Black or Gray tank Smell in 2017 21; how to prevent? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-27-2017, 09:24 PM   #1
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Black or Gray tank Smell in 2017 21; how to prevent?

Since we picked up our new design 21, we have occasionally experience having a strong storage tank smell after we stop driving. We have made 6 trips this year and this is the first time we experienced the problem although we also had the issue a few times last fall.

We haven't used the shower and always have the drain plug twisted shut. We do use the bath sink as well as the kitchen sink.
There is no visible leak from the toilet. The smell does seem to be strongest in the bathroom.

This time we had the window over the sink work its way open on our 2 hour drive home. (We have the awning windows, another issue) I don't know if this affected the tank venting flow?

Any ideas on what could be happening and how we can prevent it?
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:31 PM   #2
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I have a guess: the black tank is vented to the roof, and odor from that vent is wafted into the bathroom via its roof vent or the main roof vent. Leave both of these vents shut the next time you tow and then see if you can detect the odor afterwards.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:55 PM   #3
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Also, I found keeping some water in the toilet bowl acted as a P trap. Can the seal dry out if left in storage?

I do throw some "citrus" tank treatment in once in awhile too.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:01 PM   #4
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We've noticed some sewer type smell in ours too and it seems to be related to use of the stove hood vent fan for us.

We've experimented a bit and closing the bathroom top vent when the stove fan is on helps prevent the black tank odor. The vent stack for the black tank is fairly close to the bathroom vent so it is probably being pulled in from there.

We also seems to get some grey tank odor in the microwave cabinet when the stove fan is on. The grey vent is near there, but I am not sure how it would be getting into the cabinet.

Reace is probably doing our bathroom water pipe repair this coming weekend and I'm going to ask him his thoughts on it.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:15 PM   #5
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On the older 21's the shower/sink P trap was installed backwards and next to the tank. This caused soap or anything that floats to stay in the drain pipe and not enter the grey water tank. Several owners installed Hepvo valves closer to the drain drops to solve the odor issue. I read where ETI tried the Hepvo valve install suggestion on several E-21 this spring but they experienced leaks at some of the Hepvo valves. I also read that they did move the trap away from the tank next to the drain drops. This should help solve the odor issue by not letting the crud build up in the drain pipe.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain_gal View Post
Since we picked up our new design 21, we have occasionally experience having a strong storage tank smell after we stop driving. We have made 6 trips this year and this is the first time we experienced the problem although we also had the issue a few times last fall.
Did you dump before driving, and then did you close the valve and add a couple of gallons of water with chemicals? You also might try adding a couple of gallons of water to the gray tank. We mostly can get a bad smell right after dumping but by the time we get elsewhere after sloshing some water, it is gone. Of course, that may not be your problem at all.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:03 PM   #7
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I had a hell of a time with the odor smells soon after I started using the trailer. It was horrible. Pat (of PatandLinda) gave me some tips that have helped a LOT!!!! I hardly notice any smell now.

Interesting on the other ways the smell can get in the trailer. Wasn't aware of that. Will have to keep my sniffer on high alert regarding those potential problem areas.

I would only notice the smell in the bathroom, so I pretty much had it narrowed down to my black tank. It was bad. Open vent and window and lots of air freshener wasn't really helping. Good thing nobody was visiting me during this time period! Jeez.

I started using more water when flushing. I dumped in more Tank TechRX (recommended by another friend, but I'm sure others work as well). Put down another bunch of water with it. Made sure I using more water than I think I need to when flushing.

I also did a really good cleaning out of the tank by running a hose down the toilet quite a few times (as in lots) and basically filled up the tank several times or at least more than half full and dumped it until it was clear water running out. And then did it again, just in case.

Then I left a bunch of water in the tank with the Tank TechRX in it.

Pat also suggested that I don't dump as frequently as I was, which was whenever I was leaving a campground, even if I was going to use it again the following weekend. Instead of a quarter tank full I was starting to dump at 3 quarters full, whenever possible. The Tank TechRX does work better if there's more stuff in there, according to their site or the info on the bottle. Forget which.

All of this has really helped and I hardly ever notice any tank smell any longer (HUGE knock on wood).

Good luck! Not fun, is it?
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:13 PM   #8
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... This time we had the window over the sink work its way open on our 2 hour drive home. (We have the awning windows, another issue) ...
So what is the issue with your awning windows?
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:45 AM   #9
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I'm considering replacing the standard caps on the vent pipe with these: Siphon Vent
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:14 AM   #10
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Tank odors and refrigerator performance

After 5000 mile trip I can't complain about anything, although 300 miles at 111 F. the fridge was too warm but the freezer was holding it's own. I've said no more long trips but I do believe as I approach 74, I think no more trips. LA traffic down 101, 804 and 5 was tiring and then through San Diego. I'll have to get busy and find a morning at 5a.m. that I can scrub the 21 and then fiqure out what we'll do for the next 10 years, hopefully.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:48 AM   #11
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After 5000 mile trip I can't complain about anything, although 300 miles at 111 F. the fridge was too warm but the freezer was holding it's own. I've said no more long trips but I do believe as I approach 74, I think no more trips. LA traffic down 101, 804 and 5 was tiring and then through San Diego. I'll have to get busy and find a morning at 5a.m. that I can scrub the 21 and then fiqure out what we'll do for the next 10 years, hopefully.
Jack
Hi: azjack... Thoughts on "Odors, performance, and traffic... "$^it happens"!!! Alf
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:54 AM   #12
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Jack, you going somewhere at 84?.....
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:05 AM   #13
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too old?

Jim, I just cancelled an October reservation and since I'm only average. no big plans beyond the average age of 84 to move on. Who knows?
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:17 AM   #14
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Jim, I just cancelled an October reservation and since I'm only average. no big plans beyond the average age of 84 to move on. Who knows?

Jack


But who wants to be average Jack? I think 100 has a nice sound!


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Old 06-28-2017, 12:22 PM   #15
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My mom will be 97 this December......
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:28 PM   #16
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Jack, you may not have plans, but I have plans to see you and Nancy at Quartzsite for many more moons.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:45 PM   #17
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Happy trails whatever you do Jack.
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I've said no more long trips but I do believe as I approach 74, I think no more trips. LA traffic down 101, 804 and 5 was tiring and then through San Diego. I'll have to get busy and find a morning at 5a.m. that I can scrub the 21 and then fiqure out what we'll do for the next 10 years, hopefully.
Jack
Something I've learned as I've gotten older, is you don't have to go far to have fun. Just don't stay home! One of my favorite places to camp, from hookup to lawn chair time is 45 minutes.

Whatever you decide, I wish you well!
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:57 PM   #19
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Age

I can't even remember my own age, I'll be 75 this fall. We have been to most places we want to go and realize we have been there many times.
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Old 06-28-2017, 02:10 PM   #20
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Absolutely the best black/gray tank product we have found. It is fantastic! No odors even after 4 days without dumping, and that's with a family of 4. Highly recommend it.

https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Campers.../dp/B005XEFADU
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