Do pop up campers smell? (5 reasons why)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Do pop up campers smell? We will discuss possible reasons why your pop up camper may smell bad, and tell you how to prevent any bad odours from your camper. 

Do pop up campers smell?

No, pop up campers do not generally smell bad. If there is an unpleasant odour in your camper, check the following:

  • Is there any leftover food that has gotten bad perhaps?
  • Do you regularly smoke in your camper? 
  • Is there any water damage in the pop-up camper? 
  • When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your pop-up camper (interior and exterior)? 

What to do if my pop up camper smells bad?

If your pop up camper smells really bad, the best thing you can do is clean it. Ideal for cleaning and eliminating odours on board motorhomes and caravans, vinegar disinfects and removes limescale and is therefore ideal for cleaning sanitary facilities, the kitchen unit, but also the refrigerator. 

Wiping down the walls of the refrigerator with vinegar also prevents the formation of frost. However, rubber and silicone gaskets should not be cleaned with vinegar, as this may become porous.

If not suitable for cleaning, baking powder and freshly ground coffee are excellent deodorants to place on board the vehicle in cups. They also absorb excess moisture to a certain extent. It is also possible to distribute the ground coffee directly on the belts, but the beans will of course have to be vacuumed afterwards. 

Sometimes pop up campers smell because of mould and mildew

What many pop-up campers owners deal with is the smell of mould and mildew. Pop up campers are not waterproof and in time, water damage can lead to mould and mildew, which do smell pretty bad. 

Mold is greedy for moisture and organic materials, that is elements that we expel when we wash and are absorbed by the concrete when we wash ourselves and we practically splash water everywhere. Just a little forethought and dry the “flooded” area 🙂 and open the windows a little to ventilate the room, so that the air returns to its equilibrium and consequently reaches the correct humidity level

First we need to understand where it came from and understand how to get rid of mold.

If the cause of its occurrence is water infiltration we must immediately rely on an expert before moving on to do-it-yourself actions. 

If, on the other hand, the cause is as mentioned above due to an aeration problem, then in addition to the precautions previously mentioned, there are some effective remedies that you can immediately implement.

Other questions you may be interested in

Do you store a pop-top caravan with the top up or down?

Are pop top caravans good?

Do pop up campers stay cool in summer?

Do-it-yourself detergent to get rid of mould in your pop-up camper

For this intervention, you will need:

  • 650 ml of water
  • 1 tablespoon of 40/40 vol. Hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 and a half tablespoons of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of fine salt
  1. Equip yourself with a spray bottle with a capacity of at least 1 liter, dissolve everything in the water and shake before use. The anti-mold solution is ready to be sprayed on our tiles, mainly in the joints. Rub well the areas attacked by mold to eradicate it and make the area clean again. Remember to keep the windows open, so that the area can dry well.
  1. If you have also used this procedure for the walls, it will be advisable to re-paint them in order to refurbish them and still have a uniform colour. In this case, it is advisable to choose an anti-mould paint, therefore not to eradicate it but to prevent it. Here, too, we remind you that you can use the help of a Tabbider to solve your need.

Simple ways to eliminate a bad smell from your pop up camper

Below we share more tips to help you get rid of bad odours from your camper once and for all. Read them carefully and take notes!

  1. Let the fresh air in. If the musty smell has permeated the whole caravan, even in winter, do not hesitate to ventilate it by opening the windows wide and making drafts! If even doing these drafts, this is probably not enough; it is a humidity problem. And the humidity that causes this smell is very unhealthy.
  1. Use a mix of water, baking soda, lemon juice and essential oil. Spray rooms with a mixture of hot water mixed with a tablespoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of lemon juice and 3 drops of lemon essential oil. This solution will also have the advantage of acting as a disinfectant.
  1. Try a mix of hot water, vinegar and alcohol. Spray then let dry a mixture consisting of a teaspoon of hot water, another cup of white vinegar and a tablespoon of 70 ° alcohol.
  1. Vinegar is your ally. Mask the musty smell of a house or apartment by spraying pure white vinegar on the carpet or rugs and curtains. Close the windows for at least an hour and then ventilate.
  1. Try bicarbonate. If the stale problem is minor, sprinkle baking soda on the rugs or rugs widely. Leave the baking soda to act overnight. Vacuum in the morning.
  1. Use an odour absorber in a pot. Place the odour absorber jar near the source of the bad odour, remove the cover and let it act and the odour will dissipate. The odour absorber, an ecological product, works by evaporation and is effective for 4 to 6 weeks.

If the problem persists, it will be necessary either to equip the house with an atmosphere purifier or a dehumidifier. It could also be a moisture problem.


To prevent a bad smell in a pop-up camper, it is important to clean it properly.  Start by vacuuming all the dust from the cabin, whether it is on the floor but also on furniture, window sills, seats, sofas. Repeat this process by wiping with a damp microfiber cloth to remove all of the still stubborn dust! You can add a few drops of essential oils to your cloth to leave a good room scent on your furniture.

Do you have any tips or questions on how to get rid of a bad smell in a pop-up camper? Please feel free to share your thoughts with our other readers!

FAQ on Do pop up campers smell?

How to remove the musty smell in a camper?

To remove the musty smell in a camper, use a saucer filled with lemon juice and baking soda. Regularly refresh the air in your camper and clean it as often as possible. 

How to perfume your camper for a long time?

To perfume your camper for a long time, use a  natural sanitizing spray. In a spray bottle, mix 500 millilitres of water, the juice of one lemon and a tablespoon of baking soda. Shake and spray around the house. This natural product cleans the air, rids it of bad odours and perfumes your interior at the same time.

How do you get a bad smell out of a camper?

The simplest solution to get a bad smell out of a camper is to clean it thoroughly with vinegar.  Ideal for cleaning and eliminating odours on board motorhomes and caravans, the vinegar disinfects and removes limescale and is therefore ideal for cleaning sanitary facilities, the kitchen unit, but also the refrigerator. 


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