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Old 12-11-2007, 05:50 PM   #1
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mysterious odor

I've decided to turn to the forums for my problem, perhaps someone out there can give me advice:
I took my 2004 Bambi to a dealer for winterizing back in October, and ever since I brought it home, I've noticed a very strange odor permeating the interior. It is a very strong, "sweet" chemical type odor, and it is so powerful it is almost nauseating and burns my eyes if I spend too much time inside. I contacted the dealer to see if it could possibly be from the winterizing fluid- I was thinking maybe they had used a different type than had been used in prior years. The manager of the service dept. emailed be back and suggested I look into some sort of leak coming from the refridge., which I did, and was not really able to determine that it was coming from that source. He also stated that it would be more of an ammonia odor, which it is not. I'm now at a complete loss of ideas as to where this is coming from. It makes being inside very unpleasant- which of course is depressing, because I enjoy going out there from time to time even in the dead of winter. Do any of you experts out there have any ideas?
Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:37 PM   #2
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I think the anti-freeze has a "sweet" smell...but it's never been that strong and I wouldn't say it burns my eyes. Did they leave a bunch of it in the tanks? We usually run it through all the pipes until it comes out of the faucets, then drain it out so it isn't actually sitting in there all winter. Could it be a possible interaction with toilet chemicals? The fridge would definitely have an ammonia smell, it's not "sweet" - but it would burn your eyes. If could be a combo of both...worth exploring.

Sorry...not much help, but I feel for you ~

Shari
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:19 PM   #3
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Contact that svc. mgr. again and find out what type anti freeze they used. Go out and open a faucet or flush once....see the color of the fluid and check the odor then and there...see if its what the problem is.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
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A sweet smell is from an auto type anti-freeze, and has probably been spilled somewhere. CAREFUL the stuff is toxic and should be flushed out of the water system.

Rae
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:03 PM   #5
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Try filling all the plumbing traps with RV antifreeze and see if the smell goes away.
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:26 PM   #6
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Make sure your toilet valve is closed you may have some reverse venting going on. A little bit will give a smell similar to the chemicals in the waste tank if the valve is open?????????


Though I would take the advice about the antifreeze in the traps first.
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Old 01-13-2008, 05:59 PM   #7
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Auto Anti Freeze Is Toxic

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkcru
Try filling all the plumbing traps with RV antifreeze and see if the smell goes away.
If auto antifreeze is used in fresh water lines. it is impossible to "clean" it out. Water lines, water pump, water heater, and all things associated with the fresh water system would have to be REPLACED at considerable expense. Since this was winterized at a dealer, I HOPE they did use the non toxic RV type antifreeze.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:05 PM   #8
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Auto Antifreeze is TOXIC

Quote:
Originally Posted by ve3czn
CAREFUL the stuff is toxic and should be flushed out of the water system. Rae
Let's hope that since a dealer winterized this trailer that RV antifreeze was used. A water system that has had Automotive type antifreeze CANNOT be "cleaned." Everything associated with the fresh water delivery system would have to be replaced at considerable expense. The water pump, water heater, fresh water tank, and all the fresh water delivery lines would be affected.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your tips. I will check the toilet. I checked the lines by briefly turning the sink faucet "on" and the fluid that dripped out was the traditional RV pink stuff. The odor coming from it does not match the odor in the air. I've emptied EVERYTHING out of the pantry and bathroom sink vanity thinking maybe it was some spilled food, shampoo or spices, but the odor still persists. As soon as spring arrives I plan to take it back to the dealer where it was winterized (A very reputable dealer where I purchased it in New Jersey) and see if they can solve the problem. I just can't spend any length of time in there because it is an irritating smell. I hate the thought of having to endure it during camping season. It's a real mystery.
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:59 PM   #10
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Suggestions

  1. Turn your refrigerator ON and see if it is cooling properly. If it's an ammonia leak it won't cool right.
  2. Check ALL of your alarms and replace the batteries. If it's something like propane, then perhaps the alarms might queue you in, and the battery could have worn itself out while the unit was closed.
  3. Turn off the propane at the bottles in case there's a leak somewhere in the propane system. Also soap test the regulator. I think you'd notice THIS rotten egg smell, but combined with something else like anti-freeze?
  4. Open all of the windows, and vents. Turn on all the fans for 15 minutes. Then close everything up. As the smell returns your nose may lead you to the source.
PS: I've lost a hairbrush behind the bathroom sink - the back panel only comes 1/2 way up the shelf (probably to keep the pipes warm). If something like a spray can has gotten lost in there and is venting hairspray, pesticide or anti-perspirant?

Paula
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:10 PM   #11
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Good advice- I will do these next. I actually checked the fridge already and it is not an ammonia type odor. But I will check behind the vanity and the propane. I do have the propane tanks turned on because I'm actually using the oven! My own (electric) oven is broken and I'm too cheap to call a repairman to get it fixed. I'm holding out for a new gas oven instead, but have to get the propane installed in my home first $$$$$$. So whenever I need to bake I just waltz out into the driveway and cook in the Airstream. You may be on to something with the possibility of a mix of propane and some other mystery gas. More close inspections are on the list. Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:29 PM   #12
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odor in trailer

This happened to us once...the source of the odor turned out to be a dead mouse. Odor was very strong and sounds very much like you have described.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:36 PM   #13
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YUK! Can't wait to come across that in my search!! I wouldn't be surprised by anything at this point
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:41 PM   #14
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Mice are a quite common complaint in trailers, dead or alive.
Do a search on mouse or mice. You may be surprised.
There are lots of recomendations for collecting them as well as keeping them out in the first place.
As always, some suggestions are much better than others....
Dave
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