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Old 07-17-2016, 07:42 AM   #1
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Closed up camper: odors and flies

We have a 2015 Surveyor 191T. We have had wonderful experiences with it but have had a recent issue crop up. After a few trips this season we opened the camper to "show it off" to a family friend. What we found was a foul odor and LOTS of blow flies. All the windows and roof vents were closed up. I suspected that the traps had dried out and added water and deodorizer to each and cleaned up the flies. We had a trip on July 4th weekend and upon opening the camper to check on things yesterday we discovered the same issue. Is there another way that the flies could enter? Can I cover the plumbing vents with screen?
Thanks in advance for any help.


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Old 07-17-2016, 07:49 AM   #2
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Is this with your trailer parked in the driveway at home? Or are you parked in a seasonal spot? If in seasonal, are you leaving yours tank drain valves open? You could be getting sewer gas coming up that way...wouldn't explain the fly problem though.
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Old 07-17-2016, 03:15 PM   #3
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Well, it sounds like you let your black tank get dried out and empty.
BIG mistake.
You may a hardened Poo pyramid in the black tank.

You should always keep 3-5 gallons in it, along with some tank additive.

Next, get some vent covers so you can leave the vents at least cracked open some.
I'm not a fan of sealing the trailer up tight in the sun.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:25 PM   #4
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Following our trips I always add a few bowls of water from the toilet along with a dose of black tank powder. The toilet slide/flush valve is closed with water over the seal. That's why I suspect the grey tank. This is our fourth self contained camper and I've never experienced this before.


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Old 07-17-2016, 06:29 PM   #5
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Do you close all of the drains (sinks / showers) as well as the black and gray dump valves?
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:24 PM   #6
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I add a little mineral oil to the toilet to keet the seal from drying out.
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Old 07-18-2016, 02:33 PM   #7
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Good idea..never thought about that. I can get mineral oil by the drum from work, lol.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:03 PM   #8
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Make sure you don't have a vent pluged for the odors. Check for trash in places you don't often check. Flies shouldn't be getting in through traps and closed/even dry closed toilet valves. Is the odor gray or black? Shower drain is most likely offender if you don't use it often.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:25 PM   #9
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In addition to the other remedies which all work. I was getting a smell from my hot water tank. I left water in it with the intentions of making another trip, well about a month later I had a bad smell. I drained the hot water tank and the water was foul smelling. I thought it was a pretty closed unit and I wouldn't have any problems, the water went BAD somehow. I now make it part of the storage prep when it will sit for a while, especially during the hot summer . Now during the summer I just have a stale smell that goes away quickly when the a/c gets turned on. I can't help with the flies they are probably there due to the odor.
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Old 07-18-2016, 05:33 PM   #10
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Not unusual for the water heater to have foul smelling water after sitting. The water you were using had bacteria in it and in a closed warm space the bacteria flourishes. If you were using your FW tank to fill the WH, I suggest you sanitize the FW tank. Some people only drain their WH at the end of the season. If the water is good ( public water) you might get away with this. If you are using the FW tank and well water ( most campgrounds) you can get bacteria. To see this for yourself, fill a glass with water from your FW tank, cover it and let it sit in the RV for a few weeks, Uncover it and check it out. Odds are you will not want to drink it.
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