Stubborn odours like smoke and sewage are a common problem in your RV after a long, hot and busy summer camping season. But these odours could ruin your next adventure if they are left to linger all winter. Use the following cleaning tips for removing the most stubborn unwanted odours before you close your RV for the season.

Smoke

Cigarettes, cigars, campfires, and burnt food odours can linger on carpets, bedding, furniture, and even the walls. You probably don’t want to replace the entire interior of your RV, it’s important to clean thoroughly to remove unwanted smoke odours.

First, since porous items are the best at retaining stink, remove curtains, bedding, and other fabric items, then wash and sanitize these items with ammonia. Next, sprinkle baking soda on non-removable furniture, mattresses and carpeting, and wait a few hours or overnight before vacuuming. You can also steam clean upholstered and soft fabric items as fresheners and sprays may not be strong enough for a job like this. Finally, run ozone purifiers for a day or two also, to create a fresh aroma inside your RV and remove all smoke particles from the air.

Sewage

The black tank in your RV can become stinky over time, which is why you probably clean it regularly and add a drop-in treatment. But you also want to keep the black tank from creating bad RV smells during the off-season.

Help reduce sewage odours when you seal the toilet properly, and be sure to clean and close the flappers. You’ll want to replace damaged valves, too. Then, remove any clogs from the black tank roof vent that might prevent the escape of gasses and nasty aromas. If you still smell sewage after all of these steps, replace the entire toilet.

Must and Mold

Even a small amount of water, mist or moisture can cause a musty odour and mold growth over time. That’s why you want to carefully clean and wipe off every inch of your RV before you close up for the season.

Remove any dampness from corners, nooks and crannies. Also, be sure to defrost the freezer when you clean the fridge, and prop the doors open so this appliance stays dry during storage. Then, spray surfaces with a professional-grade disinfectant before placing containers of activated charcoal, calcium chloride, silica gel, or moisture condensation crystals throughout the RV, too, since these materials keep surfaces dry by trapping particles in the air.

In addition to removing dampness, address any water leaks. You may need to use a shop vac if the carpets or padding are wet. Be sure to open the ceiling vents and cover them carefully to allow air to circulate and prevent water from entering your RV’s interior during storage. Wash and dry the air conditioning grill cover and filters since condensation can cause mold growth and must odours. Repair or replace leaking kitchen and bathroom pipes and caulk windows, doors and roof seals if necessary.

If you do see signs of mold, remove it thoroughly as soon as possible. Otherwise, the mold will grow and damage your RV while it’s in storage. Remember to wear protective gear as you remove mold, since breathing it in can cause respiratory and other health problems.

Prevent Stubborn RV Odour

In addition to removing stubborn odours before you store your RV, consider implementing a few preventative tips. They fix the problem of discovering unpleasant smells in your RV when you hit the road next season.

  1. Treat your grey and freshwater tanks. With monthly treatment, the grey tank stays fresh. Treat your freshwater tanks at least twice annually.
  2. Flush the sinks. Debris and water that gets stuck in the kitchen and bathroom sink drains can cause funky odours. Pour soap or a combination of one-half cup of baking soda and one-half cup of white distilled vinegar into the drains. Then flush the drains with hot water.
  3. Replace carpeting. Carpets collect dirt, moisture and other common sources of odours. Tear out carpeting and install hard or vinyl flooring or use washable rugs to reduce odours. You can also remove your shoes before you enter the RV since they can carry odor-causing debris.
  4. Running an indoor humidifier reduces dampness that can cause musty odours and mold growth.
  5. Avoid smoking inside your RV. Prevent odours in the first place when you smoke outdoors.
  6. Empty and wipe out the fridge every few days. By removing spoiled food and residue, you keep the fridge looking and smelling fresh.
  7. Toss the trash every day. Spray the cans with disinfectant before replacing the bag, and add deodorizing or lemon-scented bags to your essential packing list, too.
  8. Place open boxes of baking soda inside cabinets. Baking soda can remove odours and keep closed spaces like cabinets and the fridge fresh.

Preventing stubborn unwanted odours from damaging your RV will save you a lot of time and effort for the next camping season with these care and cleaning tips. With a little bit of elbow grease and a few helpful tools and tricks, your RV will stay odour-free during and after winter storage.

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