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Old 11-02-2007, 09:37 AM   #1
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Smell From Holding Tanks

We Have Our Airstream In Our Garage And Keep The Garage Closed Up. The Smell Of Sewer Is Very Strong. We Have Cleaned The Holding Tanks Thoroughly, But The Smell Still Remains. Is This Normal Or Are We Doing Something Wrong??
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:51 AM   #2
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There is passive circulation through the holding tanks and out the trailer's roof vents. Don't plug those or you could get the foul odors through the inside of your Airstream. Worse would be if the tank bugs used up oxygen and you started brewing anaerobes -- very bad smell! Could you put in some soffit & peak or gable end vents?

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Old 11-02-2007, 09:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLMILLER
We Have Our Airstream In Our Garage And Keep The Garage Closed Up. The Smell Of Sewer Is Very Strong. We Have Cleaned The Holding Tanks Thoroughly, But The Smell Still Remains. Is This Normal Or Are We Doing Something Wrong??
Have you tried any holding tank chemicals? Check the p-traps in the sinks. If any food wasn't washed out they can start to live and smell.
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLMILLER
We Have Our Airstream In Our Garage And Keep The Garage Closed Up. The Smell Of Sewer Is Very Strong. We Have Cleaned The Holding Tanks Thoroughly, But The Smell Still Remains. Is This Normal Or Are We Doing Something Wrong??
More info please. Is Black or Grey? Are you running the fan? Did you do a good wash of both tanks? Do you use a tank deoderant? Was there a leak at one time?
These are questions are important for a diagnosis.
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:58 AM   #5
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The "sewer gas" escapes from the vent at the trailer roof (by design). In a closed garage, this will accumulate. It's likely, even though you "cleaned the tanks thoroughly," that there is still decomposing waste. You may want to consider some sort of tank treatment... whether it be a natural approach to waste treatment or a chemical method.

Check out what Phred has to say on the subject:
Macerators and Other Sewage Stuff by phred
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:08 AM   #6
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Smelly Garage

We Have Cleaned The Tanks, Put In Chemical. The Vents Are Open. Everything Is Clean. It Is The Black Tank. It Has Not Had That Much Use. It Is A 2007 Safari.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLMILLER
We Have Cleaned The Tanks, Put In Chemical. The Vents Are Open. Everything Is Clean. It Is The Black Tank. It Has Not Had That Much Use. It Is A 2007 Safari.
The Grey and Black tanks share the same vent system. As stated in a previous post it could be gas up through the dry p-traps. Try pouring anti-freeze in the sinks and shower. Take a look up under the the sinks for the one-way vent valves. I don't know how many may be on your trailer but older ones had as many as 3. Could be a failed valve is letting tank gas in. I would also try and take a good look around at the dump valves. It could be there is a leak that left some residue from the tanks up in the belly pan. This would be the first place I would look.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:26 AM   #8
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That would be RV antifreeze? Car anti freeze will contaminate the eco system.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:27 AM   #9
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I'll second Steve's reccomendation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by TLMILLER
We Have Cleaned The Tanks, Put In Chemical. The Vents Are Open. Everything Is Clean. It Is The Black Tank. It Has Not Had That Much Use. It Is A 2007 Safari.
Chemicals? Too 'clean'? Not much use? Hmmm...that could be the problem.

I'll second Steve's reccomendation:
Quote:
Originally Posted by byamcaravanner
Check out what Phred has to say on the subject:
Macerators and Other Sewage Stuff by phred
Lots of G-R-E-A-T info...

Shari
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:45 AM   #10
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We have the habit of putting a little water in both tanks and adding some laundry detergent on the way to camp. We also do this after draining waste for the trip home. This seems to keep things clean. Laundry detergent because it is low suds-ing, no soap suds out the roof vents, and the sloshing cleans the tanks.

I would bet, though, if you put the rig in a closed space your gonna smell something no matter what.
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple
I would bet, though, if you put the rig in a closed space your gonna smell something no matter what.
Exactly!
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Old 11-02-2007, 12:12 PM   #12
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The problem sounds like the garage, not the tanks or the trailer's vent system. Can you vent the garage somehow to encourage air circulation?

If not, I'd get a Flush King and back flush (filling completelty) both tanks until the liquid comes out crystal clear. It may help to let the tanks sit full of clean water to help disolve solids before the heavy flush. Then I'd add a bottle of Thetford Blue chemical to both tanks with a couple gallons of water. At that point I think you've done about all you can.
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpi
The problem sounds like the garage, not the tanks or the trailer's vent system. Can you vent the garage somehow to encourage air circulation?

If not, I'd get a Flush King and back flush (filling completelty) both tanks until the liquid comes out crystal clear. It may help to let the tanks sit full of clean water to help disolve solids before the heavy flush. Then I'd add a bottle of Thetford Blue chemical to both tanks with a couple gallons of water. At that point I think you've done about all you can.
That's exactly what we did after having the same issue--although not in an unvented enclosed garage--and it solved the problem. The flush king is great, and after flushing until clear, we make sure to add water back into the tanks (a couple of gallons to the gray, about 5 to the black) before adding appropriate eco-friendly chemicals to each. Although it's now in an enclosed--but vented--space, the problem has never recurred. Another thing we occasionally do is add a few pounds of ice cubes to the black tank before heading out to the dump station, just to get all the bits agitated.
Good Luck.
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:23 AM   #14
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system for removing odorous air from garage into a sewer line includes a toilet seat defining a plurality of air inlets spaced apart along a bottom side and an air outlet at a rear side with an internal channel connecting the air inlets and outlet. The system includes an air pump suitable for mounting to a rear of the toilet for connection to the toilet seat with tubing. A pressure sensor on the seat actuates the pump to draw air through the inlets to the pump upon sensing the pressure of a user thereon. Additional tubing extends from the pump through the toilet wax ring for exhausting the air into a sewer line. A check valve on the additional tubing prevents return of sewer gas into the system.
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