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Old 10-02-2006, 01:40 PM   #1
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I am new to IRV2 and hope this is an appropriate post for this forum.

We just took our new motorhome on its maiden voyage. The first day was fine but then we decided to use the toilet for solids. Within six hours the inside of the coach except for the bathroom and the entire area around the coach towards the rear smelled like rotten eggs (H2S). I went to the roof to see if the roof vent was plugged and I could not find one. We flushed the black and grey tanks. Neither were more the 25% full. About two hours after flushing the smell was escentially gone. I work in sewage treatment plants and none are as bad as this was.

During this ordeal, all the windows were open and no fans were on. I do not see how we could have created a negative pressure inside the coach. The smell outside was equally bad. There were no spots of moisture on the ground. We had added a deoderizer to the grey and black tanks but not until we had the smell.

Any suggestions? Where should I look for a vent or is there an activated charcoal filter? It is like a vent was never installed and the tank is venting into the coach.

Thanks,

WCChuck

2006 Itasca Merdian 32 T
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:40 PM   #2
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I am new to IRV2 and hope this is an appropriate post for this forum.

We just took our new motorhome on its maiden voyage. The first day was fine but then we decided to use the toilet for solids. Within six hours the inside of the coach except for the bathroom and the entire area around the coach towards the rear smelled like rotten eggs (H2S). I went to the roof to see if the roof vent was plugged and I could not find one. We flushed the black and grey tanks. Neither were more the 25% full. About two hours after flushing the smell was escentially gone. I work in sewage treatment plants and none are as bad as this was.

During this ordeal, all the windows were open and no fans were on. I do not see how we could have created a negative pressure inside the coach. The smell outside was equally bad. There were no spots of moisture on the ground. We had added a deoderizer to the grey and black tanks but not until we had the smell.

Any suggestions? Where should I look for a vent or is there an activated charcoal filter? It is like a vent was never installed and the tank is venting into the coach.

Thanks,

WCChuck

2006 Itasca Merdian 32 T
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:52 PM   #3
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WCChuck

There are one-way pressure equalization valves (for want of a better term) under both the galley and the bathroom sinks. They are a simple little rubber flapper that are designed to let air into the tank (when you dump, etc) but not to let air out of the tank. You may have a defective one, or one may be missing. You should find them at a high point in the drain plumbing under the sinks ...a pipe that goes up and dead ends. The valve is on the top of the pipe, and should pull off for inspection.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:58 PM   #4
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We were at a campground a few years ago and a sewer smell that covered several sites was traced to a battery in a coach that was defective.
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:29 PM   #5
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If it is a rotten egg smell, could it possibly be a propane leak instead and have nothing to do with the black tank? Worth considering because of the danger.
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:02 PM   #6
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I had the same problem with my new Sightseer.I found that the battery was over charging because of a bad converter. They replaced the converter and batteries.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:17 AM   #7
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wcchuck, you will have a vent pipe w/ cap up on your roof. Check out the Winnie plumbing diagram for your coach here:
06 Meridian 32T plumbing

Did you have water in your sink traps and toilet bowl? The one-way breather caps that Paul discusses (above) are black pvc and are threaded onto the standpipe, located in the cabinets beneath both sinks.
Did your batteries check out OK?

Please let us know what you find.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:35 AM   #8
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Too all who posted, thanks. I am not at the coach but two others (one a contractor) have climbed on the roof and can not find a vent pipe. It may be that one was not installed and the black water tank is venting into the coach. I will verify this in the next two days.

With the schematic I was able to determine that the kitchen sink and toilet feed the black water tank. We have not used the shower and do not understand how the grey water tank could be so full from the little water we used in the bathroom sink. The tanks were supposed to be empty when we got the coach.

The p traps are a logical suggestion but I alway pour some water in them when we stop.

Our inverter/charger failed within hours and destroyed the two coach batteries. It will not charge the battery or invert DC to AC. The coach has been like this for about two months as we assemble our punch list. During all that time the batteries did not smell. It is a good thought as I would never have looked there.

I can not detect any propane leak. Also this did not happen until we entered solids into the black water tank. Once the tank was evacuated, the smell subsided and has not returned.

I appreciate all and any suggestions. If more have input, please do not hesitate to post.

Thanks,

WCChuck

2006 Itasca 32 T
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:54 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">was able to determine that the kitchen sink and toilet feed the black water tank. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Normal Winnebago setup is toilet & bathroom sink plumbed to the black water tank. Shower & galley sink plumbed to the grey water tank. If no one can find a vent on the roof, that should not be the case. If they can find only one vent on the roof, some (like mine) have the black & grey tank vents joined to one rooftop vent.

I think you need to talk with Winnebago Owner relations at 800-537-1885 and/or your dealer.

Let us know what you find out!
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:27 AM   #10
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wcchuck, I'm siding with Paul. A call to Winnie Owner Relations is in order.
You can have them look at the first page of the plumbing layouts like we did. -Clearly shows one roof vent pipe with both black & gray tanks wyed into the lower end of the vent pipe. If there's no vent on your roof, then the black tank odor would have to be coming out somewhere and that would stink!.

I've looked at the plumbing diagram on your Meridian, and on page 2 of the prints, it looks like the kitchen sink drains into the gray tank (the drain elbows around and down into the corner of the gray tank). The drawings could be clearer.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

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Old 10-03-2006, 11:25 AM   #11
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If the kitchen sink drains into the grey water tank, then this would explain why we had so much water. The Winnebago area rep is already going to look at the coach because of some other problems. We will bring this up to the area rep.

From the drawing it appears to me that the grey water tank vents inboard and the black water tank vents in the area above the toilet. I can not get a good image on my screen.

I will let everyone know what the outcome is. I do not want to say it is venting into the coach until I see for myself.

In the mean time addtional posts with ideas will be appreciated.

Thanks,

WCChuck

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Old 10-04-2006, 03:33 AM   #12
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I had time to visit the coach and we do have a vent. The drawings helped me know where to look.

Chuck
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:26 AM   #13
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OK, found the vent. Take a phillips srewdriver and remove the vent cap. Then pass a garden hose up on the roof and fire some water down into that vent pipe... that'll prove it's hooked up and there's no blockage. Most of the water will go straight into the gray tank (see the diagram), but you may get some into the black tank as well.
Looking at the diagrams on pages 1 & 2, I see there's no breather cap under the kitchen sink (but you do have one under the bathroom sink). Therefore, if there's no water in the P-trap of the kitchen sink, you could expect black or gray tank odors to permeate up out of the sink drain...
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:05 AM   #14
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The gas emitted from your gray and black water systems is methane and is oderless. While that emitted during the discharging of your batteries is Hydrogen Sulfide. Hydrogen Sulfide is the culprit that smells like rotten eggs and its presence should cause you LP detector to go off. Check your batteries for a dead cell.
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:23 AM   #15
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The vent caps on my motorhome were not letting air in or out of our tanks. The pipe coming up through the roof was too tall, it pretty much sealed tightly to the cap, to the point where the caps were cracked slightly.

Something to look at if you get up there and have a look, but you do have to take the caps off.
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:21 PM   #16
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We used to have a similar issue until we installed one of these on each of the roof vents http://www.campingworld.com/browse/s...26177&src=SRQB
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:03 AM   #17
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At this point it is going back to the dealer. All of your posts have been helpful and will be used to assist the dealer in solving this. As a minimum we know that two coach batteries will have to be replaced and serious work on the inverter/charger will be required. This does not mean that we no longer think that we do not have a problem with the holding tanks. The charger/battery problems existed before the smell started. We are about a week from turning the coach in so additional comments or thoughts will be appreciated.

Thanks,

WCChuck

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Old 10-06-2006, 08:14 AM   #18
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wccchuck,

Not to dismiss the likelihood of holding tank problems, but the rotten egg smell will most likely depart when the problem in the charging circuit is corrected. I speak from experiences with a similar problem in our coach.

Good luck

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Old 10-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #19
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I did check the battery compartment and the coach batteries (deep discharge). There appears to be more problems with the battery charger than just allowing the batteries to discharge to 1.2 volts. That happened within six hours of bringing the coach home. We do not know of any loads that were on at the time. I also popped a circuit breaker on a 20 amp residential circuit. We thought this was the end of it. It now appears that a lot of liquid has boiled out of the batteries. This has caused significant rack corrosion. I was able to clean it up but all the uppainted parts now look rusted.
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:41 AM   #20
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wcchuck,

Your signature does not indicate what year and model coach you have, but I assume it is still under warranty (reread an earlier posting and I see it is '06). Make sure the dealer checks for any parasitic loads and that all the grounds are functioning. This would be after verifing the convertor is working as to design. The down side for the MH convertor charging sysstem is that by design it does not bring the house batteries to a full charge of 14.2 volts. I think it is set to maintain a 13.8V level in the house batteries. Still the best way to determine the level of charge is by measuring the density of the acid solution.

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