vintage camper trailer restoration cleaning

How to Safely Clean Out Your Vintage Trailer Find; The Essential Guide

how to safely clean out your vintage camper

My friend towed the Shasta to my house today. I'm lucky in many ways!

1. Front door delivery is GREAT!

2. The Shasta made it 30 miles on its current tires. They held air so we took a gamble!

3. Lucky to have great friends.

Here's Greg sitting at the dinette. I can't believe he'd touch anything in that camper! Eeeww!

Now to clean it out and access what needs to be done!

AQ phone 7-6-16 139
AQ phone 7-6-16 138

My friend, Greg backed the camper into the side yard and unhitched. Now I had an opportunity to inspect the camper more closely, (Remember the last time I saw it, it was in the middle of a field.) As he opened the outside cargo hatch something caught my eye...A MOUSE!!! And it was living in the camper... and traveled 30 miles...and...and...and...It must go! Fist order of business...evict the current tenants!!!

cargo door

Now the real work/fun begins.

Side Note: This is when you need to start taking photos. It's important to document how things are put together AND how you took them apart. I can't emphasize this enough. Take pics of EVERYTHING! Take them from every angle and every stage.

Ok, here's what you'll need to be safe and healthy.

1. Safety Glasses

2. Work gloves (latex, leather or any work glove will do)

3. Respirator or dust mask. I used the dust mask this day but use a respirator when painting.

4. Bleach/water solution in a spray bottle. (1 part bleach to 10 parts water.)

5. Trash bags

wear a respirator


After a thorough inspection, it's clear to see that my gem is in rough shape; The subfloor is rotten, the walls are crumbling and the smell....oh the smell!

1. Open up all the windows and door and let the camper air out for 30 minutes.

2. Clear out all the trash and put in the trash bags.

3. Spray the bleach/water solution on any droppings you find. Let soak for 5 minutes and clean with paper towels or disposable rags. You can use a wet/dry shop vac for the job just remember that you'll want to clean it out with the bleach/water solution and replace the filter.

4. Clean any surfaces with the bleach/water solution.

Princess propane stove

5. Seal up the trash bags to prevent dust and particles from escaping.

For detailed instructions on rodent clean/up, you can check out the CDC website.
https://www.cdc.gov/rodents/cleaning/index.html

Here are some photos of my cleaning experience. I found several nests. Mice had pulled the stuffing out of the seats and used them to build little cozy homes. (And probably had their babies on them as well. GROSS!) For that reason, I knew I was going to have to replace all the fabric, vinyl and anything else that had a porous surface that bacteria could live on.

Large nest filled with droppings and seeds above the ice box

Mice droppings were everywhere!

The battery compartment. Rotten wood and mildew.

On another sad note...There's not one piece of paneling that is salvageable. Next order of business...DEMOLITION!

And she needs a name!

kiss and signature

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