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Old 01-08-2008, 08:28 PM   #29
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
Santa Cruz , California
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Airstream, I noticed that you have only one post, yet you have a forum moniker that I can't believe was even available! Have you been a member forever and were just moved to finally post?
(And a very helpful post at that...)

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Old 01-08-2008, 08:54 PM   #30
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my thought exactly janetb...

looks like a/s has been a member for a year, but still i can't believe that tag was avaiable...

very very funny!


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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Old 01-08-2008, 10:35 PM   #31
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2006 19' Safari SE
Tucson , Arizona
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Since I started this thread and since DKDarrow emailed me to find out our statys these days, I htought I shoudl post an update, which is largely a copy of my response to DKDarrow... I wish we had a definitive answer...

We took the AS to our dealer and had them check everything out. The only thing they found was a faulty vent valve under the sink of the vanity... which in the 19' Bambi is right next to the bathroom and through which some of the toilet plumbing is routed, so there’s a space that is sort of common with the vanity cabinet and the black water plumbing. I don’t know the set up other models, nor do I know if all have these types of vents...if you do it may be all or part of the problem. They look like a black cap on a black 2” pipe that just ends pointing upward...they function to let air into the system and have a one-way valve this is supposed to let air in but nothing out...they said it needed replacing...which they did. (There is also one of these for the grey water tank, but it is located in an outside storage compartment near the shower drain on the Bambi.)

At least they found something, but I am not completely convinced that the problem has been solved...this all came to a head when we were in our hot weather, and by the time they dealt with it we were headed into our cooler time of the year, when perhaps the contents of the black water is not “cooking” as much (as disgusting as that sounds), therefore less odor... that, and we use the fantastic fan less in cooler weather, so it’s not sucking air into the unit through every crevice possible. I will say that we have not had a real problem with it recently, but I have sort of put it on hold in my mind to see what happens in warmer weather when we are using the fantastic fan more and it is warmer outside.

I am also experimenting with different black tank chemicals to find the one that works best for us. Right now we are using “Odor-Less” products and they seem to be doing the job well...they don’t have the chemical/perfumed scent which I find unpleasant as well.

If we continue to have issues with the odor later when it warms up I am going to insist that the dealer closely examine the holes and fittings all around the black tank...the toilet seating, the vent pipe, the drain connection, black water level sensor, the black water flushing inlet (everyone may not have one of these)...all of which are holes in the tank that have to be sealed to keep stuff in...including odors...

So that’s where we are with it...not an absolute success story, but at least we’re working on it... If any of you discover anything that might be helpful to us, we’d appreciate hearing about it...there’s nothing that spoils a camping trip more than smelling the sewer!

TB & Greg and Abbey Schnauzer
AirForums #21900 . Prez & Membership Chair, 4CU/WBCCI
Travel Log: AZBambi...On the Road Again
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:44 PM   #32
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2007 19' Bambi
Somewhere , Between the Tetons and the SF Bay
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different bambi config

This may be of absolutely no help, but then again, hints sometimes come from weird places.

Our 19' bambi is the SE 75th Anniversary and does not have a bath sink, so the plumbing must be a bit different. As yet, I have never experienced even a hint of smell. I use odorless in the black tank and so far, nothing in the grey tank. Have not filled either tank past 1/2 before dumping.

When using the FF I always open the skylight vent at the front of the trailer to get good flow. I only do this while using the range or general exhausting.

I also kinda try to keep more "liquid" volume in the black tank than might otherwise happen naturally. I have done this by flushing clean water down at start up of an empty tank, and adding a bit of water with the sprayer when flushing. It's a Catch 22, adding water to the black tank means a fuller tank and more water use. But, my mental picture of the bottom surfaces of the tank being hit with semisolid flushes, especially initially on an empty tank, become a picture of building sludge in there that is harder to wash/dump out.

There's one more disgusting thought. Is there enough water in the toilet before making a "deposit" to cover said deposit when made? Enough water is required to make an effective odor seal over the deposit. Perhaps the odor is a residual "post-deposit" odor? And, as mentioned above, if the volume of water compared to solid in the toilet bowl is low, you may have a thickish volume in your tank. Maybe the tank chems don't work as well on that recipe.

Also, I noticed that when I open the gate on my black tank, it exits with a very liquid "whoosh".

And finally, I'll look atop my Bambi and see where my vent exits relative to the open skylight, and try to remmeber to report back.

Good luck!
TT: 2007 Bambi 19' 75th Anniversary Special Edition, David Winick
TV: 2006 Chevy HD2500 Duramax 6-speed manual
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:24 AM   #33
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Steve at P&S Trailer Repair.........a very excellent technician who just rehabed the under belly skin and clear coat.........suggested to fill the tank up to the bottom of the toilet and see if anything leaks out, thereby exposing a leak...............did that.......NOTHING dripping from the underside.....
Now though, with a clean tank, even though full, the odor is gone.........Yes, the draft up through the hole in the floor persists...........

Has anybody ever seen a cover of any kind for the hole that I am refering to?
It's in the corner behind the toilet, up about 6 inches from the floor and on the floor itself slightly larger that the joint between the stand pipe and black water tank........maybe 3 inches............Perhaps time to fabricate........

The mystery continues.............Thanks......Dennis
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:54 AM   #34
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Not a true solution, but...

I just read the thread and didn't see this addressed.

It appears that in all of the posts, the reference is about the fan pulling air into the airstream.
While this doesn't fix any plumbing problem you may have...reverse the fan and PUSH air into the trailer. This creates a positive pressure in the trailer and should help keep odors out.
My 2 cents.
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Old 01-09-2008, 12:11 PM   #35
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Sludge in Black Tank

If you think you are getting "Sludge" in the bottom of your black water tank, the next time you are headed for an RV park with a sewer hookup, put a couple of gallon of water in your empty tank before you leave home. When you are an hour or so from your destination, dump several trays of ice cubes into the tiolet and wash them into the tank. While you are driving those last miles, the cubes should "stir things up" and melt. As soon as you get hooked up, dump, rinse and dump again. This should solve that problem.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:14 PM   #36
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Harrah , Oklahoma
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Check your traps...

This is probably the same as a house... make sure you have water in your drain traps to prevent low pressure situation when the fan is on from pulling air out of your waste tanks. Assuming here that you have your windows shut.

I used to have an old house with an attic fan... if I didn't make sure there was water in the trap of the basement drain, the whole house would stink like sewer when I fired the fan up.

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Old 01-09-2008, 01:46 PM   #37
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Austin , Texas
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If there are any fireworks stands still open, go buy a bunch of punks and use the smoke from them to trace the airflows and see if you can get a clue where the smell is coming in at.

Just a thought - I haven't tried this but it ought to work.
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it."
Lake Travis, TX
"Rancho Deluxe"
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:47 PM   #38
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Harrah , Oklahoma
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Originally Posted by airbassador
This is probably the same as a house... make sure you have water in your drain traps to prevent low pressure situation when the fan is on from pulling air out of your waste tanks. Assuming here that you have your windows shut.

I used to have an old house with an attic fan... if I didn't make sure there was water in the trap of the basement drain, the whole house would stink like sewer when I fired the fan up.

I meant to say that this note was to help others experiencing a sewer smell, and obviously won't help the original poster of this thread who has the big stinky draft coming from behind the toilet.


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