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Old 12-02-2014, 08:39 PM   #15
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Went to the dealer in BC and they say they have never heard of them????
WOW!!

We sell almost 1000 (one thousand) per year.

Almost every Airstream owner is not aware, but for those that are, they will gladly attest to the fact, that they only last 2 to 3 years.

Check your's out and see. And when you find them bad, educate your dealer.

Also, many dealers feel that if the wheels are still on your axles, that the axles must be OK.

WRONG.

It's not the steel parts, it's the rubber rods that only last about 25 years.

Rubber, of all sorts, must be exercised to stay alive. Obviously the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets cannot be exercised, therefore their life expectancy is very short.

Just trying to help owners know where rain/snow leaks may be, that they cannot see.

Knowing these OOPS things, saves many headaches, as well as costly repairs.

Andy
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:03 AM   #16
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The outer surface of rubber parts (both butyl and nitrile rubber) undergo the loss of volatile compounds to outgassing. That's why rubber has a distinctive aroma. As you exercise rubber parts, volatile compounds from deeper in the rubber can migrate to the surface to replace what has been lost to the air.

For rubber components that can't be exercised, one treatment that can help extend the life of the rubber is to liberally coat the exposed surfaces with glycerine, available at most grocery stores in the non-prescription drug aisle or in just about any pharmacy. Glycerine is chemically similar to the volatile compounds that have been lost over time, and so old rubber that has been treated with glycerine will be more flexible and last longer. Provided of course that you didn't wait too long to treat the rubber. Once the rubber begins to crack, it's a lost cause and no amount of treatment will extend its life.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:36 AM   #17
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We add deodorizing chemicals to both the Black and Gray Tanks in both the AS and a Motorhome we have. Eliminated the smells we were getting in the MH.
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:46 AM   #18
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katiemaggie, So where do you stand with diagnosing this problem? Open traps, plugged vents, propane leak, cooked batteries, dirty tanks and parking your trailer over a manhole cover can contribute to this sewer gas smell. Have you found the cause and made a remedy yet?

Let us know how you solved the problem...

Speaking of manhole covers, we have all been in RV parks where folks stick their stinky slinkies into the sewer connection loosely. This will allow sewer gas smells to escape. If we leave old slinky hooked up, it need to be connected tightly.

David
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Old 12-03-2014, 08:55 AM   #19
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Speaking of manhole covers, we have all been in RV parks where folks stick their stinky slinkies into the sewer connection loosely. This will allow sewer gas smells to escape. If we leave old slinky hooked up, it need to be connected tightly.
I'm aware of at least one campground in Mississippi that requires gas-tight sewer connections. If your connection isn't gas-tight, a helpful campground employee will remove your discharge hose, and you can collect it when you pass by the office on your way out so that you can dump your wastes elsewhere.

In all fairness, they tell you the rule when you check in, so if they confiscate your hose for the duration it's your own fault.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:50 AM   #20
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Nasty stuff, so many details to be aware of.

Using RV anti-freeze in the drain traps not only reduces chances of freeze damage but it evaporates much less to help keep occupied areas healthy.

I had a sewer vent pipe 'drop' inside the shell - the clamps somehow relaxed, or some bigfoot found a way to step on the wrong pipe, and the pipe slid downwards then flopped sideways so fumes were baffled, obstructed, and released into common airspace. I never used the plumbing, doing a tank cleaning to bright plastic was job #1 the week I brought the trailer home... so before discovering this it may have been issuing stack gas for 10's of years. Ewwww.

Anyhow - get up top and check that the black plastic pipe(s) physically protrudes above the roof/gasket line.

Also found were soft dryrotted plywood where the toilet bolted down, leaving poor gasket sealing AND allowing weight to transfer to the holding tank itself which cracked so the split produced an air gap. Keep on the minor maintenance!
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:19 PM   #21
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Where can you get them? The dealer here in BC has never heard of them.
Thanks
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:53 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Check the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets.

They only last 2 to 3 years.

Andy
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemaggie View Post
Went to the dealer in BC and they say they have never heard of them????
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemaggie View Post
Where can you get them? The dealer here in BC has never heard of them.
Thanks
Hi, mine is over ten years old and still like new; They don't all rot out in two years. I only know of one person who had to change his and his tires were dry rotted too. His trailer was two years old at the time. I never had dry rotted tires either. Check it before you buy something that you don't need.
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:47 AM   #23
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It seems to me the waste water tank vent pipe roof cap sealing gasket wouldn't contribute to sewer gas smell inside the trailer. It would contribute significantly to rain water leaking into the trailer. My 66 Trade Wind has three drain line vents through the roof. I re-sealed them last spring to stop rain water leaks. I happened to use Vulkum instead of the gasket. Got the parts from Inland RV.

You can see from my photo how vented black tank odors could get into the trailer through the roof vent and the right wind conditions.

I'm still interested in katiemaggie's findings for the source of the smell. The cause and solution would be good to know for other Airstreamers.

David
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:36 AM   #24
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Photos????? ( please )

Can someone educate, show me the whereabouts, and what the vent pipe cover looks like. I have a 73 Argosy.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:40 AM   #25
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Can someone educate, show me the whereabouts, and what the vent pipe cover looks like. I have a 73 Argosy.
The gasket is flat and is the same shape as the polished 3 x 5 inch metal vent pipe covers.

You cannot see the gasket unless you take the cover off.

Andy
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:50 AM   #26
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No one has mentioned the rubber gasket donut the toilet sets on. These wear out periodically. If your toilet has any kind of wobble, you need to replace yours.
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:54 AM   #27
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We periodically have a sewer gas smell. Any suggestions as to how to eliminate? We did empty the tank.
Problems with odor while and immediately after flushing the toilet are to some extent unavoidable, if severe you can try aqua-kem or another tank treatment product.

Otherwise, as you're learning, there are many possible source of trouble that can lead to this. It is not normal and can be fixed.

As noted, vent gaskets can be a cause.

Another common problem area is loose hose clamps on clamped sewer connections. Most Airstreams have at least some clamped connections between the holding tanks and the sewer hose connection, and also some clamped connections between the holding tank and vents. The clamps will loosen with time and may need tightening every few years.

Openings that allow airflow from the tank area to the interior of the trailer can exacerbate the odor problem from leaks. Caulk or foam can be used to close these up.
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