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Old 11-07-2010, 06:10 PM   #1
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1988 34' Excella
Troy , Texas
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Mystery smell... just wondering

We recently purchased a 34' 99 Excella Classic. We love everything about it, but it has a strange smell. It is not really offensive, but it is noticeable, especially when the trailer has been closed up and you enter it. When returning from traveling, our clothes even smell like the trailer. I didn't think much of it, assuming it is due to something used in the manufacturing of the trailer...but it seems like it should have gone away after 11 years! We have been in a trailer just like ours, and it, too, has "the smell". I think it might be something in the material used on the ceilings.....does anyone else have a 99 trailer that has a slight odor? Just wondering what it could be???

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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Are you by chance smokers? If not, then if PO smoked you may still have residue tar and nicotine. Non-smokers are very sensitive to that smell. I quit for five months and then found a jacket I wore while smoking. Still had that strong ordor. My "smell" came from the original carpets. Carpet gone and presto so was the smell.

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:31 AM   #3
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Excella88 - just not enough information!

Are we talking a sharp chemical smell or background musky smell?

Its kinda like asking the forum what color the carpet is

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:56 AM   #4
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Does it smell like tupperware? lol

There are several threads on this topic and some folks think its the vinyl covered ceiling. Mine too has "The smell" when its been closed up but goes away.

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #5
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1998 31' Excella 1000
1979 23' Safari
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Our 98 has the same smell, and we also assume it's the vinyl used on the ceiling. Have not yet found anything to combat the smell, I want to try a o-zone machine but haven't gotten around too it. A friend with a old airplane says the Airstream smell is the same in his Airplane, which is also vinyl.

We just call it the Airstream smell, you can always tell what towels or sheets where in there for a few days.

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Old 11-08-2010, 12:17 PM   #6
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Posts: 82 might try ODOBAN (sold at Sam's) concentrate....great stuff for all kinds of "stinky"...Good luck...blessings...Callie



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Old 11-08-2010, 01:16 PM   #7
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1988 34' Excella
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We are not smokers...after reading some of the posts, I guess that the mystery smell must be the ceiling material as we thought. We just call it the trailer smell, too. Thanks for the input...nice to know that it is just not our rig. Appreciate the help.
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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We have used Odoban with good success on a number of "stinky" things such as a mouse ridden aluminum boat and a cat infested garage. We sprayed Odoban all over the place, washed everything down, and it really helped. We have also purchased a spray from the local car dealer that they use on used cars to get rid of smells. It is "Odor Eliminator" authomotive formula made by ATMSKLEAR. The website is I hope this helps!
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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We noticed a 'smell' as you decribed when we bought our '66 4 1/2 years ago. We figgered it was P.O. smell and eventually it disappeared. I guess our 'smell' overcame and suppressed it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:32 PM   #10
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If you notice it, it's likely visitors will too, don't you think?

Why not just do a top to bottom clean of the trailer? Get out the buckets, wash every hard surface (walls, ceiling, counters, cabinets (inside and out)) with something like Mr Clean, and wash all the fabrics you can, too. Spray upholstery cleaners can be quite effective, too.

Be careful with the curtains though, some of them require dry cleaning.

There's no downside, and you might just get rid of whatever it is...
If it's to be, it's up to me.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by theVAP
They all leak!
I'd examine all out of the way corners of floor under cabinets. Any questions or musty smells, I'd look for someone with a SealTech machine. Stock up on AcrylR & Sikaflex 221 and get busy. Try soldiermedic for some experienced advice?

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Old 11-09-2010, 03:48 AM   #12
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is this smell kind of medicinal? Sort of like the cleaner used in Hospitals when you were a kid? It is slightly sweet at first, then kind of woodsy? I will wait for your answer for an explanation of what it is...
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:37 AM   #13
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2003 22' International
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Our 2003 also has an odor which imparts onto clothing and bedding. It has had this odor since we bought it new. When asked about it, the dealer explained it as "that new car smell" and said it would dissipate with time.

Well, our trailer is almost eleven years old and still has the odor. About a year after we purchased it I read that the odor was formaldehyde off gassing and allowing the trailer to air out would eliminate the odor. Formaldehyde was supposedly used to preserve the soft goods in the trailer. I then started storing the trailer with the windows and vents open, but this did not eliminate the odor.

Some time after this I read that setting bowls of ammonia out and turning up the heat with the trailer closed up would eliminate the odor. The ammonia gas was supposed to chemically react with the formaldehyde to eliminate the formaldehyde off gassing. I tried that to no avail.

Two years ago we removed the carpet on the floor and replaced with a vinyl product and the odor persisted (though our model does have the carpeted walls and ceilings). This year we recovered the dinette cushions and pillows and the valances. The only things remaining to eliminate would be to replace the foam cushions and the mattress and to remove the carpet from the walls and ceiling, but I'm not going to do that at this time.
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Old 11-09-2010, 05:49 AM   #14
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Same odd odor - 1998 34'

We bought our 1998 34 Excella 1000 in 2007 and it had a very odd somewhat musty smell. We completely aired out using the A/C and Fantastic Fan. Soon the odor was gone and we began living in the Airstream full-time. Full-time, that is whenever I was in the US, as I work primarily overseas. The Airstream was parked in Houston, TX (mild winters, try to remember that).

So the Airstream went about a month each time unoccupied between my visits. I would have noticed the smell whenever I came back to the US and stayed in it for about a two weeks at at time. Whenever I was gone, I set the A/C to 85 degrees to keep the heat down. In the winter, the furnace was set to 45 degrees and the cabinet doors were all open to keep any freeze off. With the mild winters in Houston, we never went through two LP bottles between visits.

We never noticed the smell till we bought a home base in Feb 2010 and moved the Airstream there in May and put her under the RV port and closed her up. Under the RV port, no need for the A/C. So the Airstream was closed up with no A/C.

Within a couple of months, same odd odor.

I think it could be the glue that holds the ceiling fabric on. Ours also has carpet (that will go soon).

I've heard this from at least a dozen AS owners. Close em up, get a stinky odor. Open em up, fresh as a breeze.


Would you rather have a mansion full of money or a trailer full of love?
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