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Old 08-09-2011, 07:21 PM   #1
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Gray Tank Overflow

I have a new 2011 Suncruiser. This week-end our gray tank went to full but not to the point where the shower drain showed any water. On the drive home we had a very strong odor in the coach when driving (black 1/3 full). I also notice on a turn that we had a water trail behind us. Does the tank have a overflow valve that releases the water when excessively full? Any ideas where the strong odor comes from?
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:26 PM   #2
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Well unless the plumbing has drastically changed, I don't believe there is an overflow on any of the tanks except the fresh water. The black and grey are vented out the roof. The odor going down the road is a common complaint mostly caused by air coming down the vent tube and up into the coach. After market vent toppers with a wind vane may help that. No idea on the water trail behind you unless your fresh water tank was full. Our previous coach (Sunova) would throw water out the fresh overflow on every turn.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
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Another thing to check is the bottom of the vent pipe where it enters the holding tank. On our Journey, the factory did not insert it far enough into the tank and it came out. The result was odor in the MH and a leak into the water and sewer connection compartment that leaked to the ground. The compartment with both holding tanks had to be stripped, cleaned, sanitized, and the supports for the tanks had to be rebuilt since they were contaminated. Hope that's not your problem.

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Old 08-09-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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Does the vent connect to both tanks or just the black tank?
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:03 AM   #5
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Does the vent connect to both tanks or just the black tank?
the vent connects to both the gray and black tanks on my moho.
i cover the shower drain with 5'' rubber stopper. i plug the kitchen sink and bathroom sink drains with stoppers.
negative air pressure inside the moho will suck the water out of the drain traps.
this eliminates odors when going down the road for us.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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Both my 2003 Brave and my 2006 Journey have two vents - one for each tank.

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Old 08-11-2011, 05:08 AM   #7
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I also notice on a turn that we had a water trail behind us.
Does the spilled water have an odor? This would tell you the source.

Jack
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by toneumanns View Post
I have a new 2011 Suncruiser. This week-end our gray tank went to full but not to the point where the shower drain showed any water. On the drive home we had a very strong odor in the coach when driving (black 1/3 full). I also notice on a turn that we had a water trail behind us. Does the tank have a overflow valve that releases the water when excessively full? Any ideas where the strong odor comes from?
I had the exact same symptoms and the problem I found was a leak at the vent where it enters the tank. I had to unscrew the white metal panel in front of the dump valves to access the vent pipe and add hose clamp around the rubber fitting. Not sure if Winnie factory just glues this joint or just forgot to install the hose clamp.

I lived with this problem for a couple of years before I figured out what it was. I always had to dump some of the gray water..... usually in a 5 gal bucket and then haul it away.

Good luck,
Bill
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:30 AM   #9
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Funny. Duner and Dunner.

I solved the problem of a full gray tank. I plumbed the elbow before the gray dump valve into the elbow before the black dump valve. I used a spare water pump wired to a wind up electric timer and some threaded nipples. Did this on my 5er too. If it wasn't for the different color of the hoses, you would think it was factory.
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Old 08-18-2011, 10:40 AM   #10
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I always dump the black water and rinse before leaving a hook-up spot. Then put about 1/4 tank of clear water in the black tank. Add deodorizer if desired. You should never get any odor unless the black tank is dry. Grey should not produce any odor if the valve is left open.

When hooked up to sewer, it's suggested that you leave grey open all the time and leave black closed. Dump black every few days. When black is always open, it may allow the liquids to flow away and a dreaded "pyramid" to develop. Keep lots of liquid in the black tank whenever hooked up. Enough potty talk.
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:04 AM   #11
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Sorry if you don't like the potty talk. It's just a part of RV'n.

I found a product at the store last night that might help clean a black tank. It's called "dropps" 6X concentrated pacs of laundry detergent". They are about 1X1.5" and in a clear packet. 20 loads. Don't remember what I paid for them. I tried one and it has medium suds, but doesn't feel slick. Gonna try tossin'
one in the black tank and see how it does. It's made in the USA by Cot'n Wash Inc dropps.com:
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:16 PM   #12
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I installed a Camco Cyclone vent & it seems to have solved the problem. Thanks for all your inputs, this RV thing is a constant education.
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:33 PM   #13
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Grey should not produce any odor if the valve is left open.
The only time I leave the grey tank valve open is if we use the washer/dryer. Then the instructions say to. I leave the tank valves closed till they need dumping, then dump the black, then the grey. That way the slinky is rinsed out with the grey water and is relatively clean. This is the recommended way to do it according to the experts and they way 've always done it. In all my years of RV'ing I've never had a stopped up black tank nor the dreaded "brown pyramid"
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #14
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Just one more thought on the potty talk. It has been my observation on more than one occasion that campers who leave the grey closed while hooked up to sewer will sometimes forget it until it stops up at the most inopportune time.

The worst thing to happen when you leave the black closed is that the toilet fills up and won't hold any more. Leaving the grey closed gives way for other problems to occur.

Once while parked in San Diego, a couple next to us had their parents come visit for a couple of nights. Grandma got up and used the potty. She washed up afterwards and failed to shut off the fresh water. It ran for several hours and flooded their coach, including the compartments below. Needless to say it was a mess to cleanup.

As I get older (74) I find that "stuff happens" because the old processor doesn't remember all the details, that's why I always leave the grey open when hooked up. Of course, the slinky gets washed out before storing.

To each his own, they say.

Happy camping.
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