Fighting Musty Odors – RV Tech Tips

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December 23, 2010

Valentine Maickel, San Antonio, Texas

Some time ago, my wife discovered that the under-bed storage area in our 21-foot trailer smelled a little musty. This particular model has exterior access doors on both sides.

We decided that we needed to leave these doors open for a period of time to circulate fresh air, but we also needed to make sure that we didn’t’ invite unwanted visitors to take up residence. (In our part of Texas, that could mean almost anything.) After some thought, we constructed screens to fit the dimensions of the access doors and secured them to the opening. The screen frames, made of wood, hold the door open and the weight of the compartment doors keeps the screens in place.

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  2. Jane

    I’m with Alice –
    Keeping home dry avoids must/mildew. We live by the beach and the $200. we spent on a dehumidifier 6 years ago is the single best investment we made since getting our 36′ Class A. It also doubles as a heater without the tipsiness of a small space heater!

    We also use Dri-Z Air hanging bags in front window are and low in the rear bedroom where air circulation is limited.

  3. Alice Ray

    Try Dri-Z-Air crystals. They will absorb the moisture and prevent mold and mildew. Available usually at Wal-Mart or other places that have RV supplies. We also just got a dehumidifier and it works really well. We keep our RV down to between 30 and 45% humidity even when it’s 98% outside. If you don’t have the moisture, you won’t have the mold and mildew.

  4. Joe Colton

    Spraying the musty odor space with a mixture of tea tree oil and water will neutralize odors caused by mildew and fungus that are most likely the cause of the odor.

  5. Jeremy Stowe

    I had the same problem in a 2000 Sprinter 32′. In order to find the root of the odor, I removed the carpeting from the floor in the pass-thru compartment and found both corners of the floor rotted away. The carpet and padding is all one piece from the front of the compartment through the bedroom, thus causing the odor under the bed. I re-sealed both front corners, the front window/stone guard, and across the roof where the rubber meets the aluminum. 3 years and no more issues. Musty odors are usually always associated with water/moisture infiltration. Ventilation is a treatment for a symptom, not necessarily a cure for the disease. I suggest digging deeper before major (and costly) damage is done. Just one of my experiences in the wonderful world of RVing, and I still wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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