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Old 01-23-2015, 03:05 PM   #1
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Black Tank dumping question

We have now been out camping 5 times or so and obviously still working on getting our break camp process down. Basically it is taking a long time. I think it is because of the time it takes to dump the black tank. I don't think the previous owners cleaned the tank as thoroughly as we try to. We have a clear elbow and we wait till nothing is coming out but clear water. However it is taking forever. I think we need to keep doing it. I prefer it take a long time to clean and be clean then rush it and put it away dirty (which could mean smelly).

On this last trip before we left we put calgon in the black tank and that did seem to help but again it just takes a long time to break camp. I had a thought and wanted to see if this was appropriate.

First we dump at campground as we dont have another dump before storage and i want clean tanks going into storage.

My idea, the night before we leave, when not pressed for time, can we flush the black tank. Get it flushed even if it takes 2 hours and many fills, and then fill it with about 5 to 10 gallons of water. Then continue to use it till then next morning for only liquids. If solids need to be dropped off go to the comfort station, but liquids could still go in the commode. Then that morning the flush should be quicker if done properly the night before as it will only have liquids in it.

Would that help speed up or break camp day? I think it would. This last time it took about 3 hours and we put all our chairs and matts etc away the night before. Breaking camp was really flushing and putting it all away. Any other suggestions?

thanks
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:13 PM   #2
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All I do is pull the back tank frist the start breaking camp let drain till empty , close the valve then open grey tank , when empty off I go.
For winter storage I'll flush the black tank but I don't get to excited about it.
gbstewart
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:28 PM   #3
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IMHO, you're being too fussy. I don't think the flushing water will ever come out clear. I don't know why you need clean tanks going into storage if you'll be taking it out in a month or so anyway. Over the winter, sure. If the flush valve in the toilet seals, it won't smell and the bacterial action while in storage may aid in breaking up the contents.

So what you're doing is the first mistakes of black tanks - not using enough water and dumping too often. You want the black tank > 3/4 full before you dump. It's best if this water goes in during use. If you absolutely need to dump an almost empty tank, then fill it > 3/4 full with water before you dump. This you can do the night before without sending everyone to the comfort station. Then, pull the black tank dump valve just before you leave, give the tank a 10 minute flush while you put away the bag chairs and awning, close the black valve, open the grey tank, give the hose a douche with the camp water and be on your way.

Another trick I do is a back flush from the gray to the black. After dumping the black tank, with the stinky slinky attached to the sewer outlet and the park sewer, I hold the hose up, high enough to be above the tanks. Then I open the gray and black valves and let the gray water sluice back into the black tank until the tank levels equalize. Then I drop the hose and let everything drain. This dislodges anything stuck in the black tank valve.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:31 PM   #4
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It sounds like the previous owner never completely cleaned the tank. You are on the right track by doing what you are doing. Our MH was the same and now when I dump the black I flush with the sprayer nozzel set up in the tank for a bit and it takes a few minutes to get clear water. The clear elbow is a great thing,and we have used the calgon as well.
Another good idea is before leaving the campground throw a bag of ice in the black tank through the toilet and it will scrub the tank while you drive down the road. I did that and it worked well. I also added some calgon and it was amazing what came out of the tank. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbstewart View Post
All I do is pull the back tank frist the start breaking camp let drain till empty , close the valve then open grey tank , when empty off I go.
For winter storage I'll flush the black tank but I don't get to excited about it.
gbstewart

Same procedure here as for dumping.

A couple few times a year, if I have some time and motivation, I'll hook up a hose to the black tank sprayer and let it run for awhile.

After dumping, via the toilet run a couple gallons of water into the black tank and put in some chemical. The grey tank gets initial water from the ice maker / freezer via emptying the ice into the kitchen sink.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:19 PM   #6
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I like for my black tank to run clear also if I am not going straight to another campground. I always use a black tank chemical from the beginning. I make sure the tank is about 3/4 full before I start to dump and flush with the flush nozzle. I also run 3 or 4 gallons through the toilet with the black valve closed. Then I re-open the black valve and leave the black tank flush running and dump the grey tank. I then run a couple of gallons through the kitchen sink. Turn all the running water off and close black and grey valves, rinse my sewer hose and spray with Lysol at the ends and cap off. I put treatment in black tank and run about 2 gallons of water through the toilet. This all takes only 15 to 20 minutes.

After a few more cleanings your tank may not take so long to run clear.

I may be a little over zealous on this, but in this case it is better than being under zealous.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:31 PM   #7
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Yes i am actually hoping it will get better. After the Calgon we noticed it was faster. We are not part timers, we are vacationers so it has to be flushed at the end. i am hoping a few more flushes and some more calgon will help. Again it has only been 5 times and i don't think it was properly cleaned before we had it. I just hope it gets a little faster.

We do joke. The washing machine eats socks and the the black tank manages to produce toliet paper from no where. It seems we have lots of toliet paper and i try to be stingy on it. We do use two ply but it is the RV and Marine kind.

One thing that did help, i think, the night before since the tank was probably 40% full, we actually filled it with water so it was 75% full and let it sit overnight. The more i think about it, I don't think (atleast me cant speak for DH) i put enough water down it when i flush the toilet.

it is still new and still learning but sure thought we would be better by now. We won't take it out for vacation again until end of March. We will go and drive it and do some maintanance on it in Feb.

I love RVing, did not expect to love it as much as i do. Now i have a pile of stuff to learn. I am not the handiest person out there or mechanically inclined.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malsbeaver View Post
We have now been out camping 5 times or so and obviously still working on getting our break camp process down. Basically it is taking a long time. I think it is because of the time it takes to dump the black tank. I don't think the previous owners cleaned the tank as thoroughly as we try to. We have a clear elbow and we wait till nothing is coming out but clear water. However it is taking forever. I think we need to keep doing it. I prefer it take a long time to clean and be clean then rush it and put it away dirty (which could mean smelly).

On this last trip before we left we put calgon in the black tank and that did seem to help but again it just takes a long time to break camp. I had a thought and wanted to see if this was appropriate.

First we dump at campground as we dont have another dump before storage and i want clean tanks going into storage.

My idea, the night before we leave, when not pressed for time, can we flush the black tank. Get it flushed even if it takes 2 hours and many fills, and then fill it with about 5 to 10 gallons of water. Then continue to use it till then next morning for only liquids. If solids need to be dropped off go to the comfort station, but liquids could still go in the commode. Then that morning the flush should be quicker if done properly the night before as it will only have liquids in it.

Would that help speed up or break camp day? I think it would. This last time it took about 3 hours and we put all our chairs and matts etc away the night before. Breaking camp was really flushing and putting it all away. Any other suggestions?

thanks

Do you have a "flusher" on your black tank where you connect a water hose and it sprays into the tank? If you don't have one, that would be a great mod to do!

My procedure is this:

1. Connect a water hose to the flusher inlet and turn it on

2. Open the black tank valve

3. When the tank is empty (I also have the clear elbow) I shut off the black tank valve and let the flusher run about two minutes.

4. I repeat step #3 until the water is fairly clear. This usually takes 3 to 4 dumps.

5. I close the black tank valve and let the flusher continue to run for about a minute to put water into the tank for travel.

6. Open the gray tank valve and let it empty while I go inside and put Happy Camper treatment in the black tank through the toilet.

7. Close the gray tank valve

8. Disconnect the flusher hose from the inlet and put a nozzle on the hose.

9. Put on disposable gloves, disconnect the sewer hose from the RV, and use the water hose with the nozzle to wash it out, with the other end still in the sewer pipe.

10. Remove the fitting with the clear elbow from the RV, put the cap on the sewer outlet, store everything, and we're through with that unpleasant job!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:19 PM   #9
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First thing is to get checked for OCD. ;-) Make sure the black tank is close to full before you dump it the first time. Dump. Flush well. Keep a few gallons of water in it. There is no need to have a completely clean poo tank you will drive yourself crazy if this is a long term goal. If odors exist, then check your toilet seals and/or use a tank deodorant.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:32 PM   #10
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Make sure ur black valve is not leaking luquids by when closed and leaving a "pile" behind a the valve. This will cause slow drainage. Also be sure to always start with a few gallons of water in ur tank when u leave home. Let it slosh as u drive. When flushing solids at the toilet use LOTS of water. When sitting at home between trips fill 1/3 with water and put some RidX RV and flush when you get to the CG. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:40 PM   #11
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We use a good quality chemical for the toilets you can get at Camping World or Walmart. We have two black tanks, so at the start of a trip I put one packet in each toilet and a few gallons of water. On the way to our destination it gets mixed up good.


When I am ready to dump, if it's fairly full and we are moving to another spot, I just dump it and then add more chemicals. If we are headed home, I dump using our flush system which adds water thru a sprinkler inside the tank. Once it is empty I close the valve and let the flusher run for another 5 minutes or so and then shut it off and drain the tank again. I always drain the grey water tank after the black just to give the hose a good rinse. I also rinse the hose with a little fresh water and then put everything away. I put new chemicals in the front toilet only for the trip home.


I honestly think you are putting too much effort into this part of the camp breakdown. If your tank is sealed/flushed properly there is really no need to worry about what is left inside of it as long as it is draining freely with nothing is restricting the drain. When I'm taking my time. I let them drain for about 15 minutes max(that includes the second flush). When I'm in a hurry I can have the whole thing, drained and the MH all buttoned up ready to roll in about 20-30 minutes max.


The more you use it the easier it will get and you will find more important things to worry about where spending the time on good maintenance is important.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:56 PM   #12
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Try this along with your calgon. Three hours is way too long to be messing with this mess. I am just as particular as you. You may need this help to break some things down so it gets easier. Next time, after you are finished, flush some of this chemical down the toilet along with another 3 or 4 flushes to get some water in the tank and drive with it sloshing around. The next outing empty the black tank at the first opportunity and see if it disolved some solids. I think the previous owner let some solids build up and your calgon is slowly breaking it down. Happy Camper will speed up the process.

http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Campers-...rv+treatmented



Don
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:07 PM   #13
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As a very soon to be new MH owner, there are 3 things I have at the top of my "omg, how are we supposed to do this?" list.

#1 of course, driving the thing
#2 don't blow up the electrical system (have a Progressive unit already in hand sitting in a box to put in front of the built in sytem I got on sale from CW)
#3, dealing with the poop.

The comments from you experienced folks in this thread are very helpful - thanks. I'll now print this thread out and out in my notes binder. Hopefully this will help me keep my, um, well, you know, ____ together!
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:17 PM   #14
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Calgon???? As in fabric softener? This is a new one to me. How much and when?
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