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Old 06-26-2012, 12:01 AM   #1
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best product to treat the black tank with

We recently purchased our first 5th wheel and we know nothing about what we are doing.. haha We have learned so much from these forums but one question that I have not found is what is the best product to use in the black water tank. Is there anything important that we should know about how to clean and treat this tank? Are all the products out there basically the same? A little nervous about being out on a trip and having issues with odor.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:16 AM   #2
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Get one of the for each of your vents. It will pull the smelly gases out of your tank. You will find some on this site think tank additives are a waste. I don't think they help much but that is just me.

Cyclone Sewer Vent - Camco RV 40595 - Vents - Camping World
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:20 AM   #3
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Just before we leave a campsite, I'll flush enough water to get the blank tank about 3/4 full. The short drive to the campground dump station is usually enough to stir things up so it all dumps out. Then I'll flush another 2-3 gallons into the black tank, and toss in a drop-in product, so the tank never goes 'dry' in storage. Never had any odor issues or level gauge problems.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:03 AM   #4
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Everybody has their favorite way to manage the black tank and their favorite stuff to put in it for odor control. They defend their choice with gusto. Almost universally agreed is that you should use the tank to about 3/4 capacity before dumping. For me that is once a week. And I use 1 packet of treatment for the week. Sometimes when it is hot I use two. I prefer products with a biocide to control the odor. We use regular toilet paper and lots of water. The smell is not really an issue. Try a few different products and pick your favorite.
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:11 AM   #5
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We find Ordorless works very well. Two approaches to waste, preserve it or consume it, formaldehyde or an enzyme. Ordorless is an enzyme.
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:38 PM   #6
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I have been using water for several years. Flush once a week using plenty of water and wash tank good. Fill with 5-10 gal. of water and I'm ready for another week. No odor.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:20 PM   #7
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What make/model 5th wheel, I ask because many of the newer units have a black tank washer built into them. That way you can wash out the tank at dumps as needed, which helps to control buildup, and helps with odor control as well. Our 2008 Dutchman Colorado had a wash system installed, and I am happy to say that our new Keystone Alpine has the same as standard equipment.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toneumanns View Post
Get one of the for each of your vents. It will pull the smelly gases out of your tank. You will find some on this site think tank additives are a waste. I don't think they help much but that is just me.

Cyclone Sewer Vent - Camco RV 40595 - Vents - Camping World
I agree with these vents. I installed them on our MH and they really are worth the money. (about 20 bucks each and easy to install)
BUT, after trying all the Black Magic on the market, I came across a product called Happy Campers. It is by far the best stuff I have used. I have been using it for the past year and no matter what temperature, low or high, we do NOT have odors , and as advertised on their website, we use regular HOUSEHOLD Toilet Tissue with no trouble clogging up the sensor etc. Check it out at www.happycampersworld.com
No relation to Good Sam/Camping World.
This stuff really works!
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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Save yourself a lot of expense and trouble and buy a 1/2 gal bottle of PinePower cleaner at a dollar store for $1.98 and use 1/2 cup after a dump with about 3 gal of water. Goes for the gray tank as well.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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I have tried every concoction known to humankind in boats and rv's for over 30 years and I'm happy to report that nothing works in all cases. The most successful way I've found thus far to maintain black tanks is in the GEO Method. It's inexpensive and easy to do using water softener liquid or powder, laundry detergent, and some chlorine bleach. A link to read about it is at the end of this post. https://sites.google.com/site/cbruni/
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
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I have tried every concoction known to humankind in boats and rv's for over 30 years and I'm happy to report that nothing works in all cases. The most successful way I've found thus far to maintain black tanks is in the GEO Method. It's inexpensive and easy to do using water softener liquid or powder, laundry detergent, and some chlorine bleach. A link to read about it is at the end of this post. https://sites.google.com/site/cbruni/
Very good information site for the new kids on the block. An important message is his comment about campground owners checking to see what kind of chemicals are being flushed into their sewer systems. The formaldehydes have mostly been banned due to their toxicity, and no campground operator wants to get their sewer tap cut off, so I can sympathize with them.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:19 AM   #12
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Welcome to the forum.


Quote:
Originally Posted by toneumanns View Post
Get one of the for each of your vents. It will pull the smelly gases out of your tank. You will find some on this site think tank additives are a waste. I don't think they help much but that is just me.

Cyclone Sewer Vent - Camco RV 40595 - Vents - Camping World
X2 ...

Do a search on "geo method" and you'll find a lot of good material.

We use either Dawn or a Pine Sol type product rather than tank chemicals along with LOTS of water. After dumping I use my black tank flush connection to refill the tank and dump it again. Then I add about a cup of the Dawn/Pine Sol to about 10 gallons of fresh water I add to the black tank to allow the soapy water to slosh around while we're driving.

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Old 06-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I have tried every concoction known to humankind in boats and rv's for over 30 years and I'm happy to report that nothing works in all cases. The most successful way I've found thus far to maintain black tanks is in the GEO Method. It's inexpensive and easy to do using water softener liquid or powder, laundry detergent, and some chlorine bleach. A link to read about it is at the end of this post. https://sites.google.com/site/cbruni/
FWIW, I also use the GEO method. It works great for us. It is simple, cost effective and very effective. Only problem is finding the the Calgon water softener at times. The bigger WMarts alway have a couple bottles on the shelf....the smaller stores not so much. Suggest that when you see it, buy several bottles. One of the things I really appreciate about this method is that everything one is putting in the tank is the same stuff one has been using routinely at home....for years. Works for us.

Good luck with your new "toy".
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:42 PM   #14
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We find Ordorless works very well. Two approaches to waste, preserve it or consume it, formaldehyde or an enzyme. Ordorless is an enzyme.
If you mean Odorlos, I agree. I've had a hard time finding it in the six lb. bucket lately but CW is selling another brand (Bio-Active) in bulk form which seems to be the same stuff. In cooler climes, I may not even use any treatment, but I have noted when the temps are in the 80s and 90s, that the tank needs a little help in minimizing odors.

Using lots of water when flushing and not dumping until the tank is almost full is all good advice.
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