About ToxicTrailers.com

ToxicTrailers.com was launched after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when the government spent more than $2 billion on FEMA trailers with high levels of formaldehyde that sickened thousands of people. The FEMA trailer tragedy exposed what is a widespread problem in RVs, mobile homes, modular buildings and even conventional buildings that use pressed wood products. Unfortunately, as we approach the tenth anniversary of Katrina, formaldehyde regulations are not being enforced in the U.S., and people's health is at risk. If you are having burning eyes, congestion, sore throat, coughing, breathing difficulties, frequent sinus infections or rashes, and difficulties concentrating, you may have a formaldehyde problem. For questions or to share your story, write 4becky@cox.net.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

1999 5th wheel tests over the limit for formaldehyde

My husband and I purchased a 1999 Cameo Carriage 5th wheel last summer. We noticed a pungent odor when we first stepped into the coach but dismissed it as a "new camper smell" even though the RV was six years old. We soon found out that this odor permeated sealed food and anything that was in the camper for more than a few hours. We opened a new bag of chips that had been in the pantry overnight and it tasted like this strange odor. The smell would not come out of Tupperware when run through a dishwasher on the hottest level.

In the meantime, my "allergies" went into overdrive. Burning eyes and throat, sneezing, and wheezing. Not horrible, but annoying. I decided to call the Carriage company, and the customer service agent flatly denied ever using formaldehyde in any of their coaches. We couldn't believe that the odor was anything else, so we tested for formaldehyde and the level was .11 ppm. Not that high, but high enough to cause problems.

I called Carriage back and informed the same representative of the test results, and he told me to pursue it if I want to but there is nothing more to be said or done on their end.

For now, I am going to re-test for formaldehyde to double check the results. I am also letting a dry water bottle sit for a couple of days in the RV, capping it, and sending it to Advanced Chemicals, where the formaldehyde test kit was received.

I'd love to hear if anyone else has had similar problems. I spoke with an RV dealer for another company and he basically said, "Get over it. They're all made with formaldehyde. Just open your windows." Now, isn't that a nice solution? *sigh*

Tami Schmidt (Ohio)
tschmidt@udata.com