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Old 08-09-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Horrific Sewer Smell

Hello Forum,

I am in need of your help please. We have a 2011 Big Country 5ver that we have had for about 4 months. That past 3 times we have been camping we have had some major sewer odor issues. The kind that evacuates the coach and leaves you gasping for air. I had a travel trailer prior to this and never had this issue. The smell will even occur right after we have set the rig up and after the first person flushes the toilet. The smell does not occur unless the toilet is flushed. The smell does not stay just in the bathroom but takes over the entire living area. Sometimes the bathroom vent is open and sometimes closed. It doesn't seem to matter. I am very conscious about making sure the blank tank is cared for so I don't have this problem, but I seem to be at a lost. I make sure there is plenty of water in the tank with chemicals. I thoroughly flush the tank after each trip and then usually put a few gallons of water back in the tank with chemicals. My dump valve is closed. I would guess that if I had a leak then I would smell it more regularly instead of after every flush. I have not checked the sewer vents on the roof yet, although one of them I can see from the ground and appears to be clear. I have heard it might be a venting problem and some have suggested installing the Cyclone sewer vent. I guess that sewer vent works well when the rig is parked. My wife is about at her wits ends with this and we are frustrated since we finally upgraded to a new 5ver and are now dealing with this. Any suggestions would be extremely welcomed.

Dave
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #2
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If I read this right - you have a 4 month old 2011 5er. Can you have the RV dealer check it out? I don't think you are using enough water - 5 gal minimum after empting and lots of water with each flush. I use water softner. Use single ply paper. Is your wife a good cook? Too much spice? (only kidding). Another thing to think about, could you be drawing a slight vacuum inside the 5er by running a couple fans drawing air our without a window open?
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:48 PM   #3
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Was it stored indoors or out? Could be something as simple as a bird nest blocking the tank vent lines causing the smell to come into the rig, I would look for that first then back to the dealer- new rig should not smell anything but good.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:43 PM   #4
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Sewer Odor

We have a 09 Keystone 5er.and we started geting an odor when we would flush the toilet. I had put a max air vent over the vent in the bedroom. It was taller then the sewer vent,so it wouldnt vent right. I put a cyclone vent on the sewer vent and made it higher then the max air vent and that took care of it. Good Luck .
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:13 AM   #5
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We store the 5er outdoors. It might be a lack of water issue and/or a venting issue as well. I am going to check the vents here in the next day or so. I do use rv toilet paper and the drop in, dissovable tablets for chemicals. I have recently heard that the drop in tablets may not work as well as others. Thoughts??? My 5er has a 45 gallon black tank and my old TT only had a 30 gallon black tank. I don't think I am adding any more water to the 5er tank than I did with the TT so that might be part of the issue. Since I have 3 holding tanks I would assume that I have three roof vents? If so it might be difficult to figure out which one belongs to the black tank if I decide to put the cyclone vent on it. Plus my dealer is over an hour away and I really don't want to have to take it back if I don't have to. We have made a couple of trips there already for some minor warranty issues. Tired of the long drive without having the opportunity to camp . If I can fix it at home I would rather do that first, but I do agree with 4knights in the fact that a new 5er should smell nothing but good.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveToCamp
We store the 5er outdoors. It might be a lack of water issue and/or a venting issue as well. I am going to check the vents here in the next day or so. I do use rv toilet paper and the drop in, dissovable tablets for chemicals. I have recently heard that the drop in tablets may not work as well as others. Thoughts??? My 5er has a 45 gallon black tank and my old TT only had a 30 gallon black tank. I don't think I am adding any more water to the 5er tank than I did with the TT so that might be part of the issue. Since I have 3 holding tanks I would assume that I have three roof vents? If so it might be difficult to figure out which one belongs to the black tank if I decide to put the cyclone vent on it. Plus my dealer is over an hour away and I really don't want to have to take it back if I don't have to. We have made a couple of trips there already for some minor warranty issues. Tired of the long drive without having the opportunity to camp . If I can fix it at home I would rather do that first, but I do agree with 4knights in the fact that a new 5er should smell nothing but good.
Call your manufacturer and get a copy of all drawings/schematics for future use, use the plumbing prints to track your black tank(s) down. It is possible your rig was made on Monday or Late Friday and the pipes weren't glued up properly.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:38 PM   #7
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make sure you are not running the vent fan when you pull the lever to flush. It will suck right out of the tank.

Ken
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:18 PM   #8
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Is your battery enclosed ? I had that problem and drove me nuts too. Just stick your head in the enclosed compartment it smells just like sewer even tho the battery box has a vent hose going to an outside opening it still was not enuff to let the stink out. I put a partion in the compartment and took a 3 " hole saw and put holes in the floor and that really made the smell go away.

Rick
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:29 AM   #9
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We had strong odor and turns out the black tank has a 10 inch split at the top. It is at the dealer waiting for a new tank delivery. Fortunately it is under warranty.
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Old 08-21-2011, 05:08 PM   #10
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I too wonder if you are getting sewer smell or something else (Battery is my first guess) The battery can give off a very strong sulfur dioxide aroma (Essence of Rotting Egg, trust me, NASTY ODOR) you can also get high sulfur water and there is a bacteria that makes sulfur in water into sulfur dioxide and it lives in warm places (Water heaters) so it might not be what you think it is .

In truth, if you close your valves, and only dump when at least 2/3 full.... Sewer odor very uncommon,, No chemicals needed save for Water... Only water.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:02 PM   #11
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Well so far I have added more water to my black tank because I don't think I was using enough in between trips. Additionally I also installed a Cyclone sewer vent for the black tank. I haven't been camping yet since the changes, but so far it seems to be better. I hope it's not a cracked black tank and I'm pretty sure it's not the battery because I'm in and out of that compartment quite a bit and have never smelled anything.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:14 PM   #12
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I will tell you of another one... RV's are built from the bottom (Frame) up, naturally, (I know of only one type of building that's built from the top down, yes, such a building is common and there are thousands of them across the country).

So the black tank goes in before the floor goes on before the walls go up.

Well, the construction technician (Carpenter) was too lazy to grab the proper length screw so he used the ones he had in his pouch.. 2 inches too long... to screw in a wall.

Screwed it right into the black tank he did.

Factory had to re-build the owner's RV.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:24 PM   #13
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I recently left the black tank partially loaded for 6 weeks in hot weather because I did not have a dump facility nearby.

Whew! Nasty smell any time we flushed.

Got to a CG last week, dumped the tank and flushed it 3 times. Odor all gone.

Lesson learned: Poo and heat make stinky!

(I guess that Mike Rowe coulda told me that )
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:23 PM   #14
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Any time the solids in the tank are not covered by water odor is greatly increased; and, the solids turn to something akin to concrete.. Have you tried using the black tank flushing/rinsing feature to clean out any remaining solids after dumping?
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