By Bob Cravens
President, 360 Products
It’s simple physics and biology. It’s not rocket science, just the basic rules of air pressure. So why is enjoying an odorless RV living space still not common practice?
When wind creates high pressure in a holding tank you are going to have fumes forced back in to living spaces from leaky seals and toilet flushes. You can cover them up with perfumed chemicals, but there is as little reason to be inhaling sewer odors in your RV just like you wouldn’t be inhaling your car’s exhaust as you are driving.
We all know carbon monoxide is lethal, but hydrogen sulfide, a gas created by decomposing matter in waste holding tanks, is also highly toxic and potentially lethal in large amounts. At least hydrogen sulfide let’s you know of its presence by that “rotten egg” smell.
The automobile industry determined many decades ago that engine exhaust was poisonous and manufacturers had to follow simple rules and use certified parts to ensure those gasses wouldn’t enter the vehicle passenger space. That’s just common sense.
However, no such standards exist in the RV industry. A vent pipe is all that is required on all holding tanks, but there is no code that provides for creating a truly healthy environment free of noxious gas.
So our question is, if the RV industry knew there was a simple, inexpensive and 100 percent effective way to eliminate the possibility of noxious odors and gasses entering the RV living space, why would they not provide this as a service to their customers?
Granted, some manufacturers do use our product and have demonstrated they ARE interested in your health, and those companies are listed on our website at www.360productsinc.com.
So, why don’t they use our simple device to eliminate RV odors once and for all? We decided to ask them. The answers we were most commonly given were as follows:
Your product is too expensive to add to the cost of our product
An open pipe or the existing caps they use cost under $1 and are the root CAUSE of the problem. They all cause a back pressure to occur in winds as low as 5 mph.
Most RV manufacturers, except the ones currently installing the 360 Siphon on the production line, install these caps as debris covers, thus creating most of the odor causing issues. This really amounts to a customer having to pay to correct a problem that the factory builds in at production.
The retail cost to the customer to cure this problem with the 360 Siphon averages $30 in North America. Installation at a service center averages around $40 for an average installed price of $70.
If installed as a factory direct item, the cost passed on to any new RV buyer would run about $16 per Siphon. That’s only about 23 percent of aftermarket installation.. It’s actually less than half the cost of the Siphon itself if the customer were to buy it off the shelf and install it themselves!
We don’t have a problem with tank odors
This statement can only be interpreted as a denial of the No. 1 negative issue of RV living. If odor issues were not a problem, holding tank chemicals — and the companies that make them — would not exist.
Since RV odor control is discussed by more RV users, and takes up more blog and forum space than any other subject, we think denial is absurd, or just a total disconnect by manufacturers from the real world issues of the lifestyle they serve.
There are millions (yes millions) of articles available on the internet addressing the biology of waste decomposition, so this excuse really made us do a double take. We could address this in more detail, but believe the next comment clarifies their indifference to a permanent solution.
We don’t want to admit the problem because then we will have to be held accountable. Let’s just not bring it up in the the sales setting and the customer can deal with it later.
What can we say? It just proves our point about indifference to the issues of their customers.
Our dealers like the repeat business of chemical sales and this would cut into their sales.
This is a valid point on their agenda. If a “cure” can be produced and a product that only treats “symptoms” can be eliminated; it might be a good idea to avoid the cure for as long as possible to continue making money if your company can address the symptoms.
But, that’s just silly. It’s like saying, “We know computers are more versatile and efficient, but we’re going to keep selling manual typewriters because our dealers make a lot of money selling carbon paper and white out.
In summation, in a self contained RV there are 100 gallons or more of waste that are stored just a few feet from where you live and breathe. The sad fact is that most manufacturers have decided it’s not worth an additional $15 to $30 to allow an RV user to live in an environment free of noxious odors and gasses.
Let’s not forget about the amount of money saved on eliminating those chemical cover ups that are no longer needed.
The manufacturers constantly change the looks, floorplans and functions of the products they build, but continue to use an antiquated waste and odor management system that has not changed in seven decades.
The choice between the cost of an odor-free RV environment is, as always, left to the consumer who determines if the value is worth the money they spend. Most change is consumer driven and our solution is no exception.
We have learned from our customers through the years that a smelly RV can make or break their overall RV experience and have had thousands of people tell us they were ready to quit the lifestyle altogether until they found the solution we provided.
The intent of this article is to make the RV using public aware that living with RV holding tank odors and pouring more chemicals in a toilet tank are no longer a “requirement” of the RV experience. There is a choice.
Until the industry decides to “cure” the issue, we can only provide aftermarket assistance to current owners and ones who buy from the 20 brands listed on the website that have had the foresight to include it as a standard item on their new RV products.
For more information on the 360 Siphon, visit 360productsnorthamerica.com.
To see a video of how it works, as explained by The RV Doctor Gary Bunzer, click here.