Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Tiffin Motorhomes Owners Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-27-2017, 11:37 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
IFlyABus's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 205
Grey tank smell from washing machine

So I am parked with both grey and black tanks open. No dumping, therefore no suction, so the P-trap should be staying full. But occasionally, we get a nasty grey tank smell coming from the washing machine closet. The washing machine wasn't recently run (last time it happened, we ran the washer the day prior), then for no apparent reason, we get the smell in the middle of the next day.

I am at a loss. When it happens, I pour water into the washer then run a quick drain cycle to ensure the p-trap is full of water. After a while, with the vent fans on, the smell is gone. But... WHY? What can be causing this to happen?
__________________

__________________
2009 Allegro Bus 43QRP w/ Cat C9 engine & PowerGlide Chassis
IFlyABus is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-27-2017, 11:48 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Forkyfork's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 544
If you leave the black tank open to drain continuously you are actually creating a problem that is very challenging to overcome. A giant poop and toilet paper pyramid that will thwart all efforts you give trying to get it to go away.

Probably the reason you are getting stunk out is your open connection to the sewer when everyone is dumping their load heading out at the end of their stay. It could be gassing back into your rig. There arent just p-traps there are vents under the sink and probably a vent for the trap for the washer. It could just be coincidence related to using the washer.

If its washer funk you might need to pull the pump trap and clean a stray sock out of it and leave the washer door open so it air dries or it will get funky too. It could even be leaking awaking some water activated funk when it saturates the floor or carpet.
__________________

__________________
Forkyfork is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 12:01 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
IFlyABus's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 205
Thanks, but we don't put toilet paper in the black tank, and we flush with plenty of water. And the odor has nothing to do with black, it's a grey tank issue. While I am relatively new to full-time RVing, I know people who have been doing it for years and keep their tanks open all year except when it gets below freezing, and they have never experienced the poo-pile that some claim will happen.

We are connected to a city sewer connection, so no one is doing more than flushing their toilets daily. Yet this issue happens randomly; sometimes we go a week without the smell, sometimes it happens with only a couple of says in between.

We always leave the door open for a couple of hours after washing to help with moisture removal. It's not washer funk (I clean the rubber seal with vinegar on a regular basis). If it was, the door being open would make it worse. No, this happens when everything is closed up, and there has been no smell for hours (days). It's almost like something is sucking the washing machine p-trap dry, thereby allowing gases to enter the RV. But what that something is, I don't know.

Thanks for the response!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forkyfork View Post
If you leave the black tank open to drain continuously you are actually creating a problem that is very challenging to overcome. A giant poop and toilet paper pyramid that will thwart all efforts you give trying to get it to go away.

Probably the reason you are getting stunk out is your open connection to the sewer when everyone is dumping their load heading out at the end of their stay. It could be gassing back into your rig. There arent just p-traps there are vents under the sink and probably a vent for the trap for the washer. It could just be coincidence related to using the washer.

If its washer funk you might need to pull the pump trap and clean a stray sock out of it and leave the washer door open so it air dries or it will get funky too. It could even be leaking awaking some water activated funk when it saturates the floor or carpet.
__________________
2009 Allegro Bus 43QRP w/ Cat C9 engine & PowerGlide Chassis
IFlyABus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 05:29 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Ranger Smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Where the Rig is Parked
Posts: 919
Quote:
Originally Posted by IFlyABus View Post
Thanks, but we don't put toilet paper in the black tank, and we flush with plenty of water. And the odor has nothing to do with black, it's a grey tank issue. While I am relatively new to full-time RVing, I know people who have been doing it for years and keep their tanks open all year except when it gets below freezing, and they have never experienced the poo-pile that some claim will happen.

We are connected to a city sewer connection, so no one is doing more than flushing their toilets daily. Yet this issue happens randomly; sometimes we go a week without the smell, sometimes it happens with only a couple of says in between.

We always leave the door open for a couple of hours after washing to help with moisture removal. It's not washer funk (I clean the rubber seal with vinegar on a regular basis). If it was, the door being open would make it worse. No, this happens when everything is closed up, and there has been no smell for hours (days). It's almost like something is sucking the washing machine p-trap dry, thereby allowing gases to enter the RV. But what that something is, I don't know.

Thanks for the response!
Ask for advise then tell poster of the advise why it is wrong?? I too never leave the black tank open when connected to sewer . . . Asking for problems. As for the issue you have I have no idea.
__________________
Steve and Joy
2016 Tiffin Allegro 36LA
Where We Are Now
Ranger Smith is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 08:34 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 2,240
It's pretty simple - you have a P trap behind the washer and it has dried out. Run your washer a bit more often to keep the trap full. The smell will go away.
__________________
Roger & Mary
2017 Winnebago Navion 24V
2014 Tiffin Phaeton 36GH (Sold)
luvlabs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 08:41 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
CJ7365's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 1,510
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
It's pretty simple - you have a P trap behind the washer and it has dried out. Run your washer a bit more often to keep the trap full. The smell will go away.
If you don't run your washer often, just simply get a cup of water and pour down the washer drain, that's what I do before we get ready to roll
__________________
2005 Tiffin Allegro Bay 37DB
W22 Workhorse Chassis 8.1 Flat Towing a 82 Jeep CJ7
CJ7365 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 10:10 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
simonsrf's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 153
You leave the black and grey tanks open, don't flush toilet paper (EWWW) and refuse to listen to people who have more experience than you?

You have a much bigger problem than just an empty p-trap and smell.
__________________
2012 Tiffin Phaeton 36 GH
2013 GMC Sierra SLT 4x4 (flat towed)
simonsrf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 10:40 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
IFlyABus's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 205
Great logic! That's what I would have thought, as well, but we wash at least every three days. And the last time this happened, we had washed laundry the night prior, and the smell just "happened" around noon. Very strong.

I do run some water thru the washer when it happens, assuming that the P-trap is somehow losing water, but for the life of me I can't figure out how.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvlabs View Post
It's pretty simple - you have a P trap behind the washer and it has dried out. Run your washer a bit more often to keep the trap full. The smell will go away.
__________________
2009 Allegro Bus 43QRP w/ Cat C9 engine & PowerGlide Chassis
IFlyABus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 10:49 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
IFlyABus's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 205
I thanked him for his input, twice. Not everyone has the correct solution to any given problem, but it is appreciated when people try to offer ideas. He was trying to help based on what I typed, and perhaps I wasn't clear on all the things we have tried/tested in chasing down this problem, so he was doing his best on the info provided.

As for the black tank open or closed issue, I have read extensively about it. In fact, I kept my tank closed the first 9 months we lived in the RV to avoid the "poo pile". Living in one and using one occasionally makes a difference. The couple who managed our last park have been RVing full time, and they always leave their black tank open unless they are driving. For 20 years. Never had an issue. Caveat emptor, eh? I do know that when I recently had my toilet off to replace a part, a look inside the tank with a light revealed a smooth, black plastic tank with a wet sheen to it. nothing more. (An occasional cleaning with Dawn or SImple Green, coupled with a half-full tank of water and 2-3 bags of ice is helpful too, IMHO).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger Smith View Post
Ask for advise then tell poster of the advise why it is wrong?? I too never leave the black tank open when connected to sewer . . . Asking for problems. As for the issue you have I have no idea.
__________________
2009 Allegro Bus 43QRP w/ Cat C9 engine & PowerGlide Chassis
IFlyABus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 10:50 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Spk64's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Floyds Knobs, In.
Posts: 1,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by IFlyABus View Post
Great logic! That's what I would have thought, as well, but we wash at least every three days. And the last time this happened, we had washed laundry the night prior, and the smell just "happened" around noon. Very strong.

I do run some water thru the washer when it happens, assuming that the P-trap is somehow losing water, but for the life of me I can't figure out how.
I have heard that the drain hose from the washer can sometimes be too long and down in the P trap. With this it can sometimes siphon the P trap enough for odors to escape. Might not be noticble right away.
__________________
Steve
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire 4095
Spk64 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 10:53 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
IFlyABus's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 205
Thanks for the thoughtful post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonsrf View Post
You leave the black and grey tanks open, don't flush toilet paper (EWWW) and refuse to listen to people who have more experience than you?

You have a much bigger problem than just an empty p-trap and smell.
__________________
2009 Allegro Bus 43QRP w/ Cat C9 engine & PowerGlide Chassis
IFlyABus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 11:26 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 7
I'm with the majority. Of course, I don't even leave my grey open. I would rather be sure I have plenty of liquid to flush my sewer hose out.
On my RV, I only have one vent on the roof so, both must use the same hole. Not the way I would do it.
RV Geeks recommend this vent cap and even though I didn't feel I had bad smells, I installed it on my coach for extra peace of mind. Amazon http://a.co/cYa1fmp
The last guy that owned my RV ran his system the same way and nine months later I'm still trying to get my black tank working right. Last time I dumped it is scared me when I saw the junk coming out. I was very worried it was going to plug the hose. I use a clear 45 so I can see whats in the line.
Still working on liquefying the mess. Tank dumps, but always says half full. I believe it still is. I have 8,000 miles on and always make sure I have some liquid in the tanks to slosh around.
RV Geeks have a video on flushing tanks and I have done it once, but it still hasn't been enough to clear my black. I know I don't have that much junk in there when I dump. A regular house toilet uses a big flush to break things up as well as move it down the line. An RV is no where close to that.
Last thing is, where is your washer vent? On my 5th wheel, the washer dumped into the 1/2 bath on the other side of a wall. My wife had an office in the garage (toy hauler) and complained of the smell. We occasionally saw a bit of water run across the floor on a spin cycle. I opened up the panel under the sink and from what I can tell all the vents for the traps, I had one by every sink on my Vengeance, were put in with the same height stack, which made this one the lowest. So, I must have been near max on my grey and it pushed out the vent, or the washer had enough force to push out the vent. It has a rubber stopper/flap that I don't trust for much.
In conclusion, I opened the belly of the camper and removed all the soaked fiberglass insulation. Dried it out. Replaced it. Re-taped it and extended the vent near the washer to make it the same height as the kitchen. Should have been covered under warranty, but the dealer wanted two weeks before he would even look at it and we weren't his sale so....
No more smell after that. Stock vent. Two gray and a black tank on the setup.
Hope this helps. I have more help on You Tube "RV maintenance and mechanical things."
If you have an emulsifier; never mind.
Luck.
__________________
SemiTired is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 11:34 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
IFlyABus's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 205
I thought about that too, though I could not fathom how the washer could suck the water back out, when it sits idle for hours? At any rate, the P-trap tube in which the washer hose resides is about 18 inches long. The washer hose sits down about 6" inside that tube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spk64 View Post
I have heard that the drain hose from the washer can sometimes be too long and down in the P trap. With this it can sometimes siphon the P trap enough for odors to escape. Might not be noticble right away.
__________________
2009 Allegro Bus 43QRP w/ Cat C9 engine & PowerGlide Chassis
IFlyABus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2017, 11:40 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
IFlyABus's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 205
No time for a full reply to Semitired, but I have 3 vents running behind the washer/dryer. One (rear-most tube) has the washer connected to it, so obviously the grey tank. I THINK the middle tube is another grey tank vent, though not sure why there would be two? The forward tube is what I am fairly sure is the black tank, based on experiments with water and the wife inside the RV listening (not very scientific, I know).

I have the vent you mention on my black tank. Have two cyclone vents on the other two. Used to have a cyclone on the black tank too, but switched to yours when we kept the black tank closed and had bad smells inside the bathroom every time we flushed once the tank got even a little water in it. When we switched to keeping the black tank open all the time (based on advice from the 20-year full timers), said smell went away, never get anything when we flush now.

I appreciate all the ideas. I know there has to be a way to overcome this, I am sure someone out there has battled this and won. Thanks!
__________________

__________________
2009 Allegro Bus 43QRP w/ Cat C9 engine & PowerGlide Chassis
IFlyABus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
grey tank, smell, tank



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The "Enigma" machine, and other strangeness in the grey tank... mymyst Entegra Owner's Forum 8 06-14-2017 12:37 PM
Gray Water Tank Smell from Wash Machine Area mre Winnebago Industries Owner's Forum 28 08-18-2016 10:43 PM
Sulphur smell from behind washing machine Gingerela Palazzo Motorhomes 20 06-16-2014 06:25 PM
Detergent for Washing Machine ruppr2 (Kris) iRV2.com General Discussion 4 04-04-2006 03:59 PM
RV Washing Machine Performance jjmm 5th Wheel Discussion 4 09-16-2005 04:21 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:06 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.