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Old 03-25-2013, 08:47 PM   #1
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Unhappy Chemical smells making me sick

We bought our used camper last week and we are preparing for our first trip soon. I admit that I'm a city girl but I've been very excited about trying this camper thing here's my problem; smells bother me and when I was cleaning the toilet today it smelled like chemicals and I started gagging! Is there something I can use in the RV to mask the chemical smell? I don't even know if it is chemicals but there is a smell. I'm beginning to question this whole thing! Sorry this is so weird!

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Old 03-25-2013, 08:52 PM   #2
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I'm new to this as well, but someone will come along and give you some tips.

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Old 03-25-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear.... Used Rv's usually burn off those 'chemical' smells after being used a few times. How old is your 'new' rv? Can you tell us more about your new "used camper" to help the members here know how to help you further? Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
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It's a 2004 Feather. It was joy used hardly at all and is immaculate, but the bathroom just sells so chemically.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:14 PM   #5
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Try flushing the black tank out real good. I've heard that a good cleaning trick is to fill the black tank about halfway with water and dump a couple of large bags of ice cubes down the toilet. Then go tow it around for a while. The sloshing action of the water as well as the sloshing of the ice cubes with soften and knock loose a lot of residual matter clinging to the tank walls. Then go to a dump station and drain the tank.

BTW, when you flush the toilet, are you allowing about an inch of water to cover the sliding valve after flush completion? That water acts as a vapor barrier and helps keep the smells in the tank and not in the rest of the camper.

On edit: also there are toilet chemicals that have sort of a pine scent to them, somewhat less offensive than other chemicals. I used to sell the stuff when I used to work for a RV dealer part dept. Can't recall the name though.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:55 PM   #6
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Honestly... forget about using the chemicals, you don't need them, I use calgon in the black tank, about 2 cups everytime after I dump the black tanks, it helps to make the walls of the tank slick, dumps easier. Chemicals are meant to help break down the solids in your tank, water does the same thing, some people use a cup of tide detergent in both the black tanks and the gray tanks, just to improve the possible smells.

The key to keeping your black tank from stinking is when you dump, make sure you have a way to flush/rinse the tank. There are several methods, one is a tornado flush system installed inside the tank, one is a turbo wand, another as mentioned is dump your ice chests into the toilet to help knock junk off the walls of the tank. You can also buy a clear elbow for dumping that has a water attachment to it, it sprays water back into you black tank, you do this till it runs out clear water (visible via the clear elbow).

There are plenty of methods to try, don't give up yet, what ever you do, don't give up on RV's yet, there is way too much fun to be had.

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:56 AM   #7
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I too am a bit of a newbie , when we got our new trailer last year we got some chems that are natural and smell like oranges. I'd flush the black tank as suggested with water then add a better smelling chem and flush again, the ice cube trick would probably help knock the junk off the wall. Then fill the toilet with the 1-2 inches of water and leave it, with repeated use the smell will dissipate and you should be able to tolerate it easier. If you still can't stomach the smells, try something to absorb the smell or remove it, like something to remove the skunk smell from a sprayed animal, just a crazy thought I had. Good luck and congrats on your new to you Jayco.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:08 AM   #8
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X2 on the above, especially the ice cube trick and some kind of tank flusher/rinser.

Instead of the commercial chemicals available, I use a homemade solution that really seems to work. In a gallon plastic jug, I mix 8 oz liquid water softener, 8 oz ammonia, 8oz Pine Sol, and 1 cup baking soda. All these are available at grocery stores. To this mixture I add water to fill the rest of the gallon. Then pour about a cup of the final mixture down each drain (kitchen, lavatory, etc), and the rest down the toilet. Has worked for me for a long time - no bad smells ever.

One other thing - when you dump your black tank, be sure that it is at least 2/3 full. If less, the solids tend to stay in the tank.

Hope this helps. Try some of these remedies mentioned by other campers, and if those doesn't do the trick, let us know, and we will try to get your problem resolved another way. But Please, please don't give up on your camper - Flyrotor really nailed it when he says there is way too much fun to miss out on.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:44 AM   #9
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What they said ^^^^^

The thing that makes me gag is a nice ripe vault toilet on a steamy Michigan summer day.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:05 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone!!!

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