Help! Our trailer stinks :(

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Ed & Sami

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Posts
12
Hi everyone.  I guess we goofed up.  When we took delivery of our Jayfeather about 2 months ago, we left the dealer with the water tank 1/3 full.  Well, two months later, we still had not used any of the water in the holding tank.  Then two days into a five day trip, we woke up to discover that our trailer smelled horrible.  After much debate and inspection, we finally checked the water tank.  When my husband opened the valve and the water poured out, we realized that we had found the culprit.  We drained all of the water out and the trailer smelled fine.  But when we refilled the tank, the smell returned.  We have rinsed out the tank a number of times and that darn smell is not budging. 

Any suggestions?  We're desperate.  We definitely can't spend any more time in our trailer until this problem is fixed.  Also, should we be adding anything to our water tank to prevent this from happening?  My father-in-law who has rv'd for many years said that he leaves water in the tank for months and months at a time and has never had this happen.  He lives in the northwest and we are in Texas.  Could the heat and humidity that we have down here have caused this problem?  Thanks in advance for any suggestions or information that anyone can offer.

Sami  ;D
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,630
Ed & Sami

Just for clarification, are you talking about the fresh water tank, one of the waste holding tanks, or the hot water tank? Water left in the hot water tank for an extended period will produce a rotten egg smell. When it's happened to me, the smell went away after running sufficient water through the hot water faucet(s). It might take days of use before it eventually goes away and I might sanitize the system. Others might here have a more immediate solution.

As for keeping water in the fresh water tank, I'll put a little bleach in the tank when filling with water. I don't do this at every fill, but before leaving to sit for a while. After an extended period, I'll completely sanitize the system before re-using.

To read the procedure for sanitizing, click the Library button above, select the Hygene, health and medicine cateory, and click Water system sanitizing.
 

Ed & Sami

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Posts
12
Hiya Tom.  Thanks for the quick response.  You've given me a lot of really helpful information.  I think I am talking about the fresh water tank.  It's the tank that you fill with water and then you have to turn on the water pump to use it.  Does that make sense?  Sorry for the confusion... we are still very new at this.
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,630
If you're sure it's the fresh water tank, I'd try sanitizing to see if that helps. Then add a little bleach to the tank before leaving in storage.

We used to have a terrible smell at the house and on our boat from the water systems after even a short period of non-use. It used to drive us nuts. But it disappeared with more frequent use and went away all together when they installed a new water treatment plant in our local community. I don't know if a couple of water filters might help your situation.
 

Ron

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Joined
Jan 29, 2005
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18,082
Location
Home is where we park it
If it is your freah water tank that is emitting the offending odor then I would recommend the following:

Drain the fresh water tank.
Add 2 cups of industrial clorine bleach while filling the fresh water tank
Run water through each faucet untill you smell the bleach
let set for 24 hours.
Drain the tank then fill again and drain again then fill as desired for use.

Hope that helps.
 

camper1b

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2005
Posts
48
Location
Endicott, NY
Great advise so far.  I let my fresh water sit in the fresh water tank for weeks at a time with no smell.  However, I am on city water and it is quite chlorinated.  When I fill the fresh water tank at a source other than my house, I always drain it when I get home.  I only drain my water heater at the end of the season and no problems yet.  Maybe I've just gotten lucky.  (If I were on a well, I would probably drain everything after each trip.  Good luck and welcome to RVing!
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
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5,154
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Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Ron,

If you drain the tank and then add 2 cups of bleach, I don't think the pump will be able to grab that little bit of bleach. Maybe you meant to say "Fill with 10 gallons of water, add 2 cups bleach......" ??? Straight bleach may also damage parts of the pump.
 

N Smock

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Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Posts
246
Location
Long Branch, NJ
What water suply are you connected to at the house where you fill up or do fill up somewhere else. Is the local supply clorinated or house well? Having lived in Texas I know that sulpher is a big problem. Does the smell come only from hot water or both hot and cold? Do you run any filters? Do you get the odor when connected to the city water connection on the trailer not using the internal tank or pump?

Nelson
 
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