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Old 02-27-2004, 07:43 AM   #1
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Rivet How to get rid of the horrible smell?

After owning several vintage Airstreams over the years, I Just bought my first Argosy...a '75 25 footer. Good news first, the trailer is all intact and original, straight on the outside with a need only for some paint on the curved panels, and original on the inide needing only cosmetics and upholstery, drapes, etc.

Now...for the bad...
The trailer sat unattended for several years. It became a damn rat trap. I found a nest in the rear streetside locker near the inverter as there is a larger than necessary penetration for the plumbing coming in which allowed the critters entry. I found droppings everywhere, in all areas behind which one could not see. I vacumed and removed all droppings from every cubby hole/spot one could imagine and scrubbed with Simple Green.

Fine but...I cannot get the darn smell to diminish. any of you have experience with odor removal? I am going to paint the floor areas/plywood in all accessible cubby holes which should help...but I welcome any thoughts or suggestions beyond that. I also have removed the flooring and all traces of hideous carpet in those undercabinet/cubby areas and of cours will secure the critters entry with some screening and covering.

Thanks all!
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Old 02-27-2004, 08:00 AM   #2
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1978 28' Argosy 28
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Our 78 had the telltale signs of mice when we bought it. I was able to clean out the left behinds and I also replaces much of the soft goods. While I had the floor coverings out I literally soaked the plywood with the HD Febreeze and allowed it to dry. I did this twice. Than laid the floor coverings. I was able to tell after the fist application that the smell had diminished. I would try this before attempting to encapsulate the odor with paint.

Now for the bad news. Some of the smell may be from droppings in the insulation in the belly pan. The only way to deal with that is to drop the pan and R&R the insulation.
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

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Old 02-27-2004, 08:23 AM   #3
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Saginaw County , Michigan
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Re: Ugly smells

There are a number of possible sources for bad odor, i.e. dead rodents, mildew, pet odors, sewage, gas leaks, etc.
If you do a forums search and use "odor" as the keyword, you will find a variety of threads on possible causes and remedies.
The better you can define the odor, the better you will know where to begin looking for the source.
It's a smelly job but someone has to do it. Best of luck to you.

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Old 02-27-2004, 08:28 AM   #4
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smell elimination

You can eliminate the smell from bare wood by sealing with shellac, it goes on easily and dries very quickly. Two coats at least.
just lookin for John Wayne
Martin and O'Brien
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Old 02-27-2004, 10:34 AM   #5
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1967 17' Caravel
Bozeman , Montana
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As a pet owner I have used a product found at my local pet store called "Nature's Miracle". It's a liquid which we use in a hand sprayer and often is able to neutralize whatever causes the odor. I would think it could be effective if you let it soak into the wood floor and if the liquid follows the same route as the rodent urine and droppings. You may want to at least check out the label before you buy and see if it looks like it could work for your needs. Just another suggestion.
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Old 02-27-2004, 11:13 AM   #6
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I bought a house once where the cats had sprayed in an extraordinary number of different locations - many of them wood. I finally killed the odor with live steam. I used a wallpaper steamer and simply took the hose and played it against the affected wood. It was totally effective.

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Old 02-27-2004, 03:18 PM   #7
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1964 26' Overlander
Norman , Oklahoma
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We also had good luck with an ozone generator. After cleaning and scrubbing every surface we could reach and replacing all upholstery, curtains, flooring, foam and bedding, we still had a faint odor that no amount of airing would get rid of. Two applications of the ozone generator on a high setting and the problem was solved and hasn't come back.
Mark Wilson
1964 Overlander/2000 f250 Crew Cab 4X4 PS WBCCI# 5600
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Old 02-27-2004, 04:57 PM   #8
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Great Solutions...Thank you All!

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Old 03-17-2021, 02:45 PM   #9
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2018 30' International
Brownwood , Texas
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Bad Odor

Sometimes a bad odor can come from a slight leak in a propane line. This smells like a dead rat. Especially on a older unit check all fittings. Make sure the valves in the cooktop aren't leaking. The gas will gravitate to the floor area. Had this happen. Good luck
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:27 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum.

FYI this thread is 17 years old.

A recent Horrible Odor thread is here:


Let the music lift you up . . .
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