Pictures are great, they convey so much information. The one at right is from the add on Craigslist for Taj. Everything looks pretty clean and upon arrival at the car lot, it was obvious they had just had it all detailed(not very well). I was picking up a very slight odor though but it wasn't enough to throw me off a deal like this so I looked further. I started noticing little white hairs sticking out of the fabric panels on the walls. I quickly realized that the faint smell I was detecting was from the previous owner's dog. Still not enough to change my mind so I went ahead and made the deal. The drive took an hour to get back to my Dad's place and the closer I was, the more I noticed the smell. This had to be the first thing corrected. It wasn't terrible, but it was there and it would definitely get to me. I am pretty picky about my air quality and truthfully, I have to be.
Within the first week of owning her, I took the rear lounge apart, took all the cushions out and noticed that the smell seemed to leave with them. Upon further inspection of those cushions, I found the padding inside them was stained and in need of replacement. I know a new set of cushions from Roadtrek would be over a grand so I started talking to local upholstery shops and eventually ended up going to the one my sister Lisa recommended. The covers were fine and after a trip through the washer and dryer came out quite nice.
The new foam as you can see is dual density in the exact dimensions of the originals. The total cost to have these made was $480 which was very much due to the price of crude oil at the time.(over $120 per barrel) The labor of cutting and gluing was only $130 of that total price. Putting the covers back on was a little challenging, but it all worked out and smelled so much better!
The next part of this dog smell removal project involved getting the little hairs that were hiding all over out of the van. I pulled every cover and panel where hair could hide and vacuumed it out. Getting it out of the knit wall panels was accomplished with a lot of patience, the help of a friend, "twokniveskatie", and the sticky side of duct tape. After the hair was gone, I sprayed the wall panels with enzyme based organic odor remover for pets. It has a very light citrus smell, but faded quickly. Now there is no smell at all from the back. The air is fresh and Taj is a much more pleasant place to be.