If you own a motorhome and you travel in that bad boy you know one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the smells from the grey and blackwater tanks. Nothing sucks more than coming back to your coach after not using it or going down the road to a very fowl smell from the overcooked tanks…


We have had 3 coaches so far

  • 2005 Tiffin Phaeton 40Qt
  • 2006 American Eagle 45H
  • 2012 American Eagle 42M

With each coaches we have had our challenges but learning to manage the smells of the tanks is always a priority for us.

Lessons we have learned:White cyclone


Depending on the coach you own, proper airflow might cause some significant smell issues in your coach. Our first coach (The Tiffin Phaeton) definitely had this issue. Believe it or not it was actually a simple fix.

By adding the White Cyclone Sewer Plumbing Vent on the roof, this created proper airflow in the coach. Our next two coaches had the same concept already installed. This is a must.


Proper Chemicals

There are huge opinions of what to use to properly maintain your blackwater tanks (as well as your gray water tank). We have tried most of them. Some try to kill it – Formaldehyde concept. Others try to use bacteria to eat it up.

Our findings:

Most of them don’t work.

This is the first one that seems to work very well for us


Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment

Expensive up front purchase but it last a LONG time. Probably cheaper than all the other ones out there.

We put 1 scoop in the Blackwater tank and 1 scoop in the grey tank and it takes it from there.

Cleansing the TankSewer Extender

Our bus comes with a San-T-Flush system. It allows us to connect a host to the bus and “Flush” the black water and grey water system. We flush the system ever 3 times pumped out.¬† We do both the Black tank and the grey tank for about 3 minutes. One thing that helps is having a Camco 39572 5″ Clear Sewer Hose Adapter that allows us to see clearly how the flushing process is going down. We are taking about 12 bucks. it is worth ever penny.

Slicking the tanks walls

Hanging out on the forums, there is a lot of discussion about “stuff” sticking to the walls of the tank causing the sensors to give erroneous errors. (1/4 full when it is really empty). We have had heard several solutions to this problem.

  • Bath Beads with a bag of ice
  • Borax
  • Bleach (No Way)

(Updated 5/31/16)

BoraxAfter extensive testing with all 3 and also with  Calgon Liquid Water softener we are now convinced that Borax does the best job of cleaning the sides of the tank as it is going down the road. We had 3 full-timing friends as well as a company that cleans out tanks suggest that this stuff works wonders (and it does)

What we do is take 1 cup of Borax and add it to the Grey Tank and Black tank and put it in a tank with 1/2 full of clean water.

Then we go on a drive to our next stop…

The slushing around clears the walls well. We then empty the tank once we get there.

Is this better than other ideas? Not sure but it works, very well for us

What do you do?

Love to here your comments….







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