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Eliminating RV Sewage Smell

by Holly mcbeth
(Austin tx)

Eliminating RV Sewage Smell

Eliminating RV Sewage Smell

This story was submitted on our RVing Tips And Tricks Page

I'm a professional motorcoach driver. (Tour bus) We do use the blue enzyme packets that are available from Walmart etc. in the pool care section. Although these do have deodorizer in them, their primary function is to break down solid waste so it doesn't clog the drain.. it is very important to remember to tear the gel packet so the blue powder can release...otherwise they don't work at all. I use a rubber glove to do this because the blue dye will stain your hands. These are useful, but the included deodorizer is really no match for the smell after a short while.

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The remedy is very simple: add a couple of cups of DOWNY! No kidding...on a commercial bus trip with 56 people on board, this takes care of the offensive smell for up to 3 days, or when the tank is full and has to be dropped! And who doesn't like the smell of Downey?

The cherry on top of the sundae is this: Downy is biodegradable, and will not harm any seals (no, not the animals, the ones in the drain pipes) I have tried the cheaper fabric softeners...but they only work for about a minute.

Happy trails, and happy smells!

Note from RVing Al: If you still have bad smells coming from your RV's holding tank even after using Downey, you
may need to deep-clean your holding tanks. We have personally had great success using Thetford Blaster Holding Tank Cleaner (Pictured Above) in our RV holding tanks.

Here is how Thetford Blaster Holding Tank Cleaner blasts the crud and odors out of your holding tanks:

* The first 2-in-1 tank cleaner specifically formulated for black/gray water and portable tanks

* Cleans overnight - then just dump and go

* Micro-foam action improves surface contact to vertical tank walls

* Active enzymatic blend blasts crud and attacks tissue, waste, and grease

* Formulated safe for RV/Marine tanks, plumbing, seals and surfaces

IMPORTANT FINAL NOTE: If you have taken all the steps above and you still have a "sewer-like" smell in your RV, there is one more area that you should check. You should take a look at your RV's house batteries. The house batteries are always being charged when your RV is plugged in. Depending on the type of charger your RV is equipped with, there is a good chance that the batteries are being overcharged and the electrolytes are being boiled. The boiling electrolytes create a smell similar to a sewer smell. That's why you need to check your RV's house batteries at least once a month and top them off with distilled water.


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Rid-X for RVs and Pinesole (yellow one) lemon scent
by: Anonymous


Rid-X for RVs

We have always used Pine-Sol in our travel trailer since new. The yellow one that smells like lemons. It's cheap for a gallon at Walmart, Lowes, or Home Depot and you can use it generously. Smells like the cleaning lady just left when you flush.

Then we heard of Rid-X for RVs and started using it. Since then, our tank indicators have begun to work for the first time since the camper was new! we were also still using in combination the Pine-Sol. But the Rid-x will actually kill off the Pine-Sol scent. We are sold on Rid-X for RVs.

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Septic bio active bacteria
by: Anonymous


Bio-Clean Bacteria

I use a product called Bio-Clean Bacteria. I only full time in the the summer months so when I open for the first time after the winter I will fill both the grey and black tanks full and add a cup of this stuff to each and leave it for a week. You wouldn’t believe the crap that comes out of both tanks when you dump. I use the black tank flush kit once a week but it never will get everything.

The bio clean is amazing stuff. After the first treatment, I use a tablespoon in each tank after each time I dump. Haven't had sewer smells in 4 years since starting to use this stuff.

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Toilet packets
by: Anonymous

No need to cut open the black tank packets, just put them in the toilet with some water. They will dissolve, then flush.

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We also use
by: donnie


Calgon Liquid Water Softener

We have a 32' mh and besides the Downey, we also add a couple of capfuls of liquid Calgon Water Softener to the holding tank.

It seems to help make the paper not cling to the sensors as bad.

For us, it seems to work pretty well.

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Bleach in black water tank??
by: Anonymous

Bleach is going to kill any beneficial bacteria, which is necessary to break down the solids to begin with. Maybe for gray water tank, but not for black!

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Downey
by: Anonymous

I would think downey would get gummed up in the tank, can anyone prove it doesn't. In theory it sounds great but they even say not to use fabric softner in your clothes washer because of that problem, as well as dryer sheets in the dryer

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Bleach
by: John


Bleach

I have lived/worked in my 40’ 5th wheel for 12 years, the best thing I’ve found to keep the Black tank clean is bleach. Any brand. I dump the tank, pour in one gallon and immediately add 2 gallons of water. There’s no odor for about 2-3 weeks. It has never harmed any of my rubber seals or valves

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Eliminating RV Sewage
by: Anonymous

What about Ridex.? That breaks down and doesn't it help with odor.?


Rid-X RV Toilet Treatment Liquid


Note from RVing Al Rid-X now makes a treatment specifically designed for RVs called Rid-X RV Toilet Treatment Liquid (Pictured Above).

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Porta Pot odors
by: Anonymous

While this may not seem to eliminate the odor problem, it works well, especially with urine which is what is the main cause of the odor. Add about 1/4 cup of ammonia to the tank and that will take care of the problem.

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Downy use.
by: Anonymous

Can you use downy in a porta potty?

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Downy
by: Ron

I have a portable toilet,Do you put the downy inside the water tank for flushing or in the tank where toilet dumps into ? You said it helps keep stuff from sticking. That's why I was thinking you put it in the flushing part of the tank. Thank you


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Deodorizer packets
by: Anonymous

I didn't think you were supposed to cut open the packets. Don't they dissolve once they hit water? Just wondering?

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Downey
by: Tazman


Downey Liquid Fabric Softener

The other benefit of Downey is it prevents anything from sticking to the sides. Either one works scented or not.

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Downey
by: Anonymous

Yes, the scented downey

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Downy?
by: Anonymous

Is this the one with the fragrance or can I use fragrance free. I am allergic to fragrances. I’d rather put up with a temporary smell of sewer than the headache from the fragrance. I also use Snow Fresh enzyme in my tank and it works well

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The blue packs
by: Anonymous


Porta-PAC Holding Tank Toilet Treatment

One brand of blue packs is "Porta-PAC" made by a company called "walex", but there are several on the market. You can find them in either the camping department, or with swimming pool supplies. Their primary function is to break down paper and waste so it won't clog.

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Blue packs
by: Anonymous

What are these blue packs you are talking about do you have a brand or spacific name of the product? Thanks for the Downey tip.

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