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Author Topic: Sewage smells in RV  (Read 23718 times)

rankjo

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Sewage smells in RV
« on: May 11, 2009, 05:19:16 PM »
OK, there are a thousand posts on sewer smells in RV Forum.net, but this one refers to Winne Adventurers.

First of all, we had no problems with sewer smells in the first two years we owned the RV.

Then we started to have smells, but never while parked, only while moving.
We closed the two roof vents, which seemed to work for a while, but then we found that the smell returned, only while driving, and seemed to come from the hanging closet in the bathroom (where the washer drier used to be until we abandoned it as useless).

More recently, we noticed the smell while driving, and it was concentrated in the cabinet under the bathroom sink.
And here is the nub.
I noticed that the max smell was in the corner where the sink pipe goes through, so I took some duct-tape and sealed the hole.  This seemed to cure the problem.

So my theory is,  first you have to be sure that the vent over the toilet and the main vent by the kitchen are not pulling in vapours.
And after that, you have to seal any connecting orifices between the living area and the underneath, which may allow vapours to seep into the cabin area.
Where those vapours are rising from is not clear to me, since we have no sewage leaks or whatever.  But if it works, then it works.

I would love to hear from any people with Winne Adventurers or similar models that have had similar experiences

Rankjo

rjf7g

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 05:32:21 PM »
Sounds like you have had a grand time.  I wonder if a holding tank vent pipe has come loose.
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geodrake

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2009, 05:46:56 PM »
At each sink there should be a vent.  The vent is a spring loaded device that sets at the top of a pipe that should be next to the sink.  If the spring becomes weak it will allow orders to emanate into the RV.  The vent is a screw on devise that costs just a few dollars at Home Depot/Lowe's and is easily replace.
George Drake

Art In Mobile

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2009, 06:36:12 PM »
I believe George is talking about the vacuum breaker. He is more than likely right unless you have my problem. For the first year we just could not find the source of smell in our Voyage. It turned out to be the 3 inch rubber coupling for the black water tank. The first one directly out of the black water tank. It was never pushed on all the way & the top would let a little more than just smells come out! I had to remove the metal panel over the propane tank & crawl into the compartment & replace the coupling with one 3 inches longer. I am 6 foot 2 inches & had to strip down to my undershorts to get in! I hope this is not your problem. If you see a small amount of brown stuff draining down near your dump out valve you have a leak. Art
Art in Mobile 2006 Voyage V-10 Ford

ArdraF

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 06:39:29 PM »
You mentioned an abandoned washer-dryer.  Did you seal off the places where the trap might be?  Any time you close off a water drain you need to make sure it won't dry up and cause odors.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Old Snipe

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 07:01:15 PM »
I've found sometimes I get the smell when driving and I just turn on the water in the sinks and shower enough to fill the P-Traps.  It has happend on both my 03 Adventurer and now my 07 Journey.  I guess sometimes the water that seals off the fumes from the gray tank in the P-Trap either evaporates or sloshed out and went down the drain.

Best Regards!
Paul D
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John Canfield

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2009, 07:03:32 PM »
Once in a great while, we will have funky odors in the RV and so far it has turned out to be the washer/dryer drain trap lost its water.  Jane will do a load of clothes and the problem is solved.
--John
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SCVJeff

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009, 08:25:49 PM »
Once in a great while, we will have funky odors in the RV and so far it has turned out to be the washer/dryer drain trap lost its water.  Jane will do a load of clothes and the problem is solved.
Maybe it's just the socks   ;D
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Elly Dalmaijer

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009, 08:51:56 PM »
We also have occasional problems with a sewer smell in our Itasca Sunrise. And like you, only when driving. And then we discovered: only when driving with the driver's side window open.
We have been wondering whether one of those turning tops for the vent would help draw out the smells that way instead of them going into the unit. Has anyone tried that?

Elly
Either at home in St Albert AB or working in Africa or in our 1993 Itasca Sunrise.

John Canfield

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2009, 08:59:38 PM »
Maybe it's just the socks   ;D

Jeff - years ago (the good old days of having a career) when casual Friday started at work, I wore a nice shirt, slacks, and deck shoes with no socks.  90% of the time it is still deck shoes and no socks  :D


We have been wondering whether one of those turning tops for the vent would help draw out the smells that way instead of them going into the unit. Has anyone tried that?

No - we rarely have a problem and then (so far) it is always the washer p-trap losing water.
--John
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scottydl

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2009, 10:27:06 PM »
No - we rarely have a problem and then (so far) it is always the washer p-trap losing water.

Same here, as well as our stick house for that matter.  We have a septic system where we live, and some months back our downstairs hallway was stinking something fierce near a rarely-used 3/4 bathroom there.  I think there's even a post here somewhere about it.  Turned out to be that downstairs shower which is used maybe once every 6 months.  The trap dried out, and up came all the odors from our septic tank.  I would think RV drain traps have a much higher likelihood of drying out, with all the bouncing and sloshing around that happens when driving.
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Ron

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2009, 11:03:39 PM »
If you have a trap that is not being used anymore a make sure it has water in it then top it off with some salad oil and that will keep it from drying out.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

John Canfield

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2009, 07:26:11 AM »
Ron - great tip!  When we shut up the stick house for the summer, we cover the toilet bowls with clear plastic and so far never a problem.
--John
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Ned

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2009, 07:44:14 AM »
John, don't forget to remove the plastic when you return home :D
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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Marc L

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2009, 07:47:18 AM »
Ron - great tip!  When we shut up the stick house for the summer, we cover the toilet bowls with clear plastic and so far never a problem.

We used to do that as a prank in the dorm's washrooms. ;D
Marc...

Ron

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2009, 08:25:41 AM »
John we do the same with the toilets and use the salad oil in the drains.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

LK23

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2009, 09:53:15 AM »
I had a similar problem with odors coming from under the bath sink.  It drove me nuts trying to find it.  I sealed up everything I could under the sink.  Then I found the culprit, the sewer hose.  I bought a new sewer hose and the odor went away.  Once the sewer hose gets some gunk in it, the odors will find a way to creep into the water compartment that is located under the bath sink.  Now I routinely replace the sewer hose after a year's use.
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rsalhus

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2009, 04:35:17 PM »
Quote
Once the sewer hose gets some gunk in it, the odors will find a way to creep into the water compartment that is located under the bath sink.

Which brings me to ask, why don't they make and sell airtight covers (or lids) for each end of the sewer hose?  I bet you could make some money selling those!  It may take some creativity to make a cover for the bayonet end of the sewer hose, but not the other end.  Who wouldn't use them if they were available?


Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

John Canfield

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2009, 04:50:22 PM »
Rolf - the standard (at least in my model) Winnebago Industries sewer hose end is a really, really nifty design.  It has a handle with a valve that seals off the end of the hose.  Here's a picture.  I always leave the tank end of the hose connected and close the valve on the other end when we travel.
--John
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rsalhus

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Re: Sewage smells in RV
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2009, 05:18:42 PM »
Quote
Rolf - the standard (at least in my model) Winnebago Industries sewer hose end is a really, really nifty design.

Yeah, that is pretty nifty.  For our coach, we couldn't leave the (Rhinoflex) sewer hose connected to the end of the tank in the water/sewer compartment because there just isn't room for it.  I leave my sewer hose hanging horizontally in another compartment with the lowest end inside of an empty pail.  Having lids on each end of the sewer hose would mean I could put the hose anywhere and not need the pail. :o :o
Rolf Salhus
Currently at:  Our home in Apple Valley, MN

 

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