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Old 08-31-2013, 11:36 PM   #15
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I agree about the black tank ,keep it closed but the grey tank is another thing. Don't do like I did I had an old fart experience last month. We are full timing since last Oct. and I decided to close the grey tank overnight before using the shower and planed on flushing both tanks in the morning. Nothing wrong with that except in the middle of the night I got up to get a drink of water and because the faucet on the sink had the wrong valve in it and turned the wrong way to shut off I went to turn it off and did leave it on. I flooded the entire floor of my 30' motorhome about 1" deep I destroyed my entire new allure flooring and the wood under flooring. we are moving into a house we just bought and this fall I will have to repair the floor.FUN FUN FUN PS I have replaced the old faucet with a new one.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by RickO View Post
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Never, never, never.... leave the black tank valve open. This results in the liquids running down through the drain hose and leaving the solids behind. Those "solids" form what it called "The Brown Tower of Doom"... which dries and is very difficult to remove.

I will sometimes leave the gray tank valve open for a few days, but not very often since I want a full gray tank to dump after dumping the black tank. This washes out the dump hose of black water.

Rick
Omg! Hysterical. Love it. Tower of doom.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #17
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I will have to take the contrarian view on this subject. I have been living for 16 years in 5th wheel trailers. Current one for 6 years. For the 16 years I have left both black and grey water valves open all the time. These trailers never move, I have a Trek MH that we travel in. When I retired from my real job I worked for 10 years with a mobile RV repairman. During that time we cleaned out many black water tanks that would not drain. Also replaced a few. My boss at that time had over 25 years experience, he is of the opinion that design on the tank, the outlet nozzle, had lots to do with the stoppage problem. The ones with no problem have a drop in the tank with the nozzle off of that. My current 5th wheel is a 40' Travel Supreme. When I put it in place I opened both valves and have never had a problem. Previous 5th wheel was a 40' En Route. Both valves always open. Has worked for me. I do not recommend for any one else, don't know the design of there tanks.
How do you prevent solids from sludging-up the slinky?
Do you leave both valves open on your Trek?
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #18
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Many think it is ok to leave the gray water valves open. We have property in a small Midwestern town where the storm water/sewer drain into the same system. After a big rain storm, the water backed up through the sewer system into our garage (no house). It attempted to back up into the RV knocking the sewer hose off its base and twisting it all up. If we had the gray tank valve open, it would have backed up into the RV. All this happened at night while we were sleeping. We put in a back flow preventer so the garage will not flood again and put a screw in sewer elbow in the sewer clean out with a hose cap that we drilled out so the water has a way to escape. In heavy rain,the water just pours out of it. You never know what type of system is in place at the campground you are staying at. Better to be safe and leave all the valves closed.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:58 AM   #19
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They told me to put the break up stuff in and get about ten 5 pound back of ice cubes (big black water tank) to dump into the toilet. Then we half filled the black water tank (visually looking from outside with a bright light up to the plastic tank. Then they had us drive around town and over some logging roads for about an hour before going to dump the tanks. .
I've found this to be pretty darned effective and I do a scaled down version of it frequently.

On a travel day when I break camp, I'll dump and rinse the tanks and then add back a half tank of fresh water into the black tank... along with about a cup of cheap dishwashing liquid.

Just before hitting the road, I'll dump the contents of our ice maker tub into the black tank soapy water.

Rick
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:28 PM   #20
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CampDaven, I have my 5th wheel hard piped into the sewer with PVC. No problem with build up. When traveling in the Trek we do a lot of Boondocking and the tanks are usually pretty full when we dump. If we stay in a campground with full hookups, no I don't leave the valves open. If the black tank does not have a high level on departure day I add water to it before dumping.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by RickO View Post
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Never, never, never.... leave the black tank valve open. This results in the liquids running down through the drain hose and leaving the solids behind. Those "solids" form what it called "The Brown Tower of Doom"... which dries and is very difficult to remove.

I will sometimes leave the gray tank valve open for a few days, but not very often since I want a full gray tank to dump after dumping the black tank. This washes out the dump hose of black water.

Rick
What Rick said!
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:37 PM   #22
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On our trip home after buying the RV we did notice the black water tank seemed to fill up rapidly according to the gauge. After dumping the tanks at Camping World, we noticed the gauge was still registering about 1/4 full. Before we left for home, we did put in some enzyme cleaner that we had gotten previously for our toy hauler.

Tuesday, we'll put more enzymes in with a bunch of water and see if that changes things. Any other suggestions?
No, no, no. "Enzymes", an expensive alternative to a normal ingredient of laundry detergent, are a total waste of $$$! and won't address your problem.

If you pop the indicator-panel off of the wall unit, and you will see adjustment potentiometers (pots) labeled P1, P2, P3, in order of importance. i.e. P1 black tank winning first prize. The pots on a new rig come with them adjusted fully clockwise. Their accuracy is effected by stuff like mineral content of water, not to mention the characteristics and acidic conductivity contributed to the tank from above!

So . . the critical adjustments for black and gray water tanks should be crafted to tell you the important information: the tank/s is full, kind of info. and the best way to adjust for that info, is to do the critical adjustment when the tank is full of typical stuff the tank usually holds! Using clean water really won't work.

Our tanks reliably show full when they are about 3/4+ full; and empty when they are less than 1/4 full.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:11 PM   #23
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We have both been chuckling most of the afternoon about this - especially the comments about Brown Towers of Doom and White Pyramids. It is wonderful to have a forum like this with so many knowledgable RVers.
White pyramids typically rise while camping with grandchildren. I have four of them, all 8 years and under. While on one hand you have to teach them the virtues of the frugal use of water; at the other end, they pee an ounce, and use a yard of toilet paper!! Eventually, the pyramid reaches a point where it totally blocks the downpipe!

With a lot of experience, and effective tools, I've become pretty good at sending the pyramid on downstream where is belongs. The 45 degree wheel-iron that comes with the rig, is weapon of first choice.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:24 AM   #24
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After dumping our black water I will turn on the flush and close the valve allowing the tank to fill up again...as close as I dare to full....When its released again I am always amazed at the amount of "extra" that comes thru the clear plexi glass coupler on the way to the sewage. As previously posted on a long trip I will fill the tank up to about 1/5 and allow it "swish" around for the duration of the trip and flush it when we get to the next CG. Works well.
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:26 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=Fred1609;1710563When its released again I am always amazed at the amount of "extra" that comes thru the clear plexi glass coupler on the way to the sewage.[/QUOTE]

No kidding. The same is true after rinsing the black tank until everything runs clear... and then adding water and ice cubes before traveling and dumping again upon arrival. What I thought was a clean tank will still give up a good bit of "residue" after being banged around a bit by the ice cubes.

Rick
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