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Old 02-09-2024, 05:21 AM   #1
LearningAsIGo
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Sewer smell in Entertainment Console cupboard

Hello, new to this forum and f/t rv trailer living. We have a 2014 Outback 323bhs. The entertainment console shares a wall with the shower. The bathroom doesn't smell, I regularly snake the shower drain, the water itself doesn't smell but I have a sewer smell emitting from the entertainment console?
I have learned so so many lessons since July's purchase and us being in it full time but this new lesson eludes me on a solution. All tanks have Happy Camper in them as enzymes weren't our answer. Is there a plumbing diagram someone's come up with or would someone let me know any thoughts or ideas on solving this please and thank you?
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Old 02-09-2024, 05:50 AM   #2
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You will find no plumbing diagram in existence on these RV’s, regretfully. And Happy Camper will serve you well. No need to seek some miracle cure for a chemical answer. You made a good choice with Happy Camper. Any chance in the world of cutting an inspection panel in the wood separating the shower and the cabinets?
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Old 02-09-2024, 05:57 AM   #3
LearningAsIGo
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Oh that's a big ask, lol, as cutting open any wall always leads to a rabbit hole - house or rv, lol!
I'm unsure as all the wiring is behind there and cutting can be done carefully but might expose wiring to water? I'd be more inclined for a mold smell as that would make more sense but I've learned sense and rvs don't always go together. I have called Keystone directly for diagrams but they don't have them either? How is that possible when the builders would use them?.
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Old 02-09-2024, 07:15 AM   #4
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Schematics are basically non existent, and us techs make educated guesses as to where wiring and plumbing are routed.

When I need to look behind a wall I simply remove the corner molding, use a small pick to pull the edge away and a flashlight. I do have a higher end color inspection camera, and have used it on occasion.
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Old 02-09-2024, 08:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for that tip! I will give it a go!
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Old 02-09-2024, 08:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearningAsIGo View Post
Hello, new to this forum and f/t rv trailer living. We have a 2014 Outback 323bhs. The entertainment console shares a wall with the shower. The bathroom doesn't smell, I regularly snake the shower drain, the water itself doesn't smell but I have a sewer smell emitting from the entertainment console?
I have learned so so many lessons since July's purchase and us being in it full time but this new lesson eludes me on a solution. All tanks have Happy Camper in them as enzymes weren't our answer. Is there a plumbing diagram someone's come up with or would someone let me know any thoughts or ideas on solving this please and thank you?
I think the "key to your smell" is likely to be at least partly contained in your statement I changed to red. The shower does not have a conventional "P trap" but uses a HPVO valve to prevent sewer gasses from entering the shower drain. "Snaking" that valve will destroy the rubber diaphragm in it and make the HPVO valve fail. I'd assume the gray tank vent is plumbed into the drain line downstream from that valve, so if the valve fails (closed with a slow drain) gasses will be routed up the tank vent which may be in the wall between the shower and the entertainment center. You can verify the location of the gray tank rooftop vent by climbing a ladder and checking the location of the roof vent cap where it comes up through the roof. It should be in the area between the bathroom and the entertainment center. If the valve fails (is damaged by snaking it) and is open, you'll get the sewer gasses up, into the shower drain. If the HPVO fails, those gasses may be routed through a cracked HPVO body and leak into the belly of the trailer, where they may be "creeping up the open space through the floor, outside the tank rooftop vent, and into the wall space between the shower and entertainment center.

Here's a diagram of a HPVO valve and a link to better understand them
https://hepvo.com/. As you can see, running a "snake" through the rubber diaphragm can do significantly more harm than good.

As a note, if you replace or remove your HPVO valve to check it for damage, remember that when you reinstall it, the valve must be installed "with the ribs down". If you install it incorrectly (ribs up) water will pool in the valve body, smell and can cause the rubber diaphragm to "dry in the closed position" and no longer function properly.
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Old 02-09-2024, 10:07 AM   #7
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I thought about the Hepvo but wasn’t sure it was in use on all units in 2014.
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Old 02-09-2024, 11:01 AM   #8
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This is great! Thank you! It's a tiny snake that doesn't go far but does remove any hair that makes it down the drain.
I will go and look at the vents again. There is an access panel for the shower which I'll use as well.
The shower drain doesn't smell at all. I use a mix of blue Dawn, vinegar and water in the shower as it takes soap residue off quickly without a lot of effort.
What method would be best to access this HPVO valve? Hopefully without putting my shower out of commission. Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 02-09-2024, 11:02 AM   #9
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Also, really do not understand why manufacturers wouldn't offer plumbing and wiring diagrams. So frustrating!
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Old 02-09-2024, 12:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearningAsIGo View Post
This is great! Thank you! It's a tiny snake that doesn't go far but does remove any hair that makes it down the drain.
I will go and look at the vents again. There is an access panel for the shower which I'll use as well.
The shower drain doesn't smell at all. I use a mix of blue Dawn, vinegar and water in the shower as it takes soap residue off quickly without a lot of effort.
What method would be best to access this HPVO valve? Hopefully without putting my shower out of commission. Thanks so much for your help!
Quote:
Originally Posted by LearningAsIGo View Post
Also, really do not understand why manufacturers wouldn't offer plumbing and wiring diagrams. So frustrating!
A lot of times there is an access plate on the front of the shower pan. The only time I have gotten any schematic was from Jayco.
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Old 02-09-2024, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LearningAsIGo View Post
Also, really do not understand why manufacturers wouldn't offer plumbing and wiring diagrams. So frustrating!
One trip to any RV factory and you'll understand why there's no diagrams or schematics to indicate where things are routed or even how they're connected. My last visit to Keystone's Cougar assembly line (Pre Covid) we were in the walkway above the trailers as they were installing the roof decking and TPO membrane. Prior to the installation of the OSB decking, all the A/C ducting, ROMEX and 12 Volt wiring was visible. Looking at the three trailers in a row, one had all the wiring on the driver's side of the A/C ducting, one had ROMEX on that side and all the 12 volt (single strand wires) on the passenger's side of the A/C ducting and the last one with the roof still open and visible, had all the wiring on the passenger's side. Note that there were three crews working on the trailers as they went down the line, so there were "three distinct personalities" in the trailers....

In other words, few, if any of the trailers are "standardized as they would be on a robotic automotive assembly line where EVERY vehicle down the line is assembled by computerized robots with ABSOLUTELY NO VARIABILITY in assembly procedures....

Like three "subdivision tract houses" that use the same blueprints but different crews, you'll see three distinctly different houses that look the same at first glance, but vary greatly when you get out a ruler and start measuring where things are installed.....

As for access to your HPVO valve, if your shower base has access panels, I'd start there. If you don't have access panels, then you'll need to pull the coroplast underliner away from the frame along the trailer frame rail and use a flashlight to see where access might be under the trailer, but inside the "winterized space under the floor".....

Here's a couple of photos to give you some idea of why things are like they are with no diagrams
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Old 02-09-2024, 12:43 PM   #12
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Remind me to never learn to be a trailer technician. The things I've already had to learn are countless. Still, we love our home for now and plan on keeping it.
I will give it a go tomorrow but a hockey game in a freezing cold arena beccons me yet again. �� I will message you regardless as I very much appreciated your time.
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Old 02-09-2024, 01:04 PM   #13
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Airstream (travel trailers start about $100K for a 22' model) produces a very good Owner's Manual with schematics and parts lists for all their models. You can access the Airstream manuals here: https://www.airstream.com/owners/manuals/

While this is NOT the same as Keystone's wiring or plumbing diagrams, it will give you some kind of "insight into how all trailers are wired and plumbed"...

Not accurate to compare Airstream to Keystone by any means, that said, it's a "generalized starting point" for where to look and possibly how to solve a problem. I use these manuals frequently to try to understand how a Keystone or a Grand Design trailer "might be put together"... Sometimes it make the job easier, sometimes, it's just another "learning time if I ever need to repair an Airstream".....
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Old 02-09-2024, 02:34 PM   #14
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The "Sewer Smell" you mentioned might have nothing to do with the shower. What about the black tank vent, could it be cracked in the wall?
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Old 02-09-2024, 07:54 PM   #15
LearningAsIGo
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Thank you JRTJH! I will read those. I'm a geek like that.
GlasNav, would the vent line need something of an impact to crack it? It has been parked on our lot since October and other than some high winds there hasn't been anything, nor any bigger branches, ect to cause an impact. I'm learning as I go. Also trying to not rip out my shower surround if possible in order to access that wall. The TV and audio system are in that wall as well. (And I'm thinking I should start designing RV's....)
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Old 02-10-2024, 07:52 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by LearningAsIGo View Post
Thank you JRTJH! I will read those. I'm a geek like that.
GlasNav, would the vent line need something of an impact to crack it? It has been parked on our lot since October and other than some high winds there hasn't been anything, nor any bigger branches, ect to cause an impact. I'm learning as I go. Also trying to not rip out my shower surround if possible in order to access that wall. The TV and audio system are in that wall as well. (And I'm thinking I should start designing RV's....)
The unit is 10 years old, no telling what could have cracked or split over time. My post was only a suggestion as something to consider. Not knowing the layout of your rig, the reference to the vent pipe is an assumption if the entertainment console backs up to the bathroom.
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Old 02-10-2024, 09:29 AM   #17
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The unit is 10 years old, no telling what could have cracked or split over time. My post was only a suggestion as something to consider. Not knowing the layout of your rig, the reference to the vent pipe is an assumption if the entertainment console backs up to the bathroom.
Here is the floorplan for the OP's Outback. The toilet (and the black tank vent space behind the toilet) are on the opposite wall from the entertainment center. In this "brochure diagram" you can see that there's a wall space in the corner behind the toilet where I'd suppose the black tank roof vent rises from the belly to the roof. The OP can confirm this by visualizing the roof to see if there's a vent stack in that location, but I'd suspect that's where the black tank vent is installed.

While on the ladder to check the black tank vent location, checking for a roof vent in the vicinity of the entertainment center will confirm or rule out a gray tank vent in the wall between the entertainment center and the shower wall.

OP: THERE IS NO REASON TO TEAR OUT THE SHOWER SURROUND TO TRY TO LOCATE THE VENT STACK !!!!! If it isn't visible in that area on the roof, it isn't there and pulling out the shower surround will only destroy your shower.

That said, when you pull the stereo and can see behind it (in the space not visible with it installed) you can confirm whether there is any water damage to the rear wall (stains or gray color water marks) and that should tell you if there's a leak in the back part of the entertainment center caused by a leak in the wall between the shower and that cabinet.

Also, it looks like your WFCO power center is located "on the floor" of the entertainment center. It's an easy task to pull the power center out. With it out of the way, you can use a flash light to fully check the bottom of the shower wall to see if there's any water stains that would/could be a source of "mold smell in the entertainment center".

As an "added, way out there guess", there might be a Studor Mini Vent for the gray tank that's in the entertainment center rather than in the vanity cabinet. If there's no Mini Vent under your bathroom vanity, then you might find one behind the shower, in the same space as the power center. It will project up, at least to the top of the toilet height, so all you'll see behind the power center would be a black 1.5" CPVC pipe. As the first part says, this is an "added, way out there guess" and is very likely not where the mini vent is located, but with Keystone, or any other RV manufacturer, you just never know......
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