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Old 10-11-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
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Poo Problem

There really is no delicate way to ask this so . . .

We discovered on our shake down overnighter, that the holding tank of our little 5'er was more than half full of old very dried up, packed down poo! Which we have recently started to, shall I say, re-hydrated! When dumping the tank, imagine our surprise when stuff came out that was not put there by us. We managed to get some of the mess cleaned out, but the gauge is still showing the tank at least a quarter full.

Is there some kind of chemical something we could put in the tank to break this mass up? It clogged the hose coming out and we really don't want to repeat unclogging the hose again and again. We're hoping to take another trip this weekend and I'm thinking along the lines of putting something in there to slosh around while we're driving to help break it up. We are planning to bring an extra hose this time to flush the tank through the toilet.

At least now we know where that odd smell is coming from.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #2
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Hi and welcome
Try dumping a few bags of ice down the toilet and filling the black tank full before you go on your drive. Hopefully the ice cubes will help break up the mess in your tank
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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There's only two kinds of poo ...yours and someone else's...

You can try and fill the tank 2/3 full and throw some Calgone softener in it ,also some laundry soap . let it swish around and re hydrate . may take a few times

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Old 10-11-2011, 08:18 PM   #4
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I haven't tried this myself and normally wouldn't even suggest it but....

We have a septic system at home. Periodically, I put Rid-X into it. It will help to dispose of the solids. I know, I know, the black tank is a holding tank but as a one time treatment, I'd be tempted to try it. The key would be to re-hydrate the sludge, then add Rid-X and leave it sit - I'd suggest at least two weeks. By let it sit, I mean don't try to dump the tank during that period. Driving it around probably would help. The more sloshing action once you get the sludge beyond "dry", the better. I suspect that your problem will be getting it off the sides of the tank.

If you can find a good dump station like the one at one of our local campgrounds, that is another option. That dump station has a 1" diameter hose that pumps water at about 70lbs. Sticking the hose into the opening in the toliet and just letting the water run, periodically opening and closing the dump valve seems to work wonders. But I doubt that is going to work unless you can break the sludge down into small enough chucks to pass easily through the hose. If possible, you could rig solid pipe instead of hose, like some of the full timers do. MY main concern would be backing up the sludge in any pipe and clogging it up as you have already experienced.

I've personally tried putting ice in the tank and driving around with it. By the time that the ice is small enough to go down the toilet, it melts too quickly and doesn't provide the needed abrasion, IMHO.

Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:27 PM   #5
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Sound like the previous owner left the black valve open while hooked up to a camp site and let the dreaded pyramid build up under the toilet. You should leave the black valve closed until about 2/3rds full, then dump.
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:45 PM   #6
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If you do alot of traveling from campground to campground, the sloshing will break all that crud loose. Put a jug of Simple Green or other detergent down the drain to help break it down. Poo enjoys going for a ride and it rewards you by turning into liquid.. Also never leave the tank empty. Always leave a little sloshing stuff in there.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguyfromcalg View Post
Hi and welcome
Try dumping a few bags of ice down the toilet and filling the black tank full before you go on your drive. Hopefully the ice cubes will help break up the mess in your tank
I would add Calgon and fill the tank and let it set the night before you leave. Before you leave put the ice in and that should break things up. Good luck
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Just because a gauge reads 1/4 (or anything else) this does not mean that's what's there. Gauges are notoriously inaccurate. Do you have an external tank flushing option? If so, get hooked up and use it over and over again until you see the water coming out run clear(ish). If that's not an option then use a hose down the toilet to accomplish the same result. There are also power snakes and connections that can be used down the toilet or up the tank outlet. I used a sewer clean out that I found at Home Depot that connected to a hose with a rubber bladder. As you turned on the water the badder expanded sealing the connection it was inserted into. This worked perfected in the toilet down pipe and with the outside connection open you got high speed/high pressure spray into the bottom of the tank where a pyramid might form. Lots of choices, just be sure that whatever you do where water is being put into the tank you leave the drain open to prevent an unsuspected overflow inside the coach (don't ask me how I know about this rule!).
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:41 PM   #9
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you better plan on a lot of ice and to dump it in quick...40-50 gals of water/poo combo will melt ice rather quickly.

Any way of letting the tank sit full of water and which ever brand cleaning agent you choose will definitely help soften the dried sludge in the tank. Then a good drive with or without the ice, then a dump and rinse ..
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:54 PM   #10
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Sounds like a good solution may be rv-digest-it. You can order it online and although I've never had to use it yet, I hear it works wonders!
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Old 10-12-2011, 01:36 PM   #11
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Wow! Thanks for all the input. Would never have though of ice and as it's starting to get rather cold here in the inland northwest I don't think it will melt too fast. I dumped a couple of buckets of water down the toilet this morning and will add a couple more tonight and will try the Calgon and maybe some simple green too. The next few days it's hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! And gosh, who knew there was so much care and feeding of the holding tank! Thanks for all the tips.

One other question. Is there a dumping protocol at campgrounds? The place we're staying the first night, has a dump station but no hook-ups at the sites. If we start off with our tank full of sloshing re-hydrating poo, can we hit the dump station as soon as we check in?

A little history on our 5'er. We think it was sitting, unused, for a very long time. The tabs on the old plates expired in 2000. Which on one hand explains the near new condition. On the other hand it means the holding tank may have been setting there nearly full for ten years! No wonder it's so packed down and dried up!
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:08 PM   #12
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Yes if your black tank is full dump before you set up camp. I made it a habit if there is a line up I would just dump my tanks and rinse the hose and go. If it's not busy I would rinse and flush a few times.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:42 PM   #13
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I always dump before setting up.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:05 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=one-nighter;981752]

One other question. Is there a dumping protocol at campgrounds? The place we're staying the first night, has a dump station but no hook-ups at the sites. If we start off with our tank full of sloshing re-hydrating poo, can we hit the dump station as soon as we check in?

Absolutely, check in and dump. You won't be the first one to arrive full of crap
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