You know when you smell something stinky, but you can’t figure out where it is coming from?? Yeah, so do we. There has been a growing sour smell in the RV for a while. Yes, we have two dogs, but they both said they “didn’t do it”. We thought it was the heat because it is in the 90s here in Nevada and our rig is sitting in the sun. We thought that it was heating up the pipes and holding tanks and causing the sour smell and we noticed it most when running water… Hmmm, our first clue. We bought new chemicals for the tanks, emptied them, added chemicals, filled with water, and thought the smell had dissipated. It did not. We thought it was food particles stuck in the drains, or food particles coating the grey water tank and fermenting in the heat. We dumped and refilled the tanks multiple times. The smell continued; it got worse. It was like sour milk and old feet – absolutely awful. Sean is amazing about doing research and looking up solutions for the problems we encounter (if you have kept up with our blog, you know that we have encountered several issues – like clogged loos and slide out issues). He saw an article about how hot weather can cause the water in holding tanks and hot water heater tanks to sour and start to smell. This made sense to us because the worst times of the smell were when we did dishes in the kitchen sink with hot water and when we took showers. We also realized that we had used our hot water very infrequently over the last month as the tap water on cold was fairly warm, and we even used it that way in the shower. The smell was not coming UP from drains, but OUT through the taps. It was the water itself that was stinky. Even though we drained the water, the tank and lines still had bacteria in them and the smell was coating the water as it passed through and also as it sat in the hot water tank and our fresh water tank. The solution was to turn off the water heater, drain all tanks, and put a mix of fresh water and bleach into the fresh water holding tank. After adding the fresh water and bleach, we were to turn on the pumps and run hot water (with the heater turned OFF) through the lines until the water coming out of the faucet started smelling bleachy (bleachy is a highly technical term). We did all those things and had bleach water coming through the lines. We probably used more bleach than necessary because the bleach smell was overwhelming, but we felt that at least it was sanitizing the lines. We left the faucets on one by one to allow for a lot of bleach water to pass through the lines, especially the hot water lines. Let sit for 24 hours then completely flush the system with fresh water. We did this process two days ago, and for now the sour smell is completely gone. The bleach sanitizing method seems like it has worked! The joys of owning a home on wheels. Lol. OH, as a side note, we had ready mixed sanitizer coming out of the faucet to clean floors, counters, etc.
Now, about the FIRE….
No, we didn’t have a fire in the RV. We visited the Nevada State Park, Valley of Fire. It was wonderful! We wrote earlier about Zion and how beautiful it was, but how packed it was with tourists and how hard it was to get in. We’ve realized we much prefer the parks and areas that are less popular. Valley of Fire was pleasantly unoccupied. There were tourists, but very few on the trails, and we had ample parking opportunities at each hiking location. Interestingly, the Valley of Fire is apparently a popular location for many movie sets. Sean was especially excited to see that Capt. James T. Kirk of the Star Trek Enterprise had his death scene somewhere in the park. (Side note: Sean is a geek.) He may have also mentioned 1 or a thousand times how the landscape looked so ‘alien’.
We really did love this park. It had canyons, red rock, variations in rock colors, animals, and great trails. The park was still primitive which is something we really enjoy. The trails weren’t paved and we could choose from several paths on each hike. Don’t get us wrong, we enjoy when trails are paved because we love that all people can have access to nature and beauty that way, but we personally enjoy unpaved, primitive hiking trails with more options to explore. The Valley of Fire state park was that kind of park.
We hiked through canyons with ancient petroglyphs and sandstones of many colors.
It was a wonderful (but HOT) day in the desert. We would recommend getting there in the morning if the forecast calls for a hot day. There isn’t much shade, and it can get sweltering quickly in the red sand. We drank two bottles of water each, one bottle of Gatorade each, and Sean had a can of soda. We were only there for about 4 hours. Moral of the story: take lots and lots of fluids! We still felt dehydrated for the rest of the day. The dry air and sand sucked out any moisture. The park has two visitor centers, one at each entrance. They have small gift shops with some food and drinks, and they have displays that explain how the valley was created and creatures in glass tanks to look at before you go out into the park itself. We didn’t see any scaled, slimy, or slitering critters, but we did see a horned sheep while driving through the main road. We were able to stop and snap a quick pic. The park brochure did not list the sheep on the park animal list, so we’re not sure what they really are or how they came to be in the park.
All in all, it was a lovely park and we were glad were heard of it! If you’re in Vegas for any reason, take a trip less than an hour east and visit the park – it is well worth it!
If you would like to see MANY more pics, visit the gallery of photos on our website: