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Old 04-12-2019, 09:37 AM   #15
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Even if a coach does not have a washer/drier installed, it still could be plumbed for one. If so, check that the drain is capped off or the P-trap is filled with water or antifreeze.
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Old 04-12-2019, 09:50 AM   #16
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All good places to look for stinky air.Not a new idea...PVC or solid flexible field tile drain pipe can used to store stinky slinky. The coach I deposited on has pipe going down into frame area so it doesn't take any storage area.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:30 AM   #17
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My problem was the shower drain trap would drain when moving. A ziplock bag of water on the drain solved the problem.I also replaced the air vents.
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:58 AM   #18
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It is good to hear that some folks don't have a problem with it.

The smell that I get is not a poop tank odor or gray water tank smell. But a musky humidity odor. I have no leaking pipes. I do have to store my sewer hose in the tank compartment but rinse it after each use, I don't cap it.

With the three tanks and ambient air changes, at some point condensation builds up on the tanks and compartment ceiling. the compartment is vented to the outside to try to prevent this but it is the nature of the design. I've removed my black water tank anti siphon valve under the sink so it is not the source of the smell. I've had this problem with several of the moho's I've owned, not just the DSDP. all my fittings on the tanks are secure and there are no air leaks, I've bubble tested all of them.

I'd be interested on how your tank compartment vents are made to see how the problem was averted. In the late 90's the vented tank compartments became very popular and a huge selling point. I have a 99 pace arrow, 98 itasca and 01 Dutch Star. This smell from the tank compartment has been solved on the first 2 but not on the third unit as I still have to replumb the lower compartment and insulate the pipes. I solved this problem by blocking off the heater ducting to the tank compartments as well as blocking/foaming any tank compartment venting into the coach area in the first 2 units.

In 01 newmar was not foaming around their pipe entrances to the coach area so when the furnace comes on the air from the tank compartment is blown into the coach area. Then when the furnace fan is off it back flows up into the furnace vents. It is allergy season right now, so I can't be outside because of my unusually sensitive sense of smell. Can't wait to start my re-plumbing project.

I've never smelled a tank compartment that didn't smell, most just from the septic tank valves and sewer hoses....All plastic puts out an odor too, but most folks can't smell it..... but all tank compartments smell.... So, I stand on my recommendation, foam around all the pipe pass through's (penetrations) to your coach areas and plug off your furnace vent in your tank compartment at least temporarily.... Your lower compartment seals won't keep 70mph air from penetrating them and being blown up through the furnace ducting, but they do stop water due to it's mass.

Cold air falls to the floor, that means that your floor ducting system is moving the air down to your tank compartment making your AC run more often and cycling warm air up to your coach area. Thermal expansion is why we install pressure tanks in our water systems to prevent the water heater temp/pressure valves from leaking. They are great in RV's as they make the pump last longer too.

If you don' t believe me get an infrared thermometer gun and test the temps your self. Make sure it does at least 10ths of a degree to see the air temp diff's. There are a lot of high dollar ways to test for these leaks. Another way to test this is to put your electric leaf blower in your tank compartment and close the doors, then check the coach area for leaks with a ciggy or incense stick or fireworks punk..... Wanna test your tank penetrations just duct tape your leaf blower to your roof vent.... soap bubble the tank penetrations for leaks.... you'd think the manufactures would do this stuff, but..... $$$

good luck....

Oh, air compressors doesn't produce enough air volume for these tests.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:04 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by FatChance View Post
Even if a coach does not have a washer/drier installed, it still could be plumbed for one. If so, check that the drain is capped off or the P-trap is filled with water or antifreeze.
Yes, I have to tear out the floor in the closet as I suspect there is a plumbing penetration there that I haven't dealt with because I can't reach it. Again, it is not a tank smell but a musky odor that most tank compartments have. I'll look for the drain as you suggest.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:07 AM   #20
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Just buy a different MH. Mine has HydroHot heat in the basement and 3 heat pumps on the roof, no furnace ductwork to leak any smells. Seems like an easy fix......... ;-)
Thought about this, but then what would I do for entertainment????
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:03 AM   #21
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Turns out there was no floor penetrations under the closet floor, just poorly braced particle board stapled in. Built braces and coated water lines with spray foam.

Plumbing in basement compartment is completely uninsulated. Had to cut it out to install pipe insulation. Found that the water pump was mounted to the wall with just one screw dangling on some pex pipe. Moving pump to new locaton, installing pressure tank, water regulater. I prefer mobile water filters as they tend to flood the tank compartment when I change them.

Pulled water lines in tank compartment to insulate them and found that the plumbing pass throughs to the toilet and it's vent had huge openings around them.

The tank smells that come up into the bathroom area are from around my plumbing pass throughs. Sadly they are under the toilet pedestal so had to be sealed from below. Sealed first at the bottom of the floor then insulation installed around them, finally black tarp sealed with insulation tape designed for this kind of plastic tarp sheeting. PIx are a bit blurry but you can see how large the air pass through is around them.

While I was at it, Ducting from the furnace that runs to the tank compartment allows fumes to rise through the ducting system in hot weather. A simple patch with the original ducting left in place if the incandescent bulbs don't seem to be doing their job. I could smell the tanks from the floor furnace vents.

Smell from both sources are all gone now.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:25 AM   #22
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Newmar pipe insulation

So, I've finished the Tank compartment re-plumb. Insulated pex pipes, installed pressure tank, constructed pump "quieter", poop tank shut off valve to eliminate stinky vac valve under sink, water tank visual fill level and plastic drip pan sealed. septic pipe's sealed around so no tank compartment smells can pass to coach compartment. Back sore but project pressurized to 60 psi, no leaks and no smells in coach compartment.
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Old 06-21-2019, 08:39 AM   #23
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The water pump runs at a pretty high temperature. I have seen them too hot to touch. I don't think the insulation around it will allow proper cooling. There might even be the possiblity of a fire.
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:08 PM   #24
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The water pump runs at a pretty high temperature. I have seen them too hot to touch. I don't think the insulation around it will allow proper cooling. There might even be the possiblity of a fire.
Agreed. If I recall, installation instructions have specific requirements for space/location/cooling.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:11 PM   #25
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Agree with others that this is not the problem.


I would also question if the smell is actually from the black tank. Given the description and the conditions of when the odor occurs, it may likely be from the grey tank air admittance valves within the coach itself, and there are several, not to mention the washer drain pipe. I had the exact same issue in my Alpine and after changing out all known AAVs, only solved the problem by digging a bit further and finding a hidden AAV for the washer, in addition to the drain pipe. Once that was sealed, odor gone.

Agree replacing AAV solves the issue


A second solution in my case was to use liquid plumber in bathroom sinks. Solves the issue for a couple of months until hair builds up in the trap again.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:36 AM   #26
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The water pump runs at a pretty high temperature. I have seen them too hot to touch. I don't think the insulation around it will allow proper cooling. There might even be the possibility of a fire.
Fire??? it is a water pump.... short cycling causes the high temps... I've personally never seen one to hot to touch... but I have old calloused hands...

shurflo pumps are very well built. I use this model on on my water haul trailer on construction site to pump water into houses to test for leaks. I often cycle 500 gallons per week. When pumping, the pump rarely gets beyond warm. However, when starting and stopping it will get warmer like in most RV applications. In my case the 3 gallon pressure tank allows it to start and fill the tank then shut off preventing short cycling times and getting hot. Checked all this with my heat gun.... The zip tie loosely holds the carpet pad in place, it is not tightly strapped but seems to make a huge diff in the sound penetration into the coach compartment. The pump in the pix is 10 years old.

Pump in my 98 Itasca lasted until 2016 with exactly this arrangement, we full timed for 6 years during this time.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:57 AM   #27
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Agree replacing AAV solves the issue


A second solution in my case was to use liquid plumber in bathroom sinks. Solves the issue for a couple of months until hair builds up in the trap again.
First think I did was to replace the AAV valves. Not the source of the stink. 2nd replaced the poop tank clean out vac valve, then removed it. Still not source of stink. Followed my nose....Put Pinsol in the tank compartment to track down the source of the smell...... holes around the pipe penetrations under the bath vanity, shower, commode and poop tank vent pipe were the sources of the stink. Smell was also coming from the floor furnace ducting. In my coach, Newmar failed to close these openings. I've several other folks describe to me the same problems. but a large bowl of Pinesol and a small fan and track them down yourself.... Seen the same problems in residentials, folks can't figure out why the can smell their home brews from the basement in their livingroom....
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:01 AM   #28
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P traps and smells are two of the largest income producers for the plumbing industry....
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