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Old 01-20-2024, 01:36 PM   #1
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Bathroom Discoloration

Hello friends, I'm new to posting here but have found so much useful info on this site already so let me start with a "thank you" and a "happy to be here". Now on to my situation...

I recieved my trailer about 2 months ago and am living in it ever since. One thing I haven't done is used the bathroom to any extent whatsoever as I am able to use a shared bathroom space at the property where the trailer is parked.

Very shortly after being in the trailer, maybe 3or4 weeks, I noticed yellowing of the bathroom. Strange but it seemed to be localized to where the shower curtain was touching the fiberglass bath insert, so I chalked it up to a weird reaction with the plastic and the fiberglass, and removed the shower curtain. Then I check again a few days ago (about another month gone by) and the yellowing is vastly worse and spread to several areas in the bathroom.

I reached out to ETI and recieved exactly this response back, "I had a chat with our fiberglass team, and he suggested that the bathroom vent could be leaking causing the discoloration in the attached photos. I have attached a video on how to remedy the leak, do you have silicone? I can have some sent to you under warranty. When it comes to removing the discoloration, he recommended to start with Vim kitchen cleaner, it works well and is less susceptible to creating scratches! Do you have any on hand?"

Regarding that response from ETI first let me say that I indeed have seen evidence that the vent was leaking, and it's been on/off rain/snow here in the PNW where I'm parked, but I could never find visible drips coming into the bathroom from the vent. At the time I concluded it must be condensing through the vent or leaking from an area of the vent that I was never finding when I was checking. Yes, there is water in the bathroom that could have only gotten there from some sort of leak. No, I don't know exactly where it's coming from. The video that the gentleman sent was less than helpful to be fair, especially when the silicone applied to my vent looks perfectly how he explains it should be. I have a few questions for the forum goers...

Anyone experienced this same thing? (keep in mind this is after 2 months and no use)
Does the leak that the ETI rep described mean that there is now water between the exterior of the trailer and the lining of the bathroom insert ie the interior of the trailer?
Am I just supposed to remedy this situation on my own and not raise any sort of hell with ETI about it? (this is my first big purchase in life and my house on wheels)
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Old 01-20-2024, 01:51 PM   #2
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If you’re living in it during all this cold weather, you may be experiencing condensation and mildew. The pictures seem to show rusting screws on the sink mount?

How are you heating the trailer, and more importantly, how are you venting it? Have a look behind the seat cushions and between the mattress and walls for indication of condensation sweating or mildew growth.

It’s important to keep air flow through the trailer in cold weather when occupying it. Cooking moisture, propane-burning moisture, and breathing moisture needs to be removed, otherwise the warm moist environment will produce mold or mildew, especially where things are in contact with the outer walls, or in unvented spaces.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-20-2024, 01:56 PM   #3
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I would start with the round ceiling vent and fan. Take it apart and check the gasket that is used inside. With age, not your case, it can disintegrate. First is it present, is it in place, is it sealing, and is it dry? I fabricated a new one with some material about. You will have to be on the roof to access the gasket, visible after pulling off the roof cap.

I do not believe you need to remove the silicone covered screws to do this. That will be your next step. By the way, I am using an incorrect term, it is not silicone but a product called Pro-Flex.
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Old 01-20-2024, 02:10 PM   #4
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I can't help you on the already developed stains or potential leaks, but if you can get those removed a tip for your consideration ...

For 17 years of Casita ownership, and now with my Escape, I apply the same wax to all the fiberglass and plastic surfaces other than the floor in my wet bath (yes, including the toilet bowl). For me that happens to be NuFinish, but whatever.

The habit when I wax the trailer exterior seems to keep the wet bath looking good, water drops (etc) run to the drain(s) quicker, perhaps all minimizing stains, soap scum, mildew, etc.

Just for your consideration, good luck removing the various stains you have.
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Old 01-20-2024, 02:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felix2 View Post
If you’re living in it during all this cold weather, you may be experiencing condensation and mildew. The pictures seem to show rusting screws on the sink mount?

How are you heating the trailer, and more importantly, how are you venting it? Have a look behind the seat cushions and between the mattress and walls for indication of condensation sweating or mildew growth.

It’s important to keep air flow through the trailer in cold weather when occupying it. Cooking moisture, propane-burning moisture, and breathing moisture needs to be removed, otherwise the warm moist environment will produce mold or mildew, especially where things are in contact with the outer walls, or in unvented spaces.

Hope this helps!
I have avoided cooking in the trailer and do not have a propane heater, it's just a heated-element-fan type heater I've been running. I give some of the windows a crack and run a fan once in a while for venting. I removed several cushions and replaced the mattress with one that I trimmed to fit so that there's a gap between the mattress and walls. Yes, the screws are discoloring but it doesn't appear to be rust, I don't really know what it is... Do you mostly expect the yellow is mold/mildew then?
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Old 01-20-2024, 02:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I would start with the round ceiling vent and fan. Take it apart and check the gasket that is used inside. With age, not your case, it can disintegrate. First is it present, is it in place, is it sealing, and is it dry? I fabricated a new one with some material about. You will have to be on the roof to access the gasket, visible after pulling off the roof cap.

I do not believe you need to remove the silicone covered screws to do this. That will be your next step. By the way, I am using an incorrect term, it is not silicone but a product called Pro-Flex.
Yes, I mean to do this checkup now that ETI told me of the potential leak. It is raining currently and I have the vent covered with a trashbag and cooking pot until I can get to it. For clarification, are you saying that the cap should just twist/pull off?
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Old 01-20-2024, 03:48 PM   #7
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Living in a small space during the conditions that you've had recently is brutal.

Cold moist air making ingress at any location can condense enough to look like a leak. Unless you actually see a leak I'd wait for a period of time when the weather is warmer but raining and see if it's actually a leak.

Yes, that could be rust on the screws, they're not s/s.

I cringe when I see folks recommending any product that has any hint of abrasive on gelcoat. There is a product, FSR, (fiberglass stain remover) that I've used on gelcoat stains that would make you cringe and it will easily remove the yellowing.

Good luck

Ron
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Old 01-20-2024, 04:12 PM   #8
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Living in a small space during the conditions that you've had recently is brutal.

Cold moist air making ingress at any location can condense enough to look like a leak. Unless you actually see a leak I'd wait for a period of time when the weather is warmer but raining and see if it's actually a leak.

Yes, that could be rust on the screws, they're not s/s.

I cringe when I see folks recommending any product that has any hint of abrasive on gelcoat. There is a product, FSR, (fiberglass stain remover) that I've used on gelcoat stains that would make you cringe and it will easily remove the yellowing.

Good luck

Ron
I do agree that the water I'm seeing in the bathroom is more likely a result of condensation than a leak. BUT I've never looked at the walls of the bathroom and seen condensation on them, there's just water accumulated on the floor. This leaves me with some more (I won't call them stupid) questions though...

What is the yellowing exactly, it's mold/mildew? There's never been water resting on the walls but that's how you'd expect them to look? If it's just moisture causing it, is that what's expected with normal use of the shower over time?
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Old 01-20-2024, 04:21 PM   #9
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Want to give you all a better look at the screws. It really doesn't appear to be rust at least in the way that I'm used to it, it's just the same yellowing as everywhere else. Some have it worse than others.
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Old 01-20-2024, 04:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
... I cringe when I see folks recommending any product that has any hint of abrasive on gelcoat. ...
Just FYI, in spite of the 'polish' hype, NuFinish has no abrasives (and no "wax" either). Technically it's just a slick synthetic surface sealant, there are others similarly 'safe' for gelcoat.
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Old 01-20-2024, 05:12 PM   #11
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Here is a link, among others, that discuss issues and repairs on bathroom vent cover.
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...cap-23666.html
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Old 01-20-2024, 06:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by es-kah-pay View Post

What is the yellowing exactly, it's mold/mildew? There's never been water resting on the walls but that's how you'd expect them to look? If it's just moisture causing it, is that what's expected with normal use of the shower over time?
Yellowing and staining on gelcoat is usually caused by moisture that has some impurities in it. The most obvious and common are the black stains under windows. I'm a little confused by yours because they don't appear to follow that pattern. For that sort of staining I'd expect to see beads of moisture visible.

The staining isn't normal. With normal use and a wipe down after use our walls are unstained.

Ron
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Old 01-20-2024, 07:10 PM   #13
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Well everyone commenting has more experience than I do.

But I once managed a campground that had two dozen fiberglass showers .

I think that your bath room is cool and not enough air circulation in the bath room. The stains are from dirty condensation if you will gathering on your walls.

This is what I would do.

Clean the stains as Ron described.
Figure out a way to keep your bath door cracked so it stays closer to the temp of your trailer.
And run the shower fan twice a week during our real wet weather.

Previous owner of my trailer installed a small block of wood at the corner of the bath door. If I want the door shut while traveling the block flips up and is held by Velcro. But when we are parked the block is down so heat can reach inside bath , thus the bath stays warmer.

I too live in NW ,

I would try this for a month and monitor before tearing into things. Our weather is not going to get any dryer soon.

Air movement can solve a lot of issues. Even if not cooking , your body is venting moisture.
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Old 01-20-2024, 08:47 PM   #14
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Just FYI, in spite of the 'polish' hype, NuFinish has no abrasives (and no "wax" either). Technically it's just a slick synthetic surface sealant, there are others similarly 'safe' for gelcoat.
Just to be clarify, I was referring to the ETI recommended use of VIM to remove stains. It may only be a fine abrasive but with repeated use it will dull the gelcoat.

Ron
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Old 01-20-2024, 09:00 PM   #15
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H20

I'd read that an adult can respire about a quart of water during sleep.
I looked it up, and it appears to be a valid estimate.

See: https://www.thehealthy.com/hydration...edical-expert/

A pound or 2 of water a night. That can add up and be an issue in cold weather with low evaporation, ventilation and air exchange rates.
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Old 01-21-2024, 07:55 AM   #16
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For me that happens to be NuFinish, but whatever.
I haven't used NuFinish on my Escape but it is my preferred polish for my other 2 vehicles. The water does run off them well.
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Old 01-22-2024, 10:51 AM   #17
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Hello es-kah-pay,

So sorry to read that you are having this issue, especially with a new trailer.

I've had my Escape, my first trailer, just over a year, so am still fairly new to all this. However, a few thoughts come to mind.

The pattern you describe seems more like a condensation issue than a leak to me. The shower curtain would trap & hold condensation, so it makes sense that it would have started there. Also, the fact that it now seems to be here & there around the bath rather than in a streak down a wall seems more like condensation than a leak.

When researching trailers, I saw many forum threads & YouTube videos dealing with condensation, so it's a very common problem in many areas. The several days I spent in western Washington after picking up my trailer were very wet & fairly cold. Before getting the condensation under control, a small puddle had developed in one of my dinette benches. When the main cabin space is warm in the trailer, the bath, cabinets, dinette benches, & spaces under the bed or behind cushions are noticeably cooler; these areas need to be monitored during cool damp weather.

Per recommendations of others, I bought 2 thermometers which also show the humidity. Mine are ThermPro from Amazon, but any basic unit will do. You want to keep the humidity below 60%. Someone recommended cracking a window, opening the MaxxFan a bit, & running it on the lowest setting to keep a bit of airflow going anytime the humidity gets high. It makes no sense to me that this would lower the humidity when it's raining outside, but it does.

I don't have a guess as to what the yellowing is & have never found this in my bath. However, I always open the window & run the fan after using the bath until it is completely dry in there. Also, like others, the bath door is never firmly closed except for travel, in order to keep it warm & dry.

A final thought, you mentioned having air flow around your mattress - an excellent idea. You might want to check underneath of it too, as this area often gets moist. There are a couple of products that can be used to keep the mattress a bit off the floor; I've found the Froli system (ordered directly from the company) to work very well.

Just some random thoughts. Wishing you the best with this & all of your Escape adventures!
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Old 01-22-2024, 01:44 PM   #18
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The pattern you describe seems more like a condensation issue than a leak to me.
As is indicated by the horizontal stains where the edge of the medicine cabinet shelves are in close contact with the rear side of the door.

Ron
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Old 01-23-2024, 07:02 PM   #19
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Just curious if there has been any smoking in the trailer. It almost looks like nicotine staining.
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Old 01-23-2024, 07:45 PM   #20
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Smokin' in the bathroom?

You get detentions, for that infraction.
Hard to imagine that much smoke residue so soon. Bacterial? Fungal? Mold?
Something else?
I recall the OP was living in the rig. That's close quarters, whatever the case may be.
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