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Old 02-12-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1972 Argosy 20
1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1979 30' Argosy
Grand Junction , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91
Mouse problems

I am repairing a 1977 28' Argosy for a friend who is not mechanical. Have all the system working. While working the last few weeks noticed an odor. When I tracked it down, found its origin was behind the plastic area in the front wall/ceiling. Mice had gotten in there and nested, especially in the area where the plastic and aluminum interface. Removed the reading lights for access and later used a hole bite to gain more access. With a shop vac and various inventive attachments, I'm pretty confident that I've removed 98%+ of the mouse residue (including four dessicated mice)
but the odor continues unabated. Additionally, I removed the siding (panels) on the streetside interior and was able to clean and disinfect that area pretty thoroughly. I am reluctant to remove the entire plastic end cap as it seems to be pretty fragile (the trailer had sat in the sun in southeast Idaho for at least 6 years, a very hot and dry area summers).
Any suggestions? After trying disinfectant liberally applied, I am cosidering using the foam type insulation that you buy in aerosol cans at the hardware store and sealing the odor in but not sure of the result.
Could be a nice trailer as it has a rear bedroom configuration which I think is rare for Argosys.

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:40 AM   #2
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Boulder Creek , California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,177
Some people swear by the use of ionizers for this, or a sinkful of bleach and water left in the trailer for a few days. I am of the opinion that the source should be removed, especially if you are already in that deep. You probably have the cheap plastic endcaps that become brittle over time. You can remove these and repair/ reinforce them with fiberglass from the back, and plastic filler for the front, if theres any cracks, etc. The mouse urine and liquified mouse corpses probably penetrated into the plastic anyway, so it would be best to visually inspect and throughly clean these areas.
I went with Prodex insulation rather than install a new mouse nest. Just an idea!

Best to you,
Rich the Viking

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Old 02-12-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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1977 25' Tradewind
Waskesiu Lake , Saskatchewan
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 393
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I would suggest calling an established auto detailing business and see what they would recommend. Their business is cleaning and deodorizing vehicles after all, and i'm sure they have had to deal with similar odor problems in vehicles.

I have heard of "ozone treatments" or similar to get rid of nasty smells completely... don't know much about it though, or whether it would work in a trailer. All I DO know is air freshener products (eg. Febreeze) won't do it, so don't waste money on these cover-ups no matter what they say in the ads.

I also suspect you may have to pull the panels, wipe the surfaces and replace the old batts of insulation to really eliminate the smell.

Good luck!
Every home needs a dog, and every dog needs a home.

1977 25' Tradewind (with two ... three... FOUR dogs)
2011 Ram 1500 Quad cab, 5.7 Hemi, tow pkg.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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1960 24' Tradewind
St. Albans , Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 303
What kind of prodex did you get for your airstream?
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:05 PM   #5
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Boulder Creek , California
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,177
Originally Posted by 2vets View Post
What kind of prodex did you get for your airstream?
I only know of one kind. It's available at

They have a lot of good info to help compare different types of insulation but they are all based on household or commercial usage. Not as applicable to our Airstreams but still useful. Total cost to insulate my Safari was about $350.00, and I didn't have to handle or breath the fiberglass stuff.
Two layers with an airspace is the way to go with this insulation: one against the inside of the outer shell and one against the back of the interior skins. It's really easy to work with.

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