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Help! I Have Sewer Fumes In My 5th Wheel Trailer And I Can't Find The Source

by Sheila
(Abilene Texas)

I just bought an Alfa Gold 2001 40 ft trailer to live it. I know nothing about trailers. I have strong sewer fumes filling the trailer and setting off the LPG Alert. I have to leave and open the windows and ceiling "out" fans, door, etc. Besides the vent valve, what could cause this.

I'm using odor control and keeping the black water flushed. It seems to come back if I turn the propane heater on, but I had the propane/heater/stove checked for leaks--no propane leaks.

Any suggestions on what the problem might be?


ANSWER: Greetings Sheila thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

I am concerned that the "Sewer Smell" is getting stronger and setting off the Propane alarm when your trailer's furnace is in operation. Even though you have had the propane system checked for leaks, I urge you to get a second RV Technician to thoroughly recheck the Propane System for leaks.

If it turns out that the smell still persisits than here are my suggestions for finding where the smell is coming from. I am going to assume that your trailer is currently hooked up to the RV Parks Sewer System.

1. Make sure that the black water and grey water dump valves on the trailer are always kept closed. You should not keep the dump valves open when hooked up to an RV Park's Sewer system as the sewer gasses from the RV park sewer can travel up your trailer's sewer hose and into your RV.

Also if you leave the black water dump valve open the liquids will go into the sewer system, but the solid waste will build up in the bottom of the black water tank causing a giant odor problem. Once your holding tanks get to 3/4 full dump them and close the dump valves again.

2. Look for any apparent leaks under the trailer. You could have a broken or loose pipe that is dumping sewage under your trailer.

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3. Make sure that the sewer hose going from your trailer to the sewer connection is properly secured to the trailer and is properly connected to the parks sewer connection. Check for any leaks in the sewer hose itself; also make sure the sewer hose has the proper slope so that the waste does not accumulate in the hose.

4. Have someone go on top of your RV and check the sewer vents for any blockages caused birds’ nests, rat’s nests, etc.

5. You could also have a loose or broken vent connection in the RV. Depending on the construction of your 5th Wheel, these vents could be hard to get to.

There could be other problems, but the ones I listed above are the most common that would cause sewer smells in the trailer.

I hope that you get to the bottom of this problem.

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RVing Al

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Comments for Help! I Have Sewer Fumes In My 5th Wheel Trailer And I Can't Find The Source

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sewer smell
by: Anonymous

Check the 12volt batteries. If their going bad you will get a sewer smell that will set off the gas dectector.

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Check that your water taps are full of fresh water.
by: Anonymous

Make sure you add fresh water to all the taps in your tailer so the sewer gas taps (that u shape in the pipe under the sink) are full of water. Don't forget the bathtub/shower!

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