How to Clean Mold Out of a Pop-Up Camper

How to Clean Mold Out of a Pop-Up Camper
Pop-up campers are susceptible to mold for two reasons. When they're open, the canvas gets wet in the rain and might not be thoroughly dry when you close the camper. When they're closed, there's little air circulation inside, so mold will form under the right conditions. If you experience mold, attack the problem quickly and do a thorough job of cleaning it. If you don't, your canvas, curtains and upholstery will begin to rot. Prolonged exposure to dampness may compromise the structural integrity of the pop-up.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Detergent Stiff brush Pesticide sprayer Bleach Absorbent towels Electric fan
  • Detergent
  • Stiff brush
  • Pesticide sprayer
  • Bleach
  • Absorbent towels
  • Electric fan
Step 1
Pop up the trailer and open the doors and windows. Try to work during dry weather, as the trailer may have to stay open longer than a week. Chock the wheels and set the stabilizing jacks.
Step 2
Find the source of the mold and repair the problem. Check for leaks in the water lines and loose fittings around windows and doors. Make sure the trailer seals tightly when it's closed if you store it uncovered.
Step 3
Remove the slipcovers from upholstery, remove the curtains and take out any bed linens and towels that are stored in the trailer. Pre-treat stains and wash the slipcovers, curtains and linens. Line dry in the sun them if possible. Shampoo the carpet.
Step 4
Pull out the mattresses and seat cushions and set them in the sun, turning them occasionally. Don't set them on a wet surface like grass.
Step 5
Scrub all the hard surfaces and inside cabinets with a strong detergent. Rinse thoroughly, dry and wait a day or two to see if any of the mold reappears. If it does, wash it again.
Step 6
Wash the canvas inside and out with detergent and a stiff brush. Wait to see if any mold reappears.
Step 7
Make a solution in a large sprayer like those used to apply pesticide. Combine 10 percent household bleach and 90 percent water. Spray all of the surfaces and the canvas. Don't soak the trailer with bleach--you just want to kill any remaining spores.
Step 8
Dry the canvas and hard surfaces with absorbent towels and leave the pop-up open for several more days with the windows open. Hook the camper up to the electricity and place an oscillating fan inside to keep the air moving and disperse the bleach odor.
Step 9
Check carefully for the reappearance of mold. Re-treat areas that need it. When you're satisfied that the mold problem has been fixed, put the cushions, curtains and upholstery inside and close the camper. Make sure the top forms a tight seal when it's closed.

Tips & Warnings

 
Dry the camper out if it gets wet while you're camping. If this isn't possible, open it and dry it as soon as you get home. Clean mold off the awning by opening it, washing it and applying bleach. Canvas damaged by mold can be replaced. Some staining caused by mold may be permanent. Work on the camper in a covered carport or garage if there's a chance of rain.
 
Dry the camper out if it gets wet while you're camping. If this isn't possible, open it and dry it as soon as you get home.
 
Clean mold off the awning by opening it, washing it and applying bleach. Canvas damaged by mold can be replaced.
 
Some staining caused by mold may be permanent.
 
Work on the camper in a covered carport or garage if there's a chance of rain.

Article Written By Meg Jernigan

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.

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