Mold In Camper Walls: How To Get Rid Of Mold In an RV (Guide)

When you spot mold growing in your RV, there is nothing you can do but get rid of the unwanted guest ASAP. Depending on the variety, having mold grow in your camper is not healthy for family members or pets. It is going to cost to get rid of this unwanted guest.

One method of getting rid of mold involves 3 steps. You need to dry your camper out, clean up any mold you find, and then seal up any leaks that allowed moisture in and fed that mold. It is a tough duty to perform but it needs to be done.

To learn more about mold removal from RVs and trailers, just continue to read our article. It provides the information you need to know about so you can tackle this health problem quickly and efficiently. Once you spot mold, you need to kill it right away.

What Causes Mold in a Camper?


The source of mold is very simple. The air is full of mold spores and these spores are fairly harmless until they find a place to make a home and be fed. They can make a home on a variety of organic materials- Paper, Cloth, Wood, Plant material, and Soil.

Wood is one of mold’s favorite food sources and homes. Then to help mold grow, all it takes is a little moisture. The source of this moisture can be condensation or a leak somewhere in your roof or exterior walls.

What makes mold in your RV or trailer so dangerous, is that you may not see it until a very large colony has grown behind those walls. It is a silent adversary that goes about its business without fanfare or notice.

This is why you need to keep a close eye on your door, windows, vents, and other seals. These items can get a little pin prick of a hole and that is all mold needs to get a home and fed. Once the seal is broken, mold can grow just about anywhere inside your RV, etc.

Make routine checks of your seals, to make sure that they are not losing their protective nature.

Is Mold in a Camper Dangerous?

This will depend on the strain of mold that has invaded your camper or RV. There are different types of mold fungus and each type brings its own hazardous elements with it.

The majority of mold types usually bring respiratory illnesses and those can compromise your health if you are not careful. Chaetomium mold is one of these types and it loves water damage.

If you see water stains, or rotted wood in your camper, chances are this is the type of mold you will find on that damage. Black mold is another type of mold that brings breathing issues to your family members or you.

This is the most common mold type you will see but being common does not make it safe. Aspergillus mold is the type you may see if you store your RV in a humid area without ventilation. It is powerful enough to cause lung infections in people with weak immune systems.

Fusarium mold can cause eye infections but this illness is rare. It can grow on plants or soil. Then there is Alternaria mold which can grow anywhere in your RV or camper. It is more of an allergy trigger than anything else but that does not make it safe to keep around.

The health risks you may find will depend on the type of mold you have growing in your RV or camper. But do not let any colony slide. As soon as you spot it, take care of it so it does not harm your immune system or your health.

What Does Mold in a Camper Smell Like?

This will depend on the type of mold you have growing in your camper. But most people are more worried about the color than the smell. In general, mold growth will send out a musty and foul odor.

Your nose will pick the scent up fairly quickly if you have a large mold colony growing somewhere in your camper. And you will smell the mold long before you see it growing.

Mold can grow just about anywhere given a nice home and a consistent food source. Humidity, excess moisture, and water leaks all contribute to feeding the mold that is growing in your camper.

The colors identify the type of mold you have in your RV and those colors will also tell you the severity of the health risk you and your family face. Knowing the different types of colors and where each mold likes to grow goes a long way in forming a defense against mold growth.

Once you learn the colors for each mold group, you stand a better chance of finding the source and eliminating the mold.

Mold in Camper Walls

The first thing you need to know about this or any mold situation is that mold in RVs or campers is very common. If you have not kept up the maintenance on your RV or trailer, chances are you have a serious mold problem. You just may not see it.

When the mold gets into the walls, you know two things. One, it is going to be costly to remove the mold and two you have a leak somewhere. That leak can be anywhere along the roof, in the seals, or in other places.

Or you do not even need a leak. If you camp in cooler, more moist areas of the country, condensation can form with the help of insulation and other elements, and create a very welcoming environment for mold.

The biggest problem with mold in your camper’s walls is that you may not see it for months. The mold is happy growing beneath or behind walls or ceilings and by the time you do see it, you may have a very large area to clean or replace.

Mold in Camper Slide Out


This is a tricky spot to get and remove mold. Slide-outs are notorious for contracting mold colonies even though there may not be a lot of wood in the slide-out. But too much moisture, water leaks, and exposure to the elements provide the right ingredients for mold to grow.

Removing mold is going to be a lot harder due to the mechanisms and electrical wiring that are underneath or on top of the slide-out. Usually, you have to end up spraying a mold-killing solution to get those smaller nooks and crannies underneath your slide-out.

Some favorite mold-killing solutions will be vinegar and water, bleach and water, or some commercially made mold-killing products. Then you need to be thorough when spraying these mixtures. Just be careful not to damage the electrical and mechanical elements of your slide-out.

Mold on The Camper Floor

This is another favorite mold-growing area. That is because there are plenty of spaces for the mold to hide. By the time you spot the mold invasion, you may have to change your carpets, your sub-flooring, and any other wood item attached to the area.

This can be expensive so make sure to use your nose as you will smell the mold long before you see it. Mold will grow silently and it will be the result of the same sources that cause mold in your walls, slide-outs, and roof.

The areas you need to pay particular attention to will be your kitchen drain and faucet, bathroom fixtures and drains, as well as your plumbing. If these spring a leak, then you can bet you will get mold soon after.

Look for broken valves, plumbing connections, leaks in your holding tanks, and so on. As long as there is excess moisture, you will find mold somewhere. Use the best mold-killing products possible. Just be careful to keep your pets away from the treated areas until it is safe.

Mold in The Camper Bathroom

A very popular mold-growing spot. There is so much humidity, condensation, and excess moisture in the bathroom that you would be lucky not to find mold growing somewhere in the bathroom.

Like all other rooms in your camper, you won’t see the mold until it is a very big colony. You will need a good vent fan to help fight off the mold in this room. If it is not moving the steam and moisture fairly quickly, then you need a stronger vent fan.

Mold can grow in the ducting system, in the fan area, behind your shower, underneath your toilet, behind the mirror, and many other places. In most cases, to get rid of the mold, you have to remove walls, showers, and toilets, and even replace the sub-flooring.

It will take more than just mold-killing products to get rid of any mold in this room. Those products will just be the start depending on the damage to the woodwork. The longer the wood grows, the bigger your repair bill gets.

Black Mold in an RV

This type of mold is called Stachybotrys chartarum and it is usually the most common type of mold you will find in your RV or camper. However, the color of this type of mold will range and not always be black.

The colors you will find this type of mold in are- dark grey to green, to reddish-brown, to black. However, if you catch it in time and there is only a small growth in your camper, then you should not experience any physical ailments.

But if the growth is large, then expect to suffer from a variety of respiratory issues especially if you have a weak immune system. Some of the better known hiding places for this type of mold will be under your mattresses, behind drawers, behind the walls, and more locations.

This type of mold will grow in very humid conditions when there is no airflow. The usual mold-killing products like vinegar, bleach, and commercial products will handle this mold type with ease.

White Mold in a Camper


This may be the Aspergillus mold type. It may not be the only mold type to display itself in a white color but it is the only one on our list at present. It is said that people can tolerate this mold if it is not in heavy concentrations.

With that said, this is still a health risk type of mold. If you breathe in the spores, you can get lung and sinus infections if not treated right away. Also, this mold does not remain white. It starts off as yellow or whitish color and as it grows, it then turns black with a light undercoating.

This is the type of mold that will blanket your RV if you do not store it very well or seal it up on a humid day. To prevent this mold from growing you need good ventilation to move the humid air away from your camper.

It is not a super mold type so the usual sprays and products mentioned earlier will kill this mold

How To Get Rid Of Mold in an RV

This will depend on the severity of the infestation. If the colony is small and not that heavy, then vinegar, water, and other ingredients should take care of most mold types.

If you do not want to use your vinegar supply, then you can always mix bleach and water, heavier on the bleach than the water. The drawback to using this option is that bleach will ruin just about anything it touches including the mold.

Then you can use one of the many mold-killing products on the market today. These products are specially formulated to protect your RV while killing the mold. You can search your store for the right one for your RV living situation.

Just pay special attention to the instructions and any information on pets. Of course, you will need to test the mold in your RV and there are special mold kits that help you do that.

Not all mold kits are made the same so be careful when you go shopping for one. These instructions are for mild cases of mold. More severe cases will be discussed in the next section.

RV Mold Removal

Mold removal is not always going to be fun, easy, or even quick. It all depends on the severity of the colony and sometimes, those colonies get too big for standard mold-killing products.

You can use those products as a first step in the process of mold removal but it won’t be the last step. Killing the mold is essential in mold removal. You want to get rid of the spores before they fly off and land somewhere else.

That means sealing the room prior to spraying the spores. You will need some protective equipment including breathing masks to protect your lungs from any spores in the air.

When you go to kill the mold you can use the following items:

- Vinegar

- Tea tree oil

- Hydrogen peroxide

- Baking soda

- Distilled ethanol

- Grapefruit seed extract

- Borax

- Bleach

But that is only going to kill the spores. The damage to the wood frame, joists, studs, and sub-flooring may be extensive. This means you have to replace the carpet or other flooring material, the studs, joists, or plywood

This gets costly and time-consuming. But it is the only way to get rid of the mold in your RV if the colony is very large. Tearing out walls is not unheard of in this process but again, it has to be a very large colony to do that.

How To Clean Mold in a Camper

This will depend on where it is. If it is on an open surface that is easy to see, then any one of the mold-killing products mentioned above will get rid of the mold. You can try vacuuming the mold spores after spraying them.

This step will help contain the mold and make sure they do not spread around your RV. For the most part, you will have to use a lot of elbow grease to get rid of the mold. You want to spray the mold killer on the bacteria and wait for about 30 minutes for the mold killer to work.

After that, you just clean like you normally would. Make sure to get all the mold so it cannot regrow or provide a good home for new spores. The most important part of cleaning mold is prevention.

The more you do to prevent mold in the first place, will help your cleaning efforts after you spot the mold growth.

What Kills Mold in a Camper


Dry air is one of the best ways to kill mold before it gets a foothold in your RV. One of the ways to keep dryer air in your RV is to use a dehumidifier. These units may be small but they are very effective in removing the excess moisture that helps mold to grow.

Also, you can mix ammonia and water, vinegar and water, bleach, and water, but never any two chemicals in the same batch. These chemicals are excellent mold killers.

Then you can alter the ph balance in the area by using Borax or baking soda. These two items will either kill or slow the mold growth. Then there are some excellent commercially-made mold-killing products.

Just make sure to follow the instructions to get rid of the mold in your RV. In all cases, keep your pets from the treated areas until it is safe for them to return and explore those rooms.

How To Prevent Mold in a Camper

This is not an impossible task but sometimes it can get close to it. The first thing to do when you are not using your RV is to store it in a place with a cover that blocks moisture but allows good ventilation.

The second option would be to run exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen area. You want to get rid of any steam or humidity from the area so mold has no food to grow.

Next, use good air flow to dry out any condensation that may occur. Open windows or doors so that you get a good breeze running through your camper or RV. If you do not want to open the windows, then run a fan for the same effect.

If you want an electrical device to help you, then buy a dehumidifier. These can get small enough to fit in your bathroom to help clean out that excess moisture. Finally, just wipe down wet areas.

Will Insurance Cover Mold in The Camper?

The answer will not make you happy. No, insurance does not cover mold damage. Nor will it cover damage due to rot or fungi. This is not considered an insurance problem. The reason insurance will not cover mold damage is that it is hard to pinpoint the source of the mold and if it could have been prevented.

There is one exception to this stand though. If the mold damage came from some element in your RV or trailer that is covered by your insurance, then most likely you will be covered for mold damage.

Or you can buy a mold add-on that will cover you for mold damage. It all depends on your insurance company and what they will deem to be insurable.

Some Additional Words

Mold is usually up to the RV or camper owner to take care of. Generally, mold can appear because the owner of the RV, etc., did not do their due diligence and do good maintenance, watch those seals or take preventive steps to stop mold before it starts.

That source for mold stops insurance companies from providing any mold coverage for your RV or trailer. There will be exceptions of course but read the fine print in the policy and talk to your insurance agent to be sure.

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