RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Newmar Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-09-2018, 12:58 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 7
Newbie Black Tank Question

Hi! Me again. I was watching a how-to-video last night of taking a black tank from an RV in England, and disposing of the contents. During the video, the entire contents of the tank was visible. It was all liquid, no solids or paper.


I know this is sorta a disgusting topic, but I have always assumed (not having ever RV'd although experienced tent camping) that the contents of the black tank would resemble the contents of an outhouse.



There must be something that I don't know about using the facilities on an RV. Paper goes down, right? So, what happens to it and the solids ()? Do I put some chemicals in the tank?


I'm sorry for the gross topic, but inquiring mind wants to know.


Thanks In Advance!
__________________

mnmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-09-2018, 01:38 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
WoodyS's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 288
Yes, you most definitely put special holding tank chemicals down the toilet before using it. The chemicals break down the toilet paper and solids -- and control odors.

It's also advisable to use thin single-ply (a.k.a. CHEAP) toilet paper as it breaks down much faster and more completely.

In general there are two kinds of holding tank chemicals, those that mask the sewage odors, and those that help decompose it so it naturally doesn't smell bad.

I'm in the second camp and use odorless and colorless chemicals that use enzymes and bacteria to control odors. Some of the holding tank treatments say their chemicals "feed" the "good" bacteria so they'll do their job before the contents "sour" and start stinking badly.

My current favorite holding tank treatment is Odorloss. I've been using it for 10 years now. It's available in bulk powder, pre-packaged disposable packets (one packet per treatment), or liquid concentrate. Odorloss is now easy to find and buy since the original Canadian company was purchased by Valterra.

A lot of members of this forum have highly recommended another similar product (odorless and colorless powder) called Happy Camper. On my recent road-trip I used Happy Camper and it works fine. I still prefer Odorloss, but it's considerably more expensive.

For me, I've found that if I mess up and forget to dump the black holding tank when I should (generally 5 - 7 days) and odors start coming up from the toilet when I flush, I can add another packet of Odorloss and get another couple of days before needing to dump.

I think you'll also discover that putting chemicals in the Gray holding tank is a good idea too. The gray tank doesn't have the same problems as sewage -- but it can start smelling too. So a little holding tank treatment down the galley sink can control that too.

Instead of commercial holding tank treatments, Old-Skool RV'ers often use vinegar in their holding tanks. That's all my aunt and uncle ever used. They swore by it.
__________________

__________________
Woody & Sandy
2003 Chinook Cascade
2008 Newmar Kountry Star 3623
WoodyS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 02:19 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 331
It really depends on the RV.

On a lot of the newer ones, including the Newmars people own in this subforum, the toilet has a grinder that pulverizes the solids and paper. What ends up in the tank is basically a slurry/liquid. What solids are still there are kind of in suspension, at least for a while.

Consequently, it may be unnecessary to treat the tank with special chemicals. We have lived for years without ever putting any treatment in our black tanks, and they are working just fine. We also don't use special toilet paper.
__________________
Newell p2000i "The Enterprise"
nebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 09:15 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
FatChance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,594
The reason it is like that is you are supposed to use a lot of a special chemical called "water". No additional water is added to the holding tank in an outhouse but it is needed in a RV black tank. Septic-safe toilet paper will break down in water and the solids break down to a certain extent and remain soft so it all flushes out of the tank easily. No additional chemicals are required to facilitate tank flushing or odor control in a properly functioning RV black tank system.
__________________
'04 Newmar Mountain Aire 4016
400ISL/Freightliner
FatChance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 10:28 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
CoachC's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmama View Post
Hi! Me again. I was watching a how-to-video last night of taking a black tank from an RV in England, and disposing of the contents. During the video, the entire contents of the tank was visible. It was all liquid, no solids or paper.


I know this is sorta a disgusting topic, but I have always assumed (not having ever RV'd although experienced tent camping) that the contents of the black tank would resemble the contents of an outhouse.



There must be something that I don't know about using the facilities on an RV. Paper goes down, right? So, what happens to it and the solids ()? Do I put some chemicals in the tank?


I'm sorry for the gross topic, but inquiring mind wants to know.


Thanks In Advance!
Hi mnmama,
Welcome to the forum.
I expect for video/education purposes only water was used to demonstrate how to empty a black tank cassette without grossing everyone out.
Indeed after normal use the liquid would be much dirtier and you would be able to see some solids and paper

Not sure what equipment you have so I don't know if your rig is equipped with a cassette tank or permanent tank that would need to be connected via a hose for disposal in a dump station or sewer hookup.

As others have mentioned there are various chemical additives to help control the stink and break down waste. Avoid any that contain formaldehyde'

Note: If you add a description of your RV in your signature line you will receive accurate answers to your questions. Keep them coming as there are a lot of smart people on this forum willing to help!

All the best and safe travels!
__________________
Rick & Sue
2005 Kountry Star 3907 DP, Spartan MM
Sold the sticks and bricks! Full time for now.
CoachC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 11:21 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 7,003
RVs have 'holding tanks'.......
Black WASTE tank HOLDS toilet paper, poop and urine.
The TP will break down somewhat, the poop may/may not and the urine is just liquid
IF you leave the black tank dump valve open the contents will look like the old outhouse....poop pyramid and liquids drained off (NOT GOOD)
So HOLD the contents until tank is almost full then open the dump valve.
The contents will then WHOOSH down and out the 3" dump line (unless you have a macerator--then the 'disposal' grinds/pumps it out)


I have a CLEAR adapter on end of dump line and can watch the contents flow by......chunks of this and that....but its a 3" dump line and pretty tough to clog up


I do NOT use chemicals cause contents are NOT being processed....not in holding tanks long enough to be chemically broken down.
NOR to I bother about odor control cause there are built in systems (JUST like in S&B House System)
Water barriers, seals, vents etc so IF you smell the tank contents (black or grey) then find what is broken and fix it.
No reason for odors inside RV any more so then inside the S&B House


Grey tanks can smell worst then black tanks due to grease/oil, food debris, sloughed body skin etc......yet folks become OCD over Black tanks


Do Not make it complicated (you don't even think about it for the S&B House System) Just have to dump the HOLDING Tanks for RVs


Waste HOLDING Tanks...use them, fill them, dump them---repeat
Simple
__________________
2007 Dodge 3500 w/Tractor Motor & NUWA 5vr
FT traveling 2007 - 2014
Still DEBT Free
Old-Biscuit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 01:55 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Winemaker2's Avatar


 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,933
I'm with Old biscuit
Use plenty of water and use the tank flush after dumping if you have one. If not get a flush hose w nozzle that you can attach to a hose inseryed thru the bathroom window and into the open toilet. Use it periodically after a trip or before storing. Dump nearly full black tanks and add some water to the tank after dumping helps prevent solids pyramid.
__________________
Don & Marge
'13 Newmar Ventana 3433 - '14 CR-V TOAD
'03 Winnebago Adventurer 31Y - SOLD
Winemaker2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 02:29 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Bushy's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
Posts: 258
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmama View Post
Hi! Me again. I was watching a how-to-video last night of taking a black tank from an RV in England, and disposing of the contents. During the video, the entire contents of the tank was visible. It was all liquid, no solids or paper.


I know this is sorta a disgusting topic, but I have always assumed (not having ever RV'd although experienced tent camping) that the contents of the black tank would resemble the contents of an outhouse.



There must be something that I don't know about using the facilities on an RV. Paper goes down, right? So, what happens to it and the solids ()? Do I put some chemicals in the tank?


I'm sorry for the gross topic, but inquiring mind wants to know.


Thanks In Advance!
This is a really crappy thread!
Just kidding. Actually, it's a good question - especially for newbies. Apparently, there's a range of opinions. Here's what's worked well for us.

Obviously, during normal operation some solid waste is flushed down the toilet - with a fair amount of water. At least two forces work to convert this mixture into a slurry that facilitates its flow out the RV when dumping...
  1. Sloshing around as the RV bounces and turns during travel.
  2. Normal biological and chemical breakdown caused by bacteria in the environment, supposedly facilitated by adding chemical to the black tank.

Some of us use chemical additives and apparently, some do not (with good results reported). My recommendation - use them. It smells better.

In either case, read and follow the directions on proper emptying of the holding tanks. There are many stories about RVers not following directions and ending up taking a holding tank shower. Most often this results from not having the gate valve closed from the previous dumping session and then removing the cap with the gate valve open. Not saying this ever happened to me.

Happy flushing.
__________________
RB - North Dakota
2016 VTDP 3709
dragging a 2018 Jeep JK Sahara
Bushy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2018, 04:01 PM   #9
Community Moderator
 
"007"'s Avatar


 
Nor'easters Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 28,581
Welcome to the forum.
You have some good answers to your question and the video just did not want you to be grossed out by just showing liquids and not the solids.
This link will have more answers for you as you get use to things in your coach plus many of the stickies top of forum will help on other subjects.
Enjoy your coach and safe travels.
__________________
98KSCA, 99MACA, 03 KSCA-3740- 8.1 Chev-- ALLISON Trans, now in good hands
VISIT the NEWMAR QUICK TIPS & EASYMODS 1 & 2
QUICK TIPS # 3
RV SYSTEMS & APPLIANCES & RECALLS --- TECH INFORMATION
"007" is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 11:50 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 7
Thank you all!!

WoodyS, nebster, FatChance, CoachC, Old-Biscuit, Winemaker2, Bushy, and 007, THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to answer my question so thoughtfully. You are the best! I'm much less confused, now.


I have a professional RV Inspector thoroughly checking out the DS DP that I have my heart set on. I might know in just a few days whether the rig is as good as I hope.



Again, Thank You,
Cindy M in MN
mnmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2018, 03:30 AM   #11
Member
 
NWIP's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnmama View Post
WoodyS, nebster, FatChance, CoachC, Old-Biscuit, Winemaker2, Bushy, and 007, THANK YOU for taking the time and effort to answer my question so thoughtfully. You are the best! I'm much less confused, now.


I have a professional RV Inspector thoroughly checking out the DS DP that I have my heart set on. I might know in just a few days whether the rig is as good as I hope.



Again, Thank You,
Cindy M in MN
Good luck Hope she’s the one for you.
__________________
Bill & Lisa
2017 DS 4018
2016 Colorado Z71
NWIP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2018, 03:36 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 7
Thanks! I'll post when I know!
mnmama is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2018, 06:57 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Winemaker2's Avatar


 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Western NY
Posts: 1,933
You are more than welcome.
If anyone is truly interested in learning more about what makes holding tanks smell and how to get rid of odors i highly recommend Peggie Halls book Getting Rid of Boat Odors.
https://www.amazon.com/Get-Boat-Odor.../dp/1892399156
On the boating forums Peggie is known as the Headmistress and she really knows her s#*!... if you know what I mean.
Although not identical Boaters deal w similar holding tank issues. As Peggie points out the key to avoiding odors is get plenty of oxygen / air into the tank. Chemicals that mask the odor only hide the root cause and are only partially effective.
In RVs I've found that plenty of water is a key.
On boats some mfg and owners install vent filters that eliminate the odors emitted thru the vent but actually make the internal tank situation worse as they exclude good air circulation.
I've installed a DIY air bubbling system to overcome a poor vent system installed by the mfg... and it works like a dream.
__________________

__________________
Don & Marge
'13 Newmar Ventana 3433 - '14 CR-V TOAD
'03 Winnebago Adventurer 31Y - SOLD
Winemaker2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
newbie, tank, black tank



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Black Tank regular Maintenance Question from newbie ls1ashley Tiffin Motorhomes Owners Forum 14 04-30-2018 08:08 AM
Black tank dump valve question from newbie! Kksfish 5th Wheel Discussion 16 08-18-2016 04:20 PM
Another newbie question black tank valve Theflyinglin RV Systems & Appliances 5 11-10-2013 08:32 PM
Newbie Black Tank Question Jamesrob Class A Motorhome Discussions 10 12-23-2012 03:17 PM
BLACK TANK: "can we" or "can we not" leave the black tank open in an RV park?? doodlebug52 Travel Trailer Discussion 15 12-02-2009 10:56 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.