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Old 07-21-2005, 08:28 AM   #181
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Just for grins, I double checked the Safari and our lav sink does go into the grey tank. The only thing that I could tell that goes in the black tank is the head itself....and with an 18 gallon capacity.....it's good that it's that way on the Bambi and Safari with the rear bath.
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:01 AM   #182
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When Airstream went back to the dual tank on the 2005 model 28' CCD or Safari the wash water from the lavy sink does indeed go into the Black water holding tank. This is the only two units and sizes this occurs on.
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:07 AM   #183
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Oh oh... Now you guys got me worried... I wonder about my 2006 Safari 28. I'll need to run and check it out.

This may explain the sewer odors? Is it possible for the fumes to come up the lavi drain? Or, perhaps the smell was an indicator of needing more chemicals in the texas heat?

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Old 07-21-2005, 10:12 AM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Oh oh... Now you guys got me worried... I wonder about my 2006 Safari 28. I'll need to run and check it out.

This may explain the sewer odors? Is it possible for the fumes to come up the lavi drain? Or, perhaps the smell was an indicator of needing more chemicals in the texas heat?

Kevin
Fumes can come up any drain, if the trap in the drain goes dry.

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Old 07-21-2005, 10:22 AM   #185
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Thanks JPAirstream for qualifying. That helps a lot.
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:20 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
Oh oh... Now you guys got me worried... I wonder about my 2006 Safari 28. I'll need to run and check it out.

This may explain the sewer odors? Is it possible for the fumes to come up the lavi drain? Or, perhaps the smell was an indicator of needing more chemicals in the texas heat?

Kevin
Good point! As we have experienced some odors in the lavatory, we will keep the sink plug closed and see it that "clears the air".
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:39 PM   #187
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redeagle313
Good point! As we have experienced some odors in the lavatory, we will keep the sink plug closed and see it that "clears the air".
Keeping the lav sink plug closed may not help. If you look under the sink, there is a venting pipe tied to a "T" connector just before the piping drops down into the black water tank below the sink. Fumes could come up that vent pipe even with the lav sink plug closed - and that vent pipe needs to stay open to properly vent the plumbing. The only way around that would be to vent the black tank to the side/exterior or straight up to the roof - the former probably wouldn't look too nice sticking out the side of the trailer, the latter would require a thicker wall to run the vent up to the roof. Both were probably considered by the engineers/designers and the current configuration was probably decided as the lesser of all evils. Perhaps we just use a little more deodorizer/treatment if we start to smell something. My wife and I simply by those plug in Glade type air freshners, which covers the odor if it gets too bad.
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Old 07-21-2005, 02:30 PM   #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarmimi
Keeping the lav sink plug closed may not help. If you look under the sink, there is a venting pipe tied to a "T" connector just before the piping drops down into the black water tank below the sink. Fumes could come up that vent pipe even with the lav sink plug closed My wife and I simply by those plug in Glade type air freshners, which covers the odor if it gets too bad.
Ok I'm not clear now because I thought that all of our sink lines go into traps. If the traps hold their water, no sewer gases can get into the trailer. As a matter of fact its reallly a safety issue also. Technically plugging the sink line should be no better than making sure the trap has water in it. One of the purposes of the vent is to allow for displacement of the air in the tank as it fills with liquid. Unless there is a problem, the trap should hold its water unless it evaporates. Just curious, do you travel with windows or vents open? That could cause pressure in the lines that could possibly cause the traps to lose their water.

A lot of cases of odors are due to the toilet valve not being sealed properly or a problem in the mounting of the toilet itself. One of the easiest ways to check the toliet seal is to add water to the bowl and see if it holds its level. If it slowly leaks out (it may take a while), then you have a good suspicion as to where your odor is coming from. You always want to keep some liquid in the bowl to keep that seal moist. Nothing is harder on that seal is to have it dry out and then you open the valve. It tends to stick and can pull away small pieces of the valve seal, and then you get smelly bathroom.

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Old 07-21-2005, 02:47 PM   #189
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Quote:
jcanaveraQuote:
Originally Posted by sarmimi
Keeping the lav sink plug closed may not help. If you look under the sink, there is a venting pipe tied to a "T" connector just before the piping drops down into the black water tank below the sink. Fumes could come up that vent pipe even with the lav sink plug closed My wife and I simply by those plug in Glade type air freshners, which covers the odor if it gets too bad.



Ok I'm not clear now because I thought that all of our sink lines go into traps. If the traps hold their water, no sewer gases can get into the trailer. As a matter of fact its reallly a safety issue also. Technically plugging the sink line should be no better than making sure the trap has water in it. One of the purposes of the vent is to allow for displacement of the air in the tank as it fills with liquid. Unless there is a problem, the trap should hold its water unless it evaporates. Just curious, do you travel with windows or vents open? That could cause pressure in the lines that could possibly cause the traps to lose their water.

A lot of cases of odors are due to the toilet valve not being sealed properly or a problem in the mounting of the toilet itself. One of the easiest ways to check the toliet seal is to add water to the bowl and see if it holds its level. If it slowly leaks out (it may take a while), then you have a good suspicion as to where your odor is coming from. You always want to keep some liquid in the bowl to keep that seal moist. Nothing is harder on that seal is to have it dry out and then you open the valve. It tends to stick and can pull away small pieces of the valve seal, and then you get smelly bathroom.

Jack
The "check list" is getting longer!!!

Not only will I have to check if my lavi sink drains to the the black, but check the location of the vent, the trap holding water, and the toilet seal...

I never travel with window open, but do travel with the vent open and fantastic fan on, (maxx air covers on both) just enough to move some hot air when traveling in the Texas heat.

Sounds like another reason for weekend trip to figure those things out!
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Old 07-21-2005, 03:17 PM   #190
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Here is my take FWIW.

If the trap looses any water in it while in transit, clearly, it could be a way for the tank fumes to enter. Of course when the unit is static, I am sure the drain trap (if there is one) works as it should.

If you travel with your windows or vents open, all bets are totally off.

However, I do seem to recall one forum member that wanted a rear Fantastic Vent installed with the pull feature. The request was declined due to what I think was an RVIA code that restricted pull fans within a certain distance of a vent pipe.

Now I'm no rocket scientist, but if in fact vent gasses/fumes are entering the coach this too could be an RVIA code issue. Having no exp with the plubming on a 28' unit as has been described, I'm kind of flying on instruments alone, but I do find it interesting that more than one unit owner has said they smell black tank in their coach. No matter how much tank chemical you place into the black tank, if there are in fact tank gasses coming into the coach, no amount of tank chemical will make it any less unhealthly.

At the very least a forum member that has a unit and is getting a good dose of tank vent fumes in their coach should contact the factory and see what they think. It might be a simple fix, it might require a total redesign of the plumbing and a retrofit to all effected units. I'm not qualified to say, but one of you with this issue and I counted 2 or 3, should get in contact with the factory. Though Airtream does clearly have engineering staff, we are all human and everyone can and will make a mistake...not saying there has been a mistake made, but it is interesting that more than one or two are seeing this happen.
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Old 07-21-2005, 04:04 PM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
The "check list" is getting longer!!!

Not only will I have to check if my lavi sink drains to the the black, but check the location of the vent, the trap holding water, and the toilet seal...

I never travel with window open, but do travel with the vent open and fantastic fan on, (maxx air covers on both) just enough to move some hot air when traveling in the Texas heat.

Sounds like another reason for weekend trip to figure those things out!
OK if the fan is on, there has to be a place to either bring in air or exhaust air. You need 2 to tango here. If the only thing on and open is the fan, then the path of least resistance is where the exhaust or makeup air will come from. In this case you can cause pressure in the drain lines which could either draw air from the holding tanks or you are exhausting air which could push water out of the traps.

I wonder if you close things up tight, whether the smells will be there (make sure you run the water in the sink to make sure there is water in the trap) when you make your next trip out.

I don't travel with anything open, primarily because that creates a path for airflow, holding tank vents through whatever you leave open.


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Old 07-21-2005, 05:00 PM   #192
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Though this could be possible in Bambi Bandit's case, I'd be interested in hearing if the other two folks that posted the smell issue with their 28' units in question also keep any windows, vents open. I seem to recall TinHut's wife stays in the unit in transit, maybe she opens windows, but redegale313? Point being, I am curious if the smell still happens if folks are not leaving vents and windows open in transit.

My guess would be if there are folks that don't keep them open, then perhaps the trap water evacuates in transit, the wind blowing around the trailer across the vent pipe on the roof could produce enough of a breeze to blow vented black tank fumes through the possilbe now open trap. Since Airstreams and SOBs are not air tight, you then have the give and take situation you describe.

Bottom line, my gut tells me it wasn't such a hot idea to place the lav sink or any sink into the black tank....but again, I'm no engineer.
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:13 PM   #193
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I tow constantly with the Fantastic vents open to provide ventilation for my two cats that ride in the trailer whenever the outside temp is less than about 95. I run the rear fan in exhaust mode at least at medium speed. My non-reversible front fan stays off (I intend to modify it to reverse at the soonest opportunity).

That said, I never have had any odor in the trailer at all except just once when the trailer was all closed up but the bathroom vent fan was on. There was an odor problem only when flushing the toilet since the black water vent was the only source of air for the fan and was pulling air up through the open toilet flush valve.

The black water tank in all Airstream trailers should be vented through the roof. In my rear-bath International 22', the black water vent was in the thickened shower wall. In the 25', the vent was in the thickened wall between bathroom and refrigerator. I'm sure if you look at the roof in the toilet area, you will find a vent pipe poking out.

It is doubtful that running with vents open will pull enough water out of the P-traps to allow an odor problem.

BTW, I seldom use toilet chemicals unless the tanks have to remain undumped for more than a day or two.
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:28 PM   #194
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We haven't noticed any smell in ours, but we don't travel with vents or windows open.

The waste plumbing in ours is just like a house with a goosneck to prevent gas from coming up the sink drains.

"Bottom line, my gut tells me it wasn't such a hot idea to place the lav sink or any sink into the black tank....but again, I'm no engineer"

I don't understand this ... how many houses have grey tanks?
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Old 07-21-2005, 05:46 PM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
I tow constantly with the Fantastic vents open to provide ventilation for my two cats that ride in the trailer whenever the outside temp is less than about 95. I run the rear fan in exhaust mode at least at medium speed. My non-reversible front fan stays off (I intend to modify it to reverse at the soonest opportunity).
Yep it proves the theory that you keep the pressure in the trailer balanced. What goes out is offest by what comes in.

Twink and I have been talking off line about this. He thinks that trap might be going dry in transit. Maybe the bouncing of the trailer gets you into a situation at times where the trap is temporary without enough water to maintain a seal. Another thought might be a loose connection. It seems to me however that if the fan is on and in the exhaust mode, with nothing else open to off set the pressure, the relief may come through a holding tank vent and ultimately through a drain.

This sounds much like an oversite from the design team at Airstream....probably somebody who isn't a trailer owner or just hasn't been exposed to the real world. They probably didn't consider a negative air pressure situation. If they had, they would never connect anything to a black water tank other than the stool itself.

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Old 07-21-2005, 06:46 PM   #196
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Maybe I need to clarify in my case...

... I get the odors when we are parked, hooked up at a site, grey valve open to drain directly to sewer hookup, Black closed with 1 8oz of AqauChem.

Never notice when driving, with the fantastic fan and vent open.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:02 PM   #197
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Vents and smells on 28' CCD

Lots smelly subjects to discuss this hot summer season!

First, both the black and grey tanks in the 2005 28' International vent to the roof. You will see two different PVC "stacks" with caps on top of this unit.

Second, we've discovered another source of black tank odor in our unit--the black-tank flush check valve located on the curbside wall just to the left of the galley sink. You have to pull out (remove) the kitchen drawers to access it; ours has acted up now a couple times. Once it malfunctioned and sprayed water in and around the curbside wall under the sink when we hooked up the flush and turned on the water. Dealer took the valve apart and found some grit in the ball valve that caused it to stick open. It's functioned fine ever since.

Very recently, we've noticed black tank smell in the galley area, which gets even more noticeable when we open a galley drawer. Seems like the ball valve is stuck open again, this time allowing odors into main area of the coach. I called the valve manufacturer, Lakeview RV Supply in Austin, TX, who makes these valves for Airstream. Since we're on the road full-time and dealers don't carry this part anyway, we're having them ship us a new valve (no charge-all the lady asked was what year coach we have) and we'll install it ourselves. We put a cheap 1/2" valve on to keep the odor in the tank until the mail catches up to us.

So if there are black tank odors outside the lavatory, you might want to check that pesky flush valve.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:06 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
... I get the odors when we are parked, hooked up at a site, grey valve open to drain directly to sewer hookup, Black closed with 1 8oz of AqauChem.

Never notice when driving, with the fantastic fan and vent open.
Only once did I get odors in the trailer and that was when I had the gray valve open for a while. We actually got some "burping" of gasses back up the line from the septic system in the state park. If the valve is open you've essentially got an open connection to the entire sewer field. I also read somewhere that keeping it open can allow critters/bugs to make their way up into the gray tank. Maybe give that a shot & see if it works. Also, we use OdorCon and it only takes a couple of ounces and the enzymes really neutralize the smell.
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Old 07-21-2005, 07:09 PM   #199
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bambi_Bandit
... I get the odors when we are parked, hooked up at a site, grey valve open to drain directly to sewer hookup, Black closed with 1 8oz of AqauChem.

Never notice when driving, with the fantastic fan and vent open.
Oh, a horse of a different color. Ok back to some basics. Does you toilet hold water when you aren't using it? Have you checked the drain fittings under your sink for tightness (any smell in the sink cabinet)? Is the smell there when your bathroom vent is closed or only when open?

Jack

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Old 07-21-2005, 07:28 PM   #200
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jcanavera,

1) Toilet holds water
2) No smell on the sink drain or lower cabnet.
3) Found no leaks on the p trap and found all pipes joints to be a bit more than hand tighened.
4) Odor seems to come when bathroom vent is closed and fan is off.

AC is running on Auto, with the fan also set to Auto. Wife seems to think that turning on the fan in the batroom helps with the smell. Logically, I have to agree with her on that, as the vent fan is pulling "fresh" air from the main coach (A/C air) from under the door and pulling up any lower hanging odors up to the fan vent.

I can't really isolate the smell. Sometimes I think it's coming from the "back" of the toilet, but not too sure. I've climbed on all fours sniffing around the toilet, lower cabnets, sink, etc, but never isolated it.

Part of me was thinking that maybe it has something to do with the toilet. I have the Thetford Auqua-Magic V, which is a plastic bowl. Part of me wonders if plastic "holds" more smell than the procelin bowl I had in the CCD. I've smelled the bowl as well, but it seems fine, so my next guess would be some gasket fitting on the toilet, or the flange (if there is one) between the toilet and the tank?

Like Sarmimi pointed out, in my '06 Safar Manual, it also states that "The wastewater from the sink, shower, bath, and lavatory drains in the AUXILIARY HOLDING TANK..."

I haven't been able to confirm this yet, but I think it also drains to black based on the cabnet and piping logistics everyone has pointed out already...

This unit is only 20 days old, and only been taken out for 2 weekends. I'm pretty sure I dont have any buildup or any thing stuck on the walls of the tank. (I also have a flush system, but I think that is working fine as no odors or water in the main galley area).
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