Wednesday, August 21, 2013

RV sink stink

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We are first time buyers of a new Class A motorhome. On one of our first trips we met up with friends and family for a weekend camping trip. It turned out to be four nights of boon-docking. On the way home we had a horrendous smell in the motorhome. My wife was giving me the stink-eye and I thought it was her. After playing the blame game we finally did some investigation and discovered it was sink stink. We never smelled it while camping, but as soon as we started down the road it was as if someone threw a stink bomb into our new rig. We were conservative with our water use, but I think my wife took too many showers. We are hoping that grey and black water odors are not going to be an ongoing problem for us. Is this something we should stress about or is it just part of the learning curve we are experiencing?
--Smellbound in Springfield

Dear Smellbound: 
Not to worry. You will discover many little idiosyncrasies as you learn to trim the sails. This one is easy. Dump the holding tanks when they get full. Your new home on wheels has been plumbed with sink traps just like your home. Once the tanks fill, the gray water will find its way past the traps and begin to smell. Usually it will back up into the shower stall first. Holding tank deodorizers will help distinguish occasional odors that escape while flushing or dumping. I would suggest you always use black water treatments and occasionally treat your grey water tank also. There are shelves full of stuff and they all work great. After four days of boon-docking you may want to consider personal hygiene products also. It’s not always the sink drain.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink


Anonymous said...

This actually sounds like they lost the trap seal on the P-trap in the sink, when they got on the road.

Just like your home, the P-trap is there to create a water seal that prevents odors from entering the structure, (whether on wheels or a foundation), when that seal is gone the gases will enter.

moonseeker said...

Explain how the gray water gets past the trap and how does that create a space for the stink to escape?

Big Daddy said...

I think that the problem is more what the first comment said and not the shrinks answer. If there is water in the trap the smell won't come out, however, if the trap has lost its water the smell will come out. When you left the boondock site you probably did a little rocking and rolling and this splashed the water out of the trap.

Ron Lane said...

I agree with above. If you have a black/grey tank smell...something is wrong with the system; probably no water in the p-traps. Adding chemicals to mask the smell is not a solution, only a cover up. Adding tank chemicals on a tank by tank basis is just throwing good money down the toilet.

packtoter said...

If your gray water holding tank fills, the water has to go somewhere. Usually up into the shower. The water that comes past the trap, is the stink.