Handling Holding Tank Odors

RV dump stations everywhere are closing down operation due to several reasons. Some, but not all of these reasons are the costs and headaches involved to keep them operating and properly maintained, the wrong types of chemicals used by RVers and because of neglect and poor housekeeping by people who use these dump stations. RV holding tanks are used to hold, or store waste water until a sewer system is available to empty the tanks. Because little water is used, in comparison to a domestic waste water system, RV holding tank wastewater is far more concentrated. Adding to the problem are the chemicals required to assist in breaking down the waste and controlling odors. This requires more treatment than a regular house type waste system and it complicates disposal of RV holding tank waste. In many cases it is much easier to just close the dump station.

The problem that the average RVer is confronted with is how to control holding tank odors. Formaldehyde based chemicals do a better job of controlling odors. The problem with this is the organic strength from the mixture in an RV holding tank can be fifteen to twenty times stronger than a typical wastewater system. This leads to more complications for dump station owners. This problem is compounded when the RVer gets some odors from the holding tank and dumps even more chemicals in the holding tank in an attempt to control the odors. Environmentally friendly enzyme based chemicals use natural organic chemicals. They have a lower organic strength, which is better for the dump station but they don’t control odors as well as formaldehyde compounds.

RV holding tanks are designed with a vent pipe going from the tank up to the roof on the RV. The holding tank odors accumulate in the tank and can’t really be vented outside because there is no air pressure to force the gasses (odors) up the vent pipe. The real problem occurs when wind blows across the vent cap on top of the RV roof, or when you’re traveling. This higher air pressure forces air down the vent pipe pushing the tank gasses (odors) to the only other way out of the system, the toilet. Whenever the air pressure is higher inside the holding tank, than it is inside the RV, the odor escapes into the RV by way of the toilet.

Well I’m happy to say that I found a product that can solve holding tank odor problems. I am not affiliated with this product and there are a couple of other similar products available on the market. The product I used is called The RV-360 and it’s a redesigned breather system that attaches to the vent pipe and actually draws the fumes out of the holding tank. It works when the RV is stationary and when it’s moving.

Here’s how it works. As the wind passes over your rooftop it will direct the RV-360 so that the exhaust port is pointing down wind, away from where the wind is coming from, drawing the tank fumes up the vent pipe. In certain wind conditions, the factory installed vent cap does the opposite and actually forces wind down the vent pipe, pushing holding tank fumes back into the RV. The RV-360 Rotating Vent uses the wind to pull all the odors and gasses from the holding tank, out of the roof top vent, away from your RV living space. Let’s all work together to do our part in making sure that dump stations will stay open for present day and future RVers.
Happy RV Learning,
Mark Polk

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