How Do You Get Musty Smell Out Of An Old Trailer?

abandoned camper house

Published Date: February 18, 2021

Last Updated on March 23, 2023 by Camper Front

Have you ever walked into your RV after a long vacation, only to be greeted by a musty smell?

Well, sometimes, a little time away can reveal to us the unpleasant smell in our home, and travel trailers are not exceptional.

And you might have ignored it by masking the odor with a welcomingly spiced aroma from an air freshener or keeping the windows down; however, that only works for a while.

So how do you get the musty smell out of an old trailer? In today’s article, you’re going to learn how to permanently get rid of this unhealthy smell.

How Do You Get Musty Smell Out Of An Old Trailer?

First of all, I want to make it clear that it is common to experience such a distinctive smell in your travel trailer – as most RVers do – since it allows you to eat, sleep, and bathe as though you were at home.

Well, It’s about time you get rid of those musty RV odors once and for all.

Even if the unpleasant smell continues and has accumulated to the point where you always pinch your nose, if you’re able to follow these tips I’m about to show you in a few seconds, your RV will smell brand new – again.

So let’s get started!

How To Get Musty Smell Out Of An Old Travel Trailer

How To Get Musty Smell Out Of An Old Travel Trailer

Below are the steps you can follow to get a musty smell out of an old travel trailer:

1. Investigate the Source

Since you are looking for a permanent solution, you want to cut the snake at its head.

To do this, you’ll have to play an investigator – using your nose to determine the cause of the odor if it is dust, mold, sewage, or a dead animal.

Be relentless in following the odor scent to its source – even if it means turning the entire motorhome upside down.

Because once you know what generates it; problem solved!

2. Eliminating the Odor

It is from a sewage pipe?

If it is from broken sewage pipes, then stop the leaks.

No doubt pipe leakage has been one of the leading causes of mildew smell in trailers, so you’ll want to fix the pipes either DIY or have them fixed by a professional.

After that, give it time to dry out before moving on to cleaning the affected areas.

So how do you clean up?

Get bleach, water, and a sponge of any kind. Make a 50/50 mix of bleach and water in a bucket. Then dip the sponge in it, and scrub the affected area.

Ensure the doors and windows are wild open for circulating fresh air. You might as well opt for a face mask and rubber gloves.

Another preferable alternative that tackles the problem at its head is VINEGAR.

Just sprinkle it on the mildewy surface and let it sit for a while before scrubbing.

Are the Odors coming from the Carpet, under the cabinet, or inside the closets?

Since camping in an RV comes with water, mud, pets, and cooking in tight quarters. Spills and stains are bound to happen to the carpet.

And Smelling mold is a telltale sign that the odor could be coming from these areas.

You can as well apply the washing and scrubbing with either vinegar or bleach.

If it’s a carpet, you might have to pull it up and check underneath for moisture and mold at the corners.

Spreading lime at the source will also eliminate the musty, moldy odors that are seeping up.

However, the most effective way to terminate the smell is by replacing the carpet or rug with laminate flooring.

It might cost a penny, but they are the easiest to maintain and you won’t have to worry about that more often.

What if this undesirable stench is under the mobile home?

If the source of the musty smell is coming from the underside of your trailer, the underbelly insulation is to blame.

Mobile home has something called an underbelly chamber, which is a plastic wrap that houses all the ductwork, floor joists, as well as plumbing under the trailer.

In most cases, the underbelly also comes with a ground-covered vapor barrier. And whatever the odor is, I’m pretty sure it is trapped between those barriers.

Judging from thousands of RVers’ past experiences, the musty smell is more likely to be oozing from the loose-fill fiberglass insulation stuffed at the underbelly chamber.

Whatever it is, you should remove a section of it close to the holding tanks and check for moisture or odor.

If the underbelly is of thick laminated sheets screwed into the frame, you will have to remove some of the screws and pull down that region of the underbelly.

On the other hand, if it’s of Dicor tape, you should cut part of the underbelly and not remove the entire section.

Once you fix the leakage or mold formation, you will have to buy Dicor strip tape to choke in the underbelly right back up.

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So that’s how you get the musty smell out of an old trailer!

You should also be aware that waste and drain leaks can also do damage to the floors, insulation, and chassis, so endeavor to immediately fix any leakage underneath.

And one last thing:

Ensure there is adequate ventilation to help you breathe easily as you conduct your search.

Circulating fresh air will help you breathe easier as you work.

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