Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. Today he discusses the possible causes for why the RV smells like sewage after dumping the black tank.
RV smells like sewage after dumping tank
We have a 2014 Winnebago Tour. My issue is that when we’re leaving a campsite and dump the black tank, for the first 30 minutes we get a stink from the toilet. I have looked and looked for any possible breaks in the vent pipe and just can’t find anything. We have tried leaving windows open, and tried running the fan (I know that’s a no-no). We have left water in the bowl (and it stays in the bowl for hours). I am out of ideas. Any suggestions? —Jim
I don’t know that running the fan is a no-no. However, I think it would make things worse as it would be drawing air from the black water tank.
If you have a good seal at the toilet valve that holds water, I would check the toilet base to make sure it is sealed properly there as well. There should be a rubber gasket around the hole in the floor that seals. If it’s cracked or misaligned, it would allow odor from the black water tank to come inside. You might need to take the toilet out to inspect. Before doing that, check to see/smell if the odor is more intense at the base.
Clean the black tank thoroughly
One other item I would suggest is cleaning your black water tank out thoroughly. If you are getting sewage smells after dumping, it indicates the black water tank still has sewage in it and might not have the proper chemical. I would suggest using Tank Blaster by Thetford for a thorough cleaning, as recommended. Then, when dumping, you should dump and fill at least twice.
Since it’s a Winnebago Tour, I assume it has a black water flush valve. If so, hook up a water hose and fill the tank after the initial dump. This will spray water around the sides and help clean everything off. Then dump again. You will be amazed at how dirty the water is the second time. Sometimes it even takes a third time. It’s a good idea to use a see-through or opaque adapter at the end.
If you inspected all your vent lines, the last thing I would suggest is changing out the vent covers with a Cyclone model that pivots with the wind and actually draws air out while you are driving.
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