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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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Old 05-10-2010, 04:08 PM   #11
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thank you all for your insight, we will look into all the avenues that you have listed,,the smell is in no doubt, coming from the bathroom, as soon as you flush the toilet, that nasty smell filters up through, I did have the fantastic fan running the whole weekend, along with the Lil Stanker vent fan, and still had a problem,,
I am hoping that the weather played a big part in the problem, however, I still think that we have an issue here...being on a permanent site, we dont have the luxury of being able to add stuff to the tank and let it slosh around and clean things out,
we will start with the obvious and work our way from there...I greatly appreciate all of your suggestions...
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:12 PM   #12
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Don't know if you got rid of the smell yet but I read on here somewhere about the Calgon and then to put a cup of laundry detergent (dry) and water in. We had an issue last year of the same thing you are explaining and when opening up this year it started again, so we tried this and it worked great. We are not currenty using anything else but Calgon water softner and detergent. It smells wonderful and hope it continues to work well.
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:22 PM   #13
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Ilovecamping Are you using this in your black tank or just the grey tanks? How much do you use ?
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:11 PM   #14
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No we have not completely gotten rid of the smell yet, we did however notice that the closer it gets to needing emptied, the more it begins to smell,,,I am using the calgon but have never heard of using detergent with it,,do you have a special detergent that you like? I will try anything, that smell makes me crazy, our other trailer had the same vent fan that this one has, and once installed in the old trailer, never had an ounce of smell after that...I am very frustrated trying to solve this problem.. I will try anything that anyone has found that works for them thanks
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:20 PM   #15
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Lightbulb

Here's the link to the GEO Method of maintaining your black water tank:

The Geo Method

It's also been posted on FRF here:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...nance-785.html
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:30 PM   #16
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chevy02-We are using this in the black tank. We used 1 cap full of the calgon liqued and 1 cup of detergent, I think it was Gain. I haven't been back out since we got back on the 5th but there was no smell except the detergent when we closed it up.

blue eyes-DH got it and I think it was Gain. I am sure any of it would work so just pick the one that you like the smell of. Sure hope this helps.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:24 AM   #17
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The best solution is getting the black water tank totally flushed which means you may be filling and dumping several times until everything is out and using the proper chemicals to santize/deodorize the tank. I've met several people who use the geo method above with success and I have started to use this method myself to save money. What I installed on my trailer are these cyclones which help draw out odors from the tanks. Cyclone Sewer Vent - Item - Camping World Something else you may consider if making the trip to Camping World.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #18
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I had a sensor that displayed 1/3 full when the black tak was empty. Rather than the ice method, i used 1/3 cup of Palmolive dish soap (Dawn is recomended as the ONLY one to use, I beg to differ) and 2 - 5 gallon pails of hot water (just hot tap water) down the toilet, and let it set overnight. The hot water plus soap helps dissolve whatever is stinking up the tank. If you do this, and you still "smell" a problem, it most likely a venting issue.

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Old 07-15-2010, 04:57 PM   #19
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water softener salt

I have been using water softener salt. I have a non-functioning water softener that needs the salt emptied out anyway so it seems like a good way to use up the salt. Nope it's not instantly disolving, but it is considerably cheaper than calgon. I put a couple cupfuls into a pail and add hot water and let it sit (even overnight) and then add it through the toilet before we leave on a trip. I am sure sloshing while driving probably helps. So far we have had no odor and have never used the chemicals.

I would caution AGAINST using laundry detergent that has ANY softeners in it. Softeners are WAX. They will leave behind a residue which is sticky and attracts and holds mold. If you know of anyone with a front loading washer you probably have heard about the mold issues those machines have particularly when folks use either liquid fabric softeners in the rinse or detergents that have the fabric softeners built in. One of the "tricks" for getting rid of the sticky softener build up on the insides of the machines is to use liquid automatic dishwashing detergent and super hot water in a "clean" cycle. I think after having a front loader and despite avoiding all washer softener products still seeing how much cleaner the outside of the drum is after using the automatic dishwashing liquid I would be inclined to add some of that rather than clothes washing detergent or using cheap detergent that is just detergent and not all the fancy stuff.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:31 PM   #20
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thank you all for the replies, I will try your suggestions, we still have an issue with the smell, as I mentioned previously, I really think that most of the problem is because we are on a permanent site and do not have the movement of slooshing around that seems to help the problem. We cant really keep filling and dumping as we would like too, because it would just be real hard to do. I am going to dry the detergent in with the calgon and maybe a bit of bleach if need be and see how that works.
The other problem that bothers me is that the tank NEVER empties completely out. I think that could have some play in this also...I have posted this question before and am finding out that it is a common problem among some of these models...Dont really understand why, and it doesnt seem to matter which way the trailer is leaning, we have tried different methods of leveling up but still cant seem to get it to empty completely.
We do have an a vent fan that eastlakeroo suggested.. Our last trailer had the same fan and it worked great...starting to make me crazy....
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