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Black tank location on a 09 Monaco Camelot QDP


Land Lubber
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I was going to add a cyclone sewer vent over my 2009 Camelot QDP's black tank but I see there are 2 vents on the roof, one above the sink/shower & another above the Toilet room. While having the waste tanks power flushed today, the shop recommended installing a cyclone vent. They mounted it on the vent over the shower/sink. I thought that it should be located above the toilet. Am I right to think that the vent there is the one for the black tank?

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One would think that.  I have the same rig.  The only “sure way” rather than the sniff test would be a powered smoke test….and there are folks I thought that had equipment….or a shop vac on exhaust and put something like vanilla extract in and “fan” the vent with your hand like they taught us in Chemistry lab.

BUT, IF you emptied both tanks.  Poured water down the vent or used a garden hose with a small 1/2” diameter piece of tubing and let it run for a few minutes, then open the Black tank valve, one would expect water.  If not, then close and check the gray.  So, assuming you still have the clear Sanicon fitting in place….pour or put a gallon or two of water down the tank vent without the cyclone vent.  Then see which tank has water.

Curious, were you getting offensive odors?  We have spent, from purchase in 2009 until end of 2018 camping season, an average of almost 60 days or two months per year…or 600 nights.  Not just the two of us but with 2 GK for at least 1/3 of the time during  that 10 period and never had any smells or issues.  Power washing sounds great….good way to get the TP residue off the sides of the black tank so the tiny little level probes contacts are more accurate….but not because of an odor problem.  We always used a “chemical” and have been “Happy Camper” users for the last 6 years or so.  Cleaned the tanks at least 4 times with various products as well as the GEOMETHOD.  Never did much for the accuracy of the Black Level probes….

Just curious…

Thanks.….

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Never understood these 'cyclone' vent tops.

Folks say they 'pull' stinky air out of the black tank :classic_blink:

Well, if you pull air out of a vessel, it needs to be replaced with something, otherwise the vessel implodes. So, where does the air come from that replaces the air that the Cyclone is pulling out??

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11 hours ago, 96 EVO said:

Never understood these 'cyclone' vent tops.

Folks say they 'pull' stinky air out of the black tank :classic_blink:

Well, if you pull air out of a vessel, it needs to be replaced with something, otherwise the vessel implodes. So, where does the air come from that replaces the air that the Cyclone is pulling out??

Yeah, I think I see your point.  If the black tank system is truly sealed then air can't get into the tank so that air/smell can be pulled up the roof vent.

However on the grey tank air admittance valves would let air in.  Maybe the black tank needs one.

BTW, turn the exhaust fan off when flushing, or hold your nose,  black tank air moves both ways

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Are we to think that a coach without one of these cyclone vents mounted on it the OEM vent installed by Monaco would be of no value either? The alternative is simply to depend on the odors naturally floating up & out of the vent pipe. Time will tell to see if having the cyclone up there makes any noticeable difference. Stay tuned !  LOL !

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Yeah, let us know how it works out!

With a sealed system (other than the vent pipe), I don't see where the replacement air can come from other than down the vent pipe!

12 minutes ago, Land Lubber said:

Are we to think that a coach without one of these cyclone vents mounted on it the OEM vent installed by Monaco would be of no value either?  

You would have a tough time emptying the tank if there was no way for air to replace the liquid your dumping 😉!

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43 minutes ago, Land Lubber said:

Are we to think that a coach without one of these cyclone vents mounted on it the OEM vent installed by Monaco would be of no value either? The alternative is simply to depend on the odors naturally floating up & out of the vent pipe. Time will tell to see if having the cyclone up there makes any noticeable difference. Stay tuned !  LOL !

All I can say that after over 700 nights in the MH....and being at some spots for a week or so, I have never smelled or had any odors from my Camelot, which is the exact same model as yours.  My OEM Monaco vents are sufficient.  Your tanks, power flushed, should be in much better condition, internally, than mine.

BUT, I have cleaned with the various commercial products as well as once or twice, the GEO Method....and I left the Cleaners INSIDE the tank for at least a few days or if in storage, a few weeks.  I also have always used the "Chemicals" and settled on Happy Camper...but the others work.  DO NOT USE THE SEPTIC TANK ENZYMES....it ain't for RV's (See Level has this warning in their literature and also require chemicals and periodic cleaning for their Capacitance system to function....real world... a full timer in a 2009 Camelot put them in....NADA.  It took THREE cleanings to get out all the gunk and he had to start using the REAL CW TP instead of the cheap singly ply he bought at Walmart in the HOUSEHOLD section).

The OTHER lesson I learned.  NEVER dump and store.  I used to meticulous and back flushed and cleaned and spent needless time getting the tank water to be clear.  NOPE....Now I do Back FLush....for a few minutes to add a little head pressure to the Black Tank.  I then dump it.  Turn on the Back Flush (I have valve I installed) and let it run for a minute or two.  Then I dump again. THEN, I open the gray....then the black and let the "soap laden" gray equalize in the Black.  Close the GRAY....and dump the Black.  I do that three times.  That was from the Supplemental Instructions that Sanicon wrote and Monaco left in my package.  I DID talk to Sanicon and they said....DEFINITELY....use the Gray tank to help keep the Black clean.

OK...then after I empty the Black....then empty the GRAY....Close the valves and add the chemical. There will ALWAYS be some residual bacteria or "digestors" in the Black.  Having some liquid in there lets the critters breed and they, like in a Septic Tank, will be ready for the next trip.

Did you run the experiment to determine which stack if the Black.  I would like to know.

Thanks...

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I was in a shop getting my broken exterior door latch replaced so I had them install the cyclone vent that I had bought a few months ago so I will see how this works out. I spoke with the senior tech who confirmed that the vent on the starboard side was the black tank vent . For years I have used TankTech'sRx treatment in the black tank with good results. They also recommend that you not completely drain the tank so as to keep a little residual protection in the tank. I occasionally use a little in the grey tank also.  I had recently replaced the toilet seals & the air admittance valve under the sink as part of my periodic maintenance but the odor issue persisted. So now it's time to see if the new vent is beneficial.....it wasn't very expensive so it can't hurt. I think I'll dump a little more often than the weekly sked I was using to see if that helps also.

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I threw one of those devices up there on a previous MH when I was getting odor only while driving. At times, I thought it was helping, other times not so much. My next move was going to pull the toilet and replace the gasket, but, I traded the coach in instead.

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20 hours ago, Land Lubber said:

I was in a shop getting my broken exterior door latch replaced so I had them install the cyclone vent that I had bought a few months ago so I will see how this works out. I spoke with the senior tech who confirmed that the vent on the starboard side was the black tank vent . For years I have used TankTech'sRx treatment in the black tank with good results. They also recommend that you not completely drain the tank so as to keep a little residual protection in the tank. I occasionally use a little in the grey tank also.  I had recently replaced the toilet seals & the air admittance valve under the sink as part of my periodic maintenance but the odor issue persisted. So now it's time to see if the new vent is beneficial.....it wasn't very expensive so it can't hurt. I think I'll dump a little more often than the weekly sked I was using to see if that helps also.

Bummer on the smell being there after all the right things that you did. The ONLY other thing I would tell you.  I had to replace the toilet after a tech put in the new gasket and worked on the flush valve. The original unit on mine, per the manufacturer (Thetford?) had a defect in it.  The "hold half way down" to fill the bowl was erratic and constantly needed lubrication. I found, through the old site and some fellow 2009 owners that they too, had that. 

I was in a shop and asked the tech about it while he was doing another job. He said....go over to parts and get this. I paid for the seal kit.  He then showed me the valve and there was a problem with the plastic injected molding valve body....a boss or burr on one side.  He ground it off.

About two years later, I flushed it on the first leg (100 miles out) of a trip to Denver (from Raleigh, NC) and BUMMER....the flush cable broke.  You COULD hand flush from the back.  RIGHT...my son and my daughter and my two preteen GK's are gonna do that.

I fumed and fussed...and stopped in Marion for Tom Johnson's folks to fix it.  Spent the night there.  They were booked solid and they said....don't have your parts in stock.

OK....it can't be THAT hard (I hate Home Plumbing jobs!!!! but I do them).  I found the same exact one in Knoxville at CW, different color....sort of a beige.  It MAY have been ADA...I can't remember.  I had them pull it and drove there, a bit out of the way....but we HAD to stay on schedule as we had folks flying in and out and all the CG reservations plus side trips were booked..

Took me less or maybe an hour to totally swap it out.  I MIGHT have overstated a smell issue.  DW did comment one time. I called Thetford and the lady told me to buy Plumber's Silicone Grease (Lowes has it).  She said to lube (as well as clean) the ball and the rubber fitting under the seal.  LIBERALLY....and go below the actual sealing surface to keep the rubber supple. Make sure the ball was coated and dry flush once or twice and lightly recoat.  I do that at least, when we were out for almost 3 months and had the kids and GK's....maybe once a month.  You PROBABLY know this.

I will also report that ONE 2009 member rebuilt his twice. He FINALLY found the issue....the round flush ball valve had a "Molding Mark" or a parting line issue.  There was either a raised line or an indent. That allowed leakage...water as well....and it also, unless he kept it liberally coated, a smell.

All I can offer.  I always winterize...and I pay particular attention to the toilet.  It got down to minus night temps for several days and the MH is under cover so there is no sunlight daily radiation. The flush valve leaked....tiny but there.  I called Thetford.  YES, it happens... OK....I ordered a NEW flush valve from Amazon.  Quick and easy install.  It has been just as good as the original one in my NEW toilet.

SO...if you persist and have the original Toilet....I would suggest a Flush Valve replacement....probably NOT a new toilet.  Use a flashlight (LED) and inspect the ball.  YOU may have one of the ones that our other poster have.  If the flush valve works OK on the fill the bowl...then you do not have the bad valve body....like my original. 

My input on toilets....

Good Luck.

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I use this low tech solution up on the roof and it works fine for us. Venturi effect just like or better than the fancy looking ones. Only times I experienced a problem was with dry washer p-trap and toilet fan on while flushing with all windows closed.

IMG_20220812_094813895.jpg

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I had those vents also so I have been working through my list of possible issues. I still have one on the drivers side of the coach which I believe is for the grey tank. I have had this coach for over 2 years but only recently began having an odor issue. I began by replacing the toilet ball & seals, deep cleaning the tank & replacing the air admittance valve under the sink. Installing the cyclone vent on the black tank vent seemed to make sense to see if that might help. Time will tell....stand by for news!  LOL!

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If your kitchen sink is in a slide, see if you can get a good look at the white flexible drain line and where it connects to the permanent plumbing.

Couple of years ago we were parked next to a couple in a nice Travel Supreme that were battling intermittent odor's. 

He emailed me a few weeks after we left that he found the culprit!

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4 minutes ago, 96 EVO said:

If your kitchen sink is in a slide, see if you can get a good look at the white flexible drain line and where it connects to the permanent plumbing.

Couple of years ago we were parked next to a couple in a nice Travel Supreme that were battling intermittent odor's. 

He emailed me a few weeks after we left that he found the culprit!

Good point, I had that happen too. If there is a crack on the top side of the loop, it may not leak to be noticed until much later.

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16 minutes ago, 96 EVO said:

If your kitchen sink is in a slide, see if you can get a good look at the white flexible drain line and where it connects to the permanent plumbing.

Couple of years ago we were parked next to a couple in a nice Travel Supreme that were battling intermittent odor's. 

He emailed me a few weeks after we left that he found the culprit!

AND, if it really gets bad....you will have a leak....like on a Buddy's 08 Navigator.  We were caravaned at the ACC Basket Ball Tournament in Greensboro and he asked me to look.  Found the leak for him and we duct taped it....and he then fixed it later.  Yes, I think that would also be a potential source...  

Good topic and lots of info...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brad, if you have the washer/dryer setup and haven’t used it in a while, the P trap for it will eventually dry up, allowing unpleasant smell into the coach.  I have the Splendide single unit, not the stacker system with a closet above it.  On the floor of that closet is a small removable panel with a thumb hole to remove it.  Since I haven’t used the washer/dryer in years, I keep a transmission funnel in the closet to periodically add water to the P trap.  The discharge hose from the washer dumps into a standpipe.  This standpipe is tall enough and large enough to slip the funnel in it to add the water. 

The other area that could be letting the “smell” in is the shower P trap.  I have a 40’ PDQ layout and is different than yours.  As I run the water in the sink next to the shower, I sometimes can hear the water landing in the gray water holding tank. The first time it baffled me.  I opened the shower door, ran the sink, and sure enough, that was what was happening.  After filling the shower P trap and I could no longer hear it.  This has happened maybe six times in 15 years. 
 

I started using Happy Camper in my holding tanks years ago, and no longer get a smell when I haven’t added water to the washer standpipe in a while. And, no smell when I can hear the water tinkling through the shower drain.  Needless to say, I recommend Happy Camper.

 

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Thanks Harry, I was in a shop in Pismo Beach last week & they said that the black tank vent is on the starboard side. That's the right side for those who are not Navy Vet's....LOL!!  I noticed that the black tank dump valve was seeping at the slide shaft intermittently so I changed both dump valves. So far we haven't noticed any odors. But, I will not say right away that the problem is solved yet.  We  bought this coach 2 years ago & were in it over 200 nights last year & are on track for close to 200 this year so I am confident that the P-traps are good.  We use our stacked washer-dryer regularly. I have read good things abut Happy Camper but I learned that it is not for sale here in CA anymore. I have had good luck with TankTech'sRX for many years.

Thanks for your input....and also all the others who contributed to my question.

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