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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Older trailer, smelly toilet

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2halfs

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Posted: 07/06/21 12:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 2004 tt. It is in awesome shape.
But beginning to have areas of repairs.
Right now our biggest problem 8s the smelly toilet.
We use the RV chemical treatments everytime we are using the trailer.
Periodically do the flushing rinse from inside the toilet.
When camping and hooked up to a dump....we do not dump the waste until ready to leave. We let the holdings sit in the holding tank until ready to go....then it is dump black, then gray, then clean water.

Yet lately our toilet seems to have a stinky odor. The odor comes and goes.

Advice on what could be the problem, where to begin?


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Wishbone51

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Posted: 07/06/21 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never had an issue with my previous trailer. I've been having black tank smell with my current trailer, and just (sorta) solved it yesterday. For some reason, the smells were coming through the hole that the toilet fresh water is coming through. I plugged that hole and the smell is gone. It doesn't explain why it's coming through the hole. I suspect that the black tank vent isn't sealed to the tank.

Things to check:

* Make sure that the flush valve holds water
* Make sure that your vent isn't blocked
* Make sure the vent is sealed to the tank
* Make sure that the seal between the toilet and the floor is good.
* Make sure that the seal where foot pedal or the hand flush is sealed where it enters the tank.
* Make sure your dump valve is always closed, with a couple of gallons of water put back in before use.

When it is all sealed properly, I found that I don't need any additives at all.

I have no experience with this, but I hear that the grey water tank can often be the source of smells in the bathroom. Make sure that your P-Traps have water. If the smell is coming from under the sink, your air admittance valves might need to be replaced.


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gbopp

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Posted: 07/06/21 12:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wishbone51 wrote:

If the smell is coming from under the sink, your air admittance valves might need to be replaced.

This is the first thing I would check, especially if the smell comes and goes.

TexasShadow

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Posted: 07/06/21 12:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ditto to checking the gray water holding tank because it, too, can really get stinky.
each time we dump, we start off with 2 Cups cheap liquid detergent, 1 Cup borax and a gallon of fresh water...in each tank. This seems to do the job very well for us. We don't dump until they are at least half full and sometimes, they are almost to the top full. [emoticon]


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Grit dog

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Posted: 07/06/21 06:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it’s not a bad air admittance valve, sounds like you don’t drive far before dumping.
Try filling the black tank, heck gray tank too, about half full. Pick your favorite concoction of soap. A healthy dose of dish soap would be good. Even better if you can fill them with hot water from say your home water heater.
Then take the camper for a drive. Make the tanks into washing machines. Then go dump. May just be years of sh__ built up?


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rexmitchell

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Posted: 07/06/21 08:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Had a similar issue we couldn’t resolve on a used trailer. While in the shop for an unrelated issue had them check it out. Without getting too graphic the “solids had solidified” and required a couple rounds of some sort of chemical treatment not generally available to the common man. Fixed the problem and wasn’t overly expensive. Not sure if this is your issue but was ours.

2halfs

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Posted: 07/07/21 12:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Went over the list and comments with my husband. Everything was looking fine.
He did check the connection to the gray tank.

With this all being said, we may of found the problem....for the last 3 years we have not been out as often as we have in past years. So we have not done the usual deep cleaning in the black holding tank (shooting water with a high pressure wand from the bowl area of the toilet).

Well because the last time out which was a month ago we noticed some stink at the beginning of our trip but it went away quickly....my husband decided to do the Calgon and Dawn Soap treatment.....we poured the solution in before we left...threw in some ice. Drove and got to the campsite then my husband ran water in, did a dump then set up for our stay.

After two days we could not take the smell any more, he filled as much water into the holding tank he could, flushed it out, filled again and drained again.....he said that we never had so much "stuff" come out before.

He then put in some new RV chemicals (supposedly stronger then what we have used in the past).....No odors at all.

With all the advice here we were able to determine we have no leaks, broken seals, etc.

And with luck on our side we may of experienced the same issue that rexmitchell mentioned.

We will be able to tell tomorrow.

So I guess the Calgon and soap may of did what it should of, but maybe in a different way that we wanted ??

Thank you all for the help

Denise and Kevin

Tvov

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Posted: 07/07/21 05:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sounds like you may have "fixed" your problem.

I "sanitize" my tanks after most camping trips, especially when there is going to be a long time between trips.

I pour in about a cup of chlorine bleach into black and grey tanks, then fill the tanks with water. Let them sit for about an hour. Drain tanks.

This works for me, and I am able to do it at my house.

Even when dumping and you don't have the time for full tanks to sit for awhile, just try adding some bleach after you dump and are rinsing the tanks.

And, of course and always, use plenty of water with the black tank. I fill up the black tank just before dumping, even it isn't already full.


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2halfs

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Posted: 07/07/21 09:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tvoy,

Thank you for the advice.

My husband and I have been RVing since 2004. Same trailer, original owners.

This is the first time we encountered this problem...maybe running on luck [emoticon]

We have decide that it is time to sell this unit and upgrade to a new TT or 5th Wheel.

So even though this trailer has been kept in good shape, it is time to let it go. No doubt we got our $'s out of it.

I will let my husband know what you suggested about the bleach.

Thanks,
Denise

2halfs

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Posted: 07/07/21 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks all......

It has been almost two days and the odor has not returned.

I believe we found the problem.

I posted earlier what we did and thought.

Thank you,
Denise

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