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Old 01-29-2010, 11:45 AM   #29
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"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. "


Put a sheet or two of your paper in a jar with some water and shake the jar for a couple of seconds. If the paper has not disappeared then you are using the wrong paper!

I use scott 1000 sheet which passes the test and can be found anywhere. There are others that pass the test also. You do not need additives to break down toilet paper!

By flushing so much, you are starting the "natural order of things", over and over again and providing the conditions where smell can be a problem and need to be covered up with chemicals you are using IMHO!

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Old 01-29-2010, 11:58 AM   #30
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Quote:
I use scott 1000 sheet which passes the test and can be found anywhere.
Except in the black tank as it does dissolve rapidly.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:25 PM   #31
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Smile

Scott Extra Soft will do the same as their 1000.
Only it feels better.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:32 PM   #32
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I bought my first RV in 1972 and like everyone back them I poured chemicals in the black tank and could never get rid of the odor. I found I was killing the good bacteria and that produced the odor. So I stopped using chemicals and have never had a problem since. The last ten years we have fulltimed and spent many months at a time in the hot western states often boondocking for weeks at a time. The only time we have an odor is when we flush and forget to turn off the vent fan.

Our last two motorhomes have had a black tank flush system, but I seldom use it. If I completely clean the black tank it will take a week or two to build up enough bacteria to do a proper job. We have never had a black or gray tank problem and the sensors are always accurate.

I am not an expert on holding tanks, but I have given many seminars on tank maintenance, toilet paper and chemicals. At my last seminar of about 55 people I asked how many use chemicals or a bio-type treatment in their black tanks and I think about 8 hands went up. The rest said they use nothing but water and those who use nothing said they never have odors or any problems.

For the toilet paper demo I use eight items - RV toilet paper, Scott One-Ply, Cottonelle, Charmin Ultra-Soft, Paper Towel, Kleenex, sheet of Camping World catalog and a corncob. (Have to keep the seminars funny.)

I put each item in a quart jar and pass them around the room for everyone to shake and inspect. At the end of the seminar we inspect each one and the RV toilet paper and Scott One-Ply have desolved. The Cottonelle and Charmin are starting to desolve and the others have not changed one bit.

I put additional sheets in other quart jars and add a popular holding tank chemical and I put all the jars on a table for display for a week. At the end of the week the Cottonelle and Charmin still have not completely broken up and seem to have turned into a jell. The jars with the chemicals added are no different than the jars without chemicals proving chemicals do not improve breaking down paper.

I have found odors inside a RV are caused by blocked vents or no water in p-traps. If you have an odor problem you need to find the cause and correct it. Pouring chemicals in the black tank will not correct a defect in the RV.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:29 AM   #33
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Question Risk versus Savings?

I would like to save the cost of tank chemicals but I'm not willing to risk a serious blockage in doing so. Repairing or replacing a plugged black tank would be alot more expensive than the cost of chemicals for many years.
When I dump the Black tank, with chemicals, odors are mostly non existant but the Gray tank stinks awful.
Am I doing something wrong or do I have a problem with the Gray tank which is chemical free.
Any input welcomed.
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:54 AM   #34
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We've been using chemicals since we started RVing 7 years ago. But after what I've read we will try using only water. Our black tank has a tank sprayer and I wll continue to use that. Can't hurt. Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:42 AM   #35
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OK, I'm convinced until I started reading this board I thought everyone used chemicals in the black water tank. Today will be the first day for us.

It's a good thing too. So far from reading this board the last couple of weeks I've purchased a Hawkshead tire monitor and air tabs. So you could say that reading this board has cost me $700 in two weeks! Now I'll save $50 on chemicals every year!

Thanks for the information very helpful.

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Old 01-30-2010, 09:42 AM   #36
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Two things I have found to be real important is I add water before using the black tank. Our TT has a 40 gal. tank so I use 6/7 gals. water & the slide in (with a much smaller tank I use about 3 gals. It would seem it would reduce time until full but it's the opposite. With the TT (while dry camping) we went from 7 to 10 days or more before needing to dump. The other thing is I use the Geo Method, which is soap & water softener. If someone wants The Geo Method posted again I will do so. I think what it does is keep every thing slick so it empties clean and keeps the gages clean.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:37 PM   #37
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I use chemicals in the black water tank. I have never considered not using them until I read this thread yesterday. My liquid level gauge has not worked properly since we bought this MH. It always reads either 1/2 or 3/4 full. We don't put TP in the tank, but rather throw it in the trash in a ziplock bag. Lat summer while using it pretty much full time my wife would get headaches and we would notice the odor coming from the blackwater tank. Flush & service and the headaches would go away. I installed a Little Stinker roof top motorized vent in December when we brought the RV home. I no longer smell any oder but we have only used the RV for a week since the mod to the vent.
My parents full time in either a permanant TT set up in Norther PA or in thier MH from fall till late spring and hve been doing so for at least 7 years & part time for as long as I can remember. Somewhere around 1975. We have followed thier advise on most things related to the RV life. I am giving serious thought to deviating from thier advise this time. I need to discuss this with my wife, but I bet she will be willing to give it a try.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:14 PM   #38
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Putting toilet paper in the tank is fine as long as it's one of the dissolving brands previously mentioned. You do not need the overpriced RV paper.

Using plenty of water with each flush is even more important.

Chemicals don't prevent clogs, they only smell like chemicals and cost money.
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:51 PM   #39
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...The Cottonelle... (is) starting to dissolve and the others have not changed one bit... At the end of the week the Cottonelle... still have not completely broken up and seem to have turned into a jell...

That is strange. We use Cottonelle and have for years. We started out using it in a portable cassette toilet (porta-potti) we used for tent camping and later in our pop-up. The porta-potti was used with chemicals. Paper was always completely dissolved. With the RV, we stopped using chemicals and still used Cottonelle. It still dissolved completely. I've did the jar test (on regular, ripples and Aloe & E varieties of Cottonelle) and it always completely dissolves. I also retest when ever I see the words "Improved" or if the paper looks different. Maybe it's the water? Gotta test it again! I want to see if it turns into a jell.
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:07 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by sprintnut View Post
When I dump the Black tank, with chemicals, odors are mostly non existant but the Gray tank stinks awful.
Am I doing something wrong or do I have a problem with the Gray tank which is chemical free.
Any input welcomed.
I think it's normal for the gray tank to stink worse than black. I know mine does...

While I don't normally use chemicals I do like my gauges to read correctly. I find that after being parked in one place for a few months my gauges will not read empty after dumping. I use Thetford Level gauge cleaner when it's time to move the coach. I dump both tanks then fill both about 1/2 full with clean water then add the chemicals.

We then hit the road. When we stop for the night I dump the tanks. If the gauges don't read empty I repeat for travel day #2.

So far I have always been able to get my gauges clean and reading correct.

I did try a different product once, bought from an RV dealer in Amarillo. I wish I would have kept the name of the stuff they sold me as it worked great. I added it to my tanks and then used the tanks as usual. A week later while parked in OKC I dumped the tanks. Whatever that stuff was they sold me worked great, better than the Thetford product. If I ever get back to Amarillo I am going to find out what they sold me.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:31 AM   #41
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I would add my 0.02 worth with the ones who basically use nothing. After 35 years of this RVing stuff, we use nothing except RID-X. I think most of the comments have been good advice. Don't let your tanks drain daily, let them both fill up about 3/4 before dumping. Rinse the black tank with a built-in sprayer. If you don't have one, buy or make the wand one that goes down the toilet. Use it every 3 or 4 dumps and on the last day of your trip home. Once in a while, after your rinse, fill the potty with water, when the tank is empty, quickly dump the potty - - you will be amazed at what comes out after you think it is empty. I typically do this several times. I then fill the tank about 1/3 with water and add RID-X. This will slosh around in the tank on the way home and stay in tank while in storage allowing the "critters" to dissolve any solids on the sides and clean the sensors. I likewise fill the grey tank about 1/4 full and pour a solution of RID-X into each drain to get it working on anything in the trap during storage. I never have problems with sensors, smell or blocked traps (except the shower which somehow attracts long blonde hairs from somewhere - - ). RID-X is fairly cheap, is designed to aid septic tanks, will not hurt seals and is a powder - - availabel at most any hardware, Home Depot or Lowes.

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Old 02-02-2010, 02:29 PM   #42
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Makes sense to me FiverBob, I've never used the biological products, just water. I think I'll give it a try.
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