Odor in our 5th wheel

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Apr 11, 2006
We are basically summer time RVers, however, we use it in the winter months as a spare bedroom for guests.? This winter, we hooked up a portable "gizmo" to haul off the black water and left it hooked there until it needed to be dumped.? There is water connected so flushing should be normal flushing.? However, there is an odor now that we cannot figure out what it is.? After using it this past weekend for a "getaway" weekend, we couldn't get rid of the odor even with candles, etc.? AND, we were connected directly to septic in the park.? My husband looked in every nook and cranny to see if it was something rotten that got left in there and couldn't find a thing, which leaves only the toilet system to be causing the problem.? Does anyone have any suggestions???

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Mar 14, 2005
west Los Angeles
If you are just using it for a spare bedroom, it may well be that the water in the P-traps of your shower and maybe your galley sink have simply evaporated.  Try pouring water into all the drains in the trailer and see what eventuates.  If that kills the stink then you have done it.  Otherwise, come back and we'll pursue the subject further.  ;D


Site Team
Mar 11, 2005
Camp Verde, AZ
nancyb31 said:
However, there is an odor now that we cannot figure out what it is....


Is the odor a sewage odor or does it smell like something dead?

It's possible that a critter crawled up inside somewhere and died.


Well-known member
Oct 30, 2005
Full-time , Escapee
If you left the black tank valve open, as your post seems to imply, it is very possible that you have a build-up of solids in the tank that did not flush out into the portable waste tank. I would try filling the black tank about half full and then add a healthy dose of a digester product of your choice. Let it sit for a few days and then tow it around a few miles before you dump. That might get it out if that is the problem.

Also, if you have the black valve open it is quite possible that sewer gas is backing up into the tank and venting into the RV when you flush the toilet. And by all means check the traps to the gray water tanks as suggested as well.
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