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Outbackers,

After you dump your black tank, do you add any chemicals and and a gallon or so of water right away, or do you do add the tank chemicals and water when you arive at your next camping destination, or both?

This weekend was the first time we used the black tank, and since I dumped it three times with more and more fresh water at the site (full hookups), I am sure it is really clean. However, do you use any "in between" camping trip chemicals to continue to clean the tank until you camp again?

Thanks, Randy
 
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OOooohhhh Yeah. I ran out of chemical on a trip, and decided that I could just flush the tank out real well, and set it back up later. Forgot all about it until three days after we got home!!
Won't do that again. It's a pain, but after every dump the chemicals and a couple of gallons of water go in.

Happy camping,

Gary
 

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Yeah! We did the same thing, but it went for 6 days. Believe me, it was BAD!!!
.

I just can't seem to get a habit going of doing certain things. Remembering is one of those....


I do have a question along this same post. If you are at a full-hook with sewer, I've been told not to keep the black drain open into the sewer, for smell and flies, etc.... But to drain it once a day. So therefore, do you have to keep chemicals in your tank? Seems like a waste of chemical to be going down the drain each day.

Thanks!
 

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Yes, as soon as you dump the black or shortly thereafter, add the chemicals and a few gallons of water.

To answer the latter question, when you are camping with full hook-ups connect your sewer hose right away and leave the gray valve open and the black closed. You will be surprised how fast the gray tank can get filled. On a past trip I left the gray closed and filled the empty tank in 1/2 a day. After much dish washing, two baths, and two showers it was done!

No, don't dump the black tank every day. Keep it closed and let it fill while you camp. On our fairly short trips of 2-3 days I have never been able to fill the black tank. The reason is when you dump the black tank, it will clear out better with more "fluid" inside. What I do is about 3/4 of a day before we leave, and I know we will take a few showers, I close the gray tank too and let it fill. When it's time to go I dump the black which flows real fast because of the amount in the tank. Close the black. Then I usually have a full gray tank to flush the line after.

You can then use something like the Flush King to further flush your black tank if you want to. I think you could also use the Flush King BEFORE dumping the gray tank too.
 

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I couldn't say it any better than California Jim. Althought I usually let the grey water fill up the last day before dumping.
 

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As stated already, on the old Trail-lite, I let the black tank fill before dumps, and actually, I let the gray fill also, and dumped black, then gray to flush the hose. We weren't using the shower in the Trail-Lite though, as it was too small, so the gray didn't fill up to quickly.

Now with the Outback, I will have to play things by ear. Our first trip with the 26RS is next week.

Tim
 

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I also use a clear elbow to ensure that the black tank is getting a good flush. My last trailer had a straight pipe into the black tank,which made flushing with the elbow eazy, but the Outback has a couple of turns before the pipe gets to the tank so the flush does not work as well. I am going to install a flush system, that you can hook a hose to that goes directly into the tank, but untill that time I am using a wand with a spinning tip to clean the tank. When I get home, I flush again with clear water and then leave the valve open so that the tank can air dry. Each time we use the trailer, I close the valve and charge the tank with a couple of gallons of water and chemical. By the time we get to camp, the tank is well coated, the gauge is clean, the chemical is mixed and it potty is ready to use.
 

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Greetings:

This is an interesting (if somewhat disgusting) tread. Just a couple of comments:

1. Yes, you should keep the black water tank 'closed' during your campground stay and only open it up to flush when it is full or when you are ready to leave. The reason, as stated in another post , is to provide a critical mass of fluid to get a good flow. This will clean out most of the 'stuff' in the tank. However, regardless of the amount in the tank, there will also be some residual left over.

2. After every flush, you should put at least a gallon of water in the tank. If you are in a campground, you might get away with leaving the chemicals out for a day or so. Some campgrounds are getting very cautious about the type of chemicals that can be used, so be sure to check the postings in the campground office.

3. When leaving the campground you should do a last dump of the black water tank, followed by a last dump of the gray water tank. You should then put in your chemicals and add a gallon or two of water to both tanks. On the way home or to your next stop, the water and chemicals will slosh around in the tanks as you drive and wash any residual 'stuff' off the walls of the tanks and into the chemical/water mix. The small (hopefully) amount of waste will be neutralized by the chemicals and the tanks will be o.k until the next dump at the next campground.

Best regards,
Bopper

2002 23FBS
2002 Ford Explorer
2 Adults and two very spoiled Cocker Spaniels
 

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To add to all the other good advice:

If you don't use plenty of water in the black tank, you may have trouble come time to dump. I always start with 3-5 gallons of water, some chemical, and make sure each flush is a good one, thereafter. Also, make sure you tell everyone what NOT to flush down the toilet. Sometimes...they need reminding.
 

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We pretty much do what everyone else does but one more step. I put 1 or 2 five gallon buckets of grey water in the toilet before we leave the site and on the way to the dump station it helps to loosen every thing up and makes for an easier dump. Kirk
 

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We do pretty much the same also, add chems and few gal of water after dumping. I also run extra few gallons of water into the black tank to make sure everything is loosens up on the way to dump station. If at full hook up let it collect and then open valves like everyone has suggested.

One other thing I have not seen mentioned... and maybe it just seems insignificant, but we keep about a cup of water (2") on top of the release valve, it acts as a seal so odors don't seep up. So after flushing each time you run extra water.

This is just something I have done all my life, as we were big campers/RV'ers as I was growing up, it was a habit my parents passed on to me. But, the rv delivery tech did not mention this, so I don't know if it was something we were just taught or something everyone does
 

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All,

I don't have much more to add to all this besides the fact that I've noticed that when I leave my grey water valve open, I occasionally get smell "backstreaming" up from the sewer connection. Seems like it wouldn't happen (due to the water traps in the sink and shower drains), but I've smelled it before. So I usually just leave both valves closed and dump the grey water when needed (which is typically when it is coldest and wettest outside, of course).

Chet.
 

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Chet,

You should check the air admittance valves and see if they may be leaking or broken. Does the smell occur under the kitchen or bath sink where the valve is? Easiest way would be to use your nose to find the source of the smell.

The air admittance valves are designed to allow air into the plumbing system when there is a negative, such as when the toilet flushes, this keeps the traps from siphoning out, similar to a traditional vent system. Most of them are gravity operated, once the pressure equalizes, the valve shuts, thus sealing off and supposedly not allowing sewer gases out. Maybe there is a problem with one of yours.

Just a thought to ponder.

Good luck

Kevin
 

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Kevin,

Hmmm... sounds possible. I never specifically identified the source, so I'll give that a try. Do you know where I could find these valves? Which side of the P-trap are they on?

Thanks, Chet.
 

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Chet,

Underneath my sinks the drain piping is black colored, the sink has a trap and then a tee fitting (sanitary tee), at the top of this tee fitting is the air admittance valve, also black colored, it should be about 8-10" high and kinda look like a pipe. I would imagine if you stick you head in the cabinet when you are smelling the odors you would know if the smell was coming from there. This may not be the cause, but it is a easy check.

If I knew how to post a picture to show you I would.

Good luck.

Kevin
 

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I put a bag of ice down the toilet with a couple of gallons of water. While I’m driving it will scrub the tank then the ice melts and I flush everything at the next stop.

Pete action
 
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