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Post Info TOPIC: Smelly van


Newbie

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Smelly van


Hi everyone,

we bought a used poptop van a few months ago, and recently it has developed a bad smell inside, a bit like a rats nest smell, have checked everywhere no signs of vermin, unless one has died somewhere I cant see. Its been too wet to open up to air out, no wet or other reason I can see for the smell!!!

hope someone can help, airfreshner not working.



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Chief one feather

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Welcome to the gang Dennis, enjoy here and out in the playground.

What you say is more than possible as rats and mice are smelly little buggers even when alive. A good rat or mouse is a dead one though.

I wouldn't be surprised it's a damp smell and as soon as weather permits open it up and leave door and windows open to give a good air out and see how that goes first then take further action if needed.



Keep Safe on the roads and out there.


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Guru

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Dougwe wrote:

Welcome to the gang Dennis, enjoy here and out in the playground.


What you say is more than possible as rats and mice are smelly little buggers even when alive. A good rat or mouse is a dead one though.


I wouldn't be surprised it's a damp smell and as soon as weather permits open it up and leave door and windows open to give a good air out and see how that goes first then take further action if needed.




Keep Safe on the roads and out there.





you might want to rephrase that as it could be totally depend on where the "good rat or mouse" ended up dead, as may be the case here

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Guru

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Welcome Dennis. Just a thought, it wasnt parked down in Canberra or at Kirribilli in Sydney before May was it. That would explain the stench I think. Sorry, couldnt help it. I will leave.

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Guru

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A warm welcome from me also, Dennis bean

It is fairly important to try and keep the inside dry

If you are convinced that the smell is not dampness, and you can not see dead rodents, then I would be looking at the drain hose

My old pop top, just had a hose from the sink, running along the chassis, to the ground.

Perhaps something had crawled up that hose

Hope that you find whatever is causing the smell



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Tony

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Welcome to GN's Dennis.

To eliminate wet/damp insulation in walls as culprit get a moisture detector (cheap at Bunnings www.bunnings.com.au/crommelin-moisture-meter_p0911078) and as advised above leave in expanded position with doors and windows open in the sun - I would give the internal cupboards etc a good check for vermin carcass and then give all internals a good spray with Glenn 20 to disinfect and deodorise (this should be done on all new purchases of caravans).

Plumbing can also house some pongy fluids so ensure they are thoroughly cleaned - if PVC Piping, block external discharge pipe-end, and give it a good dose of chlorine bleach/hot water (50:50 mix) let it sook for a couple of hours and discharge the fluids.

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D Max wrote-" Just a thought, it wasnt parked down in Canberra or at Kirribilli in Sydney before May was it. That would explain the stench I think."

Hard to be perfect D Max is it not?, but going on the minister for everything you may have a point.

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Cheers Craig



Senior Member

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I live in a tiny shack and unfortunately almost every winter a rat or mouse dies in the wall cavity (and I can't get it out) and the smell is putrid and can take months to totally go away, and sometimes when the smell has gone it will rain and the smell comes back.
I've even chosen to go camping to get away from the smell even though I don't like to camp in winter, as it made me feel sick.

I hope you are able to locate the cause of the smell and remove the offending item (if there is one) and enjoy some memorable travelling


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Dennis .. Firstly, welcome to the forum.

Your post suggested that the smell was like a rats nest & not like a dead rat or whatever so my response is based on that assumption.

When not in use my van is covered by a very large silver tarp that hangs down past the windows. This allows me to keep the windows slightly open at all times. I only close them fully when a storm or heavy rain & wind is likely. The constant breeze reduces the likelyhood of smells and has the added advantage of reducing the inside temperature.

In addition I leave all cupboard doors open after cleaning/vacuuming them out & washing the non slip matting that is over all surfaces. Special attention to the pantry.

I remove any foodstuffs that are not in sealed containers and leave couple of long lasting 'air fresheners' - one in the ensuite & one in the kitchen. I replace the bay leaves taped to the inside of the lids of things like Flours & sugar .. keeps out bugs & wevils et. al. Those reeds sitting in a jar of perfume are good long lasting air fresheners but a bit dear usually. I recently got several of them from Lifeline Op shop at around $5 each. So I have a stock of them now. I scatter lots of Bay leaves in drawers & in with the linen (we have a large bay tree).

As part of my maintenance routine I carefully rinse out the drains with a diluted drain cleaning solution- blocking the outlets & leaving the solution sit for a day or so before thoroughly rinsing & then doing the same with some nice smelly stuff. I wash down all surfaces with all purpose surface cleaner & do the floor with a hot water, vinegar & eucalyptus solution. Of course the toilet system is carefully & thoroughly cleaned & lightly sprayed with eucalyptus solution. Similar with the shower cubicle but add oil of cloves to the solution.

I carefully look into the corners and likely places for water ingress & fix any issues.

Finally I empty all water storage devices like the hot water tank.

Oops .. forgot to mention that I leave out some ant baits including the DIY Caster Sugar & Borax powder in jar lids.

Edit .. Forgot to mention that I leave the screen door locked but the main door open... except when bad weather is forecast.

As a result my van of 22 years always smells good.



-- Edited by Cupie on Wednesday 17th of August 2022 01:29:53 PM

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Craig1 wrote:

D Max wrote-" Just a thought, it wasnt parked down in Canberra or at Kirribilli in Sydney before May was it. That would explain the stench I think."

Hard to be perfect D Max is it not?, but going on the minister for everything you may have a point.


That would be the first one we have had since Joh Bjelke Petersen.biggrin

To the OP.

If your stomach can handle it you have one of the best smell locators located right in the middle and front of your face. It is called a nose.

When I went to rent the house I am currently in the house had a bad smell. It was coming from a wall near the corner using nose detection methods.

The agent got a pest manager / building inspector in and he found it within minutes with a Thermal Imaging Camera.

It showed up as a decaying mess inside a wall cavity and he cut a hole in the gyp rock to remove it and then they had a plasterer come in and patch it.

Sometimes it is a job for professionals.



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Wannabe nomad wrote:

I live in a tiny shack and unfortunately almost every winter a rat or mouse dies in the wall cavity (and I can't get it out) and the smell is putrid and can take months to totally go away, and sometimes when the smell has gone it will rain and the smell comes back.

I've even chosen to go camping to get away from the smell even though I don't like to camp in winter, as it made me feel sick.


I hope you are able to locate the cause of the smell and remove the offending item (if there is one) and enjoy some memorable travelling




one of the worst things you can do is use baits to control rodents in domestic areas, best to use traps then you can dispose of the body

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Senior Member

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Re the baits
I told my husband this so he's stopped using baits a couple of years ago, but we are still averaging one dead in the wall cavity, mouse or rat a year.
But, hubby has recently started using the humain traps that catch lots of mice in one go (then disposing of them in-humanly, I think he drowns them) and it seams to have helped.

We can't cut holes in the walls in a tin and asbestos shack, so going on a cavity hunt will never be an option.

But I guess it's the price we pay for living in a regional Murray River area. At least we don't have an actual plague.

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Guru

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Cupie wrote:

I wash down all surfaces with all purpose surface cleaner & do the floor with a hot water, vinegar & eucalyptus solution. Of course the toilet system is carefully & thoroughly cleaned & lightly sprayed with eucalyptus solution. Similar with the shower cubicle but add oil of cloves to the solution.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I used to own a eucalyptus still, and still use the oils for several purposes, mainly on glass and ceramics - Be aware that it can cause damage to many plastics and bakelites - Test on surfaces in an out of sight area.



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Guru

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Dennis bean wrote:

no signs of vermin, unless one has died somewhere I can't see.


If you have had a dead rat within a building you will know that is far better to be cremated.

Even worse was Chambers Gorge in the northern Flinders Ranges, in January the kangaroos were digging the pebble river bed for water & the goats were watching on. Every 100 metres was a few day old carcass in the 40C heat in the shade.

The fragrance lingers in your nostrils for a few days, & your clothes for a week.

If you have spilt a litre of milk in the car, maybe the dead goats are less offensive!



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Newbie

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Thank you all for helpful suggestions, I will clean out the drain hose from sink, dont have a toilet so its not that, van has been cleaned, and I got carpet and upholstery cleaned by a professional. If it ever stops raining in Perth, I can air it out to see if that helps.



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