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Old 08-11-2014, 02:26 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Alberta
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THOR #944
2014 Hurricane 34e - Problems again

The quality control on this Thor product is absolutely horrid. This weekend there was an overwhelming sewer smell when we were driving but seemed to settle down when we parked. It was windy the next morning and again we got the terrible sewer smell again. Did some investigating and looked under the back bathroom sink as that is where the smell came from. A little diagnosis and found that the vent was just left open. NO check valve installed.
Can honestly say I would NEVER buy another THOR product again.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:18 AM   #2
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Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
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It is typical for RVs to have a vent going through the roof from the black water holding tank to vent gasses without any kind of check valve. I am not sure if this is what you are describing or not.

And sewer smell is fairly common - not something unique to Thor. Not that I am defending Thor, but this is a very common issue.

There are several reasons for sewer smell. First, is owner education. Simply, some people do not use their systems correctly, nor are they told how to.

There are two kinds bacteria that break down waste; aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic bacteria will only form in the presence of oxygen, and is relatively odor free. Anaerobic bacteria forms only when oxygen is not present, and is the stinky type of bacteria.

If there is oxygen present to the holding tank, anaerobic bacteria (thus smell) will not form.

In that regard, installing a check valve in the sewer vent is the worst thing you can do as it prevents exchange of oxygen in the holding tank... which would simply promote the production of stinky anaerobic bacteria.

Also (and this is more of a problem with boaters than RV'ers), never put anything in your holding tank such as vegetable oil to keep the toilet working. Some misguided advice was circulating for boat owners (their toilets have more complex mechanisms) that pouring vegetable oil in the toilet will lubricate the parts, but it also forms an "oil slick" in the holding tank which also prevents aerobic bacteria from forming.

Here are my tips to prevent smelly toilets.

1. always shut the ceiling vent fan off before flushing. If the fan is running, it simply pulls sewer gasses into the bathroom. I can about guarantee you will have a smelly bathroom if you leave the ceiling fan on when you flush.

2. never put anything in your toilet that has not gone through you - with the exception of RV type toilet paper. In my RV, Thor unwisely plumbed the bathroom sink into the black water tank.

This means I have to be careful not to put anything into the sink that might form an "oil slick" in the holding tank. So make sure you know your RV and see if any plumbing mistakes arise.

The fact that Thor has done this is evidence to me they don't totally understand the issue... but then again, I don't think this is unique to Thor.

3. use a tank treatment - I prefer the enzyme type myself.

4. periodically check your roof vent to ensure it is not clogged with leaves, spider webs, etc. You need oxygen flowing into the tank to keep odors down.

5. consider installing an upgraded vent such as a Siphon 360 (I did), as it creates negative pressure in the tank so there is always an exchange of oxygen, as well as pulling odors out of the tank through the roof.

You indicated you got the sewer smell on a windy day, it was probably due to positive pressure in the tank from the wind.

Again, most RV manufacturers use those same cheap ineffective vents that Thor does, so it is not really a Thor only problem. But a few manufacturers are finally going to the Siphon 360 vents as OEM equipment. They are about $35, but well worth it as they all but cure the problem. This is the number one thing I would add to my RV if I had sewer smell.

For the Siphon 360, the windier the day, the more negative pressure is created in the tank, and the more air is sucked out of the tank at the roof vent. Of course, each time you flush the toilet, the Siphon 360 forces fresh air to also sucked into the tank from the toilet, which is the direction you want it to go, and also refreshes the tank with oxygen, which promotes aerobic bacteria.

6. Make sure your toilet bowl seal is good, and keep a "water-plug" in the toilet. A "water-plug" is a inch of so of standing water above the toilet drain valve. Like the trap in your house toilet, it prevents gasses from seeping up from the holding tank.

You create the water plug by holding the water valve down 1/2 way after flushing (in most toilets) which fills but does not drain the bowl. You don't need so much water that it sloshes out of the tank when driving down the road, but enough to create a trap.

7. throw a couple of Efferdent tablets into the toilet bowl (and don't flush, let them dissolve in the water plug) when not using it for a few days.

I have to say that I do not have any sewer smell in my RV at all, but I do the things I mentioned above to prevent it from occurring. This is common advice for any brand RV or even boats (which are even harder to keep odors down).

Here is a photo of the Siphon 360 tank vent I installed on my RV.



If your vent looks like the one below... that is probably the chief problem:



This is the vent 90% of RV manufacturers use.

The reason I am up on this is; I used to have a lot of problems with my boat's system, until I read Peggie Hall's books; she is known as the "head mistress" in the boating world (toilets are called heads in boats). She is very knowledgeable, and is where I learned about aerobic vs. anaerobic bacteria, etc. Peggie is also a consultant to the boating industry.

P.S. I have no affiliation with the Siphon 360 - I just am a RV'er that installed one, and found that it works.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:46 PM   #3
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THOR #944
Sewer Gas Problem with Thor 34E

The problem is not with the forward washroom which has the kitchen and bathroom sink go into the black tank. It is also not the back toilet, it is the back grey tank. They completely forgot to put the vent valve on the back sink. You can see where they started installing it but did not screw in the valve. This is the third motorhome we have owned and must say that THOR has the poorest quality control out of them (Adventurer and Coachmen).
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Old 09-02-2014, 03:39 AM   #4
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THOR #943
srobm, I would have to agree with you as for the poor quality control with Thor. We have a 2014 Miramar and have had nothing but trouble since the day we bought it. Purchased in Feb. and in Aug. we were able to take our first long trip.
The list of things that had to be replaced or repaired is unbelievable. From hydraulics not working, (which took 7 months to get working, Shower drains very slowly
Ice maker not working
Styrofoam still blowing out A/C vents and in lower outside compartments.
Awning over super slide rattles and vibrates/ noisy to the point of having to pull slide
in to be able to sleep without noise.
The Schwinteck gear track on bottom rear of slide out all screw heads broke off and allowed it to push the outside slide room flange away from the box of the slide out.
Bottom fascia extension on full wall slide out is puling loose. They found gaps in sealant along fascia allowing water to protrude. All screws were rusted and sheared off.
This is only a partial list of problems.
Also, Camping World is suppose to be doing the Warranty work, but I would not recommend them to anyone.
Hope no one else would have to go through what we have with Thor and Camping World.
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Old 09-02-2014, 01:10 PM   #5
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Model: 2013 31L
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THOR #908
Ratboy46,
I'm curious, which CW location are you working with?
I recently bought mine from CW in Bartow but will likely be dealing with St Augustine if anything comes up because they are closer to home. Have worked with them a couple times on some very minor things and so far I don't have a warm fuzzy....
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Old 01-03-2015, 05:42 PM   #6
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Model: Hurricane 34E
State: California
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THOR #937
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Originally Posted by srobm View Post
.....You can see where they started installing it but did not screw in the valve. ....
A picture please? I own a 34E, and am curious if I have the same issue.

Thanks!
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:02 PM   #7
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Model: 2013 WINDSPORT 34E
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THOR #478
on my 34E the front side windows rattle real bad gowing down the road you cant talk to the passanger with out yelling,the main slide also rattles bad.
but the worst thing is that they plummed the sitchen sink to the front black tank,this is a real problem if you camp with no sewer hook ups
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Old 01-30-2015, 05:33 PM   #8
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THOR #937
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Originally Posted by kashbrener View Post
on my 34E the front side windows rattle real bad gowing down the road you cant talk to the passanger with out yelling,the main slide also rattles bad.....
I drove home on Interstate 10 across the U.S.A. from FL to CA. Believe me when I say that I felt your pain, particularly while driving through Alabama.

It's a very short section of the I10 approaching and leaving Mobile, however the road is terrible!! That is where I experienced the window rattle of which you speak!

It's also where I discovered that I forgot to insert the safety pins in the overhead bunk and it was bouncing with every bump, (but no damage).

At the first rest stop before I went completely crazy due to the window rattle, I discovered that there are two plastic tabs on the back edge of the window frame that slide up and down. Adjust those plastic tabs so that they grab the window tightly when it's completely shut. Rattling gone! For the rest of my trip home, the windows were quiet. They are also on the passenger side window frame.

Just yesterday, (at Mike Thompson RV in Fountain Valley, CA), I happened to check out the new 2015 Hurricane windows. Besides the fact that they now have that new look, they REALLY tightened the gap in the frame where the front windows slide in the window frame, to the point where it's almost difficult to open and close the windows. Improvement?

As for the holding tank issue, if the front tank gets too full when we boondock, I let the kids use the rear bathroom. Problem solved for a few more days. Beyond that, those stinky tote tanks are available.
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:04 PM   #9
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Model: 2015 Hurricane 34 J
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THOR #1295
The 2015 windows still rattle more than expected for a new coach! So much in fact I wished I had purchased another class C, at least their windows are tight!
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:26 AM   #10
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Model: Hurricane 34E
State: Texas
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THOR #1599
Hello, and sorry to hear your window issue. We are on are " shake" down first voyage, and while i have a LIST of things not working, the ride was actually very nice with very few rattles! That being said, i have lights not working, awning not extending, realizing the plumbing issue about kitchen to forward black tank, kitchen fan not working, cab light not working, electric side of water heater not work......and much more...I purchased at Camping World, and will see how it goes when i schedule my first service appointment!!!!
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:45 AM   #11
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Good luck !
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Old 02-24-2015, 01:04 AM   #12
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I am surprised at all the electrical things.....it's like they just forgot to connect the wires.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:56 PM   #13
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It's the cheater vent. Most fail anyways and are capped to stop odor. The tanks are vented so there's no real need for it. Should thor have missed it? No. But that's not to bad considering what some people go through with their new coaches, not just thor.
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:38 AM   #14
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While it is vented, it still needs to be there due to the fact when you drive down the road, the air comes in the vent and pushes the smell into the coach. This is just one of a number of problems. Took a full season to get the problems taken care of. Can't wait to get it out of storage to start the camping season on May 1.
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Old 03-13-2015, 02:52 AM   #15
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Roof vent? Yes needs to be there. Cheater vent? No. They're one way when working properly, air goes down (they do help sinks drain faster by equalizing pressure)they in no way prevent odor, that's what the trap does. A defective cheater/aav gets stuck open bypassing the trap or essentially draining the trap allowing odors in. A properly working roof vent while going down the road will suck air out of the tanks. They may sometimes allow a small burst down. That's when you get a cyclone or similar vent cover.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:04 AM   #16
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THOR #531
Put one of these Siphon vents in:



Believe me, I was skeptical of these things, but they really work. I have absolutely zero stink problems.

They are designed so that they develop low pressure as wind goes across them. The stronger the wind, the lower the pressure. The low pressure sucks the air out of the holding tank as you drive down the road.

Otherwise, as you drive down the road, air pressure will be reverse and push air into the vent, which will cause stink inside.

These improved vents are being OEM'ed for many of the better brands of RVs. But they cost $35 or so, vs $0.99 for the cheap vents Thor uses.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:45 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by FW28z View Post
Put one of these Siphon vents in:



Believe me, I was skeptical of these things, but they really work. I have absolutely zero stink problems.

They are designed so that they develop low pressure as wind goes across them. The stronger the wind, the lower the pressure. The low pressure sucks the air out of the holding tank as you drive down the road.

Otherwise, as you drive down the road, air pressure will be reverse and push air into the vent, which will cause stink inside.

These improved vents are being OEM'ed for many of the better brands of RVs. But they cost $35 or so, vs $0.99 for the cheap vents Thor uses.


Our 2008 only had a standard roof vent and only on very rare occasions would we notice a smell. We don't have any cheater vents under the sinks. My parents new axis has the cheater vents, both were defective and stunk. They replaced them and they only lasted a short time, it seems since the spring is so weak to begin with they don't hold up well to going down the road. They're now capped and no odor or problems. I installed a rotating sewer vent cap on the roof a few years ago and haven't noticed a sewer smell since.
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Old 03-13-2015, 03:59 AM   #18
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OK, so now I think I understand. You are saying that Thor is installing cheater vents and no roof vent?
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Old 03-13-2015, 05:12 AM   #19
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OK, so now I think I understand. You are saying that Thor is installing cheater vents and no roof vent?

Their Axis has two roof vents, same as our 31D, but for some reason they (Thor) also installed cheater vents under the sinks. I know Aces have cheater vents, whether they have two roof vents or possibly t'd to the black vent I'm not sure. Why they would use both is beyond me. My lavatory sink drains into my black tank instead of the grey. Kitchen and shower and waser/dryer drain into the grey.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by phnguyk View Post
Their Axis has two roof vents, same as our 31D, but for some reason they (Thor) also installed cheater vents under the sinks. I know Aces have cheater vents, whether they have two roof vents or possibly t'd to the black vent I'm not sure. Why they would use both is beyond me. My lavatory sink drains into my black tank instead of the grey. Kitchen and shower and waser/dryer drain into the grey.
I agree, it makes no sense to use cheater vents. Perhaps they were having problems adequate venting with sinks not draining and just attempted to throw stuff at it. Especially if the drain is in a slide-out, perhaps it does not take a very good downhill route to the tank.

My bathroom sink is also plumbed into the black tank. While on the one hand, Thor probably did this for convenience sake, you can use it to your advantage.

What I do is when I dump the black tank, I open the spigot to the sink in the bathroom. That way, I get fresh water going into the tank while black water is coming out. And I have the option of flushing with hot water, which might... I say might, help keep the black tank clean.

Sort of a poor man's tank rinsing system...
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