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Old 07-30-2018, 03:33 AM   #1
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Default Unexplained odor

My Rialta is almost 20 years old. There's nothing in the sewage tank, I've drained water out of tanks. There's this funky sewage odor that I can't get rid of. The stack on top is not stopped up. It comes and goes. Any suggestions on what I need to do. Excuse me if I don't use the correct terminology. All I ever had to do was pack and I don't know much about maintenance on my RV, my husband did that and he died. I'm not ready to stop traveling in it.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:49 AM   #2
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This may seem like a dumb question... but is there any water in the toilet bowl? If not, it WILL stink up the place.

Or it could even be coming from the gray tank. They can get pretty funky smelling too.

I always used Happy Camper in both tanks to control the smell.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:02 AM   #3
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Yes there's water in the toilet bowl. I drained all water from the gray tank and then put more in with some stuff I bought at Walmart to help with odor from the gray tank.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:24 AM   #4
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Assuming you have water in all the sink traps, then you must have a plumbing leak somewhere. A properly-sealed system will have no odor at all. No need for chemicals.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:46 AM   #5
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Part of that system usually includes an anti-siphon trap valve under the bath sink. It's like a PCV for the plumbing system and allows air in but not out. The spring/diaphram can become non functional over time. Had a relative that had this happen. He couldn't figure out the source of the odor and that was it. On his and my sink there is a vertical pvc pipe that is about 8" tall beneath the sink. It's topped with a black cap. The cap is the valve. Worth a look.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:14 AM   #6
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If you have any rubber hoses in your waste system see if they are in good condition, time will take a toll on them. In the boating world it is normal maintenance to replace large rubber hose connecting a toilet to its waste tank every few years, these hoses will deteriorate in time. Take a wet rag - wipe a hose and test it for odor.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:35 PM   #7
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.

Check the flange between the toilet and the floor.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:43 PM   #8
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Post #5 is not what you have behind your toilet. See photo below. This was not my Rialta but you can see where the toilet leaked and stained the plywood. This could be the odor you are smelling. Also the shower drain trap may not have water in it (located in the floor shower pan.
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File Type: jpg Pluming System.jpg (30.0 KB, 23 views)
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:41 AM   #9
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I will second BBQ's comment. RVs can have a foam rubber gasket under the toilet that can crack when it gets old. It's easy to replace if you're handy, and not an expensive job if you're not.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:09 PM   #10
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Sometimes the gray water holding tank can stink worse than the black.

Put a teaspoon of liquid holding tank treatment, like Thetford Aqua-Kem, down each of the sink drains and run a bit of water. (Shower drain too if you use your shower.)

Hopefully that will help.
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Old 08-05-2018, 05:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballbraindogs View Post
Sometimes the gray water holding tank can stink worse than the black.

Put a teaspoon of liquid holding tank treatment, like Thetford Aqua-Kem, down each of the sink drains and run a bit of water. (Shower drain too if you use your shower.)

Hopefully that will help.
This is good advice as a stop-gap measure. But, as I say, a properly-functioning plumbing system will not smell--black or gray. Chemicals are a palliative and not normally necessary. Best to find and fix the leaks and keep your traps full.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:48 PM   #12
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Keep on traveling! Im a widow of 4 years and Ive chosen to continue to travel in a class b Van and now b+ RV. I learn more every time I take it out, especially from my mistakes! You go girl!
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:51 PM   #13
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An older RV is likely to have a toilet with an overflow hole located near where water enters the toilet bowl. Think of it as another P trap that needs to have water in it to seal the system. If there is no water in that overflow tube (it could have evaporated or been siphoned out) then odors will escape up and into the RV.

Some water should divert into the overflow hole when water is entering the bowl but it could evaporate if the toilet hasn't been used in while.



fwdanielson posted that photo of the stink tube here: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...inks-5628.html
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:40 PM   #14
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Default Odor

IF you have a Rialta, chances are, the odor you are experiencing is a GAS leak. The leak is too small for the detector to sense it but the mercaptan smell manifest itself more readily with our sense of smell. Even using a sensitive gas leak detector WILL NOT reveal the source, only a bubble test will reveal the source. On my unit, the leak was a loose fitting to the furnace. Remove the cover, i believe there are 3 or 4 cover screw, and use a soap solution...2 teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a liter of water in a spray bottle. Spray all of the compression fittings you see and bubbles will form where there is a leak. Also check all fittings leading up to the stove, and make sure the stove control is OFF. Good luck
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:47 PM   #15
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Also, you might want to check out the forum site of a group of Rialta owners, plenty of help dedicated solely for Rialta. Seach for IOgroup rialta.
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:01 PM   #16
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It could be the smell of rotting rubber elbows in the waste plumbing..
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GladysMae View Post
I don't know much about maintenance on my RV, my husband did that and he died. I'm not ready to stop traveling in it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nnewman View Post
Keep on traveling! Im a widow of 4 years and Ive chosen to continue to travel in a class b Van and now b+ RV. I learn more every time I take it out, especially from my mistakes! You go girl!
Gladys. First, welcome to the forum. My condolences on your loss.

By all means, keep traveling as nnewman suggests. Keep on until you decide it's no longer your thing. You probably know more than many of us about traveling in an RV, and for the rest, each of us has our own puzzling problems from time to time so you're not alone on that.

Maintenance and repairs are the unpleasant part of rv'ing, but soon forgotten when you find that next perfect camp site or thing of beauty to admire. In the meantime, find a reputable and cheap rv shop in your area (just kidding about the cheap part, there's no such thing) for repairs you need help with.

For all else, you have this forum, Youtube, and facebook groups where you'll find good help. My theory is, if something's already broken, I can't hurt much by trying to repair it myself. So far, with the sources of help I listed above, I've been able to avoid the blood-sucking $130/hr. rates charged at my local rv shops.

Safe travels!
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Old 08-06-2018, 12:14 AM   #18
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Lots of good advice here.

If you decide to check for a very small propane leak, a pressure test is a good place to start. GuyPresse has some youtube videoes that decribe how to make a u-tube manometer to check for a slow leak.

You could also have accumulated waste in the tank. Dump about 5 gallons of water down there and let it set for a few days. Drive around a bit. Dump the tanks and see if you are getting any brown material. If you are, then repeat until clean. Getting a clear sewer elbow helps with seeing whats coming out.

Checking for a dried up foam seal under the toilet is the first thing I would check though.
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Old 08-07-2018, 04:32 PM   #19
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Default Give things a really good flush

I agree 100% with the other advise. The only thing I didn't see was to give things a REALLY good flush. Drag a hose into your RV and run a ton of water through your drains while dumping both gray and black - preferably when you don't have a line behind you . We have an advantage here - we have a sewage drain at our house. Our van can go from pretty funky to smelling like a rose from this alone. Its also nice to actually see the black tank register as empty! Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2018, 01:12 AM   #20
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I'm not sure if this is gentle enough for your system; but on another thread I learned the following for my Roadtrek: a cup to a half gallon Clorox with plenty of water and drive to slosh it around a bit. Drain. Add more water and 3 capfulls of Downey Fabric Softener to make the inside of tank slippery and to help with the smell. It worked like a charm for me.

Others may want to comment on whether this is too harsh; it worked for me.
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