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Old 02-26-2007, 02:32 PM   #1
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Well I am moving on from the exhaust smell to the black tank smell! We dry camped last week and when we cranked up to leave we immediatly noticed a foul black tank odor. We dumped a few miles later and the odor calmed down. As we were only half full I would have thought that I could have traveled if necessary without the gross smell. Lucky for us we were able to dump!

I searched this site for some clues and have downloaded the 2004 36G plumbing diagrams. The sinks and washing machine all go into the gray tank. The toilet is the only contributing device to the black tank. Nothing seems obvious. I have not yet climbed on the roof to see if the vent is blocked. I'll do that Wed.

Otherwise, any clues would be appreciated. Thanks, Steve
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:32 PM   #2
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Well I am moving on from the exhaust smell to the black tank smell! We dry camped last week and when we cranked up to leave we immediatly noticed a foul black tank odor. We dumped a few miles later and the odor calmed down. As we were only half full I would have thought that I could have traveled if necessary without the gross smell. Lucky for us we were able to dump!

I searched this site for some clues and have downloaded the 2004 36G plumbing diagrams. The sinks and washing machine all go into the gray tank. The toilet is the only contributing device to the black tank. Nothing seems obvious. I have not yet climbed on the roof to see if the vent is blocked. I'll do that Wed.

Otherwise, any clues would be appreciated. Thanks, Steve
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:50 PM   #3
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Steve,

Last summer we had a ˜black tank' smell in the bathroom area.

I also searched this site and found some good information and items to check. I checked everything, including the roof vent. When all was said and done, the problem turned out to be a leaky bowl seal (the seal between the china bowl and the base). The only clue was a small discoloration / stain on the floor, at the base of the thrown. When I removed the plastic shroud, it was easier to see the problem.
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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The black tank will have more odors if you are trying to save water (on flushes) while dry camping. Typically the more fresh water that goes into the black tank the better chance you have of less odor.

We have done some extended dry camping and have pumped grey water into the black tank with a macerator pump.

Checking the vent system seems like a good plan also.

Jim
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:58 PM   #5
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If you had your roof vent open while moving that can be a bad combination with a 3 day old black tank.
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:49 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The toilet is the only contributing device to the black tank. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Wrong ... all Winnebago rigs I know of have the bathroom sink plumbed to the black tank to help ensure you get enough liquid into the black tank to avoid blockage problems.

But that isn't the cause or the cure of the odor. As Bob mentioned, the ONLY time we have had "bad odors" (aka "rotten eggs/sulphur" smell) while driving was when we had the rear most roof vent open. Even with the fan blowing out, the odor would come in!
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Old 02-26-2007, 04:58 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The toilet is the only contributing device to the black tank. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Wrong ... all Winnebago rigs I know of have the bathroom sink plumbed to the black tank to help ensure you get enough liquid into the black tank to avoid blockage problems.

But that isn't the cause or the cure of the odor. As Bob mentioned, the ONLY time we have had "bad odors" (aka "rotten eggs/sulphur" smell) while driving was when we had the rear most roof vent open. Even with the fan blowing out, the odor would come in! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is news to me, do you have any references for this information?

Thanks
Jim
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:13 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:

quote:
The toilet is the only contributing device to the black tank.

Wrong ... all Winnebago rigs I know of have the bathroom sink plumbed to the black tank to help ensure you get enough liquid into the black tank to avoid blockage problems.

But that isn't the cause or the cure of the odor. As Bob mentioned, the ONLY time we have had "bad odors" (aka "rotten eggs/sulphur" smell) while driving was when we had the rear most roof vent open. Even with the fan blowing out, the odor would come in!


This is news to me, do you have any references for this information? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
- Winnebago plumbing diagrams
- Personal experience
- Discussion with other owners
- Common knowledge on other Winnebago lists (guess you probably won't count this one)

Its pretty easy to check out. Just run the water in your bathroom sink and watch your tank monitors to see which tank is filling up. ...even if the monitors don't work well (as most don't), it should be easy to tell which tank is getting fuller.

I don't know when Winnebago started doing this, but if you find a recent vintage (10 yrs?) Winnebago that is not plumbed like this, educate me!
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:25 PM   #9
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AFChap, I am just trying to learn here and not being argumentative.

Your statements made me do some research. Looking at the plumbing schematic for my particular coach it appears that bathroom sink water goes into the grey tank.

I went to my Journey manual "Waste Water System" page and it reads " The main holding tank contains sewage from the toilet, and is commonly called the black tank. The second holding tank contains the waste water from the galley sink, bathroom lavatory and shower and is commonly called the grey tank"

I will be draining the tanks tomorrow and will test to see if these statements are actually acurate. Once my grey is empty I will leave the valve open and turn on the bathroom sink to see if water comes out or not.

Thanks
Jim
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Old 02-26-2007, 07:53 PM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFChap:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The toilet is the only contributing device to the black tank. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Wrong ... all Winnebago rigs I know of have the bathroom sink plumbed to the black tank to help ensure you get enough liquid into the black tank to avoid blockage problems.

But that isn't the cause or the cure of the odor. As Bob mentioned, the ONLY time we have had "bad odors" (aka "rotten eggs/sulphur" smell) while driving was when we had the rear most roof vent open. Even with the fan blowing out, the odor would come in! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'm sorry AFChap, but I also believe you are wrong. The plumbing diagram on the Winnie website for my Sightseer clearly shows the bathroom sink and kitchen sink (and shower) draining into the gray tank, and ONLY the toilet draining into the black.
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:14 AM   #11
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SteveG... a visit to this page will show how "you" are plumbed.. Several Winnies are plumbed separately, black/grey..

http://www.winnebagoind.com/html/resources/manuals.html.

as you will see, there is alot of other info available on that site too.. There are alot of "weird" aerodymanics going on with a MoHo. While driving along, the air alongside your coach can actually be going in the opposite direction, and can some times bring fumes, odors etc. in thru an open drivers/pass window..I assume you are using somekind of treatmant in your tank. A grey tank can get pretty rancid too. More than just water in there...rgr...
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:18 AM   #12
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I think it depends on the model and floorplan. On my 36RD the bathroom sink does drain into the black tank while the shower, kitchen sink, dishwasher, and washer/dryer all drain into the gray tank.
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:30 AM   #13
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I had the same problem, I installed the RV 360,
http://www.rv-360.com/ it worked great!. No more smell and easy to put on.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:54 AM   #14
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On our coach the only item going into the black tank is the toilet.

I finally got our black tank smell to go away when I put the vent back in the tank hole where it belonged. The smell was coming up from the basement thru the bathroom sink cabinet, which has an opening into the water/sewer bay.
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Old 02-27-2007, 08:27 AM   #15
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I concur with rvcarpenter. The rv-360 is the way to go. I had the same issue and thought it was the black tank. Put a 360 on that and the problem was still there. Put a 360 on the grey too and no more issues even in the sweltering heat of central CA in the summer.
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:24 PM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I'm sorry AFChap, but I also believe you are wrong. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I could easily be wrong (I have been so once or twice in my life!) since I am going only on what I have discussed with other late model owners and read on other lists ...seems strange that Winnebago would plumb some rigs different than others! I do encourage each owner to test their own rig to be sure. Some of the plumbing diagrams are a little hard to sort out.

The lady in our rig has nearly run the black tank over at least twice when she didn't turn the bathroom sink completely off. Once I heard it running a little when I woke up during the night. Another time I found it trickling about 10 minutes after she had been there. Fortunately I caught it both time before we had a mess. Our indicator lights are not always reliable, but I can definitely hear an almost full tank when I flush!
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:28 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the good clues. Tomorrow I'll start the detective work and see what I find. I was using the down loaded 36G specific plumbing diagrams from Winnie. One of the guys in our camping group uses an RV-360 vent pipe cap and has said it eliminated the odor problem. So I'll for sure order two of those units (gray & black tanks).

Also, a friend of mind has a 2003 Phaeton and he also suggested I check the toilet bowl seal. So lots to do and again thanks for the assitance. I'll update when I fix the problem. Steve
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Old 02-27-2007, 05:24 PM   #18
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AFChap,
Our 2001 Adventurer was plumbed for the bathroom sink to dump into the black tank. Can't say if any are still that way. Must have been an "Engineering Change."
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Old 02-28-2007, 01:21 AM   #19
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My 2001 Suncruiser has the bathroom sink draining into the black water tank. Easy to check, run the sink and see which tank drain it comes out of when dumped.
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Old 02-28-2007, 03:51 AM   #20
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For what it's worth, on my 2004 Sightseer the bathroom sink definitely drains into the grey tank as did my 96 Warrior.
The plumbing diagram for the 2004 shows it that way and I have used the bathroom sink to fill the grey water tank to flush it.
I would prefer that it did drain into the black water tank though. One of the few things I don't like about the 2004 Sightseer is that the tanks are small and backwards, black = 35, grey = 30 – should be the other way around but isn't.

I can go about two weeks on the black tank and only about three days on the grey tank. If the bathroom sink drained into the black tank I would get a little more time on the grey.
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