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Old 08-13-2015, 11:17 AM   #1
desertjack
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black water smell

We have a 2011 Hideout 26RLS that we bought new in May 2012. Lately I am getting whiffs of back tank odor outside around the RV Looking under the back tank it looks like at one time the area around where the tube connects into the side of the black tank on the curbside (is that the back flush line ?) may have leaked down the side of the tank. On the other side of the tank (over the drain valve area) it looks like there may have been some leakage from the top corner near where the tank is mounted alongside the cross bar up against the floor. I jammed a rag into the crevice between the side of the tank and crossbar to see if maybe I stop the smell as if crack might be up there causing the smell but that didn't work Any suggestions as to what to look for or how to fix ? This is the first time we've had any issues like this in using the RV extensively the past 3 summers.
Thanks Desert Jack
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
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My next check would be to check the rooftop vent pipe for obstructions. It also would probably bee a good idea to flood the tank with clean water to see where it re-appears. When you can't detect a leak, drain about half the water and then add a quality RV specific black water treatment, and let do its work.

Good Luck
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:37 PM   #3
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my first question is:
Is the smell present all the time? Or only when you are camping?

If it is only when you are camping, are you using a system that seals the sewer connection?

If that ain't your problem, we're gonna need some more info to help you out.

Is the odor constant, or can you associate it with any activity? Inside the coach?
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:58 AM   #4
desertjack
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thanks for the imput

Answering your questions:
--Smell is constant while using the RV.
--We've been using the RV since late May .
--Smell started about a month ago off and on and now its more on than off.
--I drain the tank most every day and periodically use the back flush feature to try to keep it as clean as possible.
--Looking under the black tank I see where it looks like residue flowed down the rear side corner of the tank at some point. Currently its not wet but looks like it was wet at one time.
--I wonder if the tank has a crack on the upper surface as I can't see anything wrong on the sides or bottom.
--I wonder how hard it would be to take off the cross bar that seems to support the side that looks to have had a leak to see if I can detect a crack on the upper surface ?
--If a crack is seen can it be caulked or glued with an epoxy ?
--What are the odds that the RV has a cracked tank so soon in its life as it's only 4 yrs old and so far as I know has never been abused ?
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Old 08-14-2015, 11:34 AM   #5
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If your wanting to lower the black tank to peek at the top, you'll need to pull the toilet off and then if the flange is screwed onto the drain, unscrew it.

If you don't disconnect the toilet/drain pipe from the tank you may make your problems a whole lot worse.
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Old 08-15-2015, 02:18 PM   #6
desertjack
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more imput

More about my black tank odor issue
--odor is only present outside the RV and when down wind of underside of RV which here is most days
--in back flushing the tank it looks like a small stream of water oozes from the top side of the tank and down the side of the tank above the back flush inlet hose connection.
--inlet hose and its connection into the side of the tank stays dry
--water that oozes down the side of the tank doesn't seem to give off a smell
--could the mechanism that is used to back flush the tank have caused a leak to develop in the top of the tank if too much water pressure was used to back flush the tank ? (BTW I use a water pressure limit value for max of 45 PSI)

I wonder if somehow a crack developed in the top of the tank via the back flush mechanism if that makes any sense......I am new to this RV stuff so please don't laugh too hard at that comment

Thanks for any other suggestions about this issue..........
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:47 PM   #7
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Your posts have described some residue and non-smelly water leak. If I were a betting man I'd bet that you have a very stinky black tank which is venting the smell through the roof vent.

To eliminate that, go to a dumping station and do a thorough job of cleaning the tank. Before you head to the dump station put some water softener or dish soap in the tank. Make sure you use the tank flush to bring your tank to about 3/4 full before you drain it.

Google black tank cleaning and you find plenty of hints and "secret recipes" for cleaning your tank.

I had a stinky tank once and the outside of the trailer smelled all the time...until I gave it a good cleaning.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:49 PM   #8
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I think bill-e may be on to something. To start with you say you drain the tank every day. Big mistake. When you do that there is never enough water in the tank to fully flush out all the solids. You should only drain the black water tank when it is almost full or when you have to because you are heading home.

Similar to bill-e, when I have had a tank get stinky I fill it almost full, put in 2 or 3xs the normal amount of Happy Camper, let it sit 2 or 3 days, then drain, fill the tank, flush again.

There are many ways to clean the tank, but you need to do more than just use the back flush. I'd sure try this before taking things apart.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:56 PM   #9
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I also agree with the two above me. Since your hideout is open on the bottom it is easier to find leaks. I would fill it up using the toilet and search for water leaks. If none found I would drain the tank and then use the back flush and go observe to see if it is leaking somewhere while in use. Maybe you have a slight leak when using the sprayer but as others have said the smell is probably coming from your vent and the tank needs a good cleaning


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Old 08-19-2015, 12:35 PM   #10
desertjack
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thanks all

Thanks for the replies to my problem
I have started to put a cup of granular clothes detergent into the tank every am when I drain it out. So far that has not helped.
Regarding the vent I have visited the roof vent and it gives off a normal odor so it seems to be working.
Currently odor comes from under the RV depending on which side is down wind of any wind blowing at that time
Getting a stream of water off the top of the tank when back flushing and never having had that issue or the odor issue in nearly 9 mo's of use over past three summers just makes me think that there's crack or leak somewhere in the top of the tank in that the smell comes from underneath the RV
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Old 08-19-2015, 01:13 PM   #11
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the black water and grey water tanks are prone to cracking at any of the four corners, at the top of the corner especially if the tanks were left full when travelling.

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Old 08-19-2015, 02:30 PM   #12
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In reading the situation, I would thoroughly fill, flush and drain the tank several times. It sounds Ike the tank needs a good cleaning.
After doing above and before using the tank, I would then place about five gallons of water in the tank with 2 cups of arm and Hammer "Washing Soda" (not baking soda, you can find this at Wal-Mart) and 2 cups any liquid laundry detergent. Use the toilet until it is somewhat full, then dump and flush the tank.

After dumping my tank, I always add 5 gals water with the detergents I listed and never have odors. The tank needs lots of water to start out this time. The waste needs to be held in suspension or it sits and sticks to the tank walls and floor and odors will be the result.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:30 PM   #13
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there is one tank additive on the market that really works when it comes to odors. I have used all the normal ones sold in rv stores and wal mart as well as other stores. I found a product called happy camper and bought a bucket of it. I will never use any other product but this one. it really does work.
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfpro View Post
there is one tank additive on the market that really works when it comes to odors. I have used all the normal ones sold in rv stores and wal mart as well as other stores. I found a product called happy camper and bought a bucket of it. I will never use any other product but this one. it really does work.

Where did you find "Happy Camper"?
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:19 PM   #15
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