If your camper or RV smells like sewage, don’t worry – you’re not alone!
It’s the middle of summer and you’re out on the open road in your camper or RV, enjoying the scenic views and getting out to see some new sights. But then all of a sudden you realize that your camper or RV smells like sewer.
Is there something wrong with your vehicle? This is a common issue that many people experience but fortunately, there are ways to fix it.
Read on to find out what might be causing the smell and how to get rid of it.
Most Common Sources of Sewer Smell in Campers & RVs
1. RV/Camper Toilet
If you’ve recently used the toilet in your camper or RV and there’s still a lingering sewage smell, it could be that the trap is dry. The trap is designed to hold water and act as a barrier to prevent sewer gases from entering the camper or RV. If it’s dry, simply pour some water into it and the problem should be solved.
2. Drains System
Another common source of sewer smell in campers and RVs is the drains. If you have a clog in one of your drains, it can cause sewer gases to build up and eventually escape through the drain vents. To clear a clog, you can use a plunger or a snake.
3. Holding Tanks
The holding tanks in your camper or RV are where all the wastewater goes. If these tanks aren’t properly ventilated, the sewage can start to stink. Make sure the vent pipes are clear and unobstructed so that air can flow freely through them. You may also need to add more ventilation if the problem persists.
4. Septic Tank
If you have a septic tank, it’s important to have it pumped regularly. If the tank isn’t emptied on a regular basis, the sewage can start to back up and cause a nasty smell.
5. Sewer Lines
The sewer lines leading to and from your camper or RV can also be a source of sewer smell. If there’s a blockage in the line, it can cause sewage to back up and eventually start stinkin’! To clear a blockage, you can use a plunger or a snake.
How do diagnose and fix camper smells?
1.Figure out where the smell is coming from
The first step is to figure out where the smell is coming from. If it’s coming from the toilet, it could be that the trap is dry. If it’s coming from the drains, it could be a clog.
And if it’s coming from the holding tanks, it could be that they’re not properly ventilated.
2. Fix the problem
Once you’ve figured out where the smell is coming from, you can start to fix the problem. If the trap is dry, simply pour some water into it and the problem should be solved.
If there’s a clog in the drains, you can use a plunger or a snake to clear it. And if the holding tanks aren’t properly ventilated, you can try to add more ventilation.
i) Prevent the problem from happening again
Once you’ve fixed the problem, it’s important to prevent it from happening again. If the smell was coming from a dry trap, make sure to pour water into it after each use.
If the smell was coming from a clog, be sure to clear any blockages regularly. And if the smell was coming from poorly ventilated holding tanks, be sure to keep an eye on the vents and make sure they’re clear and unobstructed.
ii) Call a Professional
If you can’t figure out where the smell is coming from or you can’t fix the problem, it’s time to call a professional. A plumber or an RV technician will be able to help you figure out what’s going on and get rid of the smell for good.
What to do if your RV smells like sewer?
If your RV smells like sewer, it’s important to figure out where the smell is coming from and try to fix the problem.
If you can’t fix the problem, it’s time to call a professional. A plumber or an RV technician will be able to help you figure out what’s going on and get rid of the smell for good.
Prevention Tips to Keep Your Camper or RV Smelling Fresh
- Use a holding tank treatment: Adding a holding tank treatment to your tanks can help prevent odors from building up.
- Empty your tanks regularly: It’s important to empty your tanks on a regular basis so that sewage doesn’t have a chance to build up and start stinking’!
- Keep the traps full of water: The traps in your drains are designed to hold water and act as a barrier to sewer gases. Make sure they’re always full by pouring water into them after each use.
- Clean the drains regularly: Clogs can cause sewer gases to build up and eventually escape through the drain vents. To prevent clogs, clean the drains regularly with a plunger or a snake.
- Inspect the vent pipes: The vent pipes are responsible for allowing air to flow into and out of the tanks. If they’re blocked, it can cause odors to build up. Make sure they’re clear and unobstructed so that air can flow freely.
FAQs – Camper Smells Like Sewage
Does vinegar help with sewer smell?
Vinegar can help with sewer smell in a few ways. First, it can act as a holding tank treatment and help to prevent odors from building up.
Vinegar is an acidic substance and can help to break down clogs that are causing sewer smells. Finally, vinegar can also help to remove any lingering odors that might be present.
Can smelling sewage be harmful?
Smelling sewage can be harmful if you’re exposed to it for extended periods. Sewage contains harmful bacteria and chemicals that can cause respiratory infections, stomach illnesses and other health problems.
If you think you’re being exposed to sewage fumes, it’s important to get away from the area as soon as possible and seek medical attention if necessary.
Why does my RV smell when dumping a black tank?
There are a few reasons why your RV might smell when dumping the black tank.
First, the tank might not be properly ventilated. This can cause odors to build up and eventually escape through the drain vents. Additionally, the tank might be full and in need of emptying.
Finally, there might be a clog in the drain that’s causing sewer gases to build up. If you think there’s a clog, it’s important to clear it as soon as possible.
Can I put Pine Sol in my RV black tank?
Pine Sol is not recommended for use in RV black tanks. While it might help to mask the odor, it won’t do anything to eliminate the source of the smell.
Additionally, Pine Sol can cause clogs and other problems if it’s poured down the drain. If you’re looking for a holding tank treatment, it’s best to use something that’s specifically designed for that purpose.
Can I put Drano in my RV black tank?
Drano is not recommended for use in RV black tanks. While it might help to clear a clog, it can also damage the sensors and other components in the tank.
Additionally, Drano can be harmful if inhaled, so it’s important to use it with caution. If you’re having trouble with a clog, it’s best to call a professional for help.
The most common cause of a camper or RV smelling like a sewer is a backed-up black water tank. When this happens, sewage can back up into the sink, shower and toilet. If not cleaned up quickly, it can create an intense and unpleasant smell.
Other causes of a camper or RV smelling like sewer could be a faulty septic system on the vehicle itself, incorrect dumping of gray water tanks or even rodents living in the vehicle’s insulation.
The best way to prevent your camper or RV from smelling like a sewer is by properly maintaining all of its tanks and systems, being careful when dumping wastewater tanks, and using odor eliminators inside the vehicle.