Troubleshooting a Strong Unidentified Odor in a Park Model Trailer?

Category Plumbing

My parents have a place here on Torch Lake. They have a small park model (kinda like a trailer home), but its is not meant to be lived in during winter months. There are 9 other families all with their own park models.


There is just one huge difference; my parent's trailer smells as though something (some kind of animal) has died under it, or in it. The smell has been lingering inside for 3 summers now. This summer will be #4! And there is no animal to be found anywhere!

All of the airducts AC and heater have all been removed (thinking something had died within them causing the smell). Nope! All carpet has been ripped out and replaced with linoleum and wood flooring.

I just about lost my dinner when I walked in the place tonight! The smell is unbearable. And it's a very small space. The odor is the strongest under the stairs to the loft (where the pipes and drain for the shower are located), under bathroom and kitchen sinks, and in the very small space where the hot water heater is located. First thing I said was "Its gotta be coming from the pipes or water heater" (but they all must be bone dry during winter or they would freeze and burst).


They have tried baking soda, very expensive air filter systems, they always leave the windows cracked when they leave for the week, and all windows and doors wide open Thursday-Sunday. Nothing is helping. The odor just won't go away.

Could this be coming from the water heater and pipes? Or what in the world could it be? If anyone has any ideas how we can get rid of this odor once and for all we will all be forever grateful! Oh yeah, all ten park models have the same water source, but only one has the odor.

By Shanna

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June 20, 20110 found this helpful

It is most likely your sewer vent is blocked in some way. You really need a plumber to diagnose the problem. It could be sewer gas, which is not good for you.

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June 20, 20110 found this helpful

Also possible there is no trap installed and sewer gas is coming back up. That can give a very unhealthy smell. My neighbors shower had improper plumbing with no trap and the shower was the problem.


Try plugging off the shower, for instance and see if the smell goes away. Gotta call a plumber. Keep in touch. Let us all know.

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June 20, 20110 found this helpful

I have to agree with the prognosis from the other members.
Contact a plumber and see if it is sewer gas But only if there is no way you can dis-assemble the wooden walls inside of the trailer and then put back up (you would be looking to see if a rodent has in fact died in between the walls) not only is that possible but very probable and not as costly as a plumber would be I wouldn't think.

Let us (your on line Thriftyfun family) know what you end up doing. :)

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June 20, 20110 found this helpful

Have you tried to disconnect the sewage and drain where it is connect at the other end.(the one the park furnishes?) Then run clear water through the shower and commode and see if it is all coming through. But it truly sound more like a leak in a sewage line where it is connected at the shower,sink in other words where all of those things are. That is why you cannot get rid of the smell.


There should be an access point for those either on the outside or inside of the camper. There has to be unless it is homemade.

If the commode has a leaky line etc. this will give you the problem you have and it will stay with it because when you use it again it ads more. It cannot be a dead rodent because it would be nothing and no odor by now. Stick with the things connecting to bathroom fixtures and the out going sewage line.

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June 21, 20110 found this helpful

My first thought was a dead rodent in the walls, but that should not smell for three years. I suspect that the people suggesting sewer problems are correct.

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May 30, 20170 found this helpful

I have a 40 foot Jayco, 40BHS Jay Flight, purchased from Pharr's in Lubbock, Tx, with the same problem. Purchased 9/16/2009.


Pharr's and the factory said it would eventually go away which it has not, no intrest from them to solve problem. My son is looking at extending vents to a higher point,

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Home and Garden Repair Home PlumbingJune 17, 2011
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