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Old 07-16-2016, 05:58 PM   #1
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Stinky stink stink

We are newbies, so I'm hoping this is a quick fix...

There is a sewer smell that overwhelms our 2007 27' Classic Ltd FB after taking off down the road following a camping trip. We initially noticed it after popping our heads in the trailer at a gas station on the way home. Prior to our departure from campsites, we do the usual 'take down' procedures, including flushing the black and grey tanks and adding 10 gallons of fresh water to the black tank via a couple 5 gallon bucketfuls of water down the toilet (and also deodorizer).

This has happened with each of the 3 camping trips we've gone on. After the trailer sits for ~30 minutes, the smell goes away completely (especially if aided by some open windows).

Is ten gallons not enough to 'buffer' the black tank? Too much? I don't assume this smell happens to everyone's trailer. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2016, 06:22 PM   #2
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Are you putting water in all sinks and shower? If you don't have water in the traps of those pipes, you can get a pretty stinky vibe from the gray tank too.
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:11 PM   #3
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No, we haven't been adding water to the grey tanks. Is that standard procedure, too? Will definitely try that.
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:20 PM   #4
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We have the same year and model and don't have similar problems most of the time. We always put in some new chemical in the black tank after dumping after a stay (we mostly dry camp.) We also have a separate chemical used that's made for the grey tank. I agree with the above comment about making sure the traps all have liquid in them. We don't use the shower much when dry camping (water conservation), so that's the one we have to watch.

The PO kept these in each of the rooms (see photo), and Holly has continued to replace them. Seems to help.

Good luck, safe travels, and happy (non-smelly) camping.

Regards - Ron

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Old 07-16-2016, 08:52 PM   #5
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10 gallons in the black tank seems a bit high to me. I use something like 2 gallons to charge my system. Don't have the stinky issue.

In the 27 FB I do believe that the bathroom sink drains into the black tank. If there is no water in the P trap you will get a direct shot of odors from the black tank. If it drains into the gray tank, an empty P trap will have the same effect from the gray tanks.

Here is something else to consider.......it will be hard for me to describe..... take a look at the sliding door that closes after your flush. It there is any...uh...residue....on this, you can get a lot of stinky stink. But, since you have said that the smell dissipates once you get set up I would look at the P trap in all of the sinks and even the shower.

And, you might want to check the vent stack to the black tank. If it is clogged with a bird's nest, or a hornet's nest or something like that you can most definitely get some unwanted smell in the trailer.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:05 PM   #6
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We use a rubber stopper in the shower drain while in transit. The trap below the shower is very shallow so the movement of the trailer will slosh some of the water out. When that happens the air/fumes from the tank has a direct path inside.

Make sure the bath fan is close while in transit so that fumes escaping from the sewer vents on the roof are not drawn inside.

The roof exhaust fan draws fumes from the tank when you flush, so turn them off while doing your business.

If you run any of the roof vent fans while in transit make sure it is blowing inward. This will force any bad smells from the tank out instead of drawing them in, the same when flushing the toilet.

If someone opens the flush valve to remove the contents from inside the toilet bowl, then lets it close onto toilet paper or waste before it falls through, the build up inside the groove the blade slides in can prevent the blade from closing. It can be open just enough to let fumes pass by. There is a tool made to clean this groove. Careful though, the groove is a rubber gasket.

add edit:
I stopped using any treatment in my gray or black tanks years ago. I don't think it is necessary. I use the Geo Method a couple times per year.
add edit 2:
I leave the gray tank dry while in transit.
I add a gallon or two to the black tank so that the motion of the water might help dislodge any stuck on deposits.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:14 PM   #7
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You might also look for a slight LP gas leak. A very small LP gas leak will create some strange sewer-like smells even at concentrations too small to set off the LP gas alarm.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:22 PM   #8
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Also an over charging battery, boiling the electrolyte, smells similar to sewerage. Check the water level in the battery.
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:50 PM   #9
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Looking for the one problem.

Sometimes there are two reasons that there is a problem.

It sounds like you are having the problem while moving.

It could be the P trap loosing it's water,,AND, wind blowing down the vent.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:13 AM   #10
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Are you.moving with yhe roof vents open? On my clssic the black tank vent gasses get sucked in the rear, bedroom riof vent into the coach.... stinky!
Just a thought!
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:54 AM   #11
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I should also note that my 2007 AS Classic has these pivoting vent covers that presumably help control vent drafting / airflow. Not sure if you have these as well, I assumed so...

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Regards - Ron
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:27 PM   #12
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For the record, problem has been solved! Can't say that I know what the problem was for sure but the smell has been gone for a month now. I did crawl atop the shiny thing and uncovered/unscrewed both vent caps and peered into the grey and black tank abysses. I didn't see any nests or anything obviously awry. After, I screwed them back in as they were. The following day, no stink whatsoever and haven't had any since. Who knows. Who cares. Maybe I unknowingly dislodged something just screwing the caps on/off.

Thanks again for the guidance!
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Old 08-24-2016, 06:51 AM   #13
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Thanks for the follow up! Glad your problem solved.
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