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Old 11-21-2012, 08:53 PM   #1
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starting out

Newbie at RV living here.

Next week the coach will move to an RV park and I will live in it. It has been in my back yard as I work out issues. Now I need some advise.

Recommendations for black tank additive to break down waste?
Recommendations for diesel fuel additive to keep fuel usable long term?
How often do I start the rig to keep everything working properly? And for how long? Does the generator need exercise, too? It is diesel.

Working on a routine preventative maintenance schedule.

More later.

Much more!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:26 PM   #2
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Hi and to the forum.

Black tank additives, wow what a subject. Do a search and you will find days of reading on this topic, there are nearly as many opinions as there are blades of grass. I like this stuff Camco TST Orange Drop-Ins: Automotive : Walmart.com, when my tank level sensors start acting up I add a cup of water softener to clean them off, otherwise it's the orange stuff.

Can't recommend a fuel additive, my fuel doesn't sit long enough to need one, go go go

Again, I am on the go but for those times where I get to sit for few months, I take the RV out for a drive every 30 days or so. I run (under load, meaning actual driving) for at least 30 minutes if not an hour to keep everything lubricated. Idling will not do it.

THe generator absolutely needs to be exercised a minimum of 30 minutes per month. Make sure to do this under load. Turn some of your 110v items on so the they are drawing power from the gen set.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:21 AM   #3
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Welcome to the form and I hope your change of life style was voluntary.

Don't consider your waste tanks in the same nature as a septic tank. The tanks are meant to hold the waste water and material until you can transfer. Decomposition of the stuff in a black tank can take weeks if not longer and your primary concern is just to keep everything wet so it will dump. You can add various additives to keep odors down but not to break down the material. The best practice is to keep the dump valves closed until the tanks are at least 3/4 full and give it a good post dump rinse to flush out as much remaining material as possible. Also once emptied refill to maybe 1/4 tank level with water to ensure any solids you add later do not dry out and harden.

For your power train and generator, once a month should be enough to keep everything in working order. Disconnect from the camp site, start the generator with a good load such as the AC’s, water heater or a space heater and drive the coach around for an hour or so. You need to drive the coach not just run the engine but to get the transmission up to operating temperatures and move the lubricates around in axles and suspension. The coach power train isn't as sensitive to nonuse as the generator is so you could push the drive interval out to several months. Also give your leveling jacks a bit of lubricate to keep them moving freely. Same for your steps.

I can't comment concerning fuel stabilization since my coach rarely sits for more than a month between outings and my last stop before the driveway is to top off the fuel tank. I do add some Sea Foam every so often but my coach is gasoline powered not diesel.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcarol
Newbie at RV living here.

Next week the coach will move to an RV park and I will live in it. It has been in my back yard as I work out issues. Now I need some advise.

Recommendations for black tank additive to break down waste?
Recommendations for diesel fuel additive to keep fuel usable long term?
How often do I start the rig to keep everything working properly? And for how long? Does the generator need exercise, too? It is diesel.

Working on a routine preventative maintenance schedule.

More later.

Much more!
Your rig probably does, but make sure your chassis batts are maintained while on shore power.

It is not recommended to start a diesel and let it idle for reasons of maintenance. Mfgs say to drive them for an hour to get everything up to operating temps to expell all moisture in the lubricating systems. That said, do not start unless you are going to drive it. Otherwise, take it out every 3 months down the freeway 50 miles. Before parking, I would make sure all fuel filters were good and add a fuel conditioner and algaecide. Then drive it long enough to get this through the fuel system.

Since you will be in a park, just use plenty of water to keep solids separated. If the seals and vent work properly, you may not need anything. I would not use anything with formaldehyde.

We do boondock and conserve water, so we may go 7-10 days without dumping. We use this:

http://www.rv-digest-it.com/

Contrary to what many think, the bacterial action of this stuff breaks down solids in 24hr and there is no smell, it breaks waste down to water and CO2.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Black tank additive: None. Use plenty of water and don't dump until 3/4 or more full.

Diesel fuel additive: None unless not driven for 4+ months. Just keep the tank as near full as possible, to reduce water condensation. You can use a biocide if the climate is humid. If parking longer than 4-5 months, maybe a diesel fuel stabilizer like Standadyne.

Starting the engine: Don't. If you must, let it run long enough to get thoroughly warmed up.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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For the black tank it's "Happy Camper" for us! It's the best thing I have ever found to break down all that yucky stuff! If you buy it in the large container it is also the lowest cost. Here's a link to them. Happy Camper - Odorless Holding Tank Treatment Black and Grey Water
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