Hoping I can get some advice here--I'm at wits end.
I'm the original owner of a 1998 sportsmobile, which I used with no real problems for years.
A few years back, after storing the van for some time, I opened it up and was hit by a strong smell, almost like a concentrated "new car" smell.
After airing it out, this smell persists, though it is not as strong as it was. It has persisted for YEARS now. People notice it right away when they get in. If I store something in the van, then take it out, the smell even "sticks" to the object for a short period of time. If you put your nose up to any surface in the van (cabinets, upholstery), you can really smell it. It is certainly not a mold smell; it is more of a chemical smell.
This is more than just an annoyance, it causes me headaches and other issues, rendering the van unusable to me. I don't know if I am just particularly sensitive or if other people would have the same reaction. I don't want to make my friends sick in the process of testing it out
In my research I have read a lot about formaldehyde and other chemicals used in RV construction and out-gassing issues, though this usually applies to brand new vehicles. Given the build date of my sportsmobile, formaldehyde could be an issue, as it was common to build RVs with such materials. I wonder if perhaps the glue or building materials are breaking down in some way after all these years?
Does this story sound familiar to anyone? Any ideas on a fix? I have read about "cooking" the formaldehyde out (running heaters on high for days), but I am not even sure I am dealing with formaldehyde. I don't get a "burning eyes" sensation that seems to be associated with formaldehyde.
Thanks for any help!