Let's get personal... I'm curious what everyone's expectations are, surrounding their waste systems, how much odor it gives off, etc.
My general usage would probably be considered light: I'm in the office everyday, during the day + usually don't spend the bulk of weekend time in the RV. So I don't accumulate much.
However, it seems like time, not quantity, is the biggest factor, when it comes to odors. Any amount of waste - from only 2 or 3 #1s all the way to a half-full tank of everything - seems to become noticeable (even if just slightly) after a week or two.
Also, whenever I drive, the black tank has to be empty. My experience is that any amount of waste - again, even only 2 or 3 #1s - will create noticeable odors whenever you drive for more than 20-30 minutes and they'll find their way up to the driver's area.
Finally, I've been A/B testing using a tank deodorant. I think I read HandyBob say that he doesn't use any tank deodorant because, in his opinion, needing to use a deodorant means the seals on your waste system aren't sufficiently keeping odors out + that's what you need to fix.
From my testing, I've decided that tank deodorant helps, a little bit.
What's everyone's general expectations and experience with this? Does any of it match the above?
CAN You please Tell me How to remove the black tank to fix it
The tank come out from inside. You must remove the toilet then the plastic cover over the tank.
Then the plywood subfloor that is over the tank.
If you look here you might get get some ideas on what is needed
Look for the bathroom remodel link .
There is a photo of the plastic tank cover after it was removed and repositioned.
A small pert of the tank hangs out under the Rialta floor but it has to be removed from inside.
Feel free to email me directly if you need any more info also you might want to get the service manual that we sell on our site it shows how to remove the tank.
I never had issues.
Every Sunday I'd go dump the black water tank. Close the valve and refill it with the remainder of my fresh water tank (which would generally have ~30% of capacity), dump it again, then dump my grey water tank. Finally, I'd add one of these to it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005FIHDNE
I had issues with the toilet valve holding water so I paid a shop $60 for parts+labor to replace it. I did not notice any scent before/after differences.
There was a few times where I did something stupid.
Once or twice I let the tank fill to the point that it was above the toilet. The smell while driving to the dump station was never pleasant then.
I also mismanaged my time and didn't dump it before parking/traveling for 2 months. I thought I had dumped it, and felt relatively blah for the next week or two after returning. I suspect there was something awesome in the air from the fermented brew.
Joe - I'd like to know more about replacing the toilet valve. Ours won't hold water, smell isn't too bad at all but I always assumed it was a huge hassle; for $60+ time I'd like to replace it.
I'm sorry I had actually remembered it incorrectly.
The water valve into the toilet was broken. Sometimes my water pump would turn on, and sometimes I'd discover water in the toilet at random. Eventually the seal or whatnot gave out. Replacing that valve cost $60+labor at the shop.
Another time, and this is what I was thinking of, some toilet paper got stuck into the part that goes into the black water tank. Using a toilet brush I managed to clean that out. I imagine if it's lodged hard enough, you may need to remove the toilet, which seemed easy when the shop did it, to get proper access.
When I was in the RV biz and we got a nasty tank we would put a couple bags of Ice in the tank then fill it about 1/2 full of water and add a gallon of Clorox. Then we would Drive or tow it for a few miles with plenty of quick stops and turns. Then we let it sit for a couple hours , dump it then fill it with clean water then dump it again. The usually got it spotless.
Another thing is don't dump it when it is not full! If you have to dump a partial LOAD then fill it all the way up with water before you pull the big crapper leaver outside. That way it has some Oomph to it and will push and suck out all the solids! Dumping a partial tank can leave a lot of Crap behind!
FWIW, you might be able to accomplish cleaning your tank out more quickly and effectively with one of these:
It's a wand you stick into the tank and the head swivels around rapidly and (hopefully) sprays off any residue inside the tank (while flushing it all with water).
Btw, what do you mean 'issues with the toilet valve holding water'?
Fill the bowl with water by using the small pedal on the right. The water should stay in the bowl indefinitely! IF not then the sliding valve seal is bad or has trash in it. Many have cleaned out toilet paper from the seal using a coat hanger wire. They also make a special seal lube that is supposed to soften the seal and help it seal tight. I can tell you that most of the Rialtas out there have a bad seal. The newest one being almost 10 years old now! You can get the replacement valve from Camping World or many RV places online. I replaced mine when I redid the bathroom 2 years ago and it now holds water. If it won't hold back water then in won't hold in STINK!
I tried to improve all the seals that Rcrouse mentioned by tightening and adding putty and still had the stink. Then added a tiny computer case fan in the vent pipe on the roof which really helped inside... but it put the stink outside for passersby to enjoy, so that's not a solution either, and no friend will want to visit upon approaching it. I never tried enzymes, guess I should. I did make a urinal that drained to the curb, but it's only usable if you're moving often and is not very friendly; you don't want to be around piss that's baked in the sun for a day. Wide-mouth jugs handle piss too. When in a serious bind, it's possible to pinch turds in a bag & bucket with litter/sawdust, tie it up, seal in the bucket, and toss that bomb like a diaper at your earliest convenience; just don't expect any female visitors to be down wit' dat. If I were building an RV, I'd consider a composting toilet, but that could get just as nasty.
Now, please let us know what you come with.
Odor has never been a big problem for me with the stock setup but, then again, like I mentioned, I spend my days in offices/coffee shops + don't use the RV's sanitation system as my main line of support. (In fact, the most obvious ambient scent in my Rialta is a a slightly exhaust-like smell from simply being on the road, fulltime.)
The fan is interesting (and slightly hilarious that it's so effective, it chokes people outside, in close proximity to the RV). One idea... when I was in college, all of the kids who smoked in places you weren't supposed to smoke would blow the smoke through a toilet paper roll stuffed with dryer sheets to mask the scent. Maybe this is a useful strategy for this problem?
I haven't run an RV, but from what I have read (I've been looking to make the jump), the kill everything approach is good for the once in a while coach, while the enzymes and keep a good colony going is better for the full timer. A fan to keep the system at negative pressure could be used (yeah, just a small 12v fan).
Let me start by saying that you SHOULD ALWAYS USE HOLDING TANK ADDITIVE! Use the type that has enzymes that help break down the solids (you can find it at Wally World) . If you smell the black water tank then you may have a bad seal! In the Rialta there 3 places to check first see if the bowl will hold water if not then the flap seal is bad or it might have paper blocking if from closing correctly. The second is between the toilet and the base, if the bolts that hold the toilet in place are not tight then it can leak. The third is less obvious it is the tank vent pipe. I have seen several including mine where the fitting in the top of the tank was broken loose. To inspect this one you will need to remove the toilet and the panel that is behind it.You will find the vent pipe in the back left corner. If it has come loose from the tank then you will need to reattach it. There are some rubber tank fittings that can be used to replace the original glued in fitting. This does require drilling out the old fitting with a hole saw and it is best done with the tank removed. There is one other location that can go bad but it is not likely it is where the toilet down pipe connects to the tank. It is attached with a rubber doughnut fitting that allows the down pipe to slip into the top and is connected to the tank with a C slot molded into the bottom.
Hope this helps
Whatever it is, I've had an itch to go check it out. I've been there a few times before but didn't explore much and certainly didn't see it through the eyes of a resident. So this time I'm heading that way in the RV.
This Thursday I'll head West from Austin, and hopefully drive 20 hours straight to Las Vegas. I love Las Vegas and have a few friends there, so it's hard to pass up an opportunity to visit. After Las Vegas I'll go to LA. I might stay for a few days, for a month, or something in between. I haven't decided yet.
Then from Los Angeles I'll go to San Francisco. I have a ton of friends there, some from middle school back in Boston, some from Austin, and a few from the old pick up days. I'm also hoping to make friends with some of the people involved in the tech community there. I've heard that parking won't be easy, but my friends have a couple ideas on places that might work.
To improve. My home; my productivity; my relationship with my lover, my parents, those around me; my work; my study; my habits in general.
It all seems so overwhelming at times - but then I remember, I have a lifetime to get these things in check. And if some of those things pass in the meantime before I've 'improved' to my own unrealistic standards, well, so be it. I've tried.
As long as I'm trying to improve, I'm improving.