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Old 06-11-2014, 10:29 AM   #1
Annabelle
 
2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Corvallis , Oregon
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Sewage Odor

We are newbies to the travel trailer world. We have a 2010 Flying Cloud. There is a definite sewage odor in the trailer. It was parked not being used for 2 weeks, nothing noticable. We drove on a 3 hr trip and noticed a definite odor when we opened the door on our first stop, about an hour out. It has sanitizer added to the black water tank. Should I add more? Does the warmer weather have anything to do with it?

Annabelle
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:48 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome.

I'll share a few comments and will also suggest searching the forums for threads on this topic (there are a few as you might imagine ;-) ).

You say it's been sitting for 2 weeks. We're the black and gray tanks emptied before it sat for 2 weeks? If no, that would almost certainly contribute to the problem. When we leave a campsite to store the trailer, those tanks are emptied and then treated with chemicals and some more water to ensure the chemicals can activate and slosh around a bit on the drive home.

You say it's a 2010. If you bought it new, you know the history of whether there were any clogs and/or how often it's been back flushed. If you're not the original owner, look at your manual for instructions on how to use the back flush. On my 2012, the fitting is (oddly enough) just above the city water fitting. Do NOT use your potable water hose for this but get a separate one you can easily identify and separate so it's never confused and used for anything but that purpose. If your potable water hose is white, use a green garden hose for this and never connect it to any fitting but the back flush.

That's a few thoughts for starters. I'm sure you'll hear more. Search out other topics as well for some great insights. Good luck!
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Old 06-11-2014, 10:59 AM   #3
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Adding anything to the black or gray water tank is a complete waste of money now or ever.

Are you sure the traps have water in them? Does the toilet have water in it? Absence of water in the traps will allow odors to infiltrate to the trailer.

If the traps and toilet are sealed with water any brake in the piping downstream from the trap would allow odor back into the trailer. Not likely but that would be the effect of such a brake.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:05 AM   #4
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Add some water to each drain trap, too...including the shower.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:26 AM   #5
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Hi Annabelle,
I had the same issue on my 2012 Signature. I installed a Camco Cyclone Sewer Vent which is a contraption that installs over the existing vent pipe with 3 screws. It creates a small vacuum with the slightest bit of air movement and has kept the Airstream odour free regardless of tank contents. It is available at Campingworld for about $15. Jim
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:26 AM   #6
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I'm a fulltimer so my opinion differs

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Adding anything to the black or gray water tank is a complete waste of money now or ever.

Are you sure the traps have water in them? Does the toilet have water in it? Absence of water in the traps will allow odors to infiltrate to the trailer.

If the traps and toilet are sealed with water any brake in the piping downstream from the trap would allow odor back into the trailer. Not likely but that would be the effect of such a brake.
They always say that Airstreamers think their S*** doesn't stink. As a fulltimer in the hot muggy seaside of E. Virginia... I know that isn't literally true (I may be a snob... but reality... All S*** stinks until it dries out or degrades and is digested into worm castings.

If your sink and shower traps have dried out in storage you can get funk from the GRAY tank. If your BLACK tank hasn't been thoroughly cleaned it WILL be funkified. Additionally, when you flush, there is NO trap in an RV toilet, it's a straight shot down to the contents of the tank and a straight shot up for any gases.

So, tank deoderizer or septic tank digesters will help eliminate odors as will having the bathroom exhaust fan on - and having the closest Fantastic fan/ceiling fan on in EXHAUST mode. There is a vent pipe on the black tank, but the open toilet trap while flushing competes with it for exhaust gases.

As a fulltimer I often leave in the morning at 7:00 AM, and might not return til 9:00 at night. I set my air conditioner at 80 F. during the day - just to control the humidity, but not to create an icebox that no one appreciates. The black tank contents will certainly ferment under those conditions and with no one actively flushing the gasses will build up. Me? I use RID-X a septic tank chemical that lasts better than any minty fresh thing I've ever tried. I once bought something that was orange scented and guaranteed no odor because it created an "OIL SEAL" that floated on top of the liquids in the black tank... It worked as advertised, but had one tiny flaw. The toilet paper that was discarded hit the oil and turned to parchment/leather.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:27 AM   #7
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Thanks all for the feedback. We did not buy the trailer new. We'll be working on your suggestions!
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:43 AM   #8
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I found a few photos where you can see the thing just in front of the solar panels. The tale fin keeps it positioned so the draft works. Jim
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #9
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Don't care what anybody says, I'll use the old-fashioned blue stuff until there's a law or prohibition against it. Of course, how one deals with one's own ****-tank is one's own business.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:36 PM   #10
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Florida took out all the free dump stations at the Turnpike rest areas because the blue stuff was toxic to their septic fields. Formaldehyde and its "cousins" are some nasty stuff.

If you "buddy camp or dump in your septic system at home, avoid the blue stuff.

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Old 06-11-2014, 01:17 PM   #11
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If the trailer was plugged in for those two weeks you may be smelling the battery. It may have been cooked. Jim
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by zigzagguzzi View Post
If the trailer was plugged in for those two weeks you may be smelling the battery. It may have been cooked. Jim
A very interesting point and one I hope they check out ASAP.

As for putting anything in the tank again I will say that is a complete waste of money and has now been pointed out above quite detrimental to the natural reduction of waste.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post

A very interesting point and one I hope they check out ASAP.

As for putting anything in the tank again I will say that is a complete waste of money and has now been pointed out above quite detrimental to the natural reduction of waste.
Formaldehyde is perhaps detrimental - other agents perhaps not. To each his/her own. Personally, I'm with Paula on this one.

And Annabelle - I meant to add that after dumping the tanks, the adding back of water in both black and gray is as described above - without some water in the sink and shower drains, the gray tank can get pretty funky and stink up your trailer too.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:27 PM   #14
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I fall on the side of adding stuff. Not formaldehyde. We also installed the same vents as Jim. They seem to work very well.
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