Why Does My RV Smell Like Sewer Outside?

why does my rv smell like sewer outside?

Sewage is a disgusting smell. It’s not the most pleasant thing in nature and can pollute an entire area if it gets into lakes, rivers, or oceans. When you are on vacation with your RV and find that sewage smells coming from outside of your RV it might be time to do some investigating as this could potentially mean there is a clog inside one of the toilet bowls within your rig.

This article will provide you with answers to these questions and more. It will also teach you about the causes of sewer odor in RV holding tanks, what causes it during peak travel season, and how to prevent it from occurring.

Why Does My RV Smell Like Sewer Outside?

There are a number of reasons why your RV may smell like sewage outside, but the most common ones are usually problems with either the blackwater tank or the greywater tank. The black water tank is where you store waste from the toilet, while the greywater tank collects wastewater from sinks and showers. If either of these tanks is having issues, it can cause that unpleasant sewer smell to permeate your RV.

Another common reason for an RV bathroom smelling like sewage is an overcharged battery. When this happens, gas from the battery builds up and causes a noxious odor.

The black tank vent pipe can also block smells coming out of it, so make sure that’s not the case if you’re experiencing this issue. Other potential causes include blocked flushing valves and clogged water inlets on external tanks or nozzles – which will then spill through a port into the RV’s sewer line. Leaking sewage pipes can also result in those sickening odors we all try to avoid.

In short, there are a variety of reasons why your RV may be emitting that unsavory stench – but thankfully most of them are easy to fix!

How do RV Toilet Systems work?

RVs have three holding tanks: one for fresh water, one for gray water and one for black water. The sewer line remains open to the atmosphere outside of the RV and the liquid leaves the tank. If it doesn’t rain often, the waste dries out and becomes harder to clean. If you keep your RV in an enclosed area like a garage, it will help keep the solid waste moist so that it doesn’t dry out when kept inside of a tank or container.

The RV toilet does not use a lot of water in a flush, so it needs to get more from the gray water tank. Gray water is wastewater from things such as showers and sinks; this is why using less water is important when showering and brushing teeth while living in an RV full time. It is also important not to flush certain things down an RV toilet such as diapers and tampons (even if they are wrapped). This is because they can clog up the system or cause the black water tank to overflow if too much toilet paper is flushed at once.

The use of paper towels should be avoided in a septic tank because they take up space and don’t break down easily. Feminine products should also be avoided in order to prevent them from clogging up the system.

Why does my camper toilet smell like sewer gas?

It’s not uncommon for a camper toilet to smell like sewer gas, especially if the air conditioner is not working properly. Camper toilets work by pulling fresh air into the bathroom while pushing out exhaust fumes and odors. If there is a problem with the ventilation system, it can cause the toilet to smell like sewage.

Another common reason for a camper toilet to smell like sewer gas is a broken seal at the base of the bowl. This seal prevents leakage and should be replaced if it is damaged or missing.

If your RV smells like sewage or rotten eggs, it could be caused by one of several things: a leak in your gas/propane tanks, a black tank vent that needs cleaning, or an exhaust fan that isn’t working properly.

4 Reasons Why Your RV/Camper Smells Like Sewer Outside

Problems with the Blackwater Tank

One common issue that RVers face is a problem with their blackwater tank. This can be caused by many things, such as using too much toilet paper or leaving the black tank open while parked. The problem is caused by solids and toilet paper blocking a tube, which stops water from flowing through properly.

The solids must be punctured so that water can get through, then shaken/stirred up to loosen them. If this doesn’t work, then using tank treatments might do the trick – but not all of them are effective for every situation.

Professional help should only be considered as a last resort for RV clogs. The flushing method used by a black tank flush system goes down into the toilet bowl and works to clear out clogs in the tank – something that you can do yourself at home.

Problems Greywater Tank

One of the holding tanks in your RV is the greywater tank. This tank collects wastewater from your sink, shower, and washing machine. The wastewater will have food particles and other materials in it that degrade over time into biodegradable materials.

The greywater tank on your RV or camper should be emptied every time you dump your black water tank. The check for the greywater tank is similar to that of the blackwater tank- there’s a valve for emptying its contents at the dumping station. Make sure to close the valve after emptying and clean it regularly.

You Overcharged Your RV Battery

If your RV battery smells like sewer, it might be because you overcharged it. When a battery is overcharged, the sulfuric acid and water inside the battery can create hydrogen gas. This gas will escape from the battery and cause it to smell like rotten eggs or sewage. If you’re experiencing this issue, remove the battery and charge it in a well-ventilated area.

Dead Rodents

Rodents are a common annoyance in the RV world. They can chew through wires and insulation, leaving your trailer’s electrical system vulnerable to shorting out. Rodent excrement can also create a foul odor in your camper, and rodents can even cause problems inside the kitchen.

How To stop your RV from smelling like sewage Outside?

Check the Valves on Your Blackwater Tank

It’s important to check the valves on your blackwater tank before each trip. This will help ensure that your RV doesn’t smell like sewage outside. There are two valves on most blackwater tanks: the inlet valve and the outlet valve. The inlet valve is used to fill the tank, while the outlet valve is used to drain it. Make sure both valves are closed when not in use.

Don’t Overcharge your RV battery

If your RV battery starts to smell like sewage, it might be due to an overcharged battery. A Certified RV Technician should check the charging system to confirm this is a valid problem that needs to be fixed. Overcharging a battery can often cause smells like rotten eggs or sewage outside of the vehicle.

Check for Clogs in your Greywater Tank

Just as you would check your RV’s black water tank for clogs, it’s important to also check the greywater tank. Clogs in the greywater tank can cause serious damage and nasty smells. Thankfully, there are several methods for clearing out a clogged greywater tank:

Clogs happen when too much toilet paper and not enough water are in your RV waste tank. This is common when people try to flush wipes or other non-flushable items down the toilet.

A Toilet Tank Wand is versatile and able to be used in an RV predisposed to clogged sinks and toilets. This tool can help clear away any blockages that may be causing problems with your greywater system.

A flexible swivel stick is the best option for adding nozzles that connect to a faucet with a stretchy hose – this will let you pour boiling water directly into the tanks to help dissolve any build-up.

Boiling water with a pot and adding dish soap will clear the toilet in your RV, so make sure you have both on hand if needed!

Septic Tank Safe Decloggers are also effective when used to unclog your RV toilet – just make sure to read the instructions carefully to avoid any damage.

Ice cubes are a simple solution to unclogging an RV toilet – just put them into the tank and let them melt. For more information on clogs, check out our in-depth guide to unclogging an RV toilet.

The vinegar and baking soda combination is a good option if you’re worried about harsh chemicals. This method can be used to clear away build-up in your greywater tank without causing any damage.

Check for Dead Animals Around your Campervan

When you’re out on the open road in your campervan, it’s important to keep an eye out for dead animals. A carcass can quickly fill your vehicle with a nauseating smell, and even attract other predators looking for an easy meal. Here are a few tips to check for and remove any dead animals around your campervan:

A leak or break anywhere in the system should be taken to a dealer for a quote. The cost of replacing the entire tank can be high and leave you without your RV for some time.

It is much more common for there to be a clog than a leak in the sewer line, black water tank or toilet. In such cases, using a plunger may dislodge the clog and fix the problem. If that doesn’t work, try using a snake – but only if you know what you’re doing!

Tips to Prevent Sewage Smells in Your RV Outside

One common issue RV and camper owners face is sewage smells coming from the outside of the vehicle. This can be an unpleasant experience, but there are ways to prevent it from happening. Here are a few tips:

  1. It is important not to empty the black water tank before it is full. When the tank isn’t completely full, waste will get caked to the sides and won’t decompose properly as well as interfere with the tank’s sensors.
  2. If you don’t see results with your local service provider, it might be worth calling an outside company.
  3. Dump valves need to be closed when connected to a sewage system. Only open them when necessary, like dumping or flushing.
  4. Regularly topping off your RV or camper tank will keep the waste from building up, and a good flush will prevent smells. You should expect to need a deep cleaning every couple of months.
  5. RV owners should have a diagram of the water system in their RV so they can troubleshoot any common problems that may arise (like clogs). There are 24 must-have accessories for RVs and how to unclog an RV toilet.

By following these tips, you can help keep your RV or camper smelling fresh both inside and out.

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