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Old 09-08-2013, 09:15 PM   #1
NBM
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Tank odor outside

The last couple trips out we have had holding tank odor issues outside the motorhome. Inside we get a little odor but I think that is from the vents, window and or air conditioner. Last trip it was so bad I dumped some bleach down the black tank and the odor seemed to be reduced but that could have been the wind or the temperatures dropping a little. I am going to do a serious flushing and run some detergent through both tanks this weekend. The black tank has one of the directional vents the grey is the standard vent. I know long winded but my questions are the odor is outside not inside is something wrong? Is there more I should do or be doing on a regular basis? Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:24 PM   #2
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Next time you take it out put about 5-10 gal. water in black tank along with a 10 lb bag of ice (out of the bag). Drive till you reach destination, or a convenient dump. That should scour your tank of any nasty hard deposits which could be causing odor problems. Odor problems outside are much preferred to the indoor type. When you camp do you leave the black water drain open? This can lead to dried deposits in the tank.
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:36 PM   #3
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Outside odor happened to me when hooked up to a park sewer with the one grey tank valve open (I have two grey tanks - one is small so needs dumping often so I leave it open).
I used plastic gutter lengths to support my sewer hose for a nice, straight downhill grade to the sewer and didn't make a 'J' trap in the sewer hose to stop the sewer gas from the campground sewer system venting thru my holding tank and out the roof vent. Took me a while to realize my mistake but then it dawned on me ... duh! With that constant wind they call a breeze in Texas, we had a great draft going to pull the sewer gasses right thru the system!
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Old 09-08-2013, 09:58 PM   #4
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We did not have sewer hook ups where we stayed. Even when we have sewer hook ups I keep the valves closed. I'm not sure if it's the black or grey tank creating the stink. Is there something I can put in the grey tank to help more? Thanks for the replies.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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You can try to mask the odor but that just gives you more/different odors. The bottom line is there should be no odors escaping. I would suspect a waste tank leak in the rv.
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:55 AM   #6
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There is an odor present in the black tank at all times. The tank is vented to the roof and the odor will go up the vent. Prevailing winds and air pressures will dictate where that odor goes. At least that's my opinion.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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Foul odor in waste tanks is caused by the proliferation of anaerobic bacteria. Happy Camper promotes aerobic bacteria which displaces anaerobic bacteria and breaks down waste. It also acts as a lubricant to keep tanks and sensors operating effectively. Bleach is one of the worst things one can put in a holding tank.

Two tablespoons (63 cents) of Happy Camper dissolved in two gallons of water poured into an empty black waste tank (one tablespoon for the gray tank) is all that is needed to eliminate odor and function problems. Dump when at least half full.
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Old 09-09-2013, 09:52 AM   #8
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Is Happy Camper a product purchased at camper stores. Not retired YET but use the trailer about once a month.
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michele View Post
Is Happy Camper a product purchased at camper stores. Not retired YET but use the trailer about once a month.
Some may have it, but it can be purchased online at Happy Campers-Odorless-RV Holding Tank Treatment for Black and Grey Water Tanks, All Star Happy Camper | Holding Tank Treatment for RVs, Happy Camper - Odorless Holding Tank Treatment Black and Grey Water, or Amazon.com: Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment 64 oz: Everything Else
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Old 09-10-2013, 06:59 AM   #10
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Thank you for the information will look at local camper stores
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:24 AM   #11
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YOu don't need ANY chemicals, just more water.

Put a rotating vane on the vent pipes. Improves air movement over the vents to pull odors away from the rig.

Odors outside can mean a leak in the valves. Also, some people interpret the odor from overcharging batteries as a problem with the waste system.

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Old 09-10-2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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I highly recommend Happy Camper tank treatment! It's the least expensive treatment you can buy if you buy the large container, totally safe (you can eat it without harm), and VERY effective! It dissolves everything! We never have any odors. I think you will have to order it direct from the company.

BTW- they give you a money-back guarantee of satisfaction!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:32 AM   #13
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FWIW, we had same problem with our Allegro Bus. Problem turned out to be a shorted cell in one of the starting batteries causing overcharging to the point that the battery case cracked at the top. It was giving off copious amounts of hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg gas). Good luck with your chase.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:19 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the input. Turns out it was one of the batteries. I even did a sniff test around them the second trip out with the odor I guess the breeze was just right to carry the smell away from them. The tank flush was needed though there was more stuff stuck in the tanks than I expected.
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