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Mysterious White Dust or Powder Inside Travel Trailer


zelda71

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I have a 2001 21' Trail Lite Travel Camper. Recently whenever I go in it after it has been sitting for a week or so, there is a fine white dust/powder all over the floor, counter, etc. When I sweep it up and toss it outside, it floats off in the air like feathers or something. Does anyone have a clue what this could be?

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Zelda,

welcome to the SKPs forums! I know that insects can chew through Styrofoam looking for a place to nest the Queen and eggs in the case of termites and carpenter ants. Have you either seen large ants in the area? If you have your camper parked for long periods when you see this check for dirt trails up the jack or the frame underneath. If they are in a protected humid area of your rig fumigating may not work. I would first look for signs of termites or carpenter ants.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to help you as much as we possibly can.

 

With a 2001 RV I wouldn't think that it would be from the insulation, particularly if it has foam insulating materials. Does the dust seem to be everywhere or might it have a pattern to hint at where it came from? Foam insulation tends to be in very small pellet like fits and not a true powder and most pests do not eat it or chew into it. A mouse might but it would be more than just dust in size. How quickly does it show up after storing the RV? Look for any hints or clues as tracking this down could be rather like a detective case?

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They chew it not eat it.

http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/qa-spotlight/coping-termites-and-carpenter-ants

 

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/how-to-deal-with-insect-problems-in-your-foam-insulation

 

Go to this link and look at the carpenter ant dust in figure 13: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/carpenter-ants/

 

Does figure 13 look like your powder? If so, you could have a severe infestation of either Carpenter ants or termites. Have you noticed any water leaks from rain? Excessive condensation in it? If you have a leak not yet noticed they may be chewing through the foam to tunnel to food, or a moist place for nesting. Let me know if you find any of the above. Good pics of both winged termites and carpenter ants too.

 

Good luck!

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Really fine white dust... are you running a humidifier or swamp type cooler in the rig by any chance?

 

If you are try switching to better water, softened and RO'd is probably good, distilled is pricey but sure to end the problem.

 

----

 

Do you have any vents or windows open, you might be getting dust from outside so try closing them.

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Long shot here. What type business' ,roads what it is made of etc. For the 3rd summer in a row I am not close but in the vicinity of a major cement plant and it will filter in. Also caliche roads or roads that can have very fine dust.

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We bought our 98 Intruder and found out later it was a repo, we kept finding white dust in out-of-the-way places. Finally figured out that besides taking some "standard" features: Clock, Vacuum, Manuals, Bedroom treatments, Mirrors, Slide locks and the like. The previous owner at time of repo, had set off a fire extinguisher inside the coach. We had fine white dust in registers, AC inside cover, inside back of cabinets, inside and on top of the valances.

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Let us know if you think that any of the responses may be a possibility. We have a lot of members who have had extensive experience so if we pool our resources, I'd expect that two or three might be able to narrow things down for you. We love a good mystery!

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