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Old 05-10-2010, 10:32 AM   #1
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cant get rid of the smell

I know this has been discussed before, but no matter what I seem to try, I cant get the black tank smell out of the trailer. I have tried everything that is out there, and I it still doesnt work, we have installed a Lil stanker with no success either. Could there possibly be something else that we need to check for, it is extremely bad when you flush, therefore, it leaves a lingering smell for quite awhile. Didnt know if there was any new solutions out there that you folks have found.
When opening up for the year, the smell was evident as soon as we put water in the tank, I am at wits end trying to find what the problem is, I have used as much as 3 times the dosage suggested, it works for awhile, then the smell is back,,,
We have noticed that this tank never flushes out completely, we were told that they have shallow tanks, but I remember that we could always see the bottom of the tank on our previous trailer. Dont know if this is anything to be concerned about or not...
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated..

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Old 05-10-2010, 10:38 AM   #2
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Are positive that your vent is not blocked ???

If our trailer is not tongue up while dumping, our black tank does not completely empty either, but we don't have a smell problem even with a little left in the tank. The only time we have had smell was during really damp, rainy days when I think the vent wouldn't draw properly.


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Old 05-10-2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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If you are sure that the tank is properly vented, I would suggest installing a "black tank flushing system" - quite cheap and readily available at Camping World and most dealer parts/accessory departments. This will allow you to completely flush out the black tank at each use of a sani-dump station.

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Old 05-10-2010, 11:21 AM   #4
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One other thing to look at, my camper has three tanks, black, grey and one for the kitchen sink if I leave the valve to the kitchen sink open then the tank in the ground from the camp site will vent back into the camper. Under my kitchen sink there are no traps in the plumbing. I found that if you create a trap with my out side discharge hose this will help with the back venting from the under ground tank.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
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thanks for all the replies, we will check to make sure there are no blocks, it was an extremely rainy weekend for us, so they may have also played a part in the strong smell, it was much worse this past weekend.

Is the black tank flush fairly easy to install even with the underbelly enclosed?

We do also have the three tanks as you have explained, Rockwood06, we have the 8296ss model, we are on a permanent site and I think that he ran a line from the galley tank into the discharge pipe that goes into the ground for the grey water. So you suggest a trap to vent this type of setup? Did you have the same problem with odor that caused you to do this? I hope that I was able to explain this correctly in terms that you would understand..
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:35 PM   #6
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I wish I could show you what I mean by making a trap with your out side discharge hose but I am not at my camper at this time but all you have to do is take your out side hose and bend it like a trap, create a high side then a low side then a high side again, support the two high sides with rocks, wood bricks or anything of same size, I think the size of the trap should be 3", the low portion of the trap will hold water, this water will stop the back venting from the tank in the ground, this works just like the traps in your house, and your house has a vent pipe thats on the roof so the gases vent out instead of collecting in the pipes. From time to time I will pick up stink in the camper and I check things out but I find that someone in the campground near by dump some stuff on the ground and the wind is blowing my way.
High humidity and or cold temps will slow the venting process down, as the air become dense with moisture it is hard for gases to vent because of the weight of the air due to the moisture, the higher the humidity the heavier the air, as far as cold air, everyone know that cold air falls, it suppresses venting, the best way to over come this is to force it out with a fan in these conditions if it becomes a real problem. You know that little fan that is in your bathroom, we in my line of work call it a fart fan.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
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Permanent site, are you leaving all the dump valves closed, and only dumping when needed? As mentioned, many of the gray water systems don't have traps, which prevent smell. Close all the valves, and only dump when almost full. Also after you dump the black tank, fill it halfway up with fresh water, let sit for 10 minutes or so, then dump again. To be sure it is the toilet, air the trailer out, no smell, then close it it up for a while, leaving the bathroom door closed also. Check in a couple of hours and see where the smell is coming from. You have the nose, you'll have to find it.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:01 PM   #8
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Check the Vacuum Breakers under your counter top sink and bathroom sink. They may be loose or missing, or not working properly.

This is a CHECK valve. It allows air INTO the plumbing so it'll drain better.

It's possible(anything is possible with these things), that the Black water vent pipe and Grey water vent pipe may be plumbed together. If so, and the Vacuum Breakers is not working properly or missing, the gasses from the Black water tank will smell up the trailer.

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Old 05-10-2010, 03:10 PM   #9
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I don't know what part of the country your'e in, but here in Florida, we have problems with hard water. Too many minerals in the water, mostly lime. I found that if you'll use CALGON water conditioner, in a bottle in the laundry area of most grocery stores, your problems will vanish. My camper is over 2 years old now, and I have never had any type of tank rinsers or wands. I put a capfull of Calgon in the black tank before leaving the house, along with a gallon of water, and this solution sloshes around in the black tank, leaving a "slick" surface, sort of like oil would do to the inside of the tank. then, add your favorite deodorizer, if desired, and once filled at the campground, you empty the tank at the dump station, or if you have hookups, your site before leaving, and then your grey water tank, and your'e done. I have never experienced any offensive odors since doing this, and a lot of others on here do this, as well. And, we have a lot of HOT days here, that would really stink, if it could. Good luck, Randy
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:17 PM   #10
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I had this problem for about a year in my last TT. The thing that finally fixed it was the "ice thing". We stopped at a gas station on our way to a full hookup park. I bought two bags of ice and dumped them in the toilet. the 130 miles to the RV park rattled that ice around enough that it seemed like it broke loose anything that may have been in there. When we got to the park we dumped and didn't really have a problem after that.

Although since then, and now with my new DP, I have been using one of those reverse flusher deals (my DP also has a flushing system built in), but I still use my reverse flusher from time to time. What I found was effective was to put my sewer cap on the end of the flusher (where the sewer hose would normally go) so I can FILL the tank and hold in it in there. Then when I was pretty sure the tank was full, I shut the valve,reconnect the sewer hose and let it all drain out. Then repeat the process till everything that was coming out was clean. After doing this using my cap, I realized that there is a product for this. Flush King - Item - Camping World seems a little cleaner.

One thing to make sure of is when you are doing this to the black tank, make sure the valve to the gray tank is closed. Ya don't want to fill your gray tank with poop water.

Anyway seems to work well.


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