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Old 04-30-2003, 04:58 PM   #1
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Unhappy musty odor

Has anyone encountered a musty odor in their trailer?

We have just purchased a 1973 Airstream and I have tried everything to eliminate the musty odor. I've tried: open vinegar left standing; Spraying all fabrics with Febreze, washing down the entire trailer with ammonia; and also an open container of "Air Sponge" product. It may be less obvious, but it is still there.

Any ideas? I'm all out.

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Old 04-30-2003, 05:20 PM   #2
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You may need to be looking for mold or the source of the odor.

However; I use the anti static things you throw in the dryer (Downy) to get rid of cig smoke or any odor and it really works. I just place them out of site, two or three sheets is all it takes.


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Old 04-30-2003, 05:38 PM   #3
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Some sources of the musty odor may be:

1. Water damaged plywood at the floor
2. Carpet
3. Upholstery
4. Foam
5. Draperies
6. Insulation in the walls
7. Rodent droppings, old nests, etc. in places unseen (yuck!)

I would check-out each of these to try & determine the source...then go from there ~

Also, a good wash down of all the walls & cabinets might help. Especially if the PO was a smoker.

Good Luck!

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Old 04-30-2003, 06:43 PM   #4
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Re: musty odor

Reference was made to a pretty handy sounding device called an
'ozone generator' on the following link, along with some advice on the hazards of mold in an Airstream.

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Old 04-30-2003, 11:29 PM   #5
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Ozone Generator

Although the evidence on that thread indicates a lack of results,I can tell you from personal experience that they work well on musty basements.The best thing is to crank it for a day closed up and then air it out.Don't try it while you are using or working in the rig.
If you find any mold or mildew at all wipe it with a Clorox solution.Mold kills brain cells and is to be taken real seriously.
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Old 05-02-2003, 02:58 PM   #6
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Incredible odors in the floor.

I did all of the things suggested by the other posts on this thread, including having a professional cleaner come with a "Tim Allen" mounted in the truck steam generator and vaccuum, to no avail.

The Cleaning company then let me borrow an ozone generator (I had one previously work wonders on a hydrocarbon chemical based smell several years ago), but again, no lasting improvement.

Then I pulled up the carpet -- what an incredible odor was discovered!

I opted to go back with Pergo self-cushioned fake wood flooring, but when I took the carpet out out side, I noted that the carpet itself was not that big, and having the carpet streched out on the lawn it would be no problem at all to use the old carpet as a pattern and cut new carpet to where it would just "drop in".

Prior to pulling the carpet I was quoted a price of $200 for labor to replace the carpet. In hindsite, after pulling the carpet and seeing just how simple the cuts really were, $200 was a rip for the amount of work involved.

If your floor is really not in bad shape and you could reuse the existing tack strips, the carpet route would be the way to go if other concerns were not clamoring for a hard surface floor.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

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Old 05-02-2003, 04:33 PM   #7
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Tackstrip will hold odors (mold) as well, and replacing tackstrip is one of the least onerous parts of installing new carpet.

I'd pull out the old, use bleach on the floor where the tackstrip had been, and install new.

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Old 05-02-2003, 05:03 PM   #8
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I recarpeted my former SOB trailer with a multi-color Berber carpet from Home Depot. best thing I ever did for that trailer. The Berber was cheap, wore like iron, and didn't show dirt.

I made the major cuts on the carpet outside the trailer, put down tack strips (none originally), laid a cheap pad, and finished the whole job in a couple of hours.

I did rent a knee-kicker to tighten the carpet; took me a week to stop limping.
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Old 05-03-2003, 05:54 AM   #9
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One more place to look.....

The curtains. We had removed ours and taken them to a local seamstress, to have a new set made. She called us last night and told my wife that when she cut one the backing off of one set, she found mold inside. We have her doing the curtains in the front of the coach, but I am going to remove the curtains on the windows by the twin beds and inspect them. We may just try washing them, and hopefully they won't shrink.

I use an ozone generator in mine. It does work. I have not done a "shock" ozone treatment on mine yet, I just run it for 90 minutes every so often and it seems to last 4-5 days. I should just set it on "continuous" and let it go for 8 hours or so. I paid $450 for mine, and consider it money well spent. Also works great to freshen up the inside of a vehicle too.
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Old 05-03-2003, 06:03 AM   #10
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It depends on how old they are..They just might not wash out at all..

We ended up replacing all of our curtains for that reason..They just fell apart from "UV ROT".. Good luck to you..

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Old 02-08-2008, 07:47 PM   #11
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use a box or two of ice cream salt from walmart. put it in trays in the camper and the salt absorbs the odor and moisture. it's also very cheap. here in la. the humidity is killer and this works like a charm, particularly if closed up for a time.
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:22 PM   #12
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Rear Floor rot

Go to the back of your trailer, get in under the beds (rear bed model) or in the cabinets (rear bath) and poke around. Most likely you have some rotting plywood back there that is wet/damp/rotting giving it that favorite vintage Airstream musty / moldy smell. If not there, check up front under the front window under the gaucho. Or under the twin beds in the middle section, under the windows. Let us know what you find.

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Old 02-09-2008, 05:27 AM   #13
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You know you guys are workin' a 4 year old thread?
It would be nice to know what the final outcome was, though.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:55 AM   #14
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Getting ready to pull my carpet out, been putting it off for a while. Will be interesting to see what we find.

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