The problem first showed itself on our trip to City of Rocks.  We hooked up to their fresh water faucet, and as I was making sure the water flowed in the kitchen, I was rocked back on my heels by the smell.  It was god awful.  I sure wasn’t going to drink that.  I disconnected the hose and tested the water at the outside faucet.  The park water smelled fine, so the issue is in the travel trailer.

[Forehead palm]  We haven’t been clearing the city water line between trips.  Can’t do much about it now, being we are in the middle of nowhere.  I grabbed a slab of bottled drinks and put them in the fridge and ice chest.

The problem persisted each morning when we first turned on the water.  We drank bottled water and used the potentially contaminated water sparingly.

Fast forward a week.  Today is the day to deal with this issue.  I intend to decontaminate the water lines.  Didn’t look it up online.  Just used common sense.

Gosh, it was hot.  Well over 100.  Let me do this fast and get outta the sun.

I dragged the two garden hoses to the drinking water hose.  Ran water through the trailer until it smelled okay.  Then I blew the water lines out with compressed air.  I disconnected the water hose from the trailer and outside faucet.  I made a disinfectant of bleach and water and poured it into the hose until it began coming out the other end.  Then I hooked everything up and ran water until it smelled like bleach.  Four hours later I drained the lines and blew the water out with compressed air.

I now have water in both the grey and black water tanks.  It’s nothing but water and bleach.  I can just release it into the yard.  It’s been horribly hot and the water will quickly disappear.  I pulled open the black water valve expecting clear water.  Stenchy, poopy water came out.  Wha…?  We drained the tank in Deming.  I’m floored and this smelly s**t is pouring onto the grass.  I can’t get to the valve because I’d have to step in the poopy water.  Maybe two gallons.  Now what?  We decide to go for broke and hooked up the water hose to the inlet which we have ignored during every dump.  It’s a black water tank sprayer.  We turn it on and hear a powerful spraying somewhere inside the trailer.  Water barely dribbles out the valve.  A lot more water is going in than coming out.  I go inside and step on the toilet flusher thingie.  Margo, outside, yells the water is flowing good now.  I guess the toilet makes a vacuum when closed.

We finished by running the bleachy grey water water over the poopy ground.  I hope it kills all the pathogens.  Shoveled some sand over the whole mess.

I was glad to escape to home and take a long shower.


The travel trailer sat for around 10 days before we went on the next trip.  Glad to say the water smell was almost normal, so the cleaning helped tremendously.

Margo did some research.  Said for most people it was not an issue and when it was they just ran water through it for a while.

I prefer my way if it will fix the problem.  If I have to do it again, I’ll hook up a liquid fertilizer dispenser and fill the dispenser with full strength bleach.  Should be a lot easier, and I can soak it multiple times.

Wadda y’all think?  Good idea?



About trekkingtess

Retired Industrial Arts and middle school computer teacher. Escaped Texas for the peace and quiet of New Mexico.
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