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Old 05-19-2005, 09:22 AM   #1
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Help, where's that smell coming from

I have been trying to track down the source of an odor in our 2002 Classic since we bought it in September last year. I've cleaned the carpet twice now, reupholstered the couch, changed out the valance fabrics, washed down all interior surfaces to no avail.

The odor hits you when you open the door and seems to be stronger in the lounge area than the mid bath or back bedroom. I've opened cabinets and closets, sniffed the shower and toilet areas, nothing. I can't locate any one area that it's coming from, only that it seems to always be there and the odor is stronger in the kitchen lounge area. I read the other posts on here about leaks in vent pipes, battery issues, dead mice, etc. The odor seemed especially strong yesterday when I went in. The only thing different that we've done in the last couple days was top off the battery water. Please help us locate this unpleasantness. We are taking the trailer to have a few things fixed next week, do you think this is something the rv place can track down?

Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 05-19-2005, 09:36 AM   #2
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What does it smell like? Woodsy, metalic, gas, rotten veg, ect. I think we can rule out the fruit odors if you find it unpleasant. If you can find someone with a good nose they can tell you what it is and that will help you find it. We could have a smellathon at the beach if it's still there. Turn off the LPG, air out the trailer, close it up and smell if it's still there. Do you have a propane detector installed?

It may be a family of dead (or living ) things in the belly pan. Good exterminators can tell you what it is with a few sniffs.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:27 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Over59
What does it smell like? Woodsy, metalic, gas, rotten veg, ect. I think we can rule out the fruit odors if you find it unpleasant. If you can find someone with a good nose they can tell you what it is and that will help you find it. We could have a smellathon at the beach if it's still there.
If we can't locate it before the rally I'd welcome a few good noses when we're there. It isn't propane, we have a detector and the tanks are turned off. I thought it was old vinyl smell but it's not that old. My son's girlfriend says it smells like the dentist's office. It's very hard to discribe. The smell was there when we bought it. At first I thought it smelled like it had been stored in a cow barn, the faintest smell of decaying hay and manure. But like I said it's not coming from the bath area although it seems to permeate everywhere. When I reupholstered the end cabinet above the stove where the speaker is, I could smell it in the foam. I guess I'm not ruling anything out except propane, I know it's not that.
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Old 05-19-2005, 10:37 AM   #4
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If it is a thick pungent musty smell, it is almost always a water leak. The smell will tend to be more pronounced after a rain, and will nearly disappear after a long dry spell. I've had it in the last two trailers I've owned and in both cases it was leaks.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:35 PM   #5
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Heavens, Bob! That's quite a cat in your avatar!

It may be a water leak causing smells from the belly pan. Smells can also get trapped in the carpet pad, no matter how well you clean the carpet they won't ever come out without replacing the pad.
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Old 05-28-2005, 06:12 AM   #6
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smell woes

i had the same issue - my problem was a gassy almost Propane but not quite. I tracked mine to a dying electrical problem which still has to be fixed. under my sink on my 73 excella was a electrical unit which I am presuming is a converter and a cooling fan for the thingamagig (as you can see i am not mechanically minded) I unplugged the fan and disconnected the battery and voila the smell stopped. I am in the process of searching this site to see what the exact problem is. That was my smelly issue. I am almost convinced it is a relay that converts the shore power, as only half my electrics work when i plug into the shore. Murray
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Old 05-28-2005, 07:49 AM   #7
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Angry Battery?

Is the battery giving up the ghost? If it is the original, it could well be. A bad battery can either give off an aroma that smells like rotten eggs, or a strange, sort of almost overfresh air smell.
Also, this is a bit macabre, but do you know who the previous owners are, and are they still living? One of them, or both, or their family pet, could have passed away in there. I hope not, but without being able to smell the smell, it is as good a guess as any.
You also can try removing the cushion you said you smelled the odor in, and see if that clears it up.
Good luck with it.
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Old 05-28-2005, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Is the battery giving up the ghost? If it is the original, it could well be. A bad battery can either give off an aroma that smells like rotten eggs, or a strange, sort of almost overfresh air smell.
Yes, do check the battery! Two winters ago we thought we had a major sewer problem: a broken line somewhere. After further nasal investigation, I discovered that the smell was indeed the battery. To make matters worse, I had the rig plugged in while in storage, and the converter was happily cooking that poor bad battery to smithereens.

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Old 05-28-2005, 08:22 AM   #9
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You may want to try using an ozone generator in there for a while. (You may be able to rent one from one of those rental businesses.) If the ozone generator takes the smell out, and it comes back, it could be in the carpet, or carpet pad as others have suggeested.

Another place that I have found in my vintage unit, is the air conditioner condenser coil. Mine is a coleman unit, and it requires going up on the roof, removing the shroud, and disassembling the condenser housing. You might be surprised at what you find in there
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Old 05-28-2005, 09:04 AM   #10
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Got water in all your sink and shower traps?

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Old 05-28-2005, 12:16 PM   #11
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Try attaching the smell to your next post so we know what you're talking about. Hee Hee.
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Old 05-28-2005, 02:29 PM   #12
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Last year, I found a 3/4 size plastic broom that I bought and kept in the trailer because it fit well in the closet. Shortly after getting it, we'd be hit with an unusual strong oder when opening up the trailer if it sat for several days. I finally determined it was the broom and removed it. Funny thing is that if you try smelling the broom, you can't detect the oder. The thing that made me know it was the broom is I forgot to put it in the closet one time and left in in the bedroom. The next time I opened the trailer, the smell was strongest in the bedroom.

Good luck,

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Old 05-28-2005, 07:50 PM   #13
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"Wheres that smell comming from"

I would guess that your trailer leaked before you bought it. Mold/mildew does not necessarily smell like a damp basement. Sometimes it does'nt smell at all, and can take on different aromas depending on the contaminated materials involved. Since this is a late model trailer,I suspect the previous owner had a good reason for selling it. I have a 2005 22' CCD Airstream, and it had numerous leaks. The water runs down between the walls saturating the insulation. This is an ideal environment for fungal growth. This can present a VERY SERIOUS HEALTH HAZARD!
Google up " mold/mildew fungus"and read the EPA ( U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) " indoor Air - Mold, and follow some of the other links there. It's a real eye opener (not for the faint of heart).
Airstream does not do any remedial operations after plugging the leaks as this would require extensive dissassembly of the trailer interior; in my case mid-ceiling and all street side interior panels, appliances, cabnetry ,closets, etc. to remove the insulation, clean and seal all surfaces. Reference EPA requirements, ie." if it can't be cleaned within 24-48 hrs.,it must be discarded. This is not just for contaminated flood waters or special materials. this applies to clean water/rain and insulation materials.
In florida we call this the "sick house" syndrome.
I've had to hire an attorney to get Airstream to do the right thing. I hope you don't have to go through this. Caviat emptor.
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Old 06-30-2005, 12:41 AM   #14
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i have the same smell in mine

a hay/barn type smell............it's not the carpet as the plastic is still on it.the furniture and wood product have all been removed and half the insulation has been removed........i have sprayed the side wall with pinsol and it still smells.....
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