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Old 06-21-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Black Tank smell in 2013 Sunstar 26HE

I have had my motorhome almost a year now. Kept getting a slight sewer smell around the bathroom/bedroom area. At first I dismissed the smell because it was near the bathroom area. Then I started noticing the smell after the tanks had been dumped and prior to going on a new camping trip.

Decided to pull the vent cover and take a look at the toilet/vent piping for the bathroom to see if everything was okay. I found the factory had never properly connected the vent pipe to the black tank. The sewer smell (along with flies and bugs) was coming directly from the black tank. The vent pipe was barely touching the fitting for the black tank; however, the pipe was not sealed to the black tank allowing the smell to escape into the coach.

To make matters worse, the pipe was not anchored to the floor. They had the bracket and screw there, but it was not anchored to anything. There was even a green piece of tape on the head of the screw which my salesman says indicated the problem was noticed but obviously never got fixed.

Now, I have to ask... who is building these coaches? My first motorhome was a 2007 Itasca Cambria and I loved it. I really like Winnebago's design and construction. So when I decided to upgrade to a Class A, there was no doubt in my mind that I would go with Winnebago/Itasca. However, it really disappoints me the problems I have had with this motorhome. They have been small problems, but it all adds up.

Anyway, just thought I would share in case you start to get an abnormal sewer smell inside your coach.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:52 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi6998 View Post
Now, I have to ask... who is building these coaches?
People who are paid to little and made to work to fast.
Unfortunately that's the way big RV corporations,
(aka: RV conglomerations), have figured out to make money.
Mel
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:12 PM   #3
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I think the answer to this lack of quality and oversight is this. Buy the coach and then get a job at the manufacturer on the assembly line. When your coach rolls in take charge and and make sure everything is done properly. As it rolls out the door, get behind the wheel and tell them to "Take This Job and Shove It", then drive off.
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Old 06-22-2014, 07:26 AM   #4
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That stinks! I have had the sewer smell in my 2013 Ellipse since about 6 months after I bought it. Searched and searched for the smell and could not find. Then I heard of the toilet white flex pipe being defective and leaching out sewer gas/smell. I think that is a huge health and safety issue. I emailed Winnie and they said to take RV in to shop to get an estimate on replacing all the flex pipe. They did not seem to argue with me. I asked if they are going to pay for it since I am out of warranty and they said "I will help", whatever that means. Taking it to the shop on the 24th for the estimate.

I hope your smell is gone when you get the vent attached.
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Old 06-22-2014, 10:04 PM   #5
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I have attached photos of the vent pipe that inserts into the black tank. As you can see, the pipe is there (after I moved it into the fitting), but it is not sealed. The smell and bugs come right into the coach.

Someone with a 2013 Sunstar 26HE, can you take a picture of your setup? This is the vent in the bedroom (common wall with the bathroom). The vent is held on by screws. Very easy removal, plus this will allow you to check and make sure your vent pipe is sealed.

Thanks
John
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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Rossi6998, here is what it is supposed to look like....
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Hope this helps and good luck with the repairs!

Al
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:11 PM   #7
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It may be hard to tell from the photos, but on top of the white connection to the tank is a black rubbery piece that the pipe fits into, connecting and sealing the pipe to the tank. At least that is what it felt like. I have had absolutely no bad smells from that vent, so it must be connected properly.


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Old 06-24-2014, 10:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macnut View Post
It may be hard to tell from the photos, but on top of the white connection to the tank is a black rubbery piece that the pipe fits into, connecting and sealing the pipe to the tank. At least that is what it felt like. I have had absolutely no bad smells from that vent, so it must be connected properly.


2013 Itasca Sunstar 26HE, 2014 Honda CRV with Roadmaster tow package, RVing on weekends and vacation since June 2012
Thank you for taking the time to take the pictures for me. Looking at the pictures, it appears you might of taking a picture of the PVC pipe from the toilet to the black tank and not the PVC vent pipe to the black tank. There are two PVC pipes in this area. The larger one (more toward the center of the opening is the one for the toilet. The smaller PVC vent pipe would be to your left along the wall of the opening. It might look different to me because yours is sealed and the angle of the pictures. Can you please confirm we are talking about the correct PVC pipe? I am interested in the smaller PVC vent pipe and how it is connected or sealed to the black tank.

Again, thanks for taking the time. I am very grateful to you, so please do not misunderstand my response. I just want to make sure I am looking at the correct PVC pipe so I can show the service advisor.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:50 PM   #9
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Hmmm...you may be right....I'll try to check again tomorrow evening and post new photos, if needed.


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Old 06-24-2014, 11:05 PM   #10
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Hmmm...you may be right....I'll try to check again tomorrow evening and post new photos, if needed.


2013 Itasca Sunstar 26HE, 2014 Honda CRV with Roadmaster tow package, RVing on weekends and vacation since June 2012
Hi Al,

Again, thank you. I'm sorry if I was not clear. If it makes you feel any better, I focused on the larger PVC pipe the first time too. I would appreciate it if you could find the time to look again tomorrow. Thank you!

John
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:55 AM   #11
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Where can I look to see this connection? I have a 2014 38Q with the same intermittent sewer smell. Is it under the frame? Inside of a compartment?
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:55 PM   #12
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I think I got a few good photos of the vent. Note the metal band at the bottom and there also appears to be some kind of tape around the connection.
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:23 PM   #13
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Cochise, in the 26HE it is on the restroom wall at the floor, but on the bedroom side of the wall. There was a vent covering it that is held on with a screw on both sides...very easy to access. Before Rossi showed me how to access it, I never even noticed the vent or thought of what was behind it! :-)
Al


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Old 06-25-2014, 09:26 PM   #14
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Thanks Al... That is exactly what I needed. I also had the hose clamp, but it was further up on the pipe (away from the rubber connection) and it was holding an "L" bracket that probably should have been attached to the wall or floor to prevent movement. There is a screw in one end of the "L" bracket, but it is not attached to anything. Never thought of using a hose clamp to seal the rubber connection around the pipe.
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