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Old 01-24-2010, 02:34 PM   #15
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I use water.. On occasion I'll clean 'em geo-style (epically if going into storage) but basically I use water. nothing else.

The geo method: Dump tanks, Rinse well, close valves and add 1/2 cup each DAWN regular (NOT anti-bacterial) Dishwashing liquid, 1/2 cup CALGON water softener, powder or liquid and 5-6 Gallons of water (I have six gallon water bottles)

DRIVE, I drove 60 miles

Dump.

Now.. If I'm parking "Off line" for a while, where I need to maximize the tank capacity.. I may add a biological (Waste Digester) type product.. But I'm not sure how much they help.

As for adding chemicals... There is no chemical that will improve tank operation (Save the list above for cleaning prior to storage) There are some that will make it worse. and fast.
I also agree with no chems. I used some for a while about 10 years ago until I found out my problem was a mud dobber had filled my black tank vent.
I also use The Geo method. The gages work better than they have in years.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:49 PM   #16
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I had problems with my tanks suddenly being smelly until I figured out what I had been doing differently. I had bought antibacterial hand soap and antibacterial dish washing detergent at the same time. Got rid of the antibacterial stuff and it took a few weeks for everything to get better. Now we don't put any additional tank chemicals in our RV tanks.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:30 PM   #17
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Best chemical is WATER, enough to always keep any solids covered. Don't run the bathroom exhaust fan when flushing, the fan pulls 'vapors' up into the bathroom.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:58 AM   #18
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I use NO chemicals, but I sometimes get some odor after flushing if the BT is filling in warm weather. A few minutes of ceiling fan does a good job. But if I could eliminate this entirely, that would be nice...
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:59 AM   #19
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For those not using any chemicals in tanks...are your tank level gauges still reading correctly?
From what I read... They work as well as yours do.

Which is to ask the question: For those USING chemicals.

When you dump does it register "EMPTY" or not

Mine do after Geo-Method cleaning. or after a good power washing.. Else they will show at least 1/3 on the black, (Gay works better) but that is more or less normal till I upgrade the guage/sensor suite.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:23 PM   #20
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No chemicals in the black or gray water tanks. I do a through flush after each dump and never have any odors. Even though I have a Sanicon system, I still wait until the black tank is almost full prior to dumping, then flush with water from the gray tank and tank rinsing system.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:37 PM   #21
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Actually I don't use chemicals either. I do occasionally add an enzyme which is essentially a bacteria broth the helps establish a thriving colony of waste chewing bacteria. Chemicals will only kill them off.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:58 PM   #22
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You will notice that everyone has their own way of dealing with holding tanks. Some say to leave the gray tanks open and others say it should be closed too. Try it both ways and see what works best for you. For me it works best if I leave it open. I used to use chemicals every time. Then I had a flusher system installed and now I flush the tank and put in some water with regular Dawn d/w liquid (in both tanks) so it will slosh around while I am traveling. I do not full time, but I usually camp 2+ weekends per month. I do not have an odor problem.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:43 PM   #23
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No chems here either. Tank indicators work fine. Always flush from full. Do put ice in the empty black tank couple of times a year. (Don't think it makes a difference, but makes me feel better)

Remember an IRV2 mamber saying a long time ago on this subject.

"Never found anything that makes it smell good!"
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:02 AM   #24
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Wow, I've been full time for 4 years now and never considered going without chemicals in the black tank! This really does make sense.

Michael

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Old 01-28-2010, 03:05 PM   #25
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You mention enzymes and chemicals used...which ones?

Tom
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:06 PM   #26
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Quote:
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Wow, I've been full time for 4 years now and never considered going without chemicals in the black tank! This really does make sense.

Michael

2005 Dutch Star 40'

Do you mean, Michael, that you also go with no chemicals in the tanks? The Cyclone idea makes sense. Are the vent pipes not capped. If so, do you have to remove the cap to install the cyclone?
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:44 AM   #27
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I'll be dumping my tanks tomorrow and to be honest I'm having second thoughts about going without chemicals. We are full time in our motor home. I've been using Exodor bio pack for several years with no problems. It's usually the most expensive but they claim it breaks down toilet paper. I think it does as I watch it drain from my tanks. I think an accumulation of toilet paper in holding tanks is potentally a big problem.

It's just the two of us in our motor home and I dump it every 8 days if we are home the entire time. The chemicals cost me about a dollar a week. I usually rinse twice until it runs clear water from the tank. If I have to change the vent cap, put up with any odor, or dump more often I'm not sure it's really worth it to me.

For those guys who don't use chemicals how often do you drain your black water tank? I'm concerned about the odor issue. I can see it during the winter but what about when it's hot? Do you notice any reduction in amount of wastes that the tank will hold?



Thanks for the input.

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
For those guys who don't use chemicals how often do you drain your black water tank? I'm concerned about the odor issue. I can see it during the winter but what about when it's hot? Do you notice any reduction in amount of wastes that the tank will hold?
I dump when the black tank is about 1/2 to 3/4 full, which is about +/- 2 weeks. Odor is not a problem.

There is no reduction in holding tank capacity.

I have a clear elbow at the tank valves and the black tank dumps just like the gray tank.

You can always try not using chemicals and if not satisfied, go back to using them.

It's clear that the vast majority that have posted here do not use chemicals. Years ago that was not the case. The trend is away from chemicals.
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