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Old 08-04-2010, 07:30 AM   #1
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2005 25' International CCD
Maple Grove , Minnesota
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Smelly hot water

We are new to airstreaming and recently purchased a 2005 international. After two weeks away from the trailer we opened it up, turned on the water heater and when the water came out it smelt really bad until we had run it for a while. Should we have drained out the hot water tank when we closed up last time? If so where is the valve on the outside of the trailer to do that?
I would appreciate any help solving this little dilemma

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Old 08-04-2010, 07:51 AM   #2
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Ours does the same thing, also our house water and I'm not going to drain our house hot water heater everytime we go away for a few weeks. We have well water which has a small amount of sulpher in it.

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Old 08-04-2010, 08:59 AM   #3
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It could be sulfur or it could be you have an iron fixing bacteria growing in your hot water tank. Many of the campgrounds we stop at do not use municipal water. They have their own wells. Therefore the water is not chlorinated. If that is the case, the water you put in your tank is likely the source of the bad smell after it has been stored in your tank for a while. If you can move the trailer to a place where you can flush it out with chlorinated city water that is your easiest solution. If you can not, then chlorinate the tank yourself by adding a cup of bleach to your fresh water tank and flush it through your hot water tank. After 4 hours dispose of all the water and refill the tank twice to get rid of the chlorine odor. A little sodium bicarbonate helps.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:10 AM   #4
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Smelly hot water

If the smell is only coming from the hot water, there is another possibility. The anode rod in the water heater may be of a material that is reacting to sulphur in the water (there is a special anode rod available for applications where sulphur is likely to be present), or the anode rod may need to be replaced if it has eroded. . . .

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:46 AM   #5
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I used to have the same problem. My husband installed a removable plug in the water heater so I can drain it after each trip (if I'm not going again right away). My daughter's Argosy had the same thing & we just put in a removable plug in her trailer. You just have to take out the plastic plug & replace it with a brass threaded fitting with a hose fitting on the other end. Put a brass cap on the end of it. Use teflon tape between the original plug hole & the new brass threads. Have a hose washer in the end of the brass cap (you can get the brass cap in the garden section of Menards or another big box store). Make sure you have your water tank empty & relieve the pressure in your hot water tank, or you'll get soaked when you remove the cap (my daughter just did that--it was quite funny!) Easy little project!

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1988 Avion 32S
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:08 AM   #6
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I agree with Becky. Remove that nylon water heater plug, throw it away and replace it with the brass unit. You may eventually break the nylon plug as I did and it can be a mess to remove. It can be done with a box cutter. The Home Depot is one place to purchase the brass plug. While you're at it, make a note to flush the bottom of your tank now and again. Annually should do it. You can make a wand that hooks up to your hose, insert it into the tank and give it a good flushing. Should you not wish to make your own you can purchase a plastic one from Camping World ready made for just a few bucks. You may be surprised how much crud comes out of the tank after a few years of not flushing. It will look like sand on your driveway after the water dries on the surface. That stuff eventually eats away at the tank bottom. BTW, do this with your home water heater as well. Hook up a garden hose to the bibb at the bottom of your water heater tank and let it run until cold water comes out. Check out the stuff that comes out! Should you have a circulating water system at home it's not as important. Good luck.
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Old 08-04-2010, 01:24 PM   #7
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Along the lines of Becky we ditched the plug all together and installed a 1/4" brass ball valve.


"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 08-04-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
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the tanks on these modern boilers are lined...

there is no anode rod in them

and the manufacturer advises NOT using one.

we've discussed the origins and solutions

to hot water tank odors a few times...

heres' just a sampling.

typically SANITIZING the entire water system including the heater tank will solve the odor issue...

until the tanks are filled with MORE of the offending water supply.


all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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