The Magic of Microbes Holding Tank Treatments


You might think yours smells like roses, but all poop stinks. There’s no getting around this smelly fact of RV life but after twelve years full-timing, I’ve finally found a great way to eliminate its offensive odors. From now on, my RV wheels will never turn without the magic of microbes holding tank treatments.

RV Life is Better with Microbes Holding Tank Treatments

Black tank odor chemicals

We got so tired of a smelly black tank!

Lots of people claim their tanks don’t stink, but I’m not one of them. Allow me to get real and share the gory details about how our holding tank odors got offensively rank when the temperature goes up or the tanks get full, whichever comes first.

How microbes invaded my home.

Like many people, I used to think that holding tanks worked like residential septic systems, which break down solid waste. But wastewater holding tanks have always been nothing more than a box where liquid and solid waste was get stored until the RV was taken to a sanitary dump station. Once connected with a hose, the RV holding tank’s contents get emptied put into a real septic system.

Towing all that poop around is stinky business without an effective holding tank treatment. Some people say they don’t use any treatments at all and smell no odors. How I envy their olfactory myopia. In our RV, holding tank odors are as real as that burrito I ate last night. Despite our fastidious attention to holding tank maintenance, on warm or windy days black tank odors can sometimes infiltrate into our living room area.

We often wondered why this happens and all we can think of is that our black tank is placed directly below the toilet, which allows odors to escape through the flange. It also doesn’t help that one of our ceiling vents is situated directly next to the sewer vent. The combination can be noxious.

As full-time RVers for the last twelve years, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to try out different holding tank treatments. From the all-natural geo method to traditional holding tank chemicals and everything in between. But nothing has completely eradicated the stench of our black tank after seven days of use—until microbes creeped into RVing and changed everything.

The science behind bacteria eating bugs.

microbes eat black tank odors

Microbes are a simple way of getting rid of stink. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

We discovered the magic of microbes holding tank treatments after searching Amazon for highly rated products RVers use. The aptly named “Caravan Full-timers Holding Tank Treatment” caught my eye because it had a long list of unsolicited rave reviews. The enthusiasm prompted me to give it a try.

The product uses a “natural, eco-friendly, probiotic bacteria enzyme formula” to break down solid waste, which eradicates holding tank odors. The little microbes even clean your tank by crawling up the tank sides and top when you drive around, sloshing the liquids in the process. Caravan doesn’t want to give away their trade secrets so you won’t find any other specifics about this microbial-based approach.

Curious about how microbes kill RV holding tank odors, I did some Internet research on odor-eating bacteria. Here’s what I learned about the microbial odor elimination process in a 2010 article by the South China Morning Post newspaper.

The magic is mainly done by bacteria in the Lactobacillus family, which is used in the production of yogurt, cheese, beer and chocolate.

Lactobacillus feeds on human waste, releasing lactic acid that eliminates the growth of most odor-making bacteria.

Microbes literally eat poop to get rid of black tank odor.

Of course they also eat whatever else happens to be in your tank, like sludge build op on tank walls that block sensors. It seemed too good to be true, but then we bought a microbial based product. After a couple weeks, noticed that it lived up to the claims.

Different microbes holding tank treatments yield different results. We have tried two different RV holding tank treatments since discovering the magic of odor-eating microbes and are happy with the Caravan Full-timers Holding Tank Treatment

You may find that other products work better for your rig. Here’s a couple of top rated products to get you on the path to an odor-free RV adventure:

Caravan Full-timers Holding Tank Treatment microbes holding tank treatment

This was the micrcobial product we liked best.

  • Convenient, no mixing or rinsing
  • Effective, no odor, plugging, undigested waste
  • Maintain working sensors
  • Safe for people, pets, septic tank, environment
Unique RV Digest-It Holding Tank Treatment microbes holding tank treatment

These tiny microbes eat holding tank waste!

  • Safe, earth friendly formula works quickly to liquefy waste so your tanks empty easily and never backup. You can even stop using expensive 1-ply toilet paper.
  • Eliminates odors without masking using the perfect bacteria-enzyme blend.
  • Cleans sensors and lubricates seals and valves. Non-toxic, earth friendly formula contains advanced cleaners that ensure your level gauges remain working properly and your valves and seals stay lubricated and working properly.

Traditional RV holding tank deodorizers of the past pale in comparison to microbes holding tank treatments. Let us know what you discover in the comments below.

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