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Old 06-26-2011, 02:19 PM   #1
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Question bad odor problems

We are new to the Rving world and are struggling with an odor problem. We were hoping that someone out there with more experience might have a suggestion. We are getting some pretty foul odors from the black tank (this is an assumption that it is actually from the black tank. It's a very strong smell, like someone has passed some pretty potent gas, so assume that that is where it is coming from) within the main area of our RV. When the odor is really strong, I have checked on more than one occasion and it is not found in the bathroom itself. It was really strong last night when I went to fill up with gas and deliberately went into the bathroom where there was no odor whatsoever. I even pushed the lever on the toilet and put my nose down toward the toilet as close as I dared and I could detect no odors at all coming from the tank.

The Odor is only noticed when we are moving and after a while it will dissipate. We bought a new cover for the vent on the top, a cyclone type, this apparently didn't help. We are quite certain that this must be a venting problem, but don't know what to do about it. We don't detect it everytime we start moving, just sometimes, but when it comes it is very, very strong and not quite so pleasant. Any suggestions??

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Old 06-26-2011, 08:50 PM   #2
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Check your batteries, you may be boiling one. They can realy stink. If one is quite hot, you may of found your problem.

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Old 06-26-2011, 11:23 PM   #3
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You do not say what kind of RV----if you have a washer dryer make sure the pee trap has water in it---it will pull odor out of your grey tank (which can be really smelly) when you move because a draft is created. Actually check all your pee traps.
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Old 06-27-2011, 04:56 AM   #4
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You may have air admittance valves (air check valves) that the rubber flapper has gotten hard and not sealing off. You don't say how old your unit is but even new ones can leak. They are most often hid in the drain piping under the sink or behind the washer. New ones can be bought from orange, blue , or yellow home improvement store for about $5.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:16 PM   #5
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Also, a small propane leak can smell pretty rank.

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Old 08-30-2011, 06:20 AM   #6
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if just an odor that isnt so complicated, I do not know if this works in RVs but works in skeptics is yeast, like what you use in bread? I put a question mark because I don't know if it is good to flush that down an RV so please wait to see if someone else posts to my suggestion. I hope you found and fixed it already.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:01 AM   #7
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Sources of odor often mistaken for "Black Tank"

1: Gray tank
2: Batteries
3: Propane
4: Other

NOTE: sometiems it may well be the black tank but oddly not all that often.

When you get to the park do you hook up and open valves? bad idea, keep the dump valves closed till you are at lest 2/3 full, then dump (or till it's time to go, that is leave the park)

Rinse well (Lots of water) You will find your sensors still show part full unless you use something like a Valterra "Master Blaster' (TM) to blast them clean (or have See-Level (TM) sensors)

That is about all you can do.

A common odor in NEW RV's.. Formaldehyde IT is also a component in many tank additives.. DO NOT USE IT in your tank..
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:12 AM   #8
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We had the same problem. We put a cyclone vent on both the black and grey water vents where they come through the roof and have not had any more problems.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:28 AM   #9
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Check your vent pipes to the roof. An acquaintance had the smell problem and we / they checked everything mentioned aboe. It turned out that mud wasps had decided the tank vent pipe was a beautiful place to build their new nest. Somehow they were going in the vent cap and building a better future. A quick plunge with the broomstick handle solved the problem but be prepared to jump off the ladder.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:43 AM   #10
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If it is coming from the blach tank you can put Rid-X down the stool to help with smell. The stuff will help break down all the left overs but it will take time. I use dit on my SW and have started with my GS it still has some smell but is getting better. The gauges seem to acting a little better as well.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:48 AM   #11
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It would help to have a little more information on your RV type etc. In the case of our motorhome, shortly after we purchased it we started getting horrible smells and I was able to trace it to the 3 inch drain hose on our Sani Con sewer system. Don't know if you have such a system but if you do remove the hose clean everything. I have just quit using the Sani Con and switched back to the old slinky drain hose.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:44 PM   #12
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We had the same problem a couple of years ago. Turned out that the black tank and the bathroom sink and shower was vented through the roof. However, the kitchen sink was vented inside the coach, hidden behind our furnace, using one of those cheater vents. It had stopped sealing properly, letting the stink from the grey tank into the coach. Pyewee!! Only did it when we were driving down the road.

I couldn't get at it without taking out the furnace. I rapped on it a bit with a long bar, and it's never caused a problem since. I keep saying that if and when I pull the furnace, I'm going to do something about getting that vent pipe worked up through the roof.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Conquest102 View Post
If it is coming from the blach tank you can put Rid-X down the stool to help with smell.
Rid-X is yeast bacteria and paper boxed to be bigger and more expensive... you just need the bacteria and don't know about this part but is it bad to put paper down an RV toilet?
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:45 AM   #14
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Wow I didn't realize so much to look at for a smell...UUUGGG, that is amazing how much can go wrong!

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