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Old 05-13-2011, 09:57 PM   #15
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I tow with a '99 Powerstroke with the trailer completely closed up. I never encounter soot or dust in the trailer. It would have to be horrible to get into all the cabinets, etc.

Something is very wrong here. First question I ask .. do you see exhaust smoke from your Dodge? Are you washing soot off the outside of truck or trailer? Are you towing with vents, windows, or Fantastic Fan open?
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Old 05-13-2011, 10:06 PM   #16
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Pretty wierd, to say the least. I've never, ever, heard of this problem. Something is missing from the equation. Have you had a friend follow you whilst towing to see if they can see any signs of the exhaust system smoking? Can you narrow it down to anyplace where it's really bad or a sign of ingress? A friend riding in the coach during hard acceleration might be able to spot (or smell) where it's coming in.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:13 AM   #17
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Can you borrow a gas burning TV from someone? Maybe this will help find out if it's the truck or maybe something else.
How do you know it's diesel soot? Our MH has the carpeting (mouse fur) on the walls. It gets a lot of black dust on it. We know that its aluminum dust.
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Old 05-14-2011, 09:42 AM   #18
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Hi Everyone,
Thank you all for your input! We are quite sure it is Diesel soot because of the color and how it impregnates plastic...it will not come out of a lot of the plastic. I clean and vacuum the trailer daily when on the road and there is a difference between the dust and soot.

Yes there is soot on the truck by the exhaust pipe. I also see this on just about every other diesel truck.
I really think that the airstream should be sealed well enough that no dust or soot or any other foreign matter should get inside.
These trailers are ,of course ,designed to be towed!
The truck does not emit abnormal amounts of soot; we get 16.8 mpg and we don't stomp on the accelerator.
I don't want to take it out because I know I will get soot all over and then spend most of my time cleaning it. Bummer...
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:18 AM   #19
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Maybe post a few pictures of the soot stained areas inside the trailer. It's hard to imagine that much soot getting inside the trailer unless your truck is billowing black smoke.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:46 AM   #20
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You may find that there is not just one quick answer to your problem and so far you have received some pretty good ideas on how to fix it and what is causing the problem. I had a similar problem as you with an old trailer (87 A/S) and truck combo (84 Ford diesel) I used to have. I found out it was the truck causing the problem.

When going up grades the truck pushed out smoke. You can divert the exhaust with an exhaust pipe extention or have dual exhaust put on the truck that exit out to the back on both sides of the truck. The duals must be pointed to the sides and not straight back.
The other thing you may find is that on your model trailer the back bumper area is like a giant scoop for air and exhaust, take a look and see if you can seal some of it. The pull down step may need to be covered, a piece of vinyl attached with velcro will seal that for you. Another area to look at with the trailer are the wheel wells, you might need to seal them with caulking. The person who told you to keep the roof vents closed is correct too. If you leave them open even a crack while driving they will act as a vaccuum and suck more smoke into the trailer thru the cracks or hole where smoke is entering now.
After doing all those things with my old trailer and truck combo I was able to travel without any problems with the truck exhaust entering the trailer.
The first big thing is to divert the trucks exhaust away from the trailer.
Yes it is a bummer, and I hope these tips everyone gave will help you find a solution.
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Old 05-14-2011, 10:48 AM   #21
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It is the truck, but finding the opening into the trailer is the problem, there is a long post on how road dust was getting in by way of plumbing under toilet and vanity, carpenters cut big holes for pipes and don't seal. I you are towing with vents open it would even pull more in. Where the soot is in the trailer might not have much to do with where it is coming in. Laying white paper towels throughout might, but conditions would have to be the same. Including a load of fuel with the same junk added by supplier.
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:13 AM   #22
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my $.02 worth

You may have already, but I would check these.
  1. Could power be turned on to the Fantastic Vent, sensors making it open and close while you are moving?
  2. Have you checked the window gaskets? On my Safari they either shrunk so much or were installed so badly that they pulled away from the corners and all were leaking big time.
  3. Are you closing the vent in the toilet while you travel (and all roof vents)? If there is an easy vent out, it tends to suck air from another location (openings for the plumbing pipes in the floor).
  4. Are you latching the vent on the range hood while you travel?
  5. Is a gasket missing on one of the roof fan cover?
  6. Is the gasket in contact all way around at every hatch and entry door?
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Old 05-14-2011, 11:42 AM   #23
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Diesel soot

Hi everyone,
I have read all your posts...Thank you.
Every single item you have mentioned, we have done as far as vents being closed, power off to the fans, range vent closed, bath vents closed, window seals are tight and locked.

We will try to vent the exhaust further from the truck, as was mentioned.
If it is the trailer, then Airstream is going to have to deal with it. For as much as we pay for these babies, I don't think it is my job to fix their errors.
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:08 PM   #24
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Have the truck checked

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegangirl57 View Post
Hi everyone,
I have read all your posts...Thank you.
Every single item you have mentioned, we have done as far as vents being closed, power off to the fans, range vent closed, bath vents closed, window seals are tight and locked.

We will try to vent the exhaust further from the truck, as was mentioned.
If it is the trailer, then Airstream is going to have to deal with it. For as much as we pay for these babies, I don't think it is my job to fix their errors.
There seem to be two problems going on.

We have a 2003 Ram diesel. We have towed 2 different travel trailers with it, at times with vents or windows open. I have never smelled diesel fumes in the trailer let alone seen soot. For that matter, unless the truck has not warmed up, the diesel exhaust smell is not very noticeable even outside in the area around the truck. If you are getting soot on your truck, it means the truck needs servicing. You may see it on other trucks, and that means they are either a lot older or need servicing also or both. A properly running modern diesel pickup does not leave soot on the side of the truck.

Secondly, you may be getting airflow through the trailer from some area near where the truck exhaust is located, but since is as bad as you say, I think you should be able to see it visually. Since your trailer is a 2011, it must still be under warrenty. Have you talked to the dealer?

I think the first thing you should do is have the truck checked by a Dodge dealer. I am pretty certain that if you lived in an area where emissions checks were required, your truck would not pass.

Regards,

Ken
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:15 PM   #25
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I agree w/ w7ts. On my truck there is no evidence of soot around the exhaust pipe on the body panels, bumper, or on the trailer exterior. I have unintentionally towed with vents left open. No sign of soot. For soot to permeate the cabinets, etc it would have had to be very heavy and visible. I also think the truck should have some scrutiny.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:02 PM   #26
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Are any of the sensers inside going off? CO, smoke or LP. Wonder if the smoke detecter would go off if it were diesel? jim
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:33 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegangirl57 View Post
Help!
However, the huge quantities of diesel soot that have spread throughout the entire cabin have persisted.....We thought the water heater was the culprit, but now we don't know what it is. The soot has impregnated the white plastic around the Fantastic Fans and it has stained the white covers of the sterilite containers. It has been found inside every cabinet in the cabin, and on the walls. We have taken it on ONE trip since we bought it.
i also cast a vote for something with the fans. either the seals aren't right or they're opening. remove the fuses from them on the next run.

have someone follow and observe the truck exhaust while you tow up a steep grade.

how long was the "one trip"?
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:01 PM   #28
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Hi everyone,

Again, Thank You all for your ideas. i have read them all. We will talk to the Dodge Service folks. The truck is a 2005 model.

Our one trip was 4000 miles.

Thanks again!
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