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Old 09-30-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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You should also make sure when you store the unit to keep the drain P traps full. Instead of using water that evaporates, use Pinesol instead as it doesn't evaporate nearly as fast or if nothing else, use vegetable oil.

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Old 09-30-2014, 05:50 PM   #12
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I agree with Coot. When you fear freezing temps, just use some pink stuff with the Pinesol.

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Old 09-30-2014, 08:03 PM   #13
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Chuck, I'm trying to do detective work here.

You stated that you keep the holding tanks clean. And that you know what mildew smells like.

Could you have 1 of those toilets that gets "debris" lodged in a crevice?

Was this odor (in any way) present when you bought the TT?

Could it be in the fabrics of the carpet, chairs, cushions?

Could it be moisture in the ductwork from when the AC has run?

We live in a humid climate here in south MS so, especially in winter, I used to hang a Damp Rid bag in my previous TT when I had to park it in the driveway. It absorbed moisture and kept the musty odor from building up.

Just trying to help.
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:41 PM   #14
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boil vanilla extract in water on the stove. Let cool oders should be less, repeat as needed pour water down sinks and toilet to help freshen those also.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:01 PM   #15
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I had/Have mildew under the fridge. The wall had a gap where the wheel well is, silconed it up and no more water leaking. Have cleaned and cleaned the midew is going away, slowly.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:48 PM   #16
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No the TT had the new smell when I purchased it. The smell appeared well after my last camping trip. I have a black tank flush that during camp break down I flushed the holding tank really well, letting the flush run for probably 15 minutes, I think its fairly clean. However I did not drain the water lines or the hot water tank, my intention was to go camping again in a few weeks. Well that turned into about 2 months . I store the TT at my sons house with all 3 roof vents fully open ( I have those vent covers that allow that ). The smell surfaced during storage. The RV dealer felt fairly certain that the water in the lines along with the water left in the hot water tank caused the smell. I did not take the TT to the dealer, he is acting on my observations. He suggested cleaning the water system, which was just completed. The dealer went on to say that they had several other campers, which the problem was stale water. They further stated it could take several weeks to get it out. I did not check the TT today, but I intend to tomorrow, and probably do some more cleaning with some pine-sol or something similar. I am sure one can "cover" the scent, but I wish to eliminate the source. I am new to camping, and thought I had everything covered, thanks in part to this site. Hope this is over soon so I can get one more trip in, you just can't sleep in there with those smells.
Thanks again for all the suggestions.
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:30 PM   #17
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Isn't Newport News on the coast? Is it humid there? You say you leave the vents fully open, I know the rain won't directly come in with the vent covers on but that won't stop the humidity.

If the smell is not coming from the holding tanks or the toilet or the water lines, could it be dampness from the open vents somehow getting on the fabrics inside?

Put your nose to the carpet and the cushions.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:50 PM   #18
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Newport News is on the coast and it is terribly humid!
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:55 AM   #19
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I'm telling you try the zeolite, it will absorb not cover the odor. We used it to completely eliminate mildew smells. Also you mention you are fairly certain the black tank is clean, do you keep water in there all the time? How much? If not you could be getting the dreaded stone mountain build up. My old tt would get icky odors all the time but changing from drop in chemical packets to The geo method fixed it. I was thinking about this issue today as my kitchen sink at home developed an odd odor. I flushed the line really well, scrubbed the sink and then but some bleach down the kitchen drain and let it sit for a little while. Flushed it out, and it was good to go. You could try this in the drain lines if you haven't already. Also be careful with that much bleach. You really only need about a cup of bleach in the fresh water tank to sanitize the line.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:45 PM   #20
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My thoughts

...with all due respect to the other posters, it sounds like you have an odor problem with a cause, one that should be ferreted out, not masked.

If it's mold or mildew, it will smell earthy, dank, dirt-like, if it is black mold; and yeasty like parmesan cheese, if it is white mold. If that is the case then there it is possibly a water leak somewhere (check: shower sunlight, shower undertub plumbing, sink plumbing, roof, slide-out, A/C system?). You will need to search relentlessly until you find it.

If it is some other funky smell, then I would suspect that you have "bio-slime" growing in your P-traps (. If you have a keen sense of smell, put your nose at the throat of each sink and take a good whiff.

As you know, there are typically 3 P-traps in a Travel trailer (bath sink drain, shower drain and kitchen sink drain). There are enzymatic formulas you can buy at Lowes in a large 32 oz. container to treat P-traps and kill that bio-slime.

However, in a pinch, you can just mix up some rubbing alcohol and 3% store-bought hydrogen peroxide, with a small amount of dish detergent and pour it in there. About a 10 oz. per trap should do. Do not use this in conjunction with bleach, but separately, as this would create an adverse chemical combination. Let this mixture sit in the P-trap for a few minutes then follow with a hot (not quite boiling) water flush to remove the bio-slime. Some grayish-black slime will end up in the grey water tank, so you wont see it, but the smell should be gone.

We also use the Starbrite RV deodorizers with Sodium Chlorite. This product, when exposed to humidity, releases chlorine gas vapor to kill off any mildew or mold spores that are so common in RVs. Starbrite used to sell these in a sachet that lasted for months with several ounces of the powder in it - I bought a case of them once a few years ago - but, the current version is 1/20 that in volume and they do not last as long. Why they scaled down their product and made it less useful and long lasting I do not know, but do not expect the current version to last for more than 2-3 weeks. Plus, to cover a large travel trailer or 5th wheel, you would need to get at least 4 pouches, not the 2 pack in this Amazon listing. BUT THEY DO WORK. And, quickly. So, you can install them today, and your trailer will smell clean and sanitized tomorrow with a hint of chlorine scent. Beats smelling poop. Star brite NosGUARD SG Mold/Mildew Odor Control System (2 Pack): Sports & Outdoors

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