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Old 04-13-2015, 05:04 PM   #1
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Mold in fridge vent

I removed the cap on the fridge vent with the intent of dropping a couple of wires down that space. I looked down the space and I have to say that I almost refused to accept what I was seeing. The whole baffle was covered in mold. I put my camera in the lower vent, pointed it upwards and took some shots which confirmed the whole baffle was contaminated.

We have often sat on the side of the trailer by the lower vent depending on sun/view etc. and the thought of sitting by a vent spewing mold spores by the thousands was not pleasant and there was no way that the trailer could be used without remediating the mold first.

Having had some training and experience with dealing with mold I dealt with the baffle mold and got it ready to remove it vertically. There is no way I would have removed it by the interior route as preventing any chance of spores reaching the interior was the number 1 priority. The last photo shows the baffle with the mold removed.

There was no mold on the two side pieces. It appears that the wood used for the baffle must have had something on it that acted as a growing medium for the mold. The trailer is just reaching 1 year old. My fear is that if the whole piece of plywood that my baffle was cut from was used for other baffles then some other trailers made last spring may also have the same problem and not know it.

This is Part 1, more to come.

Ron
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File Type: jpg 05-04-2015 2-41-02 PM1_resize.jpg (186.4 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg 05-04-2015 2-41-02 PM2_resize.jpg (202.9 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg 05-04-2015 2-41-02 PM3_resize.jpg (242.2 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg 08-04-2015 2-21-24 PM7_resize.jpg (203.8 KB, 36 views)
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:16 PM   #2
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I began prying the "decontaminated" baffle loose and was surprised again. The whole other side was also covered in mold. This is the side facing the fiberglass shell. As well, the plywood partly delaminated from the force of prying it loose and you can see that even the mold penetrated to the interior.

It was removed, the area throughly cleaned, the back of the fridge was also cleaned as well as possible before removal. The interior of the trailer was tented off to prevent any contamination from errant spores.

I am insulating the cavity and replacing the wood baffle with a finned aluminum one that I'll post when completed.

Ron
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:34 PM   #3
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Yikes, not nice! Ron, given that your trailer is only one year old, was this baffle installed by the factory. If so, have you advised them of this, as I would guess that they are installing similar baffles as we speak.

Mark
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:00 PM   #4
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I too would make sure Escape was aware of this. It must have something to do with the material, as it seems strange that it is limited to just it.

I will have a look at mine when I get home.
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GerriJ View Post
Yikes, not nice! Ron, given that your trailer is only one year old, was this baffle installed by the factory. If so, have you advised them of this, as I would guess that they are installing similar baffles as we speak.

Mark
Yes, I sent photos and gave them a chance to reply before I did anything. I don't think the potential problem is the baffles they're installing today as the ones they installed, cut from the same plywood, in units produced last spring.

They said that they've not seen this before and asked if I could bring the trailer by in May or June so that they could see it.

Since I considered the trailer to be a rolling bio-hazard the way it was I elected to start remediating the situation sooner than later.

Yes, the trailer's not even quite a year old. The kicker is that a few weeks ago I convinced a friends offspring not to buy an old stickie because it's "probably full of mold that you can't see". Little did I realize...

Ron
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:20 PM   #6
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Yes let Reace know as there is obviously something feeding/promoting mold growth in the wood he used.

Doug
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:23 PM   #7
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Hi Ron,
I think yours and my trailer where shipped together on the same truck from ETI last year. I sure hope I don't have the same problem. I will be checking my trailer for mold the firsts thing tomorrow morning with a whole lot of other people I would imagine. Ron sorry to see you have this problem with mold. Life is busy enough without adding anything extra on your plate.
Mark
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:28 PM   #8
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Mark,

Ron is in North Vancouver, BC. so I don't think his was delivered
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:31 PM   #9
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We have an August 2014 19' and I saw no mold in that area. I was concerned the raw wood was exposed and clear coated it all prior to reinstalling our frig. I did find some mold spots below the rear window on the unfinished bed plywood. I coated any wood I could get to under the bed and dinette seats too. I think some moisture condensed on the window and dripped down.


Sorry to see how bad that is, to be on both sides it suggests it got wet before installation? It's so damp in the northwest the moisture level could be quite high and not noticed.


Fortunately you know what you are doing, thanks for your tips on doing it right.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:04 PM   #10
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Wow, I'm going to check mine, how hard is it to remove the refer vent cover?
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