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Old 12-09-2015, 07:36 AM   #1
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Exclamation Please help! Our camper has mold/mildew!

Please offer some advice. We have a 2013 Keystone Hideout. Bought it used from a dealer. The previous owner had it maybe four months (the dealer left her paperwork in the trailer). This past summer we started getting a really bad moldy smell. It seems as if it was coming from the heating ducts, air conditioner and or under the sink. We inspected the trailer for leaks and could find nothing. It is really strong though and we are at a loss as to where it could be coming from. My son and I spent the entire summer in it and my husband would come up on weekends or a few days during the week and go back and forth to work. I noticed I started feeling sick to my stomach a lot but contributed it to back pain and nerve damage since a fall I had. My son also complained of not feeling too good/headaches but I didnt think anything of it. I was driving to the store today (camping season is over and we have been home for two months now) and realized I don't feel like I forgot how to drive or feel paranoid about my driving ability. I immediately called my sister who had witnessed the smell. She said she remembers me repeating myself a lot when I would call her during the summer. I honestly joked saying I had the onset of Elzheimers. I do not repeat myself anymore since being home. I think I had the beginning stages of mold poisoning. Please help! I love my camper and want to take care of the problem. Any suggestions? Sorry this was so long I just wanted you to get the entire picture. Thank you so much for your help and any advice you can offer.

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Old 12-09-2015, 07:51 AM   #2
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Please help! Our camper has mold/mildew!

You can close up the RV and give it large doses of ozone to kill the mold. Don't leave people, pets, or plants in the RV when you do this. Open door and vents for 2 hours AFTER treatment to air it out before living in it. Will also destroy any odors. Many used car dealers use this technique as well to make used cars smell fresh again. I have a basement that had a very moldy smell.....after ozone treatments it smells fine now.

Also run a dehumidifier if necessary while living in the RV. Keep the relative humidity below 59% at all times.

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Old 12-09-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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Could your health problems maybe be the out gassing of the formaldehyde used in the plywood? Your symptoms seem more attune to this then mold. The mold smell might have just been the musty smell you get sometime from the AC units when first started.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:35 AM   #4
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I suggest checking at one of the DIY stores. As I understand there is an aerosol that will eliminate mold. These work similar to bug foggers.
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:11 AM   #5
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Care with Ozone

I am so sorry to hear this. The Dealer and Previous owner have some explaining to do. I fear one of them have low scruples. If it were me, I would consult with legal council if the dealer refused to pay for the mold remediation.

That said, mold is a very hazardous substance especially in small, confined spaces. I am a big Ozone Generator advocate for odor removal. I have one in my home that makes short work of some of the more stubborn cooking odors. I was intrigued by the suggestion it could mitigate mold and thought I would look into it. Mold is a living organism. If the mold is in the duct system, I envisioned dead mold dust blowing all over the place when the AC or heat was on! Anyway, I would strongly suggest research before application. Perhaps a trustworthy mold mitigation company's consultation is appropriate.

I am so sorry for your trouble and hope you get it resolved. Mold is a major health problem.

My google search using "using ozone to mitigate mold" revealed some interesting results. Basically, Ozone kills mold but does not remove it and may degrade seals and wiring (Rubber).



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Old 12-09-2015, 11:08 AM   #6
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Mold and mildew never goes away. It's always there, waiting. They only way to get rid of all of it is to kill it with fire (only half joking here).

There is no indication in your post where you are from or where the camper is parked? If you can, get the camper to a desert area and let it dry out, even if it is cold. Mold and mildew need two things to become active: warmth and some humidity. This is why it is so easy to find mold and/or mildew in the attics of many houses. It is warm up there, and there can be condensation or humidity trapped up there too.

You should take everything out that you can reasonably remove, especially anything cloth (seats and covers, blinds, curtains, etc.) and either get them ozone treated, treated with a proven mildewcide, or let the sun do the work (the UV destroys the mold and mildew). I am not suggesting removing everything down to the studs, if you will, but where will the mold and mildew be that maybe even ozone treatment can't get of all of it?

You have to make your camper dry. This is probably not a job for some simple moisture removal chemicals. You might need to get a good dehumidifier and leave it in there 24/7 until you for some reason get rid of this camper.

I'll restate what I said above, mold and mildew are damned hard to get rid of, and you should resign yourself to not being able to get rid of all of it. Ozone treatment can damage rubber, bleach will kill some of it but then the moisture left behind will make the organisms happy once again, and foggers might not get into every little crack and crevice where this stuff lives. You have quite a job ahead of you.

I hope you got a good deal on the camper.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:20 AM   #7
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First thing to do is find out where the moisture is coming from. Roof leak or lack of ventilation?

Big issue with RV is ventilation. Many times we close up the unit in cool weather. Meanwhile continue to cook and shower, etc. Not a lot of vapor barrier in the unit, actually none that I am aware of.

If roof leak have to fix that.

IMO you have to treat the mold. Just drying it out is not the answer. Have to actively treat it with something to kill the spores. Could/going to be a big job.
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Old 12-09-2015, 11:35 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by shoogie417 View Post
Please offer some advice. We have a 2013 Keystone Hideout. Bought it used from a dealer.
The previous owner had it maybe four months (the dealer left her paperwork in the trailer).
This past summer we started getting a really bad moldy smell. Any suggestions?
Fix all water/rain leaks then call Service Master Restore at 855-646-8988 to find a mold removal professional near you....or see:
Find a Location
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Old 12-09-2015, 01:22 PM   #9
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Dead mice can smell pretty moldy.
Unless you are asthmatic, or have some kind of sensitivity, mold really is not a health issue. Mold is nothing more than a plant, and we are surrounded by plants everywhere we go. If this were not the case, mold would not be able to grow inside our houses, etc.
That being said, nobody likes it growing in places it shouldn't ought to. As mentioned before, your best course of action is to remove moisture. A dehumidifier works wonders for this. But, you need to find the source of the water and correct that as well. I run dehumidifiers in both my campers during the off season as a form of insurance against wood damage.
I think D Lindy is closer to the truth of the matter on this one.
Though the smell of dead mice does make me feel pretty sick...

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