What happens when your motorhome sits

Since our Year of Travel has been put on hold until who knows when, we’ve decided to kickstart one of our other projects of the year: remodeling the motorhome.

We are still a ways away from performing some of the work — mainly because we have a lot of decisions to make and we aren’t sure which way to go with things yet.

But in the meantime, we decided to open it up and get to cleaning.

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You see, when a motorhome sits for a while, all sorts of things can happen to it. Luckily, we haven’t had any trees fall on it or large animals take up residence (yet), but other things have been going on.

Since it’s sitting in the woods all the time, unopened and with little airflow, moisture and humidity build up inside and cause damage. I’ve been doing some digging, and this is apparently common for motorhomes that are stored in humid climates (and we all know how I feel about Minnesota’s humidity — it sucks).

Well, this humidity and lack of airflow can cause mold growth. Since we aren’t currently living in it, that lack of airflow is hard to increase and the mold is hard to catch immediately. Thankfully, we did catch it quickly.

It started by growing on our couch. Filled with skin cells, oils, pet hair, human hair, dander, and the numerous things that have been spilled on it, it makes sense that we’d have a problem starting here.

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Mold on the cushions.

We’d had some accidents with that couch, which I won’t go into now, that made it hard to clean. We opted to get rid of this couch and get a new one. Only problem: we’d nearly broken the doorframe getting it in there when we replaced the original motorhome couch. Our loveseat was not supposed to fit, but we made it.

Since we weren’t trying to keep it, I told Andy to bust it up and take it out in pieces. So that’s what we did.

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Piper was trying to be helpful.

With the couch out of the way, we got down to the business of disinfecting.

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We vacuumed everything that was easily accessible and started wiping down the surfaces with a bleach-and-water mixture. I wanted to kill as many mold spores as possible.

The last time I went inside, the place stank. But the only spot I found mold was the couch. This time was a different story. I found mold around the steering wheel, on strange ledges in the living room, on kitchen cabinets, etc. Fortunately, it wasn’t black mold, but still…gross.

We opened the windows wide to let in some fresh air.

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Crawling around on the carpet made me feel absolutely disgusting, and I can’t imagine doing a remodel while all I can think about are the mold spores that must be in that carpeting. I knew I needed to do some research.

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Teddy’s trying to help us out, too.

The dogs were excited to see the motorhome, though we tried to keep them out of most of it. We were excited to be opening it up, too. We still have some things stored in there, and it was fun to see where we had been living. It was giving me ideas for the future.

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While the odors of mold and mildew were beginning to fade with the fresh air and clean surfaces, there was still something in the air. Something that smelled all too much like the scent of decay. But where was it?

We followed our noses to the toilet.

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You’re welcome for not including the close-up photo.

There’s no water in the tank and yet there was a black clump of something moist on top of the toilet hole.

“Is it a frog?” Andy asked.

I bent closer, holding my breath.

All I could make out was something that looked suspiciously like a frog leg before the shape of a wet dead mouse finally appeared. How in the heck had it gotten there? And why was it so wet?

Unable to stomach it any longer, I told him that it was a mouse and made my escape. I busied myself with replacing the dry-aid bags around the place.

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The cleaning process took a surprisingly small amount of time, and we were soon inside and showering off the gross feeling.

The dogs were pretty tired from the whole ordeal 🙂

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While this certainly won’t be our last time going in for a good cleaning, it was a great start. I began looking up methods for mold and mildew control, as well as options for professional carpet cleaning and replacement. We are tossing around the idea of what type of flooring we’d like to do, but in the meantime, I’d like to not feel surrounded by mold spores as we do the rest of our projects.

Our next step will be to move the motorhome out of the woods and into the driveway so we can continue to air it out, clean the carpeting, and begin the remodel. It will be much easier to work on if we are near the house, and we won’t need to run an extension cord all the way out there to get power (though that’s not a huge deal). The main convenience is being close to our supplies.

We are waiting for the woods to dry out a little bit so we don’t get stuck in the mud trying to get it out.

In the meantime, we are resting, relaxing, and working on other projects as we wish.

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It might not be California weather, but it’s still a beautiful view!

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