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Why Is The Inside Of Our RV Giving Us Teary Eyes and Headaches?

by Susan
(Phoenix, AZ)

Why Is The Inside Of Our RV Giving Us Teary Eyes and Headaches?

Why Is The Inside Of Our RV Giving Us Teary Eyes and Headaches?

Why Is The Inside Of Our RV Giving Us Teary Eyes and Headaches?
Why Is The Inside Of Our RV Giving Us Teary Eyes and Headaches?

A dear friend just bought a used 2005 fifth wheel to live in temporarily. While moving in, his eyes started tearing up and within a couple of hours he had a severe headache. He cleaned his black tank as recommended but symptoms returned in 2 days time.

He says the smell is like methane. Visitors seem to develop the same symptoms. The home has been checked for vent problems, leaks etc, but no problems found. The new homeowner has cleaned the tank several times now using different products .... nothing works. Please help!

Sincerely,
Susan


ANSWER: Greetings Susan thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I am going to assume that the 5th Wheel was inspected by a Certified RV Technician for possible loose or broken holding tank vent pipes in the interior of the RV. I am also going to assume that the Propane system was thoroughly inspected for leaks.

Here are some other possible causes for the smell.

1. Check for any critters that may have gotten into the RV and died. Some of the places to look are in storage pods, closets, furnace vents, etc.

2. A good possibility is that the smells are coming from the materials used to construct the RV. It was widely publicized that the FEMA trailers used to shelter people who were made homeless by Hurricane Katrina had and still have problems with formaldehyde gassing out of the material used to construct them.

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The symptoms that you are describing sound very similar to the ones that were experienced by the people living in these FEMA Trailers. It should also be noted that some people are more sensitive to these types of chemicals and smells then others.

Since several people are actually getting physically ill after spending some time in this trailer, I strongly suggest that you contact a company that specializes in taking and testing air samples for chemical content to come in and test the trailer for chemical gassing.

Obviously there could be other causes of these smells, but these are my two best guesses at what could be causing the odors.

Hope this helps.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

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Comments for Why Is The Inside Of Our RV Giving Us Teary Eyes and Headaches?

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Odor
by: Red White & Blue Mobile Detailing

Possible moth balls check under the bed and in compartments. The smell can be a real nuisance.

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Methane
by: Anonymous

Methane is odorless. Replace the check valves under the sinks maybe. And open the windows to let it air out.

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Combination of materials
by: Anonymous

A combination of materials can easily cause problems. Start with wood. Did mfg use Green or treated wood flooring, Not recommended for interiors.

Next, adhesives, spray foam for sealing can add to problems. What kind of plywood used, some have formaldehyde base glue.

Do you have paneling? Get name and call mfg. Is there foam for insulating? Get or make list of every component used, get mfg of each and call each one and ask for a MSDS, Material Safety Data Sheet. Ask if each of those components meet California codes. They are the strictest in USA.

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Odors
by: Happy camper RV service

Another place odors can come from and is often over looked is in carpet or fluids that soak thru and into the wood floor mold can also be there under the carpet if the trailer has ever been flooded or had water damage

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Batteries?
by: Anonymous

Don't rule out the batteries. Often, a bad or poorly designed charger will cause overcharging and excessive gassing of the batteries.

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Headaches from living in rv
by: Anonymous

could it be your power converter? I wake up with a headache almost every morning. I sleep right above it as a hums throughout the night. I think about all the energy that's going through the converter and often wonder if that could be the cause? All my sewer and propane lines are fine,no leaks and i'm in an older 1986 prowler,so it's not from new carpet or glue and i keep vents open to get fresh air in...I never got headaches when i slept in a real bed,so it could be from not sleeping well too,tossing and turning all night on the foldout.Anybody have any theory on this?

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unknown toxic smell
by: Anonymous

Don't overlook meth lab use.

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Comments From Facebook
by: RVing Al

Here are some comments on this topic from The Everything About RVing Facebook Fan Page.

Lynette Lausen: Formaldahyde

Sonda Bruce: AMEN--- IT IS THE FORMALDAHYDE!!!!!!!!!

Sonda Bruce: http://www.multiplechemicalsensitivity.org/

Joan Keaster: DITTO....WE HAD THE SAME HEALTH ISSUES IN OUR MOBILE HOME WHEN IT WAS NEW....i BELIEVE IT IS IN THE GLUE...NEW CARPET HAS IT ALSO

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