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How Can We Get Rid Of The Potty Smell In Our RV?

by Alpha
(Abilene, TX)

How to Get Rid of the Potty Smell in an RV

How to Get Rid of the Potty Smell in an RV

How to Get Rid of the Potty Smell in an RV
How to Get Rid of the Potty Smell in an RV
How Can We Get Rid Of The Potty Smell In Our RV?
How Can We Get Rid Of The Potty Smell In Our RV?

We just purchased a 2004 Trail Vision camper. It is in excellent condition. BUT, we can smell the toilet. OF course it had some black water in it when we had got it and had been setting since last fall. We have dumped it, partially filled it with water and chemical a couple of times and it still smells.

What advise can you offer to help eliminate the smell?

Alpha

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

Let's see if we can help freshen up the air around your RV. Even though you have dumped your Black Water Holding Tank and filled it up with water does not mean that tank is totally clean. There can still be an accumulation of waste in the tank that has not been broken down sufficiently enough. That waste can still remain in the tank even though you have dumped it.

I am not sure what kind of chemicals you are using to prevent odors and digest waste in your trailer's Black Water Holding tank, but I have a few recommendations for you on some products that work well for us in our motorhome. You should also understand that the Grey Water Holding Tank can also emit odors if not properly treated. So let's start off with tank treatments.


To break down the waste in the tank and to also keep the tank odor free we use Eco Smart Holding Tank Deodorant And Cleaner. This product does a good job of breaking up all of the crud inside the tank and does a great job at getting rid of the odors. We like it because it is very Eco-Friendly and can also be used in the grey water tank.

Since you are not sure how the holding tanks on your trailer have been treated prior to you buying it, you may find that the chemicals alone may not initially do the job of breaking up the waste that accumulated in the black water holding tank prior to you getting the trailer. The tank may have to be thoroughly flushed to get all the crud out. A lot of RVs come equipped with a built in tank flush system. Check your owner's manual to see if your trailer is equipped with one. If so, flush the holding tank thoroughly and then retreat the tank with chemicals.

If your RV is not equipped with a holding tank flush system; then I would recommend you install an aftermarket holding tank flushing system. Depending on how your holding tank is configured one of these products should work for you. The Camco RV Dual Flush Pro Holding Tank Rinser with Gate Valve, Camco RV Dual Flush RV Holding Tank Rinser or the Tornado Rotary Tank Rinser.

Once you have treated and flushed your holding tank; follow the simple steps below to keep the smells and crud accumulation away.

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1. Flush often while sitting on the toilet. Water is a black water holding tanks friend.

2. Always flush twice after using the RV Toilet, the more water the better.

3. After dumping the tanks, add about 1 gallon of water and the proper amount of chemicals to the black water holding tank through the toilet before actually using the toilet.

If any of our visitors have further suggestions for you they can add them to this page by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for How Can We Get Rid Of The Potty Smell In Our RV?

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RidX
by: Anonymous


Rid-X

For an RV that has been setting I have had great luck cleaning the holding tanks With Rid-X.


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Stinky Tank
by: Anonymous


clear connector

Our RV was used and I can guarantee the previous owner, never did more than dump a small bottle of chemicals down the tank.

My husband could not figure out why the tank always showed one third full even when he drained it.

Down to our local Walmart, he purchased a clear connector, a new water hose and a special tool that breaks and shakes up poop.

The first time it took almost an hour to flush the tank. It was beyond gross!

Now, he drains our tank every other week (we are full-timers), uses RidX for RV's and monthly he snakes and flushes a few gallons of hot water through the toilet.
I also use those little Lysol sticky tablets and that seems to help.

Of course, we haven't gone through a summer yet, but when we had a week of over 85 degree's we had no smells!

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Toilet smell
by: Kat

We use to have toilet smell and used different chemicals made for the RV toilets and could never entirely get rid of it.

We were in an RV park in 2013/2014 that didn't allow chemicals for toilets or bleach in their washing machines because it destroyed the good bacteria in the septic tank. We thought....oh, dear what about the smell?

Well, we never had any toilet smell. All we did is empty our black tank once a week..faithfully and rinse it out a time or two. No smell even in 100 degree weather.

We no longer use any chemicals in our toilet and haven't had a single smell in over 2 1/2 years.

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Waste tank odors
by: Anonymous


Rid-X septic system treatment

I've tried every RV waste tank product on the market with no success. Since we have a large family, our tanks and the chemicals rarely had the time to break down waste before they were full. I now purchase Rid-X septic system treatment or a similar product that is safe for all pipes and tanks. I've had NO clogs when emptying our tanks and no smells between tank empties. It's just a better product than the RV brands.

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tank odor
by: Jeff Jones


rv flexible swivel stik

We have an rv flexible swivel stik. I use it at least twice a year/rv season. I love it. It keeps our tank very clean and theres no odd-if u will-odors. Of course we use tank drop ins also.

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Black Water Tank Odor
by: Bob Morley


RV Toilet Seal Kits

With five RV's I have had a similar problem and did not solve it until I discovered that the toilet's floor seal was not sealing between the floor and the toilet. The heat experienced during storage most likely causes the seal to "collapse" loosing the sealing properties.

To get around the issue and in addition to replacing the floor seal (an easy task that takes about 15 minutes)I also added my personal seal to reduce the need to replace the floor seal usually after a heat wave we often experience here in the midwest when the RV is in storage. I picked up some adhesive backed foam rubber tape that is commonly used for window air conditioners and windows at the local hardware store. I place the foam tape in the square like position around the round floor seal then place the toilet back onto the retaining bolts. The one dollar or so of foam tape completely stopped the odors we had been experiencing. As noted by this website I also flush the tank until the transparent elbow, I install on the black water drain is running nearly clear than I add the tank treatment chemicals with about one gallon of water. My fifth RV came with tank flushing which is great. One other thing - I have found the tank vent on the roof clogged with wasp nests. With a good floor seal, open roof vent, good flushing at the dump station and tank chemical added before going to storage the tank odor should be history. Hope this helps.

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Potty Smell
by: Anonymous

Snake out air vent

Mine was plugged at the tank

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Cheap tank flusher
by: Anonymous

If you don't have any sort of tank flushing system just hook up your sewer line, connect a hose and put it in you toilet and let it run for a while.

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RV Potty Smell
by: Bob Morley

When the potty smell starts I check the tank vent on the roof. Various creatures can build nest in the vent block the venting of the tank.

My previously owned RV's had the toilet installed with a soft sponge like floor seal common with most RV toilets. That seal fails from age and heat. It is easy to replace the floor seal and could be the first place to check if the seal has not been replaced for 2-3 years.

For the last seal I replaced I purchased a high quality toilet seal that is common for home use. Some are waxed base while others are not. I chose the waxed based. As wax easily melts from the high summer storage temperatures I placed a foam tape box like trap around the seal. The foam tape is about 1-inch thick and compresses as the toilet floor bolts are retightened. The foam tape is used around the home for sealing windows and has adhesive on one side. I wish I had used this method 35-years ago. It is a one-time repair and does not need replacing until the toilet is removed for other reasons.

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Black tank
by: Donna

When we are traveling back to our home from anywhere
We put about a half bottle of dawn in the black and
Grey tank. We find that when we dump after letting the Dawn mix around in the water it helps to really
Clean out the tank.

Good luck

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Ice cubes and capful of detergent
by: Anonymous

We have used this method before and it seems to work. Buy a bag of ice, add a capful of fragrance free clothes detergent and gallon of water if empty tank. Then drive around for a good while to knock all the junk free from the walls. It seems to work for us. And its cheap!

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Toilet Smell
by: Anonymous

Just purchased a new 2011 Trailsport 25S last summer and also had an annoying toilet smell. Finally hooked up the discharge of a shop vac to the roof vent and found lots of air coming out of the seam between the upper and lower section of the toilet. I removed the toilet and sealed this seam from the outside with almond coloured silicone. Re-installed and the smell seems to have vanished.

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Smelly potty
by: AJ

Thank you ALL for your comments. The reason the black water stank was because the fella that owned it had defecated in it when there was no water AND he left it for an undetermined amount of time.

We did use several of the aforementioned techniques. Those and TIME took care of it.

We have since bought a motor home and sold the trailer. It was clean and smelled good when it joined it's new family.

THANKS YOU again
Aj

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Shake it up.
by: Anonymous

You have crud stuck on the inside that needs to be shaken loose and flushed. Go for an overnight trip. Fill your tank about 1/3 full with clean water and tank stuff (I like the enzymes) before you leave, drive it around so it gets all shaken up. Dump at the end of the trip. You may need to do this more than once. (Love the ice trick mentioned earlier!)

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Clear Air System
by: Anonymous

Look into the clear air system not only does it remove all odors but add continuous 24/7 ventilation

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RV Shocker
by: JJ Henry

I would highly recommend RV Shocker
. It completely eliminates the potty smell. A fellow RV enthusiast recommended it to a me a few months back, and I am so glad he did. You can find RV Shocker
at http://www.biocidesystems.com/rvshocker.html.

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bleach?
by: Anonymous

At the end of the season, is it ok to add bleach to your rv toilet?

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cleaning the black tank
by: Anonymous

Along with lots of water, and the proper chemicals, one may need to check the plumbing. Today's RVs have a complex system that includes not only a stack venting air from the tank above the roof, but also a "short stack" for allow air to enter the tank when dumped. Look in cabinets for a pipe with a "funny looking" top on it. The rubber "float" can deteriorate over time, allowing odors to come to the inside of the coach. This topper (I don't know what it's called) can be removed and replaced and most RV dealers have it in stock. I've not had a problem with the black tank, but have with the gray.And while you're at it, check the vent stack - a spider web or small bird could be nesting in there.

Note From RVing Al: The part that is being talked about here is called an Air Admittance Valve.

For more information on this valve please read the answer I gave to the question Sewer Smell from Vent under RV Sink. Hope this helps.

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Alternate Methods
by: Tired Old Man

I picked up on a really neat trick that helps with the solid waste buildup quite a few years ago that really helps.

When you know that you're going to travel to a site that has sewer hookup for your RV, dump a bag of ice down the toilet into an almost if not empty tank, just before you start off down the street. Break it up and pour it down the toilet slowly enough that it doesn't back up the line.

When you get to your spot, flush the tank out right after you set up. If you thought your tank was clean you'll be surprised at how much stuff this method knocks loose.

I do this on the way home from a trip/campout right after I dump. When I get home I've got one of the pump/macerator units that allows me to pump into my septic tank through a flush out access. Hope this helps.

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odor relief
by: Anonymous

I discovered that if I closed the drains in the sinks and put a cap over the shower drain there was no odor in our Minnie Winnie while traveling. A simple solution but took me a while to figure it out.

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