Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Was RVer’s newly purchased used RV once a meth lab?

We found this on a Facebook group, but felt it was important enough to pass along. The posting went like this:

“There’s a smell in our newly bought camper we got from a con artist. We’ve been trying to fix it. The smell is kinda like glue, it’s so potent causes dry mouth and a weird taste, and dizziness. After working in there for 3-4 hours last night I can barely breathe today. What is this? How do I get rid of it? Already been trying to air it out. Doesn’t seem to be getting rid of it. I need to live in this, so kinda desperate to figure out how to fix it. The smell is kinda a glue like smell, that’s coming from the pass through storage that has water damage.”

One group member suggested that, indeed, its previous life might have been as a meth lab. He passed on a link to a description of the smell of meth as described on the website

Meth often has no smell, but it sometimes has a faint chemical odor. The aroma of meth may resemble nail polish remover, cat urine, rotten eggs or burning plastic. Meth labs frequently emit noxious chemical odors, and exposure to these vapors can cause injury and illness. . . While much of the methamphetamine sold on the streets is trafficked from Mexico, meth is also produced on a smaller scale in the United States by clandestine lab operators, who operate their labs out of homes, sheds, hotel rooms and other locations.

A group member added: “While much of the methamphetamine sold on the streets is trafficked from Mexico, meth is also produced on a smaller scale in the United States by clandestine lab operators, who operate their labs out of homes, sheds, hotel rooms and other locations.”

Many group members recalled the mini-series “Breaking Bad,” where an old Bounder motorhome was used to cook meth.

The lab in the mini-series “Breaking Bad”

Another group member wrote: “Uhhh if it smells like moth balls you could have bought a camper someone was cooking meth in. You don’t save that camper, you escape it. Quick. And then burn it. If you’re feeling that sick it can permanently damage your lungs. Don’t go back in there. Period.”

The website Spaulding Decon explains what to do if you find out your home was used to cook meth. The same advice applies to RVs:

You should evacuate the premises in order to preserve your health and think about forming a plan on how to clean drug residue before returning to your home. There are several adverse health effects of living in a house that was previously used as a meth lab. Methamphetamine contains a variety of toxic chemicals that can cause nausea, vomiting, chemical burns, skin rashes, depression, and anxiety. In some severe cases, living in an ex meth lab house can cause chronic infections that can lead to death if not treated immediately.

Our own advice is no matter what the foul smell, have it inspected professionally. The smell may be harmless, or it may be very dangerous. Do not take chances.



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10 days ago

Sounds like what I smell and how I feel during a day of looking at RVs at a show! Formaldehyde?

This is a Facebook post…with speculation as to source of the odor. RVTravel is correct that it should be taken to some place that tests air to see what’s in it. If it’s coming from the basement it would seem odd that it was from meth cooking that would happen on the stove in the main living area. Wouldn’t that smell be embedded in the fabrics up there?

9 days ago
Reply to  Spike

The owners described the smell as being like glue, mentions that it’s in the storage area, and says that there is water damage. All of the rest is pure speculation on the part of commenters on Facebook and others. The introduction of a bogeyman “con artist” add to the fun.

There seems to be nothing but speculation to suggest use as a meth lab. Shame on the buyer for buying it, and shame on RVTravel for fueling the flames of panic based on nothing substantive.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
9 days ago
Reply to  Bob_B

Hi, Bob. Whether based on speculation or fact, that trailer sounds like a health hazard no matter what the cause. Also, Caveat emptor aka Buyer beware is always a smart policy. We are not “fueling the flames of panic based on nothing substantive.” We’re just reminding our readers who are in the market for a used RV to be cautious. Have a great day. 🙂 –Diane

9 days ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Diane, being cautious when buying a used RV is always a good idea. A combination of a glue smell and suspected water damage is a red flag and a reason to consider walking away. But your sensationalized headline based on speculation is just that, and not up to your normal standards.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
8 days ago
Reply to  Bob_B

Well, I didn’t write it. But it’s still something to consider, since it is a possibility. And I would suspect it’s more of a possibility every day, considering the increase in drug usage these days. Very sad. Have a good evening/night. 🙂 –Diane

Uncle Swags
10 days ago

I never thought my first comment would be so prophetic.

Tommy Molnar
10 days ago

Wow! Life is simply getting scarier every day.

9 days ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

It is sad isn’t it Tommy! Except for the way women were when I was growing up (only nurses or secretaries or teachers – NO professional women 1950s-1960s) I wish we could go back. Maybe it was just because we had no INSTANT knowledge of the bad stuff. I don’t know. I just wish people were nicer to each other again!

Tommy Molnar
9 days ago
Reply to  Lindalee

I think you hit the nail on the head Lindalee. Ever since CNN and 24 hour news access came along, we’ve been swathed in bad news. Good news doesn’t ‘sell’. Now we’re better off not watching or listening to ANY news. It keeps your blood pressure low(er).

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