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Old 07-21-2005, 06:02 PM   #197
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Vents and smells on 28' CCD

Lots smelly subjects to discuss this hot summer season!

First, both the black and grey tanks in the 2005 28' International vent to the roof. You will see two different PVC "stacks" with caps on top of this unit.

Second, we've discovered another source of black tank odor in our unit--the black-tank flush check valve located on the curbside wall just to the left of the galley sink. You have to pull out (remove) the kitchen drawers to access it; ours has acted up now a couple times. Once it malfunctioned and sprayed water in and around the curbside wall under the sink when we hooked up the flush and turned on the water. Dealer took the valve apart and found some grit in the ball valve that caused it to stick open. It's functioned fine ever since.

Very recently, we've noticed black tank smell in the galley area, which gets even more noticeable when we open a galley drawer. Seems like the ball valve is stuck open again, this time allowing odors into main area of the coach. I called the valve manufacturer, Lakeview RV Supply in Austin, TX, who makes these valves for Airstream. Since we're on the road full-time and dealers don't carry this part anyway, we're having them ship us a new valve (no charge-all the lady asked was what year coach we have) and we'll install it ourselves. We put a cheap 1/2" valve on to keep the odor in the tank until the mail catches up to us.

So if there are black tank odors outside the lavatory, you might want to check that pesky flush valve.
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Old 07-21-2005, 06:06 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
... I get the odors when we are parked, hooked up at a site, grey valve open to drain directly to sewer hookup, Black closed with 1 8oz of AqauChem.

Never notice when driving, with the fantastic fan and vent open.
Only once did I get odors in the trailer and that was when I had the gray valve open for a while. We actually got some "burping" of gasses back up the line from the septic system in the state park. If the valve is open you've essentially got an open connection to the entire sewer field. I also read somewhere that keeping it open can allow critters/bugs to make their way up into the gray tank. Maybe give that a shot & see if it works. Also, we use OdorCon and it only takes a couple of ounces and the enzymes really neutralize the smell.
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Old 07-21-2005, 06:09 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
... I get the odors when we are parked, hooked up at a site, grey valve open to drain directly to sewer hookup, Black closed with 1 8oz of AqauChem.

Never notice when driving, with the fantastic fan and vent open.
Oh, a horse of a different color. Ok back to some basics. Does you toilet hold water when you aren't using it? Have you checked the drain fittings under your sink for tightness (any smell in the sink cabinet)? Is the smell there when your bathroom vent is closed or only when open?

Jack

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Old 07-21-2005, 06:28 PM   #200
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jcanavera,

1) Toilet holds water
2) No smell on the sink drain or lower cabnet.
3) Found no leaks on the p trap and found all pipes joints to be a bit more than hand tighened.
4) Odor seems to come when bathroom vent is closed and fan is off.

AC is running on Auto, with the fan also set to Auto. Wife seems to think that turning on the fan in the batroom helps with the smell. Logically, I have to agree with her on that, as the vent fan is pulling "fresh" air from the main coach (A/C air) from under the door and pulling up any lower hanging odors up to the fan vent.

I can't really isolate the smell. Sometimes I think it's coming from the "back" of the toilet, but not too sure. I've climbed on all fours sniffing around the toilet, lower cabnets, sink, etc, but never isolated it.

Part of me was thinking that maybe it has something to do with the toilet. I have the Thetford Auqua-Magic V, which is a plastic bowl. Part of me wonders if plastic "holds" more smell than the procelin bowl I had in the CCD. I've smelled the bowl as well, but it seems fine, so my next guess would be some gasket fitting on the toilet, or the flange (if there is one) between the toilet and the tank?

Like Sarmimi pointed out, in my '06 Safar Manual, it also states that "The wastewater from the sink, shower, bath, and lavatory drains in the AUXILIARY HOLDING TANK..."

I haven't been able to confirm this yet, but I think it also drains to black based on the cabnet and piping logistics everyone has pointed out already...

This unit is only 20 days old, and only been taken out for 2 weekends. I'm pretty sure I dont have any buildup or any thing stuck on the walls of the tank. (I also have a flush system, but I think that is working fine as no odors or water in the main galley area).
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Old 07-21-2005, 08:39 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini
I don't understand this ... how many houses have grey tanks?
A totally different beast that cannot be compared. I mean for starters, a house waste line is immediately purged after each use, there are no tanks (unless you have a septic system, and even then if it works right, it's purging as fast as it can). A house also is not moving all the time, going over good, bad and ugly roads, up hills, down hills, leaning to one side or another, etc.

The essence of my comment on not thinking it is a good idea to have the lav sink on the black tank has a few reasons. One, it has the ability to add to the black tank, helping fill it faster. For the same reason I didn't like the combo tank, I'm a firm believer in having 2 tanks and keeping the black, black and the grey, grey. If folks disagree, that's up to them, I'm just stating my preference. I would not buy a trailer that had a combo black/grey tank, nor would I like to own a coach that mixes because in my case we boondock a lot. In a lot of parks I go to out in the middle of nowhere, I can pull the grey tank, but I can't purge the black, no matter how remote the park is..... Now if I were in full hookups more than not, it would be a non issue to me.

As for the smell source, I'm at a loss then......just glad I have a 25' unit that keeps the waste waters seperate with no smell.
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Old 07-21-2005, 09:40 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
jcanavera,

I can't really isolate the smell. Sometimes I think it's coming from the "back" of the toilet, but not too sure. I've climbed on all fours sniffing around the toilet, lower cabnets, sink, etc, but never isolated it.
Assuming the sink P-trap is holding water the only logical next step would be checking the seal between the toilet and holding tank. When the toilet is not in use or been recently flushed, you shouldn't be smelling any type of waste.

I had this toilet in my Safari and the same model in two previous SOB's. The only failure I had was the flush seal....and that was after 10 years of use.

It's time for you to see your dealer.

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Old 07-22-2005, 09:07 AM   #203
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I'll add my two scents...

We occasionally get a whiff of something in our AS. At first I thought that it was a sewer-y kind of smell. I thought about this and realized that my new-ish Bambi has all sorts of smells, most of which I think are the actual building materials relalted used in the making of this and any new unit.

Particle board, plywood, laminate, glues, caulks, a whole plethora of stuff that gives off an aroma. Not to mention mixing that with cooking, heating, AC.

So it got me thinking that maybe a combination of these things would cause the nose to think it is something else.

I have not checked the lav cabinet, but next time I'm at the coach, I'll thrust my well endowed proboscus in there.

Either way, the sewer smell seems to be a momentary thing. Toilet holds water fine.

Jonathan
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Old 07-23-2005, 06:41 PM   #204
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We haven't had any black water smell issues while traveling. The odor only seems to be strong when we are parked, and when it is hot, hot, hot out there (lately, we've beenin 100+ degree weather). Most of the smell seems to come up when we flush the toilet and the air from above exchanges with the air from the black tank. Also, to conserve, we follow the rule:

"If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."

Which, we are sure, contributes to part of the smell in the bathroom. It will be interesting to see if anyone goes to JC to get their pipes rerouted, and what the engineers think about the healthiness/unhealthiness of routing the lav sink to the black tank.

Have not had any issue with the flushing line next to the galley sink. That lines seems to be tight, for now.
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Old 07-23-2005, 06:50 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Ok I'm not clear now because I thought that all of our sink lines go into traps. If the traps hold their water, no sewer gases can get into the trailer.

Jack

In our 28 ft CCD lav sink, we have the lav drain which connects to the P trap which connects to the T which connects to the down pipe into the black tank. The lav vent pipe underneath the sink is connected to the T after the P trap - basically it is a straight line down from the vent to the black tank - there is no trap between the vent and the black tank. Thus, gases can theoretically come up through the vent, but there would probably need to be some kind of negative pressure bringing it up (e.g. the bathroom fan), or positive pressure from the outside vent pushing it up (e.g. winds from outside pushing into the roof vent of the black tank). Likelihood? Not sure. But it is possible.
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Old 07-24-2005, 08:27 AM   #206
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmimi
In our 28 ft CCD lav sink, we have the lav drain which connects to the P trap which connects to the T which connects to the down pipe into the black tank. The lav vent pipe underneath the sink is connected to the T after the P trap - basically it is a straight line down from the vent to the black tank - there is no trap between the vent and the black tank. Thus, gases can theoretically come up through the vent, but there would probably need to be some kind of negative pressure bringing it up (e.g. the bathroom fan), or positive pressure from the outside vent pushing it up (e.g. winds from outside pushing into the roof vent of the black tank). Likelihood? Not sure. But it is possible.
Right, that's the proper installation for use with your sink. Normally the only time I have smelled black tank gas outside, is if we are doing a rapid filling of the toilet. Sometimes prior to departing a campsite, we will fill the toilet, dumping many loads of water to get a goodly amount of liquid in the black tank. Depending on outdoor conditions, that rapid loading of the tank will expell a lot of the air in that tank and sometimes you can smell that outdoors.

So again if the sink P trap is retaining water, you probably shouldn't have any sewer gases making their way into the bathroom from that source.

Jack
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Old 07-24-2005, 09:05 AM   #207
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A full timer friend of ours, who owns a really mega-buck rig, said it all when it comes to quality. "They all have some of the same $10 parts that break."
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Old 08-09-2005, 04:54 AM   #208
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Warranty Card

Does anyone know how long it typically takes to get the "plastic warranty card" referred to in the manual from Airstream? I bought my Airstream about two months ago and the only thing I've recieved so far is a letter congratulating me on the purchase, an order card for the hats/jackets that came with the upgrade package, and information on WBCCI. I'm getting ready for a road trip and, based on the quality control issues I've had to date, I believe it would be a good idea to have the card in hand before I left. I apologize if this information is in another thread, but I ran a search and didn't get any relevant results. I also attempted twice to start a thread but was unable.

Thanks.
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:00 AM   #209
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Never had such a card with either Airstream ('03 or '04). It's all based on serial number, so if you run into issues on the road and pull in to an authorized Airstream repair shop, all they need is the serial number off the side of the coach. Not sure how it works with the internals, like fridge, furnace, etc, if you ran to a service center that was not an Airstream shop, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Most internals have at least a year warranty and if that were not enough, I'm sure Airstream would be able to verify with any company the date of purchase based on serial number of your coach.
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Old 08-09-2005, 07:43 AM   #210
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRanger
. I'm getting ready for a road trip and, based on the quality control issues I've had to date, I believe it would be a good idea to have the card in hand before I left. I apologize if this information is in another thread, but I ran a search and didn't get any relevant results. I also attempted twice to start a thread but was unable.

Thanks.
Unless something changed for 2005, there is no warranty card as best I know. If there was any issue on the road, the servicing dealer can always call Airstream to get that info., or worst case the dealer you purchased from.

Jack
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