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How to Get Rid of RV Sewer Smell

Updated on January 28, 2024



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If you’re like most people, the mere mention of RV sewage will make your skin crawl. Not to mention the smell! No one wants to deal with that, but unfortunately, it’s a necessary part of owning an RV.

how to get rid of rv sewer smell

But here’s the main question, how to get rid of the RV sewer smell?

It’s not always easy to get rid of the RV sewer smell. Depending on where you are and what type of system your RV has, it can be challenging to find the right solution.

Luckily, there are ways to get rid of the smell and make your experience more pleasant. Keep reading to know all the necessary things to get rid of that pesky smell for good!

9 Tips for Getting Rid of RV Sewer Smell

Getting rid of the RV sewer smell is actually pretty easy. You just need to make sure that you know how to do it before you actually encounter the problem.

Here are some tips that will help you to eliminate the RV sewer smell:

Locate the Source of the Odor

The first step in getting rid of the sewer smell from your RV is to find out where it is coming from. This may seem obvious, but there could be multiple odor sources in your rig, and they may not all be located in the same area.

Check Your Hoses for Leaks

Hoses that aren’t correctly connected can cause many problems with sewer smells. Ensure they’re securely attached to the tanks and that any clamps are tight enough to keep them from leaking. If there’s an odor coming from the toilet or shower, check those hoses.

Clean Out Your Toilet Bowl

This is one of the easiest ways to get rid of the RV sewer smell. It is essential to regularly clean out the toilet bowl to avoid any buildup that may lead to a sewer smell. You should also ensure that your toilet seat does not have cracks or openings. This will help prevent any odor from escaping into your RV.

Make Sure There Is No Obstruction in Your Vent System

If there is a blockage, it could cause sewage to back up into your RV, resulting in an even worse smell than usual. Check the area around your black and gray water tank now and then to ensure that nothing is blocking the vent line.

Clean Out the Drain Lines and Pump Stations Regularly

Over time, sediment builds up inside these pipes, which causes blockages and clogs. It would be best to clean them out periodically, so they don’t get clogged up completely and cause problems with drainage.

Clean Out Your Gray Water Tank Regularly

You should clean your grey water tank every time you stop at an RV dump station or use a portable toilet inside your RV. Ensure that you clean out any solid waste first because it will clog up the hose if it’s not removed before dumping.

Try Using Additives Like Baking Soda or Vinegar

You can use additives like baking soda or vinegar to treat your water before entering the black water tank. These additives will help neutralize odors and keep them from building up inside your system.

Clean up Any Messes Inside Your Rig

Use an enzyme cleaner on any remaining stains or other messes inside your rig before leaving for good (or until your next trip). This will prevent any further staining or damage that could make removing odors more difficult later on down the road.

Replace A Broken Wax Ring on your RV Toilet

One of the most common causes of RV sewer smells a broken wax ring on your toilet. If you have this problem, you’ll need to replace the wax ring as soon as possible to prevent any further damage or odors.

Here’s how to replace a broken wax ring on your RV toilet:

  • Turn off the water supply to your RV toilet.
  • Drain the black water tank and flush the toilet several times to remove any remaining water from the bowl.
  • Remove the bolts that hold the toilet in place and lift it off the floor flange.
  • Remove the old wax ring from the floor flange and clean up any debris or residue.
  • Install the new wax ring onto the floor flange and lower the toilet back into place.
  • Tighten the bolts to secure the toilet and turn on the water supply.
  • Test the toilet to make sure it is flushing correctly and that there are no more leaks or sewer smells.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to quickly and easily replace your wax ring and, hopefully, eliminate any RV sewer smells.

Why Does My RV Black Tank Smell?

The smell of your RV’s black tank can be a nuisance or even a severe health risk, depending on what is causing the odor. There are several reasons why your black water tank smells, including problems with your waste system, poor ventilation, and water usage.

The most common cause of the smell is a biological waste buildup in the black water holding tank. The buildup of this waste causes anaerobic bacteria to grow, which produces methane gas that causes foul odors. In addition to producing methane gas, these bacteria produce hydrogen sulfide. These gases are toxic and can cause headaches, nausea, and vomiting if you inhale them in high concentrations.

Another possible cause for the smell is poor ventilation in your RV’s black water storage compartment. This can cause condensation inside the compartment, leading to mildew growth on surfaces like walls and flooring, which may contribute to the unpleasant odor in your RV’s waste compartment.

Why Does My RV Toilet Smell Like Rotten Eggs?

The smell of rotten eggs is a sure sign of an issue with your RV’s black and gray water tanks. There are three main reasons for this:


A clog somewhere in your RV’s plumbing system is causing a build-up of sewage gases. This is the most common cause of an RV toilet smelling like rotten eggs.

Damaged Tank

If the black or gray water tank is damaged, it can allow sewage gases to escape. This is a serious issue that should be addressed immediately.

Uncleaned Toilet and Flapper

If the flapper or toilet doesn’t get cleaned regularly, waste can get under the rim and on the underside of the drop seat. It begins to decompose and cause smelly odors.

Why Does It Stink When I Flush My RV Toilet?

When you flush your RV toilet, the stinky smell is caused by methane gas release. This gas is produced when the sewage in your holding tank breaks down.

The best way to prevent this gas from building up is to ensure that your holding tank is appropriately ventilated. That way, the methane gas can escape before it has a chance to build up and stink.

How Do You Get the Urine Smell Out of an RV Bathroom?

Anyone who has ever experienced the joys of RV ownership knows that one of the challenges is dealing with the sometimes less-than-pleasant smells that can develop in a small space.

The bathroom is particularly prone to foul odors due to the combination of moisture and waste. Fortunately, a few simple steps can be taken to eliminate the urine smell in an RV bathroom.

First, make sure that you use a quality toilet cleaner that contains enzymes. These enzymes break down the organic matter in urine, which eliminates the source of the odor.

Second, ventilate the area by opening a window or running an exhaust fan. This will help to remove any remaining odors.

Finally, consider placing a bowl of white vinegar in the bathroom. The vinegar will absorb any lingering odors, leaving your RV bathroom smelling fresh and clean.

Is Sewer Gas in RV Dangerous?

Sewer gas in a camper is dangerous. It can be ignited, causing a fire or explosion. The odor may not be strong, but it’s there and dangerous.

Sewer gas is naturally occurring and can be found anywhere there are organic materials to break down. The most common sewer gases are hydrogen sulfide, methane, or carbon dioxide – all with a rotten egg smell that might not seem too strong, but it’s dangerous nonetheless!

How Do You Deodorize an RV Holding Tank?

Deodorizing your RV holding tank is a simple process that will help keep your RV smelling fresh and clean. The best way to do this is by adding a treatment to the water in your holding tank. This will kill any bacteria or other organisms living in your tank, and it will also help absorb any odors that may be present.

There are many different types of treatments available that can be used to deodorize an RV holding tank. They all work in different ways, but they all have one thing in common: they kill the bacteria and other organisms that live inside your holding tank and cause odors.

These treatments can be purchased from most RV supply stores. In fact, you can even make them yourself with natural ingredients you probably already have around the house.


You can do a few things to help rid the RV sewer smell. These include pouring baking soda down the drain, checking hoses, and cleaning the tank.

No matter what method you choose, it’s crucial to stay on top of keeping your RV sewer smell under control. By following these tips and using one or more of these methods, you should be able to keep your RV smelling fresh all year long!

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<span style="color: #01343d">About</span> Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

<span style="color: #01343d">About</span> Editorial Staff

About Editorial Staff

We’re passionate about all things RV and camper, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your camping experience a success!

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