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Old 05-10-2013, 06:56 AM   #1
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A smelly question

We often read about bad smells in RV's and they are usually associated with the black tank. The tank freeze prevention heat often comes from the propane furnace. That means there is an air duct into the wet bay. Now if there was a bad odor in wet bay due to minor spills or leaks, is it not possible that odor could be drawn thru duct and into living area?
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #2
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I suppose it is possible, but bad smells in the black/gray tank area are not common. Minor spills don't really have any smell to speak of, but I suppose there may have been cases where a drip went into Styrofoam insulation (or similar) and accumulated.

That duct goes back to the furnace plenum and nothing sucks on it. The next time the furnace run, the air in the plenum & duct gets expelled back into the tank area. If somebody said they smelled crap around their furnace, this might conceivably be the cause, but otherwise I don't think it is worth consideration.

Just my opinion... others may disagree.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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I don't believe there are return ducts in heated tank space. The furnace blows into it, but doesn't get returned into living space. Most odors come from black tank venting into open toilet valve. Don't have vent fans on when flushing the toilet and odors stay where they should.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:34 AM   #4
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Yeah, I think it's possible for odors to "migrate" back into the coach but when the furnace comes on I would think there is strong positive pressure headed the other way and not sucking anything back into the coach.

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Old 05-10-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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OP Here: Every time door opened, ceiling vent fan turned on, vent hood is used or especially when slide is moved out, suction is created. Furnace doesn't even run during majority of camping days so it can not purge duct system. Still just a question.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctpres View Post
OP Here: Every time door opened, ceiling vent fan turned on, vent hood is used or especially when slide is moved out, suction is created. Furnace doesn't even run during majority of camping days so it can not purge duct system. Still just a question.
Anytime a vent is running (fantastic vent, range vent, bathroom vent), you are creating negative pressure in the coach, at least in cooler temps when doors/windows are closed.

Many coaches I've seen, the pipes coming from the basement into bath/kitchen ect are not sealed off. So this would allow any smells in the basement to reach living space.

When the furnace is running, the intake air is coming from living space. Only in the range of 10-15% of that goes to the basememt. So some of that air could go back in the coach, and that is provided the basement itself allows outside air into it more than the upper coach would.

This would also only allow "smells" in if there were some sort of leak in the basement.

My experience is, as long as your bowl holds water, there are no leaks in the black water system, you will not get smells. Where I have noticed smells is when a vent is running full tilt and you flush the toilet with the coach sealed off. There is a vacuum in the coach and the black tanks are vented. So that has setup a situation to suck smelly air into the coach.

I have also found out when running down the road, leaving a vent open near the vent stack for the black tank has allowed smells to enter the coach.

Not sure if that answers any of your questions, just my knowledge and experience.
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Old 05-11-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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So how many of you have smelly basements? Certainly smells can migrate by one means or another, but is that a real problem?
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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Okey - not quite off topic - I had a pretty bad smell that I couldn't find. I cleaned both tanks using all the tricks I got from reading iRV2 (which are all great BTW!), but that wasn't the problem. The smell was in the area around the Norcold, so we looked for a moldy drip pan, but couldn't find it, so I checked the basement, and it really smelled bad - but still couldn't find the drip pan. Then it happened! The clues: My coach has a central vac; I had a mouse problem and used dCon a week before. Yeah - a mouse had somehow gotten into the vac system, crawled clear down to the basement vac outlet - and died! So, when I opened the vac cover - a partly liquified mouse was looking right at me! It was SO GROSS! It took a lot of 'cleaning', but that ended the smell! Moral is, as far as any RV problem - ya just never know what ya might find once ya get to look'n for it!
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