Why is Water Backing up Into My RV's Bathtub/Shower Drain?
by Mark G.
(The Woodlands, Tx)
Why Water is Backing up Into Your RV's Shower
I have a new 2014 Gulfstream Kingsport 26.5 We were only on our second weekend outing and we noticed Saturday night that the bathtub drain seemed clogged (was running water into the bathroom sink and it came back up through the tub drain) My wife has long hair but I can't imagine that it's getting clogged after only 3 showers? Good Sam Extended Service Plan is mechanical breakdown insurance for your RV, 5th Wheel, Trailer, and Tow Vehicle! FREE Quote
Tried some baking soda and white vinegar and it seemed to clear a bit and drain... After towing it home to storage and checking it again, it wasn't draining... Going to call The dealer that I bought it from this AM and ask some questions but I thought I would post here too.
MDG in the Woodlands
ANSWER: Hi Mark I think that I am going to be the bearer of good news. I do not believe that your new Gulf Stream travel trailer bathtub drain is clogged I think that you need to dump your Travel Trailers gray water holding tank. The first thing that you should check is the monitor panel in the RV and look at the grey water holding tank level and I am pretty sure that you will see that it needs to be dumped (can't blame your wife's long hair on this one).
The fact that you said that you had taken 3 showers and never mentioned emptying the grey water tank is a pretty good indicator that your grey water holding tank is full and should be dumped. The grey water holding tank on your particular RV holds a total of 37 gallons of wastewater and it will fill up quite quickly especially if you choose to take long showers.
You also mentioned that the water started coming up the bathtub drain when you were running more water in the bathroom sink; that also indicates that your holding tank is full. When you were running the water in the sink there was no more room in the tank so the water started to come out of the lowest drain in the gray water system which in most cases will be the bathtub or shower drain in an RV.
by the way, do not feel bad about having this happen to you because I can guarantee that you are not the Lone Ranger
in having this happen. It has happened to me and I guarantee that it has happened to a lot of other RVers who may not be as willing to admit it.
A good rule of thumb when at a campground is to make it a habit to check the Grey and Black water tank levels on a daily basis and dump them when they reach the 3/4 full mark. Also, a reminder here: even though you are hooked up to a sewer system when at a campground you should not leave the dump valves open as letting the water drain out and not the heavier waste solids can cause problems with your waste holding tanks in the future.
If you are sure that your grey water tanks are empty and your shower is still backing up, you might want to check the plumbing vents on the roof of your RV. If the plumbing vents on your RV are blocked, the water in your RV will not drain properly.Special Note:
As much as I hate to say it you should not trust your RVs holding tank monitors reading. Unfortunately, RV Holding tank monitors are notorious for being inaccurate. So even if your monitor is not showing that your tank is full, you should still dump them and see if that solves the problem. To learn more about fixing your RVs tank monitor, you should read my article How to Fix an Inaccurate RV Holding Tank Monitor
Another good rule of thumb is to dump your waste holding tanks before leaving a campground so that you have clean tanks and less weight to haul around.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you.
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