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Old 07-25-2004, 07:39 PM   #1
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Question What stinks?

Please Help!
Just got back from our 3rd weekend trip in our 1977 Safari. I love my new old Airstream and I was really happy that after major cleaning, it had absolutely no old trailer smell at all. However.... today I noticed a slight smell under the bathroom sink (rear bath) and also in the bathroom closet where there are plumbing pipes, water pump, etc. The toilet sits in between these 2 spots but the smell doesn't appear to be coming from the toilet... Before we left the campsite I cleaned and rinsed out the shower which we have never used yet but was a little grubby. By the time we got home 2 hours later, the smell coming from the bathroom was really bad--like rotting dead animals??mice??rats?? No evidence of any critters anywhere in trailer. Whew! I noticed that when you look in the shower drain you can see water. We ran water again into the shower and drained the auxilliary tank and it drained out but there's still water in the shower drain. We don't have the service manual and we leave next Sunday for our first long trip (10 days). Any ideas?

Thanks all,
Kate
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:46 PM   #2
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The shower and sinks all have a normal P trap that will hold water. This is normal. The smell may be form a loose fitting. The vent stacks that go through the roof run through that closet. Your recent travels may have allowed or caused one of the fittings to come loose, allowing bad smells into the coach.
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinRose
Whew! I noticed that when you look in the shower drain you can see water. We ran water again into the shower and drained the auxilliary tank and it drained out but there's still water in the shower drain.
Thanks all,
Kate
I can't help with the smell, but the water in the shower drain is from the P trap. It is supposed to be there.

Mark
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:50 PM   #4
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Kate, it could be "stuff" (leaves, spiderwebs, etc.) blocking the toilet vent. I kept smelling the same kind of thing. When I climbed a ladder and checked the top of the vent, I saw that the screen mesh covering it had pretty well decayed, allowing stuff to go into it. I blasted down the pipe with a strong jet of water. That seemed to take care of it. Also, I notice that when I put a water seal in the toilet, I don't get odors from the black tank. All it takes is about a half inch of water standing in the toilet. It won't splash out as you travel.
Good luck! And if you discover the source of the odor, please let us know.
Eugenie
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Old 07-25-2004, 07:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j54mark
I can't help with the smell, but the water in the shower drain is from the P trap. It is supposed to be there....
One of the many potential sources of the smell is that you lost the water seal in the "P" trap in the sink. In the 345, the hand sink discharges to the black tank, so loss of a water seal would allow the black tank to vent to the bathroom.

Unfortunately, as indicated above, there could be many other sources of the odor.
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Old 07-25-2004, 08:18 PM   #6
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One other source of "the smell", could be the air conditioner coil. I cleaned mine with a scented cleaner, it was really bad. Now I need to replace toilet gaskets as toilet is no longer holding water. Others have said that they got rid of smells after getting rid of old drapes and upholstery, and others have removed the belly pan and removed the old insulation. Though RamblinRose specified under sink and in closet, these other tips may help others reading this thread.
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Old 07-28-2004, 01:28 AM   #7
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rat salad

when i got mine i found a rats nest in the oven, stove, under a bed, in a closet, under the bathroom panel behind the toilet, and in one o fthe bathroom cabinets
after multiple cleanings everything is fine except for the bathroom cabinet as it was the worst place with a lot of rat pills
the main thing i used was a hefty solution of bleach after a good run with the shop vac
i think i even vacuumed up a dead mouse behind the toilet
i dont know about your coach but the area under the plastic panel behind the toilet is rarely accessible- you might try a thorough nook & cranny vacuum from the rear hatch then a good dose of bleach
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Old 08-04-2004, 02:22 PM   #8
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Rotten Eggs? Check your battery!

I bet you plugged your trailer in when you got back and now it smells like rotten eggs. This drove me nuts until I check the battery and it was hot and the water was gone. This is the Univolt converter overcharging your battery.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RamblinRose
Please Help!
Just got back from our 3rd weekend trip in our 1977 Safari. I love my new old Airstream and I was really happy that after major cleaning, it had absolutely no old trailer smell at all. However.... today I noticed a slight smell under the bathroom sink (rear bath) and also in the bathroom closet where there are plumbing pipes, water pump, etc. The toilet sits in between these 2 spots but the smell doesn't appear to be coming from the toilet... Before we left the campsite I cleaned and rinsed out the shower which we have never used yet but was a little grubby. By the time we got home 2 hours later, the smell coming from the bathroom was really bad--like rotting dead animals??mice??rats?? No evidence of any critters anywhere in trailer. Whew! I noticed that when you look in the shower drain you can see water. We ran water again into the shower and drained the auxilliary tank and it drained out but there's still water in the shower drain. We don't have the service manual and we leave next Sunday for our first long trip (10 days). Any ideas?

Thanks all,
Kate
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Old 01-30-2005, 03:12 PM   #9
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Have had a similar problem with no resolve. Finally put a small glass of vinegar in the pump area and it seemed to neutralize the smell. We have learned to live with the problem, just change the vinegar once every month or so.
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:35 PM   #10
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OK, many things to try; many possible causes.
After you have tried them all, or until you have found the cause and rectified it, might I suggest the use of ODOBAN, buy it at Sam's, to make the whole triler smell good. It will be strong for a couple of days after spraying, but with a few days to air out (less with good ventilation) you will be pleased with the freshness of our coach. It even will take spoiled meat smell from the fridge (ask me, I DO KNOW)!
Do not underestimate the smell of decaying rodents. It isn't a good thought, but it is a reality.
Good luck in your search.
steelbird
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:31 PM   #11
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What Stinks? EVERYTHING!

I don't want to be too negative,but.....We bought a '73 Overlander a few months ago. This is one of those campers that was parked for a long time, apparently in the deep, dark woods. The carpet smelled, we got rid of it. The walls smell (a combination of nicotene and who knows what). The fresh water tank smells a lot like Pine Sol. Everything has a unique, wierd oder.

Our solution is take the interior of the trailer completely apart...all the way to the exterior Alclad. We are going to remove the insulation, clean the inside of the walls, replace the floor, the whole nine yards. And we haven't even removed the floor yet. I believe they refer to that as the "Full Monte" on the forum.

All kidding aside, we really are doing a full restore on this trailer. We hope it will last another 30 years! Susan and I are looking forward to many great weekends with our friends and family far away from the stresses of the big city.


Jim
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Old 02-09-2005, 06:15 PM   #12
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Resurecting a Smelly Thread...

I think I know the source of our "trailer" smell. Not that offensive but kind of anoying when you know you have cleaned everything a billion times and as soon as the cleaning solutions fade - bingo there is that smell again.

A couple of weeks ago we took out the Univolt to have it tested. Turns out is it toast. However we have to hook it back up in order to run 110 to the trailer.

When we brought it in the house - the house smelled like the trailer. Then it was left in the Yukon for a couple of days and yep guess what - it smelled like the trailer. But when I went into the trailer for something - there was no "Old Trailer" smell! - We have since hooked it back up for our ride down to Florida until the replacement is installed (so we can have plug in heat! our first night) and within one day the trailer smells AGAIN!

So there is no rot, no mold, nothing in the walls, nothing in the belly - it is the Univolt that STINKS - not sure what - capacitors, varnish used??? who knows. But it will be nice to know that once the new Inteli-Power goes in we will have rid the trailer of "That Smell"!

Our Univolt transformer is toast - but we will have her for parts if anyone wants it - will be at the FSR. Or if you have new trailer that you want to get that vintage "smell" and need some tongue weight - then how about a vintage tongue anchor.......

Just an iddy biddy experience with our smell.....
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Old 02-09-2005, 08:11 PM   #13
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During the recent renovation of our Caravel, which smelled OK most of the time, we found the following sources of unexplained odors.

1) Missing seal between toilet and black tank. This explained why the bathroom had black tanks odors when the tank was more than 1/2 full
2) Bird in refrigerator vent (screening was missing)
3) Mouse poop in two nests behind the interior fiberglass end cap
4) Improper seal between black tank and drain pipe
5) Bad joint in gray tank vent pipe (in the bathroom closet)

And in Project Vintage Thunder we found immense amounts of rat droppings in the Univolt. Apparently rats find the heat from the Univolt to be attractive on a cold night. Something to keep in mind if you leave your trailer plugged in all the time.

The point is that there are lots of things that can cause weird odors in vintage trailers, and sometimes it can take a lot of sleuthing to find them.
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