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Old 09-02-2013, 06:19 PM   #1
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Holding tanks

I just purchased 2001 TT. The people I bought it from have not used it for about 4 years. My question is what should I do about cleaning and re-priming the water and holding tank systems. I know the black tank probably has dried out residue in it. Should I just fill the tanks, check for leaks and add something and let them sit for a few days then dump? What would be the best cleaning solution to use?
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your new rig.

You can't go wrong by starting with a lot of cold water. I'd fill both up, check for leaks, and dump after a while. See how it does. You may have some dried out seals which might leak but you won't know until you get them full and go through a cycle.

Once you know your tanks are in working mechanical order, do a search on the forum for "geo method". You'll find a very popular method for cleaning and maintaining holding tanks.

Best of luck.

Rick
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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I would part fill the fresh tank then add 1/4 cup of bleach and then top off. Let that sit a few hours. Then run each faucet/outlet until you smell bleach. Let set over nite. If the hot water tank is bypassed, drained and unplugged, un-bypass and plug. It will take 6 gals to fill it before you see water out of the hot faucets. Then next day, flush the water system out. You may just dump the fresh and hot water tank, or just pump the bleach water out. Then refill fresh and run until bleach smell is gone.

For the grey and black tanks, fill both with water and a cup of Dawn. If you can find Calgon water sofener, use a cup of that in each tank too. The longer you can leave them set the better off you'll be if they weren't cleaned properly when stored.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #4
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how to sanitize your RV fresh water system.
The black and gray holding tanks just need to sit several days full of water. This allows time for the water to soften anything solid and for the valve seals to soften and return to their normal state. Expect the drain valves to seep for a few days until they soften. Sometimes debris gets caught in the valve slot and prevents a full close position, operate the valve several times after you empty the tank to loosen and dislodge it, then fill the tank again and dump again, it shoud flush any debris away. Do not close the black tank valve while it is draining, this may cause debris to get caught and pushed into the valve slot. I do not use anything but plenty of water in our holding tanks and have never had a problem with any of the 6 RV's we have owned. Of course it's your money, if you wish to buy chemicals, softeners, soaps, etc., it cannot harm anything but your bank account.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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If it's been sitting a long time and you really don't know how well the previous owner's maintained the holding tanks, if it were me I'd want to do a super duper cleaning job on the black tank before using it much.

You can buy various cleaning chemicals and treatments at an RV store or dealer. You could try the "Geo" method but don't how well it would work on old and really stuck on crud if there is any in there.

I just read our KZ owner's manual and it says to use Drano or Liquid Plumber. This is what it says verbatim "Fill tank with 8-10 gallons of water. Add one bottle of drain cleaner, such as Drano or Liquid Plumber. Leave the solution in tank while traveling. Rinse and drain tank."

KZ does not say to use a particular kind of Drano but I would definitely NOT use it unless the label says it is okay for use on metal and plastic. If the label does not say septic safe, do NOT drain into anywhere that has a septic disposal system and you could do some very serious damage to it. We've been having problems with our black tank and went out today and bought a bottle if liquid Drano to try. Cheap at $4 a bottle as opposed to a Thetford treatment a $20.

Seeing as how all RV tanks are made from plastic and the only metal inside is the sensor buttons, I would think it's fine for any other RV tank.

On your black tank, I've had good luck (at least on our old TT) with a Valterra Hydroflush elbow. This goes on the tank outlet pipe and has a water hose connection to flush water back into the tank to help clean it out. It also is clear plastic so you can see when the water is getting clean.
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Old 09-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #6
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Great advice from all. Thank you so much! Any other advice on properly resurrecting an old travel trailer that has been sitting neglected for awhile would be helpful too. I'm going to re-do the window seals and re-condition the roof (or I should say have them done) but I want to make sure I have it road ready by Thanksgiving. Big trip planned.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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Now that's a loaded question Off the top of my head, you certainly want to make sure the water heater and furnace are working properly right off the bat. Spiders, wasps and other critters can foul them up pretty quickly as they can get to them from the outside. Same goes for the fridge on gas. Batteries for it are a concern after 4 years and no doubt need replacing.

Batteries for any RV should be true deep cycle. If it only holds 1 battery, you want a 12v true deep cycle. If it can hold 2, you want two 6v deep cycle, designated GC2. Or 6v golf cart batteries. These allow you to stay off of shore power (plugged in) a lot longer. If you are always plugged in, this doesn't matter too much. Just do not buy starting batteries. The minimum you want are called marine batteries. They are a cross between starting and deep cycles.

I think from what you mention previously, you are on the right track and it's mostly common sence to ckeck out what you need to. As you go along towards Turkey Day, just ask your questions here.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:14 PM   #8
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Forgot to mention the traveling part. You certainly want to check tire condition. Just because the tread looks good, dosen't mean they are safe or road worthy. Tires have a DOT code which reflects the month and year the tire was made. Most of us get nervous if they are over 7 years years old, so have them ckecked. The wheel bearings could also be a concern, have them greased (grease fitting) or repacked.
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