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Old 06-23-2022, 12:03 AM   #1
2019 Sightseer 33C
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: Yuma, AZ
Posts: 8
Dirty, rotten sewer odor

I just bought this used 2019 Sightseer two weeks ago (with only 9,000 miles on it). I think I'm beginning to find why the owner gave it up.

Quite often I get this sewer odor in my RV. It seems to be strongest in the middle near the bathroom, but in the bathroom it is hardly noticeable.

I was napping in the bedroom with the door closed this afternoon. When the A/C came on, the odor was noticeable. When I opened the door, the odor was offensive.

I have drained both grey and black tanks. I have dropped Aqua Max bags into both tanks, added water, waited, and drained the tanks again. I keep water in the traps in the sinks and shower and a little extra water in the toilet. There's a vent under the kitchen sink that doesn't have anything in it, and it sure seems like that's where the odor is coming from. Why on earth would the grey water tank vent to the inside of the RV? Is there something like that for the black water tank too?

What to do?
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Old 06-23-2022, 03:01 AM   #2
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Branson MO area
Posts: 504
I do not believe the vent below the kitchen sink is a vacuum breaker, to help the flow of waste water.

Its sounds to me from what you are saying is that you are getting odder from the vent pipe on the roof. It could be a couple things, the vent pipe could be clogged. Take off the cap run a hose down the pipe, this will open it up if there is a clog. There are times when the AC will suck in the odder from the vent pipe. I had that problem and found that by changing the cap to a rotating one solved that problem.

Might check this link out also
https://www.winnebago.com/Files/File.../000180138.pdf
Good luck
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Old 06-23-2022, 06:52 AM   #3
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Location: Pflugerville/Austin, Tx
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When you don't let us know what you are driving,it really put answers over into guessing, so this has to be a guess without being able to look for info on what parts might be original or what has been changed.
I keep in mind that many folks change things without any real idea of what they are doing!
That looks more like it should be a vacuum breaker but then it also looks like it has some other parts involved that are not OEM.
I might guess that the other owner was working on some problem and changed the vacuum breaker and set up a bigger problem, so I might suggest just going back to the OEM which works well until they stick open or closed.

The idea of the vacuum breaker is that when we have water filling the basin and then drain it, it has a tendancy to form a vaccum as that large amount of wat goes down the drain and that can make the water which should stay in the trap go down the drain.
That leaves no "stopper" in the drain and we get gas from the holding tank!

Or as a second problem the breaker flap can stick open and let the gas in as well, so people hit on some "magic" and it may work even worse than the simple flap.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:17 PM   #4
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Perhaps the PO was chasing a problem that's actually a plumbing leak so they installed some after market vent. Sometimes in the rush to push an RV out of the door, the manufacturer can get sloppy. So look for plumbing leaks too. Wet spots, puddles, that sort of thing in the and around the basement compartments, where ever you can get your head poked in for a look. Under the RV too after several flushes. Note also that grey water can really smell bad too.
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Old 06-23-2022, 07:18 PM   #5
Winnie-Wise
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Kansas
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I think the 2019 33C had plumbing installed for an optional washer/dryer. That plumbing has a trap and as well as one of those mechanical vents like under your kitchen sink. You might check those items too.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:35 PM   #6
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If the smell is near the vaccuum breaker, there might be a chance of testing it.
A bit of luck but not much work?

If you go to another drain like in the bath, etc that is away from the suspect breaker, try pouring a bunch of regular chlorine bleach down the different grey water drain and then check for the strong chlorine smell near the vac breaker. If you get the strong smell right away, it means that breaker flap , etc. is not sealing to keep the odor from the grey tank from coming inside.

I don't recognise that white breaker, so some guessing but most I know will be screwed into the fitting and can be changed out pretty easy, so possibly taking it out and just shaking or trying to figure how it is supposed to work might turn up a fix?

I did a check of the parts here:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/menu/Parts.htm

and down to drains here:
https://catalog3d.winnebagoind.com/2017/312928.htm

I see three points with the same item and another of different part number where a washer might be. So how about looking those over to see if they screw in and would allow for swapping a pair of them to see if the problem moves?
Looking at the drawings, it really looks like you have one that has been changed and not OEM.
That also could mean they never got the problem figured out!
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Old 06-26-2022, 10:32 AM   #7
2019 Sightseer 33C
 
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Location: Yuma, AZ
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I think I've narrowed down the odor source.
I did a load of laundry yesterday, and the odor went away.
So something about how the washer drain is hooked up to the grey water tank is most likely the problem.
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Old 06-26-2022, 10:59 AM   #8
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How often does the washer get used? Had it been long enough to let the water in the trap dry as that lets the smell come up through the drain.
With the long run you have from the washer to the drain, a stcuk flap at the washer would definitely let the water be sucked out of the trap and give trouble, os if it comes back , I might lean toward just changing the vacuum breakerr as a cheap, easy thing to unscrew.
Assumng it is where you can get to it??
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:38 AM   #9
2019 Sightseer 33C
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: Yuma, AZ
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The washer/dryer was a brand new install that I had added when I bought the RV.
I use the washer twice a week.
So in the next few days I'll pay attention to the odor and see if it starts to build up before the next wash, then see if it goes away again after the wash.
The odor was really bad just before doing the last wash.
The water itself right out of the faucet doesn't smell or taste all that good. I put in a RO system for drinking/cooking water.
And sticking my head right next to the vacuum breaker doesn't reveal any odor.
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Old 06-26-2022, 11:41 AM   #10
2019 Sightseer 33C
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: Yuma, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Perhaps the PO was chasing a problem that's actually a plumbing leak so they installed some after market vent. Sometimes in the rush to push an RV out of the door, the manufacturer can get sloppy. So look for plumbing leaks too. Wet spots, puddles, that sort of thing in the and around the basement compartments, where ever you can get your head poked in for a look. Under the RV too after several flushes. Note also that grey water can really smell bad too.
Nope. No plumbing leaks anywhere. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 06-26-2022, 12:45 PM   #11
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A theory to try if all else fails?

Looking at the plumbing for thr RV and thinking how smell might get to the spot between the washer and bath, it seems this idea might be the cause but needs testing.
Any chance you have had a look at the roof and the two vents sticking up there?

If one hits a limb and it snags the vent, it can sometimes pull it to knock it off at the tank as it is often just a rubber fitting around the pipe.
If one looked at the vent and it shows scars, etc from being hit, that might be a major clue?

But if one wanted to be more aggressive on chasing the problem, you might prove/disprove the idea by running water down the vent. Water and leaks can get tricky so I might not want to go too quick and really let it have time to fully run whereever it wanted before trying a different spot, but the idea is that if the pipe and rubber grommet are knocked loose, so that smell is coming up inside the wall and seeping inside, there is also a good chance water running down the vent pipe from a hose would also miss going into the tank and eventually come out underneath!

The forward vent seems to be the one most likely to smell where you feel it is stronger, but either might do it? Maybe the one that has scars or has been replaced?

As an alternate thought, some walls are pretty easy to tease the panel off to get a look inside. Any chance the wall where this vent is shown would come apart without much damage and you could see the vent pipe and fitting?
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