Is it your love for travel that keeps you living in a motorhome? Or your profession? Whatever be the reasons for staying in a travel unit or camper, the problem of an RV toilet stinking on being flushed is not quite uncommon. If so be the case, stop wondering and read on to find out the possible reasons, as that will equip you better to tackle the problem and do away with the foul odor.
What causes the foul smell?
The foul smell is caused by the anaerobic bacteria present in the tank which emit foul-smelling gases like methane and hydrogen sulfide which will cause the entire RV to stink.
Possible Reasons for a foul smell emanating from RV toilets
Coming to the reasons as to why RV toilets stink when flushed, it might not be just one reason. It might be a singular reason, but at times a combination of these can be the cause.
1. Can it be a Leaking Toilet?
If there is any leak, whether in the toilet, hoses, valves, seals, base or the black water tank, or maybe the flapper is broken, the odor from the tank will come into the RV causing the foul smell. The flapper should be in place, closed and without any damage as it plays a key role in odor control in RVs.
2. What are the chances of a Damaged Sewer Tank causing the foul smell?
The sewer tank in all conditions should remain closed and without damage. This is because, in such tanks, the waste matter requires to be mixed with enough liquid to stop it from drying out. This liquid usually comes from sink water, urine or showers or gray tank. If the sewer tank is closed and without damage, the waste won’t get dry. But if it so happens that the tank is damaged or the line is kept open, the liquid will flow off leaving behind the solids causing the stench.
3. How big is the problem of Clogging?
This is one of the more serious problems and the most common reason for this is the usage of normal household toilet paper since these are not bio-degradable. At times, even if you use RV standard toilet paper but in huge amounts or paper towels, it can lead to clogging. And clogging means foul smell and your toilet will stop working.
4. Has your toilet not been cleaned for many days?
If your RV toilet is stinking and you have checked and found out that there are no leaks or clogs, the most probable reason is it has not been cleaned and needs it very badly. This happens as dirt and waste get stuck and with the passage of time dries up and causes the smell. The entire toilet including the tank and the flapper needs to be cleaned from time to time. If there are two tanks, the black tank needs to be drained before the grey tank and these are to be emptied when almost two-thirds full so there is enough pressure.
5. Scarcity of water, another probable cause?
Water acts as a natural wall that keeps the sewage gases from entering the RV. So if there is a dearth of water in the toilet bowl (a few inches is necessary) or tank, the foul gases from the tank will move into the RV making the whole environment terrible and also detrimental, from the health point of view. So the tank should never be dry. Also, the requisite water level in the bowl should be maintained when the RV is parked and not moving. Always flush for a longer period in such toilets as though the dirt is sucked out easily, it requires more water to actually remain in the liquid state and thus prevent reeking. So the bottom line is – the more water you use, the better.
6. Is the exhaust system functioning properly?
The exhaust system allows the sewer gases to move from the tank and escape out of the RV. And, if for any reason the system is not functioning properly the gases will not escape out of the RV causing the stench. Of the reasons for malfunctioning, one can be the wind or outdoor temperature that might cause a downward force so that the sewer gases are pushed back into the RV instead of leaving it.
7. Are there any open tanks?
None of the tanks should remain open or else there won’t be enough water pressure to throw out the muck.
Check out each of the above possibilities to find out what is causing the smell. With the knowhow as to why the RV toilet is smelling foul when flushed, it will be easier for you to fix the problem.