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-   -   Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help! (https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f9/terrible-smell-dead-animal-please-help-6015.html)

jage 03-26-2011 04:33 PM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
I've heard charcoal helps, I threw a couple of briquettes in my wall for a dead mouse issue. I've also heard using cups of vinegar will absorb some smell.

With the poor cuts can you correlate to anything a mouse could have gotten in but not out? Stuck under the gray water tank through the drain etc.?

Yubariver 03-26-2011 04:51 PM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
Like I said, its driving me crazy. I smell a bit of smell here, a bit there, but it goes away just as soon as it arrives. It seems to be collecting in the uppermost cavities under the van, generally in the center portion of the van between the two axles.

There's about a 1" gap between the floor-pan and the exhaust heat-shields, and I was really hoping/expecting that there would be something in that space, however I spent a lot of time with the cemera in those gaps and couldn't see anything. Its possible that there is some small corner that I missed or can never get to.

I tried getting my hunting-dog in and under the van to find it, but he just isn't interested unless it smells like a live bird or a tennis-ball.

I have the van highly positively pressurized, and I can feel the air escaping-out of the gaps around the gas/water/electrical connections, so I know its not completely sealed there. If I had to point to any area where a mouse could enter the interior, it would be there. However, I pulled the fridge and pulled the wall-panel back a bit and jammed my nose in that crack and there is no smell that I can discern. However, as soon as I turn the fan off, the smell fills the interior within 5 minutes, coming from....somewhere. I've confirmed that the area around the grey-water tank is clean.

My heater and furnace vents all smell OK, so probably nothing there.

From the lesson learned the hard-way department: Don't put your nose up close to one of the battery-compartment drain-holes and sniff hard -- one gets a snootfull of water & battery-acid solution, which is not pleasant!

Greggd 03-27-2011 06:52 AM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
Yubariver ,
Now that you have exhausted your search try purchasing several Large Boxes Of Baking Soda ,
Put them in a half dozen medium size Tupperware type Containers with the lids off and place them thru out the Van . Get a Large Bottle of Fabreze and Liberally Spray the inside of your Vans Fabric Surfaces to the point that you are able to Feel A Vey Light Mist on these Surfaces .
Close up your Van , preferably on a Dry and Sunny Day and let it sit . Change the Baking Soda every couple of Days . We keep three of these containers in use in between tips . On our last Quigley we had a Collared Ground Squirrel die between the Gas Tank and the floor and it was very much like what you described for about a month . I finally found the carcass when I was Pressure Washing the Under Carriage . Another little trick that we employ in between trips is to
Pour A Cup and a Half of Simple Green in the Sink Drain with about a Quart of Water , being of an Organic Nature it keeps the Sink system free from any residual oil or Grease building up .
Greggd

Yubariver 03-27-2011 10:53 AM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
I was lying awake at 4:00 am this morning, running through a mental checklist of all the possible places that I could look; I just expended my last chances this morning, with no luck. I pulled the entire utilities acces panel, drilling-out the pop-rivets, etc, and confirmed that there were plenty of access points that a herd of mice could have entered, but there was no evidence up in there of anything dead. That access panel was so poorly cut and then sealed, Sportsmobile should be ashamed of themselves. There were large gaps, jagged unpainted steel edges, and water hoses running through the wall cavities uninsulated. At least now when I replace the panel I can insulate those pipes and seal-it all up properly....yay, more work to do!

Unless someone has other suggestions of where to look, I now officially resign myself to accepting that something dead is in a cavity of my van somewhere, hope that this is the last of California's seasonal rains, and hope that it dessicates as quickly as possible. I briefly toyed with the idea of tearing-out those cabinets and opening-up that wall panel, but I just don't think I could live with the pain of finding that its not there after all that work. I will try the baking soda (Costco sells 13 Lb. bags cheaply), and charcoal, and coffee grounds, and cut apple, etc, coupled with keeping the fan running to try and kill the smell.

daveb 03-27-2011 11:23 AM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
When I was in Wyoming heavy rains cause an invasion of mice into my van. I even had mice coming out of the electric top lift rails. I'm thinking that they were in the walls of the van. I'm using "Fresh Cab" now but can't say if it works. I think mice leave a scent trail and follow each other around...once they find a way in, their little door is wide open.
Hopefully your smell isn't a dead animal and is their scent trail. My van smelled for several months and it still doesn't have that new car smell like it did before the invasion. The Fresh Cab pouches have a wood like smell and has helped with the problem. It is supposed to repel mice as well.

Good luck.

BroncoHauler 03-27-2011 11:57 AM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by daveb
When I was in Wyoming heavy rains cause an invasion of mice into my van. I even had mice coming out of the electric top lift rails. I'm thinking that they were in the walls of the van. I'm using "Fresh Cab" now but can't say if it works. I think mice leave a scent trail and follow each other around...once they find a way in, their little door is wide open.
Hopefully your smell isn't a dead animal and is their scent trail. My van smelled for several months and it still doesn't have that new car smell like it did before the invasion. The Fresh Cab pouches have a wood like smell and has helped with the problem. It is supposed to repel mice as well.

Good luck.

Dave,

Interesting product. How many do you use in your SMB at a time?

Definitely has mixed reviews on Amazon, but if it even prevents one infestation, it's worth trying. I think prevention is much easier than recovering from an invasion, and I'm planning on some camping in May, so I think I'll order some.


Herb

twogone 03-27-2011 01:35 PM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
Fascinating thread. I don't have a SMB, but had a rodent chew through several wires at the firewall of my, then, 10 day old YukonXL Had it towed from my driveway and cussed GMC under my breath 'til the mechanic showed me the damage. Once had to tear out a bedroom wall of sheetrock to find a dead gray squirrel that had reeked for 90 days and effectively moved me out of my house... never found how it got there. So:

When I get a SMB I've decided to add "NITE GUARD tm" under the van. Available thru https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com and reputed to repel all mammals... might hang one inside to repel unwelcome humans if they scare off bad elements. Take a look at them.

Worked in the food production industry many years ago. Pest control critical. Blacklight shows rodent urine like neon, even in daylight, so you might look for accumulated urine or trail of urine w/ blacklight and find source or access. Rats and mice leave a constant scent trail w/urine.

Sorry to hear about your troubles, but all of us have learned a bit from this and craftsmanship issues are revealing to me, a noob.

daveb 03-27-2011 06:27 PM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BroncoHauler

Interesting product. How many do you use in your SMB at a time?

Definitely has mixed reviews on Amazon, but if it even prevents one infestation, it's worth trying. I think prevention is much easier than recovering from an invasion, and I'm planning on some camping in May, so I think I'll order some.


Herb

I'm using two right now, one where I think they might be coming in and one in the pantry. SMB just closed up the pantry (the top was open) so I'll move that one. Some folks might not like the smell of these packets but I don't have a problem with them. They are supposed to be replace every 3 months or so. It was worth a try and so far I havent had any critters yet but I can't say that it works, only that it smells better. I know guys who use them in their tractors and they claim it works...but who knows.

After I got back from Wyoming I pulled everything I could out, washed the floors and carpet down, and sprayed fabreeze everywhere and it still had a slight smell. Little bastards. It took several months for the smell to go away. It didn't smell like mice in a barn, rather a strange musky moldy smell.
Something dead in an area where there isn't any access to would suck.

jage 03-27-2011 06:38 PM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by twogone
Blacklight shows rodent urine like neon, even in daylight, so you might look for accumulated urine or trail of urine w/ blacklight and find source or access. Rats and mice leave a constant scent trail w/urine.

Oh I am so doing this to figure out how they are coming in the house!

Also, tried every plug in noise device together and independently and proved they are wholly ineffective on domestic mice. I'd intended to put one in the fridge plug so when I was on 110... but alas, no effect on the miceses.

NRL 03-28-2011 02:12 AM

Re: Terrible Smell - Dead Animal? - Please Help!
 
I had a chipmunk find it's way from underneath and slip into the area between the SMB white board wall and the van skin.. Somehow he came up from the rear wheel and popped out of a hole on the inner back corner of the van, found his way to the inner wall by climbin up and over to the inner space..

He decided to stay for a while and eventually died from starvation or suffication in the heat. It took about 2 days to smell him dead.

By the time I found his body it was only fur and seeds and maggots done with a good job. I just had to vacuum it all away..

I had to tear apart the driver side SMB back cabinet (wasn't too bad), and then the side gaucho wall(this was tricky, I had to take the inner window frame off!)

That reminds me, your spot on the quality of work found when I took it apart. I wonder if there is a check mark to critter proof your new SMB..

The Good side was I found the body, and it gave me a chance to re-insulate everything and plug up(epoxy filler) every friggin hole that a critter(s) might use. :c1:

And then put everything back, better sealed and insulated.

So folks, check for possible critter entrances on your van..


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