My RV Smells Awful!

My RV Smells Awful!

You’re getting the RV spruced up, looking forward to hitting the road again. But it smells. That will sure ruin the trip, shut up in a compact living space with gosh-knows-what odors. You have several possible sources of the odors. It could be any or all of them!


Store shelves are lined with chemicals to eliminate bathroom odors in RVs. It doesn’t matter how small or how large, it’s a problem across the board. Some chemicals are used when waste is disposed of in a septic tank. Some are formulated for use in a city sewer. Either way, there is no guarantee that they’ll work, unfortunately.

Another problem could be the lack of adequate ventilation for the black water tank (the tank that holds waste water). The tank is vented out the roof of the RV, but there are times while driving that the wind pushes the air back down the vent pipe instead of drawing it out, and the smell goes wafting through the coach. Also, the vents have a slight vacuum when you are driving, and sometimes there is a stronger vacuum in the rear of the coach that causes the tank to draw air inside—with the same result. Then there are the times that leaves or other debris clog up the ventilation system. No matter what the cause, the smell coming in rather than going out does not make for a fun vacation.


In addition to the black water tank, there is a gray water tank for the water from kitchen and bathroom drains. Granted, not nearly as bad as the water in the black tank, but if the water sits for too long, it can produce a very offensive odor. If food waste from the kitchen drain ends up in the tank, the odor is even worse.


Just like in your home, all the drains in your RV have a curved plumbing fixture called a P-trap that keeps heavy debris (hair, grease, the wedding ring!) from forming a clog deep within the plumbing system (as well as keep valuables that drop down the drain easier to retrieve—some of the time). While the RV is in storage, water left in the P-traps can grow bacteria. That smell will go all through the RV. Likewise, water left in the clothes washer lines.


Sooner or later it could happen. You fill up your fresh water tank only to discover too late that the water smells (and tastes) wonky. There are areas of the country that have water that smells like sulfur. As you probably know, sulfur smells like rotten eggs. Not exactly your chosen fragrance for your RV.


So maybe the little fella just wanted to hop a ride. Or find a warm place in cold weather. And there’s a big ol’ RV just standing there with no one using it. The varmint finds his way in and makes a home for himself. Then he dies. Now that’s an odor you’ll never forget. Under the dashboard seems to be a favorite place for them. It’s nice and warm with the sun coming in the windshield. The RV’s engine compartment also makes a warm, cozy place to nest.


Sometimes the most innocuous smells become unbearable after being closed up tight for months, more unbearable if closed up for years, perish the thought.


 Wall-to-wall carpeting sure seemed like a luxury improvement to RVs. Remember when all the flooring was laminated? Like many improvements, there is a flip side. Maybe Rover has had some accidents, maybe Tigger has, maybe both of them. If the RV has been closed up for a time, the smell you didn’t notice last time you used the RV is going to hit you right in the face now.

Save yourself the headaches. Before you start packing up the RV to take off down those happy trails, call The Odor Guys at 207-839-9111. We can remove those odors for you. We can come to you or clean your vehicle in our secured facility. We are available throughout New England, including all of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

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