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Old 11-04-2013, 11:09 AM   #1
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First time TT owner with question

My husband and I purchased a 2014 Skyline Nomad 18ft travel trailer in September. We've used it frequently in our driveway at home, powering with a generator and no water hookup. We'd just go inside the house to use the bathroom... we called it 'practicing'... We just spent the past weekend at a nearby campground where we did the whole shi-bang. Hooked into the campground power and water connections. Now the hookups were a breeze to handle, and in short order, we were up and running on all accounts. Like I said, this was our first experience with any water hookup, and so we took advantage of having the toilet, kitchen sink and shower up and running for the first time. After we set up on Friday, I noticed that the sink drain was terribly slow, and we figured it might be a leveling issue. We were showing level on the bubble but I thought possibly that there was not enough gravitational pull to allow the sink water to drain effectively. I used the sink some, but not much because it drained so slowly. About mid morning on Saturday, my husband discovered water was filling the bathtub, even though we hadn't even turned that faucet on. I googled it and saw that to be a sign of the grey water tank being filled to capacity. I don't see how it could've been, but since we'd just purchased the trailer brand new, we have no idea of what might have been done before we brought it home. My husband pulled the release on the grey tank and emptied it, which also emptied the tub and the sink began to drain normally. THEN, I took a quick shower and he followed me with his own quick shower, and before he was done, the tub once again was filled and the drain in the kitchen sink was backed up. My trailer specs indicate a 28 gal capacity on the grey tank. There's no way those 2 quick showers used 28 gals of water... I have a concern that the vent pipe is somehow malfunctioning. I've read that this can cause the tank to back flow before its full. I also read one post indicating the vent pipe was too far down into the grey tank. If someone has any experience on checking this sort of thing out, I welcome your input. We're planning to take the trailer out again this weekend, and I hope to get this resolved before we fill the tub with grey water again...
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Congratulations on the new camper. Do you have sprayers to clean out waste tanks? Valve could be open and filling gray tank when hooked to city water. When you get it home, hook up to the faucet and then don't use the camper for a day or two, see if the tank fills up. Also, since you are still under warranty, I'd take it to the dealer and let the service dept. check it out. Sometimes things get left in the tank or drain lines that could cause slow flow. Make sure it's documented while under warranty so if they don't fix it, you have a record of the issue down the road.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:41 AM   #3
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Thanks for your quick response BFlinn181! One thing I've learned from our brief time as campers already is that the community is a supportive one.
To answer your question, No. I don't think we have sprayers to clean out the tanks. I've read alot about grey/black tank issues in my research, and from what I understand of it, ours is not equipped with anything like a sprayer. Nothing in the manual about that either.
My dealership is about 30 miles away, conveniently open on Saturday, but we've just found this problem so we haven't taken it to them to check on yet. Great service there, and so I will take your advice to have them check it out. We may have to wait until we've used it next weekend before we'll be able to pull it up there, but it's all good. I still suspect a venting issue... just wondering how one goes about checking for something like that... thanks again!
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Being a small holding tank I would leave the grey water dump valve open when camping ( not suggesting this to be a fix just a general practice ). As a test ( just in case you have miscalculated how much water you both use when showering ) empty the holding tank, then pour water down the drain in measurements ( 1 gallon container ) and see at what point the bath tub starts to fill.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:53 AM   #5
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Usually the kitchen and vanity sinks have a 'cheater vent' that can fail and allow smell into the cabinet, but they don't usually restrict flow.
Oatey 1-1/2 in. ABS PTC In-Line Cheater Vent-39012 at The Home Depot

Have you tried a plunger to try to open the kitchen sink? I'd try that, then drain gray tank, hook up to city water and see if the tank fills without use. All these actions will help when you explain the problem to the service dept.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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Thanks georgetown350, we've discussed leaving the dump valve open, however its not encouraged in the campgrounds around here. I am definitely going to test the holding tank as you suggested. My husband says "there's more water going down the drain than you realize during a shower", and he feels everything is likely functioning as it should. Doing the test will also provide me with details to share with the service tech as opposed to "my tub is filling with water"... Whether its the car or the camper, I don't want to walk in there sounding like I'm not sure what I'm talking about.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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Haven't noticed any smells from any of the drains, just the cloudy, soapy water standing in the tub. If I determine that the tank is not accurately filling to capacity before the backflow, then I'll know if we need to get something checked on the vent pipe, right? Going to pour water down the drain, 1 gal at a time this evening to see if the holding tank is performing to capacity. Also going to climb up and check the roof vent pipe for the sink/tub drain to see if there's a restriction or blockage. At least this is the only problem we've uncovered so far... I'd say we're still off to a good start, and we're under warranty so I'm sure we'll get it resolved pretty soon.
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Old 11-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #8
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Was trailer level when you dumped the grey tank? Try lifting and lowering the front and see if more comes out. What's your definition of a quick shower? Most rv water pumps put out 2-3 gallons per minute.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:49 PM   #9
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the trailer was good and level during our stay, when we noticed the water filling into the tub. As we drained the grey tank, I can say with some certainty that we were not completely level. I feel that the grey tank elimination was fairly successful on the dump. I plan to drain whatever is left in the tank tonight and use the suggestion made to test the capacity to see how many gals it holds before it backs up into the tub. We were not using our onboard tank and pump when this problem occurred, but we were hooked to the city water supply at the campground. I'm also wondering if the constant flow of water supply from the campground might have cause the tank to fill somehow, even when we weren't using the faucets for the sink and tub.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Treena35 View Post
I'm also wondering if the constant flow of water supply from the campground might have cause the tank to fill somehow, even when we weren't using the faucets for the sink and tub.
Filling the black tank can happen with a toilet that isn't shut off correctly, but not the gray tank. That's why I asked about sprayers, the only connection to a gray tank besides faucets. Does your shower have a 'cut off' valve to reduce or stop flow after soaping up? It's usually built into the shower hose and is easier than shutting off hot/cold and readjusting water temp....and it saves water.

When hooked up to a sewer hose, you can leave the gray valve open until a day before you plan to dump the black tank. That way there's enough gray water to flush the 'stinky slinky' after dumping the black tank. You don't leave black tank valve open, you want lots volume when you drain it. Always open valve wide open so the flow is strong to wash all solids out.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:14 PM   #11
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It's a mystery at this point. Not sure if the shower hose has a cutoff valve, but I will look tonight. I think I would have noticed that already (my curiosity of valves and gadgets prevents me from missing very much) - I am going to take all the advice you guys have so generously given me, do a test run on the empty grey tank, and follow up with the service dept at the dealership. I am so glad I joined this forum... I can already tell that you guys will be invaluable source of support and encouragement!
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #12
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I was just looking at the specs on you nomad trailer and what I found was this correct me if your trailer is not a 186 model.

Fresh water tank is 27 gallons
Grey water tank is 15 gallons
Black water is 10 gallons

If this is the case two ppl showering will fill this up very fast. And if you are at full hook up just leave the great tank open and keep the black tank closed. Also you should have a tank monitor to show you roughly where the tank levels are at.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:55 PM   #13
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28 gallon gray capacity is not much, bit you should easily manage a couple of showers and dishes.

You do need to be taking a navy style shower. Turn on the shower and wet down and turn it off. Quickly lather up. Turn on the shower and quickly rinse and **** it off. There is no way you can take a home style shower and leave it running.

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Old 11-05-2013, 04:23 AM   #14
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You do need to be taking a navy style shower. Turn on the shower and wet down and turn it off. Quickly lather up. Turn on the shower and quickly rinse and **** it off. There is no way you can take a home style shower and leave it running.
This is true while dry camping but when hooked up you can take two hour showers if you like because that dump valve can be left open or at least can be opened after each shower. Had to throw that in because if I had never Rved before and read that I had to shower in that method it might have turned me back to hotels
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