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Old 04-21-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
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Black Tank - What to do...

I've read some seemingly conflicting information on dealing with the contents of the black tank. I'm thinking that the way one uses their RV might effect how to handle dumping the tanks, but I wanted to get feedback.

I will typically use my DSDP one weekend per month, 10 - 11 months per year, for 3 day race weekends. I'm basically dry camping, except maybe plugging in power at some tracks.

My crew and myself use the toilet in the RV only when needed, like in the middle of the night or if things spin out of control and one of us (mainly me) don't think we'd make it to the restroom in the track tower. Normally we'd use the track facilities though. So the black tank doesn't fill up very quickly, and probably could be dumped once every six or eight months at this rate.

I know I shouldn't dump it until it's at least half full. Should I fill it to half or 3/4 full and dump it at the end of a weekend (once a month)?...or let it go for several months until its full enough on its own? Is there a maximum amount of time that I should let it fester? I have a waste tank rinser, so when I dump I slush it out with fresh water.

With this type of use should I use the odor puck things (found at Camping World) that help with odor control and enzymes? I read that some folks don't put anything in the black tank, but I'm not sure if those folks are full timers or hitting RV parks.


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Old 04-21-2013, 10:55 PM   #2
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Unless it is a real problem finding a place to dump it, I would dump it each time, if it is going to sit for 3-4 weeks. They are just a fiberglass tank, not a concrete septic tank. A friend bought an RV that had a 1/2 tank full of Sxxt, took months for smell to go away.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #3
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Prior to use you should put about 4 gals of water in the tank with chemicals, and dump and rinse the tank every 2nd weekend , every weekend in hot weather. you don't want any solids in the tank getting a chance to dry out and stick to the inside of the tank.
This may sound like a real PIA but it is the best way to keep the tank clean and fresh. You may be able to find a dump station on your route to the track for a fast pit stop.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:07 PM   #4
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During the summer months and hot weather your going to have a smelly coach.
I have a septic system at my house and I have a macerator pump with a 100" hose if I dry camp, at least once a month dump into house septic and use the flusher on tank system to get tank cleaned out, you do not want a crap build-up.
You can use chemicals to help brake down, its your coach and up to you.
Your tank if you have checked the Brochure is about 45 gal allot of weight to carry around.
There are dump stations at city sewage Dept's to dump also.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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I think it would be wise to dump after each race weekend. Leaving it for a month would probably cause odor problems. The tank doesn't have to be 1/2 full to dump. You can dump it with any amount in it. If your using your flush spray system it will clean out. After I dump my tank, before I use the toilet again I always fill the toilet completely full twice with fresh water and dump it into the tank so there will be water in the tank to break down solids. Have never had a problem and don't use chemicals.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:37 PM   #6
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Great. I have no problem dumping it after each weekend. I have a dump station at the parking space where I store it and it's easy enough to do. Now I'm curious about the chemicals.

Rotten-Red, no chemicals at all? Ok, I have been used to the rental units where they want you to use them after each pump-out.

I bought some of the chemicals but haven't used any yet. So they are just supposed to help with odor control and potentially breaking down solids? I thought they also provide some type of lubrication for the valves too. Good to hear more people who don't use them. Optional I guess.

Thanks all.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:51 AM   #7
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Chemicals are not needed and many of us never used chemicals and never had a problem. Save your money.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Route 66 View Post
Chemicals are not needed and many of us never used chemicals and never had a problem. Save your money.
Really? No chemicals? I think you are in the VERY small minority. You must also be dumping your tank frequently. In fairness to the OP and others that might stumble on this thread I think it is important to say that MOST of us use chemicals to control the odor and ensure that solids are broken down.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:51 AM   #9
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My turn. I would say the majority don't. I was a non believer a few years ago when another thread like this was going on. The majority reported , no chemicals. I haven't used any in three years and only dump every 5-6 days.

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Old 04-22-2013, 05:53 AM   #10
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Haven't used chemicals in years and have no odor. Only had odor when I did use chemicals
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:03 AM   #11
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the bottom line? Keeping the tank clean requires flushing regularly and thoroughly and if that cannot be accomplished then add chemicals to help. it also helps to use a lot of water with each flush. In your case I would add more water when starting out from my storage place and then dump and rise on return. If you begin to detect odors then augment with chemicals.

I use chemicals others do not, never seen a pole of exactly whom does or does not.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:06 AM   #12
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Buy some of the good stuff at Wally's with the formaldehyde in it. Use lots of water when you use it and don't dump until its getting full. No need, and that Formaldehyde will keep you order free, summer or winter. I think it smells good with this stuff in it. Not so good without.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:10 AM   #13
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Really? No chemicals? I think you are in the VERY small minority.
My experience is that the majority of us who spend significant time in our rvs rarely use chemicals. The majority of weekenders I have talked to use chemicals. During the winter (in Florida), we use our motorhome for weekends and day trips and typically do not dump the black tank until it is full enough. We do not use chemicals and have never had odor issues.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:15 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Route 66 View Post
Chemicals are not needed and many of us never used chemicals and never had a problem. Save your money.
16 doses for less than 8 bucks does not add up to much.
I like to think 4 bits per dump is not painful.

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