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Old 09-28-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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Help - problem with stinky tank!

We are having a lot of problem with our black tank. Basically it smells all the time. It doesn't have a vent - do all of you guys have vents for your tank? We could put a vent in our bathroom but that doesn't help when we are driving down the road. Jesus - we go up a hill and I feel like I'm sitting in a septic tank. Please, any advice would be great. My husban'd idea is to put a flexible hose onto the black tank and up the side of our bathroom and vent out the roof? Does that sound right to people? Thanks for the advice.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:45 PM   #2
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Re: Help - problem with stinky tank!

i found if you put a T fitting at the top of your vent pipe out your roof , take that flat cap off ,,,T works better,so when your rolling down the road the air though the T will pull the stink out ,make sure you face it forward and aft, lowes has the 1.1/2 black pipe T's
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:25 PM   #3
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Re: Help - problem with stinky tank!

With great reservation I vented through the roof. If this isnt an option at this point, there are some marine inline charcoal vent filters (could vent in a more convenient location) since boats vent out of the side and the smell can be an issue in the cockpit etc, but ideally go through the roof and forget the filter.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: Help - problem with stinky tank!

I ran seperate vents for the gray & black tanks... in retrospect I could have tied them into one vent stack. I ran them up through the roof...



I'm not concerned about leaks, I put vent caps (Lowes or Home Depot) and sealed them with butyl tape and caulked over the screws.

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Old 09-28-2009, 10:04 PM   #5
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Re: Help - problem with stinky tank!

Oh, and after you get the tank properly vented, you might want to try using some chemicals in the tank, though I prefer to consider doing that something akin to throwing things into a black hole (literally speaking). However, out of the plethora of chemicals out there, there is one that has been said to work far better than the others, at least that is what I'm reading on the RV forums... it's called Oderlos and it's suppose to kill the oders not cover them up. Personally I just use the GEO method, which is either Dawn Dish soap or Laundry detergent. Mostly I don't use anything at all.

However, when running down the road, you still have air back pressure from vent on the roof, though it should be much better with a vent than with no vent at all. I try and put something in the tank before rolling down the road.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:43 AM   #6
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Re: Help - problem with stinky tank!


My tank is properly vented, but I ALSO use a chemical -- and lots of it. Thetford (manufacturer of RV toilets) has several kinds. I liked the Supreme Green (environmentally friendly) one. But even K-Mart sells RV toilet chemical.

Note that the label says that a certain amount of chemical will treat a certain size tank FOR A CERTAIN LENGTH OF TIME -- like one week. So you may need to use a lot more than the amount that the front label brags about. It's the old "...good for up to....

This chemical is great for other similar purposes also. One year at Burning Man I got stuck with transporting a friend's 30 or 40 gallon week-old barrel of gray-water. L-O-R-D, it stank! A splash of RV chemical, and... magic!
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Old 09-29-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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Re: Help - problem with stinky tank!


Interesting read, that. Just lots of water, many of them say.
But my situation is a bit different, in that I cannot allow any extra water in either of Millicent's waste tanks when we are at Burning Man for eight or nine days, because then they would overflow. One of the contributions we make to the Black Rock City community is to offer the use of Millicent's comparatively luxurious facilities to guests! So I must minimize the waste volume. For that somewhat unusual purpose, the chemical gets the job done.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:43 PM   #8
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Re: Help - problem with stinky tank!

Having full timed myself for 4 years, I know about using lots of water. The main difference is, those people have sewer hook-up's and can dump daily... In a situation where you are camping and not able to dump every time you get a whiff of something you don't like, and have to store it onboard in the tanks for a few days, chemicals make the difference. I would guesstimate 80-90% of all RV'ers use some kind of chemical... it certainly flies off the shelf at the RV stores and at Wallies. I used it for quite some time, but when I started full timing it became more of an expense than anything else, and I too was able to dump on demand, so why bother. The soap helped to clean my tank sensors, but I didn't install sensors on my bus so now I don't use any chemicals at all...unless I'm camping somewhere without a sewer hook-up that is...
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