). It is cheaper and safer to run a dehumidifier than a heater. Note that most portable AC units can also be used to dehumidify, and these days you can also buy portable heat pump units that can cool in the summer, heat in the winter, and dehumidify whenever needed. A dehumidifier also very efficiently heats the space as it removes water from the air. I have been heating my house in western Oregon partly with dehumidifiers for 20 years. A dehumidifier or a portable heat pump would be the cheapest way to heat a place with electricity with a portable appliance. You have to carefully read the installation and use instructions for portable AC/Heat Pump units to be sure they are doing what you need them to. A 8,000 BTU portable AC unit is about the right size for plugging into the wall, or a 30-50 pint dehumidifier.

If you get a dehumidifier with a hygrostat integrated into the control, it will turn itself off when the RH setting level is reached and come on again when RH goes up. This is great except the hygrostat in the dehumidifier is often not very accurate, so you need to compare your little digital hygrometer to see if the target RH levels are being maintained and tweak the settings as necessary. Also, hygrostats typically have a large hysteresis, so you may have to set the control to less than 50% RH to be sure the space never gets above 55%. I took a Honeywell hygrostat designed to use in a house and put it in an outlet box with an extension cord for a more accurate control when the one on the dehumidifier got too far off.

Many dehumidifiers/portable AC come with a garden hose connection so you can drain the bucket continuously into the kitchen sink or bathtub (trailer drain valves locked open!), and you definitely want this feature so you can leave the trailer unattended for months as needed.

Note also that there are two different temperature ranges of dehumidifiers available. The ones you use in the summer in the midwest only function at indoor air temperatures above 64 degrees. The ones you use for trailers in the cold season need to operate all the way down to 42-45 degrees. The cold temperature ones are not hard to find, you just have to be sure they are rated for cold weather operation.

I don't know about you, but I never have any unplanned events in my life...
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:40 PM   #12
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Trailer: 1972 Boler American and 1979 Trillium 4500 (plus 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks)
Posts: 403
To answer your question about Concrobium ... Trisodium Phosphate 1.19%
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:51 PM   #13
Name: Alan
Trailer: 1983 Casita & 1972 home-built
Posts: 58
Alert readers like Carol Ann and Civilguy have reported trisodium phosphate as the active ingredient:

from the Concrobium website:

I see Sodium Carbonate listed on the label. Is Concrobium Mold Control just Sodium Carbonate (washing soda) and water? No. Sodium Carbonate is the listed ďactive ingredientĒ on the Concrobium Mold Control label, but in fact there are two other ingredients in the solution which, when combined with the sodium carbonate and the water, result in this patented tri-salt polymer that eliminates and prevents mold. (Sodium Carbonate and water alone are not effective against mold.) The solution contains no bleach, ammonia or VOCs. Our Material Safety Data Sheet is posted on our website.

Does "tri-salt polymer" mean tri-sodium phosphate, but the company is trying to obfuscate their ingredients?

This article is about TSP in food, but note that the lungs, digestive tract and intestines are all the same mucus membrane:

Mold spores are probably more dangerous to your health than TSP, but buyer beware...

Dr. Mercola's incomparable health and fitness website search engine has some cutting edge information on cleaning products in general:
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:59 AM   #14
Trailer: Bigfoot 21 ft (21RB25)
Posts: 77
Scamp with mold

Lots of good suggestions on removing mold . If the interior was as soaked and as moldy and as bad as you say it was there is a longer road ahead but light at the end of the tunnel.

Depending what the cupboards and other wood components are made of and if you really wanted to keep the trailer I would remove all the wood pieces and rebuild from scratch using the present wood as templates . After
everything is removed then use the above suggestions on a total clean of the interior to remove the mold spores. Otherwise all it takes is one spore to multiply and you are back to square one with all that hard work spent in cleaning.

To help keep RV's dry from high humidity an inexpensive system is using Dri-Eze system if you do not have 110v available for an electric de-humidifier . Doesn't help for leaks though so you will have to find the source of the leak.

There will be differing opinions on this , I am sure.
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Old 05-02-2019, 08:31 PM   #15
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Name: Paul
Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, TV:Tacoma 3.5L 4door, SB
Posts: 1,777
It would be interesting to know how Lo is making out with the mold problem. I hope it is not a complete disaster.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:20 PM   #16
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Posts: 7
I think I agree with another person here in that once you get that much mold in your trailer it's going to be very hard to get rid of all of it. Bleach, vinegar etc is not going to get deep into the cracks and cervices. I would definitely tear out and get rid of anything that is impregnated and covered with the mold, especially wood. And the carpet may have mold under and in it as well. Carpet will be a real problem to get rid of the mold in. It's best to rip it out and dispose of it.

From your description I would almost consider completely getting rid of the unit. It's not worth jeopardizing your health. Once mold gets started it spreads like crazy.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:49 PM   #17
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Trailer: Trillium 4500
Posts: 2,050
I second the recommendation for white vinegar. It is safe and very cheap and does a fantastic job of killing mold.
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