Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Does your RV stink? It might be RV gray water tank odor

By Cheri Sicard
RV gray water tank odor is a problem I had in my old RV. The couple in the video from Changing Lanes had it, and if your RV is stinky and you can’t figure out why, you might be having it too.

I remember when I dealt with this problem. It was making me crazy. I had dumped and cleaned my black water tank. Yet my RV was always smelling stinky. At one point it kind of smelled like a propane leak, yet I could find no such leak. I finally asked my trusty mobile RV repair guy what could be going on. He said, “It’s probably your gray water tank.”

What? I had never even considered that. Isn’t gray water mostly soap and water?

He poured a gray water deodorizer in and the smell almost instantly disappeared.

I’ve never had the problem in my current RV and can’t remember the brand that worked so well, but I remember that smell and never want to encounter it again, so this video was of interest.

It starts with the reasons and possible causes of gray water odor.

My problem was easy to fix. All I had to do was pour some deodorizer down my RV’s drains. Others may need a different fix to the offensive olfactory stimuli wafting up from your RV’s plumbing.

Check the check valve

The check valve is something that can be the cause of more stubborn gray water odors. If you tried deodorant and you still have stinky gray water tank odor, check the check valve. If it is loose, you will likely get gray tank odor.

Another symptom that might point to check valve malfunction is if your water is draining slowly.

So what to do?

Watch the video. You will learn what the check valve is, where it is, how it works to prevent gray water odors, and how to fix this common issue by either tightening or replacing the check valve.

This easy and inexpensive fix can put an end to RV gray water tank odor completely.  Check it out.




  1. Many people think their RV sink is just like their sink at home where they don’t give it a second thought about pouring their cooking waste down the drain. Vegetable peelings, grease from cooking meat etc. go down the drain but instead of going into the sewer, it goes into the grey tank where it sits slowly attaching itself to the sides of the tank. If you don’t fill your tank with “HOT” soapy water it stays on the sides and sets up bacterial growth. I always leave my grey water drain valve partially open until I’m getting ready to dump the black tank. I’ve never experienced sewer smell coming from the sewer drain. DW almost unconsciously dumped the wrong stuff down the drain because she was use to the garbage disposal at home, after a short talk she kept an empty vegetable can to dump junk into. Lol


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