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Old 04-20-2008, 01:36 PM   #1
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1992 34' Excella
1971 27' Overlander
Pilot , Virginia
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Formaldehyde Smell in '92 Excella 1000

I recently purchased a 1992 34' Excella 1000. When I leave it closed up for any period of time some kind of plastic "formaldehyde" smell builds up inside the trailer that is unbearable unless you leave the windows open. Is has grey looking flexible plastic plumbing that has crimped couplings at all joints. Could the smell be comming from the plumbing?? Has anyone with this model had a similar experience?? Any info on this problem would be appreciated.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:48 PM   #2
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hi 92' and welcome to the forums...

smells are tricky, can you post some of it here?

IF the odor is actually related to formaldehyde, the source is more likely to be from tank chemicals than trailer parts...

16 years should be long enough for fabrics, wood and other materials that might have contained formaldehyde...

and really there weren't than many materials inside a 90s unit unless it's been modified.

have you tried REALLY CLEANING all the tanks, vent tubes, and so on?

IF the previous owners regularly used formalyn based tank products, it could take a LOT of flushing...

and the toilet gasket/seal may need replaced too...

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:53 PM   #3
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Do a one word search on the forum for formaldehyde and you will find a wealth of information and opinions. I have been fortunate that neither of mine have any kind of lingering chemical smell. Now my SOB was another story all together. Up until the day I sold it I always had to start ventilating it at least one to two days before we planned on using it or you couldn't stand to be in it. It was so bad my wife broke out in hives and my eyes burned like the dickens.

PS - You can also do a more robust forum search from google by doing entering the following at

formaldehyde smell
Carl, Elaine & Finn The Beagle
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2006 GMC 2500 HD 6.6 Turbo Diesel Crew Cab 8' Bed
AIR #14487
NQ3U (was KB3UOM)
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:23 PM   #4
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I am still there - formic acid is the breakdown product & is a very primal chemical; bee and ant stings are formic acid.

First thing is get your designated nose in to devine if at all possible the source, might be bathroom only or floor of a storage locker, etc..

Add & then drain some of your fresh water to smell test that someone didn't get tank chemical confused with RV anti-freeze. Yes, it has happened. Beyond that the plumbing is faultless EXCEPT for sagging vent tubes, the pipes can settle downwards over time. Checking them means getting on roof and visually checking if the PVC extends through the membrane gasket - or if the stretch rubber sheet even still exists.

I immediately removed carpet on my '73 and painted every bit of exposed floor with 3 coats of oil porch paint - with carpet removed it had obvious slop from loose toilet gaskets from joe somewhen towing without dumping.

I swore it was coming from the rear of my trailer but it after complete bathectomy and new floor it seems someone allowed the old style jug to fall over and seep out into the basement under the kitchen.

Scrubbing every bit of liner, washing all the accessible shelves and panels is a start - but there are so many hidden places pulling out modules (kitchen - bath - etc) and scrubbing behind and under and painting hidden areas gets one perhaps 75% there. It's like a long term mouse infestation, the insulation behind the walls and upholstery keep exuding smell.

I've gotten the aroma down to a faint summer camp bath-house smell - but it's still there....

Got to get to supper table - will think more about it and repost...
The days are short and the night is long and the stars go tumbling by.. . ~Airstream~
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