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Old 07-14-2018, 05:21 AM   #1
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Best black tank vent replacement?

We have three recently-active toilet threads on this subforum, but this is a different topic altogether: the issue of proper tank venting.

Our model of Airstream Interstate has separate gray and black tanks. The black tank is internal under the street side cabinetry. The gray tank is external, slung under the chassis, more-or-less underneath the black tank.

In an interesting twist of engineering, both tanks were plumbed to the same roof vent line using a Y connector.

We replaced our original nighmarish Thetford toilet with a Dometic late last year after developing major odor problems. You can read about that adventure on this blog post here and this Air Forums thread here.

The replacement job did result in an improvement, but there is still some detectable odor. Dollars to donuts, that has something to do with improper air flow through the whole plumbing system. In other words, we only solved half the issue when we upgraded the potty.

Which brings me round to our rig's nightmarish tank vent installation. You can see that in the image below. For the moment as a stop-gap, I've got that gruesome hack job sealed up with a Fort Knox-style re-caulk application (Sikaflex 221), but it's on my late-2018 DIY cool-weather project list to open up what is sure to be revealed as a major can of worms and replace it with something better.

What is that something better? Has anyone installed a 360 Siphon roof vent on their Interstate? If so, what feedback do you have? Is it worth the trouble and does it do what it claims to do? Or should I be considering other vent products?

Thanks.

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Old 07-14-2018, 05:35 AM   #2
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I wonder if a solar powered fan equipped vent would be a better alternative?

https://amzn.to/2zFOxAW
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:41 AM   #3
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I wonder if a solar powered fan equipped vent would be a better alternative?
The thought crossed my mind. Nobody could live with a "composting" (air quotes) toilet if it were not under active negative pressure all the time. So why not conventional RV toilets too?

Either solar powered or something that could be wired in to operate electively on a switch, like our electrical control panel fan has been done.

To some of the others who are reading this, yes, we do have a roof fan in the wet bath, but that's actually part of the problem, not part of the solution. If the holding tanks are not venting properly, then the main wet bath exhaust fan is only going to make the pass-through issue worse.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:18 AM   #4
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The thought crossed my mind. Nobody could live with a "composting" (air quotes) toilet if it were not under active negative pressure all the time. So why not conventional RV toilets too?

Either solar powered or something that could be wired in to operate electively on a switch, like our electrical control panel fan has been done.

To some of the others who are reading this, yes, we do have a roof fan in the wet bath, but that's actually part of the problem, not part of the solution. If the holding tanks are not venting properly, then the main wet bath exhaust fan is only going to make the pass-through issue worse.
FWIW, lots of people live with composting toilets without vents. The single bucket method is far older and more prevalent than the $1000 package models. You have to use a LOT of cover material, but even mixed solids and liquids don't smell if properly managed. The package composting toilets with urine diversion, an auger, and a fan, are mostly geared toward minimizing maintenance frequency.

I do agree that a fan for a regular RV toilet would be worthwhile. I'd try to find a way to build it into the toilet itself, under the seat. One of my favorite features of my composting toilet is that the exhaust fan captures bathroom odors eminating, not just from the toilet, but from its occupant. No matter what I'm doing in there, my wife sitting just outside the door can't smell a thing.

I wonder if a replacement toilet seat could be manufactured with a few holes in the back by the hinge to pull air into an exhaust fan.
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Old 07-14-2018, 06:59 AM   #5
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Sewer gases are very corrosive Iím not sure that little fan motor would last very long in those gases unless it is sealed better than I think it is.
Just a thought.
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Old 07-14-2018, 07:47 AM   #6
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Sewer gases are very corrosive Iím not sure that little fan motor would last very long in those gases unless it is sealed better than I think it is.
Just a thought.
Yes, I saw those reviews. The idea is sound, but the execution is poor - just like so many other components on our rigs. Cheap imported stuff.

The odds of my husband engineering a stainless steel variant on the fan theme are high, I think. Either that or we verify that a Bernoulli-style device really would work.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:03 AM   #7
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I just found this option on ModMyRV. I haven't looked at that site in years.

http://www.modmyrv.com/2008/10/02/rv...dor-controller
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:11 AM   #8
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I just found this option on ModMyRV. I haven't looked at that site in years.

http://www.modmyrv.com/2008/10/02/rv...dor-controller
Not sure that's such a good idea.

https://www.bbb.org/central-texas/bu...and-complaints

Plus, the former web site is no longer functioning.
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:06 AM   #9
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Here' a do it yourself version:

http://roadtreklife.blogspot.com/201...tank-vent.html
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:14 AM   #10
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Yes, to my despair, I looked more deeply into the Lil Stank only to find that it is no longer for sale. Manufacturer appears to be tango uniform.

But the Roadtrek Life option looks promising. Thanks for that.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:29 AM   #11
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Since there is only one vent line, these devices only real function is to create a negative pressure on the tank to prevent gassed entering the cab when you flush. Probably worth while but no need for continuous operation unless a second vent is added.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:37 PM   #12
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I use a Camco Cyclone Vent on both the black and grey tank vents on my Airstream. I like them because they work and there are no parts that wear out. Trouble and odour free for the past six years.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:57 PM   #13
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I have use both Cyclone and a 360. They both work good and the 360 is a much lower profile if you later add a solor panel over it. BTW, that did not make any difference in the performance.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:57 PM   #14
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Since there is only one vent line, these devices only real function is to create a negative pressure on the tank to prevent gassed entering the cab when you flush. Probably worth while but no need for continuous operation unless a second vent is added.
That assumes that the toilet is air tight, which we are well aware is not true. Not the Thetford and not the Dometic (although the Dometic is better).
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