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Old 08-19-2017, 06:21 PM   #1
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Mildew smell

Just joined and love the info being shared. Still looking to purchase and visiting dealers. Viewed and drove a used 2014 Coachman Pursuit. Owner had dryer sheets in cabinets and an air freshener in the master bedroom. Said it was to hel with the mildew smell that all RV's eventually have. Sounded odd to me. Does the shower leave that smell in an RV or could it be that the smell was being masked because of a leak? Looked all over for signs of leaks but saw none. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks. Joe
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Old 08-19-2017, 06:52 PM   #2
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Well we have a 2002 that we have taken roughly 3600 showers in in the last five years and no mildew smell. I suspect something fishy, and it's not sushi.
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:04 PM   #3
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I think to some extent anyway, that some of this is going to depend on where the coach is stored. We kept ours covered with the ceiling vents and a couple of windows open to encourage air circulation in the winter months.

This resulted in mildew accumulation. Keep in mind we're in Florida, 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, but not summer. This was happening in the Winter.

We ended up closing the coach up and setting a small de-humidifier on the kitchen counter next to the sink - allowing the machine to drain directly into the sink, with the water making it's way to the holding tank, which was left open with a screen covering the outlet to prevent critters from entering. This was a very effective plan that totally eliminated our smell and accumulation issues.

On the other hand, I wouldn't blame anyone for investigating the source of that smell, because it is the same one generated by a water intrusion issue....
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Old 08-19-2017, 07:57 PM   #4
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I've never owned an RV that smelled like mildew. They have a leak somewhere and I would walk.

We must have walked in 50 coaches when we were looking to buy and Katherine said she smelled mildew in about 40% of them. We were able to find signs of a leak in every one of them. The one we bought was 16 years old and it didn't smell at all.

One of them was really odd. It looked great and had no signs of a leak. I opened the cabinet behind the passenger seat and the smell of mildew was really strong. I got into it with a flash light and it was full of mold on the underside of the top. I got to poking around the wall above the cabinet and it was totally rotted and that's when I noticed there were screw holes where a grab rail was supposed to be. The seller had done a great job removing all signs of mold, but missed the underside of the cabinet.
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Old 08-19-2017, 09:04 PM   #5
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Mildew smell is in no way normal and should raise alarms! It is the bad gift that keeps on giving.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:56 AM   #6
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WATER LEAK, WATER LEAK, WATER LEAK, WATER LEAK.
That's all I have to say about that,
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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Mildew is preventable and a coach that is well cared for won't have the smell, even if it lived in a humid environment. We live in Florida where humidity runs 70+% and none of our RVs had mildew odor. Mostly a matter of adequate ventilation.

So, a mildew smell may not necessarily mean a leak, but it does mean that moisture is and has been present. I would look around for the source and inspect thoroughly. Covering up the smell is not the answer. And it can be difficult to get deep-seated mildew out of carpets, furniture upholstery, a/c ducts, etc. If you aren't confident yu can do that, pass that rig up and keep on shopping.
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Old 08-20-2017, 11:55 AM   #8
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Mildew smell means moisture = a leak.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkimbar View Post
Just joined and love the info being shared. Still looking to purchase and visiting dealers. Viewed and drove a used 2014 Coachman Pursuit. Owner had dryer sheets in cabinets and an air freshener in the master bedroom. Said it was to hel with the mildew smell that all RV's eventually have. Sounded odd to me. Does the shower leave that smell in an RV or could it be that the smell was being masked because of a leak? Looked all over for signs of leaks but saw none. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks. Joe
10 years and no mildew smell. Do you have to clean? Yes. Does mildew sneak up on you? Yes. Maintenance = no mildew. Walk away.
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Old 08-20-2017, 01:30 PM   #10
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Agree with others that there is a leak somewhere.
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:15 PM   #11
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Hi Joe! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

I would shy away from that one! Too many others out there to choose from.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 08-21-2017, 04:55 PM   #12
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Sounds like a leak occurred at some time. Cabin type smell is very different from the mildew smell. We use a product called "Damp-Rid" to help remove moisture when we have our 2001 Journey stored. They seem to work real good.
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Old 08-21-2017, 05:10 PM   #13
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We looked at 25 or more rigs and all but five had mold/mildew smell...well one didn't smell like mold/mildew but had a dog pee smell. We bought one of the ones without mildew (and pee) smell.

You can survive a leak if its dried out after. We are going to run a dehumidifier in ours. No stink but been chasing a few leaks when it rains really hard. We are still running the air in it which is helping to keep the humidity down.

RV= Leak on Wheels Its not if it's when will it leak. Be diligent and don't buy a stinky one now because that smell is difficult to get rid of. Not to mention the rot that goes with it.
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