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Old 10-31-2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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Unhappy What is that odor?

We just bought a used 2002 25' Safari and now that we have it home, we find it has an odor that we cannot find the cause for. If the air conditioner is on continually, it is not as detectable, but when it has been closed for a day or more, and you open it up, the odor is so noticeable. It does not smell like the black water tank - we were told that the trailer had water damage in the rear and was repaired -- the carpet in the bedroom was replaced with wood laminate. The rest of the flooring is carpet. We bought it from a dealer and we are not sure what to do next nor where to look for origin of the odor. Any ideas?
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Old 10-31-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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Is it the familiar tupperware smell? Mine too.. only if its a bit humid outside and closed up. Disipates once opened up..
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:28 PM   #3
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well phooey, i thought this thread would have a zillion answers-my 85 although looking clean, and with a new a/c new refrig, new faucets, new shower drain, a thorough interior cleaning, still has a slightly "musty" odor in it when closed up for awhile. There is a small (less that 1 foot in diameter) spot in the floor under the street side aft bed (in the storage compartment) that is water damaged. I have not found anyothers as of yet. Could that be it? sticking my nose in it does not tell me that's it. I have water in all the traps...the carpet was replaced.
ah, the odor of a travel trailer....
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:57 PM   #4
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We had an issue like this in our older AS. We replaced the mattress and the problem went away.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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mystery smells

Most smells in a travel trailer usually come from the fabrics and foam. Empty the trailer of all of the carpets, upholstery, curtains and anything else that has fabric or foam and see if the smell goes away. Our '78 Argosy Minuet belonged to my parents who were smokers. We had to strip ALL of the material and foam and carpet out and scrub like crazy to get the smells out.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:03 PM   #6
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can you be more specific on the odor itself? If it's not black-water-smell, is it more like musty? Or rotten eggs? Or electrical wire burn smell?

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Old 08-04-2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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If ours stays locked up and warm inside the smell seems to come from the vinyl / foam ceiling pad. Knowing that I just live with it. If I open it up for an hour or so it disipates.

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Old 08-04-2009, 10:30 PM   #8
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Agreed about old fabrics, foam, bedding, etc. Especially carpeting and the padding.

Once all done, a thorough wash down of every interior surface with recommended products (factory guidelines?) that is time-consuming and painstaking will "get" most all of this smell.

I went over my trailer top to bottom, inside and out, prior to recent sale, and it took me in excess of 40-hours. Just the interior had to have been over 15 of those hours on that 34' trailer.

In our climate the use of a dehumidifier was near mandatory, IMO. We are all of us so used to HVAC in our homes we forget its role as a dehumidifier all season and that it keeps smells minimized.

Fresh air is hard to beat. Keeping it fresh under particular conditions is an engineering-worthy pursuit (commercial buildings).
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:35 PM   #9
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Are you storing in the open sun with the Safari closed up? It's not effective real fast but you might leave some Damp-Rid open when in storage. Usually available at an ACE hardware but also many other sources.

Do you not use the shower during this period? My shower P-trap has gone dry and the resulting gray tank smells are not pleasant. Put a cup of water in all your drains and see if it improves.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:02 PM   #10
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Depends on the previous use of the trailer. It could still be 'out gassing' of the materials used in the manufacture of the interior. The vinyls, cloths, etc, give off chemical 'emissions' in the heat. This could be part of your problem. If you can leave the roof vents open just a crack while in storage might help. Just a thought.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:09 PM   #11
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I know exactly what you are talking about! We noticed it first at the dealership while shopping for a trailer. Walking into new trailers that had been closed up on hot days. It's not a pleasant smell for sure. I can only say that it is similar to the smell after stepping into dog feces. We have replaced the mattress, curtains, foam, and upholstry. It has gotten better, but still is detectable on a hot day. I had previously tried plug in air fresheners, and lots of Febreeze.
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:14 PM   #12
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Our Argosy had that "old Tupperware" smell, I think from the vinyl wall covering. I put a spice jar (with the lid off) of whole cloves and cinnamon sticks on the counter and now it smells like cinnamon rolls. (Got to be whole cloves because they fairly drip clove oil.)
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Are you storing in the open sun with the Safari closed up? It's not effective real fast but you might leave some Damp-Rid open when in storage. Usually available at an ACE hardware but also many other sources.

Do you not use the shower during this period? My shower P-trap has gone dry and the resulting gray tank smells are not pleasant. Put a cup of water in all your drains and see if it improves.
Hi, although I haven't had any problems, as Bob said, the traps could dry up and vent; For that reason, I plug both kitchen sink drains, bathroom sink drain, and put the rubber plug in the shower drain when my trailer is in storage.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:08 AM   #14
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We also have an odd odor in our 2005 Safari. Doesn't smell like any black/grey tank odors. But can't really explain it. Plan on changing the upholstery - but dont know if I also need to replace cushions. Doesn't seem like something just a few years old would need to have that done.
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