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Old 09-13-2016, 10:34 PM   #1
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Default My Trailer Stinks!!

GAG!!!
We recently bought a FF 189-FBR and it is in wonderful shape. The problem is, it stinks! Not all the time, only after you tow it, and sometimes during a high wind if you flush the toilet.

We have taken it out 4 times now. Each time it is the same. You drive down the road and all is well, then you stop to grab a snack or take a leak, and GAG!!! The trailer smells like an outhouse through and through. You open the trailer door and it knocks you over! What goes!! Doesn't anyone else have this problem?

After you park it and sit for a while with the fan on and windows open, the air clears and stays pretty clear until you tow again. It seems to be worse if the black tank is empty but still stinks no matter what the poop level.

We tried all the things that worked so well with our old trailer.... leave a little water in the toiler; pour some water down each drain; make sure there is a dose of sweet smelly stuff in the tank. None of that works.

On our last trip, we camped in a place that had steady high winds... each time you flushed the toilet, a waft of foul air would surge up from the deep recesses of the black hole and stab at your nose before you could pull up your pants. Also, we noted that the inside of the closet sometimes stinks.

Today, I took the first major step to try to fix this... hope it works. I'll keep you posted. I purchased a Camco 40595 White Cyclone Sewer Plumbing Vent on Amazon the other day. It arrived today and I installed it. The next few posts describe the process.

This is what it looks like right out of the package.
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Old 09-13-2016, 10:43 PM   #2
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Installing a Camco Cyclone Vent - post one

1. Climb up a ladder placed against the back of the trailer near the toilet vent. In our case, it is the rear-most of two plumbing vents. The other is for the grey water. The vent looks like the 1st photo

2. Pry and twist the top of the vent off using your hand... it comes of pretty easy. Actually there is a screw that holds it on, but mine was caulked over and I did not notice it, so I just broke it right off. Photo 2 shows the vent with the cap removed.

3. Using a hack saw, saw off all the protrusions so that they are flush with the top. Its easy. The screw was in the larger protrusion. Photo 3.

4. Using a razor or sharp knife, carve the edge of the plastic dome a little so that the new vent will slip snugly down inside. Photo 4
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File Type: jpg DSCN2466.JPG (40.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN2467.JPG (31.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN2468.JPG (36.3 KB, 8 views)
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:18 PM   #3
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Camco Cyclone Vent - Post Two

This next observation I found a bit alarming. When I peeked down inside the dome I was expecting to see a black plumbing vent pipe sticking up This was NOT the case. The pipe was down almost flush with the bottom of the foam insulation. This means that fumes from the pipe could find their way between the layers of the ceiling and then go other places. This may explain the smell in the closet during high wind. Photo 1 shows the pipe down below the foam. The trailer has never been worked on and the vents are original so how did it get jambed down like that? Was it just made like that? Vent pipes are always supposed to stick up above the roof.

I took some Vulkem caulking and sealed the top of the pipe around the foam so that all the foam is covered. See photo 2. I also put caulking on the surface of the roof around the pipe (still inside the dome) so that the new pipe would sit down into a layer of caulk.

Lastly, I inserted the Camco Cyclone into the opening and pressed it down into the layer of caulk and screwed it in place using 4 screws inserted from the sides near the top of the dome. I then sealed the top edge of the dome where it touches the new pipe all around and also sealed over the screws. See Photo 3 The whole installation took only 40 minutes. The pretty trim ring shown was not used.

How it works. The top of the Cyclone is built on a swivel so it freely rotates 360 degrees. When the wind blows, or when you drive, the air movement turns the point of the Cyclone into the wind allowing the shape of the vent to suck the air out of the vent pipe. Hopefully, this will constantly draw the fumes out of the trailer as you drive. The old vent actually scooped air into the pipe forcing the foul fumes to come out where ever they could.

Concerns:
1. Is this the only problem?
2. Did my pipe slip down further into the tank from its original position above roof, or was it installed too low to begin with? Is the pipe loose? Should I have pulled it up a little? I might be faced with a do-over.
3. How long will the new vent last? Its plastic. Will it get jambed up with debris so that it does not turn?

Stay tuned. Comments and suggestions welcome. In the words of Larry the Lobster, "I smell the smelly smell of something that smells smelly!"
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File Type: jpg DSCN2473.JPG (124.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg DSCN2475.JPG (36.1 KB, 7 views)
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:56 AM   #4
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I had looked at the vent like you described/installed above.

After reading the reviews, I opted for this one instead:

The RV Doctor: Product Spotlight: The Ultimate RV Sewer Vent Cap Assembly

Please post the results of your experience.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:14 AM   #5
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Hi Chirpz,
Like you, I would have expected the vent pipe to extend above the roofline...
Thank you for the post, but so far ... knock on wood... I have the old cheap-looking original and no probs and no smell; in my case, it seems to work well (And I can smell like a bloodhound)...

Keep us posted on the outcome...
Thanks for the input Eagle...
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:21 PM   #6
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I'm guessing that the fact that the vent tube dropped (for whatever reason) was your main issue. It may have tainted the insulation and any other materials that might absorb odors. I would think that your fix will prevent the problem form getting worse, but you might think about getting some Febreze or Ozium to eliminate and/or mask the odors that are already there. Your fix just might be overkill and yes, there might be some potential for the vane to seize. As long as it's not facing forward, you should be OK,
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:19 PM   #7
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I wish I had grabbed that pipe and tugged on it a little to see if it was loose but at the time, my mind just locked on the idea that they made it that way and were a bunch of clumsy dummies for doing so. We'll see how it goes. If the odor goes away, I'll just leave it.... if not I'll rip it all off and check the pipe a little closer.

We do use deodorizer in the tank but have not tried those two. After you set up camp and air out the trailer, the smell goes away until you tow it again or until there is a strong wind. So hopefully this will fix that.
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Old 09-15-2016, 09:46 AM   #8
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When the 'aroma' is strong, does it ever set off your propane/co sensors so they beep and the red light blinks?
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle View Post
When the 'aroma' is strong, does it ever set off your propane/co sensors so they beep and the red light blinks?
No, never. Its not the propane. You get the smell with the propane shut off.
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Old 09-18-2016, 08:07 AM   #10
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Geez, we have the same model and year trailer with no odor problem at all. I really feel for you having this problem. It must be awful. I'm wondering if the vent did slip or was originally installed improperly so that the fumes are sucked back in. Just like you surmised.
"
This next observation I found a bit alarming. When I peeked down inside the dome I was expecting to see a black plumbing vent pipe sticking up This was NOT the case. The pipe was down almost flush with the bottom of the foam insulation. This means that fumes from the pipe could find their way between the layers of the ceiling and then go other places. This may explain the smell in the closet during high wind."

Maybe the former owners just didn't deal with it or didn't use the trailer much. Please do keep us posted. I'm hoping your fix works!!
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