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Funky Chemical-like Smell In Motorhome

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#1 MikeMarie



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Posted 12 April 2014 - 09:20 AM

I have a 2008 Jayco Melbourne, class C motorhome. 


All is great with this home except that a few days ago we began to get a funky chemical-like smell. It appears to maybe come from the bathroom but is really hard to pin down. 


We also thought that it may be coming from our older memory foam topper on the bed. It is not overpowering but lingers. It is more pronounced in the rear of the home.


We have looked everywhere, cleaned everywhere and it still permeates the home.  Any ideas?  We have a black tank washer and each time I empty the black water I always rinse it well until the water runs clear for a time. 


The grey water is allowed to run freely so doesn't get filled up, although periodically I close the valve and let it fill some so as to ensure that it remains clean.


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#2 hermanmullins


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Posted 12 April 2014 - 11:03 AM

Mike, what you are smelling is the sewer gases coming back up through your open gray water hose.
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"Fair winds and Following Seas"

Herman & Bobbie Mullins, F302225
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#3 BillAdams


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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:49 PM

It could also be the gray tank itself.  If the smell is something like you smell when your wife has a "perm" that's likely coming from the gray tank.  I keep all valves closed at all times (avoids possible sewer gas as well as Herman mentions) and only dump as the tanks fill.  This give a much better flush and keeps the tanks cleaner.

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#4 Elkhartjim


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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:54 PM

There is a vacuum breaker on one or more of the gray water drain lines and this can be an unpleasant smell source.  On ours, its on the bath lavatory drain line.


Here is another discussion that may be of some help also.




If you Google "rv sewer vacuum breaker", you can see a picture to give you an idea of what you're looking for.  If this is the source, you can buy one at Home Depot or Lowes...usually.


BTW...is your refer working ok?

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Jim S
2008 38S Fleetwood Bounder DP

Houston, TX area

#5 MikeMarie



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Posted 12 April 2014 - 02:13 PM

Thank you all for your input. It has just been recently that I have left the grey water valve open and have been getting that smell, so from now on I will ensure it is closed except for emptying.  The more we travel and live in the motorhome the more we learn.  Appreciate the help.



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