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Old 04-07-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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as already mentioned. especially if u bought new and the problem is from day one, i would suspect either the main line from the comode or the vent extending into the tank too far.
i don't really know abt either, but i believe the 4" goes thur a seal into the tank. the vent may do the same.

mine started smelling when almost full. never did that before. the floor also started saging under the comode...ie the pipe would be driven deeper into the tank.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:15 PM   #12
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The effluent rises, the dropped vent is blocked. Oh my, it now smells soooo good when the pressure rises and you crack the seal. Also, turn off that fantastic fan if you have it on.
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimurrrw View Post
turn off that fantastic fan if you have it on.
Yep, that was going to be my input but you beat me to it.
When the tank starts to "ripen" odors normally go up the stack. The vent fan can actually pull those vapors right back into an open roof vent and into the camper. A breeze from the wrong direction can do the same thing.

Gray tank stink smells an awful lot like black tank stink sometimes (especially if you dry camp a lot. Food bits and grease get into the tank and make for a lovely smell.)

I found that when I dry camp we don't use the shower. Started getting smells in the bathroom after a month in the hot sun in Key West. Turned out they were coming from the shower drain. Water had sloshed out of the drain while driving and the remained evaporated over a few short days. Tank smells came right up and into the camper.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #14
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"An RV holding tank is no different than a septic tank for a house."
================================================== =====
You obviously have never had a house septic system, as an RV tank is nothing like that.
Maybe the OP needs to change his diet?
Seriously though, there has to be some kind of venting issue, as the vast majority of RV owners don't experience this problem.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:13 PM   #15
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check the vents under the sinks. Replaced mine twice already due to poor seals. Smell comes from gray water tanks and it sure does stink.
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:17 PM   #16
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I have to add my .02 here.

In my honest opinion, an RV holding tank is NOT a septic system and should not be treated as such. It is designed to hold waste until you can dispose of it. It is not designed to "digest" that waste into a liquid (NORMALLY) so it can be spread into a drain field.

Keeping that tank as clean and slippery as you can will make sure you get all that stuff out in one good flush.

I use Calgon and laundry soap after every dump when dry camping and when in hookups the same with an added Turbo Flush till clear.
Once a year before I put it up for the season it gets a 48 hour RV-Digest-It treatment and a Turbo flush.

There is a place for RV-Digest-It and similar in your tool bag. The camper next to you may have a totally clogged system and you can help a friend out.


Never had an odor issue that was not traced back to a nearly full tank and the fan running on a windy day.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #17
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Yes I have a septic system. For 15 years.

Let me restate myself.

A septic system has two main components.
The holding tank & the leach field.

An RV holding tank is like the holding tank of a septic system.
In the holding tank(s) bacteria works on breaking down solids into a liquid called effluent.

The manner in which the liquid leaves the holding tanks is different.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #18
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Not to be confrontational, but I think you made my point.

The septic system holding tank holds that sludge for weeks sometimes months to totally break it down.

Most RV holding tanks are full in 3 to 5 days when camping and need dumping. Occasionally, they are dumped with less (always top off with water to at least 2/3 full if a partial tank) if your stay is only a day or so.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:37 PM   #19
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"An RV holding tank is like the holding tank of a septic system.
In the holding tank(s) bacteria works on breaking down solids into a liquid called effluent."

================================================== ============
Have to agree with herk, as the poop doesn't sit in the RV tank nearly long enough to degrade whatsoever.
And a septic tank system has three parts, not two.
I think we can drop this line of thinking now.
Back to the issue, dezolen has a good point, that the gray water tank can also smell very bad indeed. It should be checked as well.
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #20
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Agree with Crocus & Herk, the problem this fellow is having is a clogged vent(s) or empty drain trap(s).

Crocus is right, a septic system has 3 parts and a holding tank on an rv is just that, a holding tank for a few days and it does not possibly have enough time to even start the degradation of material in that length of time. Adding water softener/soap will encourage that the material breaks up and goes into solution for easier disposal.
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