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Old 04-22-2010, 08:44 PM   #1
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Stinky!!!!

Hey Guys,

About 2 years ago, in preparation for possible early retirement, we purchased a 1999 FDS, and love it.

BUT: occasionally, we get a horrible smell wafting in from the rear of the coach while under way- not sure if black or gray origin (because I understand that grey can stink as well). But it must be addressed. My question, being a newbie to both Class A's and Alpines: Must one dump each time before hitting the road, or is something wrong with my venting? We use chemicals, etc, but still get horrible smells occasionally while under way-even after dumping and flushing a day or so before.

Also, occasionally, while using the dash air conditioner (which is ALWAYS in Louisiana), we get a strong diesel smell coming from the A/C vents. Any ideas, guys?

Thanks in advance for any help!
jt
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:52 PM   #2
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Do a search on the issue there is a vacuum brake installed on th waste tank vent that goes bad. This was a hot topic on this forum a few years back. Try the link below.

Smelly Coach!
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:13 PM   #3
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We installed rotating vanes on both tank vents - haven't had any problems since then.

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Old 04-22-2010, 10:14 PM   #4
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cajunjohn,

If the smell is from the gray tank, it is likely due to one or more sink traps becoming dry. Apparently, the sink traps can get dry when you drain the gray tank, through a siphoning action. Try running water in each sink before you depart, so that the traps have water in them.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:51 PM   #5
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One thing we do, because we have received a rotten egg/Hydrogen Sulfide smell from the gray tanks while underway, is to put about 1/2 cup of bleach into the grey water tank via both sinks, then flush with about a quart of water in each sink, after we dump the tanks. The bleach kills the odor for us. We would put on the rotating vents on the tanks but have not gotten around to it because of other issues. So as an interim, solution, try some bleach in the grey water tank, assuming you're using tank deodorant in the black water tank. (learned the bleach trick from Gary Arnold and have been using it for two years!)
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:47 PM   #6
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All good thoughts posted. Before we get underweigh from a camp site, I always pour a couple cups of water down the washing machine drain...this one is often forgotten by folks. It is the only drain that doesn't get used regularly and the water in the trap has evaporated or sloshed out, allowing the smell to eek through. After storage, on our first trip for the season, I do the same for all drains. Seems to work and the only time we get the odor is when I haven't dumped and we go through winding mountain roads, causing water to slosh out of the drain traps.
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:14 PM   #7
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We had the same problem until visiting Guaranty last fall. The odor was so bad it was embarrassing. You could smell this critter from 100 feet away. In fact, while Susan was following in the Liberty from Eugene to Junction City she was picking up the smell in her air condition system – now that’s BAAAAD!! Guaranty thought it was the vacuum brakes, and changed them out, no improvement. It turned out that however WRV fastened the tank vent pipes to the roof outlets they didn’t do a very good job, or never did have them secured properly. Both vents were connected and secured, no more problem.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:03 PM   #8
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All - Usually there is a vacuum breaker on the downstream side of the trap on the bathroom sink. I have never heard of them going bad, but I guess anything is possible. We usually dump our black water tank if we have 40 gallons or more in it, otherwise we take it to the next campground, unless we have been at that place for 4 days or more, then we dump it regardless.

Sometimes, a hot water heater will give you a rotten order or build up hydrogen gas, to rid that you first must run some water through the unit to purge the gas and then sanatize your water fresh water system with 1/4 cup bleach for every 15 gallons of fresh water tank capacity you have. Leave it in for 3-4 hours then flush with fresh water running all the sinks/shower/toilets so the mixture gets into all those lines.

I have never had the smell you describe but as mentioned I re-treat the toilet and then wash my hands which must replace the trap water in the bathroom sink so the odor does not come up.

Let us know what the actual issue is.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:17 PM   #9
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MTCW:

I recently read to not use bleach as it kills the bacterial action in the tank. I, myself just added the rotating vent attachments and keep water in the traps. I've not had to use chemicals since.

The only time I had an issue was when I left the ceiling vent partially open and created a vacuum in the moving coach. It seemed to suck the smell in from somewhere (seemed like the gray tank smell).

On the issue of diesel in the AC vents, now that always happens to me when I fill (overfill) the tank at fuel-up. I've found that diesel gets sucked up the vent tube and soaks the area around the fill tube and then splatters on the side of the coach. Now I quit fueling when it first kicks off (assuming it's close to full, not just feeding back pressure, mid-full). Cummins Cal Pacific looked at it and felt the vent tube easily picked up sloshing fuel and was not re-routable. I may re-look at that, since they are not necessarily a reliable source of information.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:42 PM   #10
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In working on steering I've found many coaches have the DS diesel vent line drooping to the side or even under the fill tube. This can easily get a burp of fuel caught in it and cause slow fill condition or the pushing out of fuel past the fill cap (when over full) as discussed above. You can easily cut the tape (if so equipped) and manually rotate the vent tube around to the top of the fill tube (if you removed tape and the vent line needs more support take a coupla zip ties w/you on this spelunking trip). This vent tube orientation should fill fastest and help prevent pressure problems from affecting fuel flow.
Won't correct a too-full tank, but a short trip to Mexico will in most cases.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:25 PM   #11
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When I pull in to fuel I always raise the front of the coach. This allowes the fuel to run down hill & I get to fill the tank easier. Bill H.
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Old 05-17-2010, 12:27 AM   #12
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Wild:

You drop your jacks at the fuel station? Never thought of that, but there always seems to be people waiting behind me that would probably come unglued to see my jacks down. Please elucidate.
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Old 05-17-2010, 01:33 AM   #13
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The one time I overfilled the fuel tank, My guage went from full to empty until I used enough fuel out of the tank then it worked fine.

With the price of fuel well over 3.00 we are going to limit our trips now, plus I have a ton of repairs and maintenance to do on the beasty.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:54 AM   #14
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Monty: It sounds to me your float gauge in your tank is set to high & going past the resistor windings on the sending unit which will cause an open circuit. As your float drops down it then makes contact with the windings & it starts working. Its all in the adjustment of the sender. What I do is remove the sender, setting it at the mounting hole, adjust the high & low stops, Then adjustthe float, by bending the arm to reach the top of the tank & to go to within an 2" of the bottom of the tank. This will give a little extra fuel in the tank when the gauge reads empty. Bill 04 40' MDTS 04 PT GT EP
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