Eww, that SMELL! Let’s FIX it!

OMG… what is that smell!! So many RVers are complaining online about the bad smells in their RVs. What could it be? Well the answer is pretty obvious, but what is the solution?

First understand what the two tanks are on your RV, so let’s flip one over and take a look!


RVs have two wastewater tanks onboard, which I’m sure you already know. The black water tank is where your toilet drains to. And the gray water tank, which is household water waste, such as the kitchen sink and shower.

For convenience, some RV manufacturers will plum the bathroom sink to the BLACK water tank because it’s closer to the black tank, and the black water tank needs some fresh water to operate properly.



So, the question still begs, where do the foul smells come from?

There are a couple of answers to this, and one really good solution. If you know anything at all about plumbing, you’ll know what a p-trap is, if not, look at the photo. The water comes down your sink or shower drain, gets caught in the p-trap, and in theory, blocks any sewer gasses from rising up through the drain. Sounds logical, and works perfectly in your house, BUT you’re not in your house, you’re in an RV!

As you drive down the highway, make turns and hit bumps, many times these p-traps will EMPTY, leaving you with foul smells from the gasses in the tank rising into the RV. Any experienced RVer will have drain plugs (stoppers) in their sinks and showers, but most newbies have no idea about this!

Searching on the Internet, you will find a myriad of so-called solutions by “Internet gurus” who basically just repeat what other have written with no good experience. You’re going to read about the GEO METHOD, or using BLEACH, or CALGON, or VINEGAR or PORTA PAK drop ins with enzymes, and a thousand other methods to control odor! There are as many methods as there are opinions! But it seems NONE address the problem itself!

So without further ado, let’s get to the ROOT of the problem!

This is a tank vent or “stack”! It is located on the ROOF of your RV. You will find two, one for each tank. In theory, the gasses from the tank will rise and follow the path of least resistance to the atmosphere, which is out through this vent. This is also a PRIME home for Mud daubers and bees!

The bees love this vent! Especially if you don’t use your RV on a regular basis. So this is the FIRST place you should check, but I do have a better solution if you can get through my long winded explanations! ๐Ÿ™‚

So what does one do to not only deter bees and critters, but also IMPROVE the function of the tank vents? Keep reading!

I want to take a moment to say, never use additives on your holding tanks! Yes, I said never! (except for long term storage). ALL CHEMICALS, even the ones your RV dealer recommends, will KILL OFF the naturally occurring enzymes nature uses to break down solids! Man does not make a better enzyme than nature! Anyone who tells you to treat your tank, other than for long term storage, is giving you bad advice!


THIS is the best solution to the odor problem in your RV! The cyclone vent cap. Available in white or black on Amazon Prime for $23.95.

The Camco RV Cyclone Sewer Plumbing Vent uses the power of the wind to draw holding tank odors out of your RV. Even a gentle breeze works with the dynamically engineered shape of the cyclone to create a powerful vortex that pulls odors up and away, creating the optimal path of least resistance. It attaches easily to any RV plumbing vent. It also rotates 360 degrees and follows the wind for maximum effect.

What I love about this product is, it constantly moves with the direction of the wind. The vortex it creates not only pulls the odor up and out, it discourages bees from ever trying to build a nest inside it!

I recommend changing both roof vents with this product. If you read the reviews on Amazon, you’ll understand why I love this so much. It has completely eliminated the odors inside our RV, even if we DON’T plug the drains!

So, now that that’s out of the way, what do you do for long term storage? Well that’s another topic I’m working on right now ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll have to come back in the next week or so to see it!



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