Emptying tanks

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blsmith25

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Santa Clara, CA
Ok, stupid questions from a newbie. Please don't laugh...  :D

It's initiation time.... I now have to start preparing to look for a campground or place to practice my dumping skills.
I have read that a clear elbow is good to have, so I got one that's 45deg. Just a plain one. I should have everything else I need to actually dump.
My questions are more about the rinsing out of the tank afterwards.
To flush out the tank after dumping the black water, I would just get a regular garden hose and use that?
So, the procedure would be:
My assumption would be that there's a tap to attach it to, then run it over to the other side of the RV, through the door into the bathroom and down the toilet? How far down???
Then run outside and turn the tap on? I guess the flap on the toilet would hold the hose in place till I run around and get back in there to rinse things off? Then run back outside, turn the tap off, run back inside and remove the hose and disconnect it and rinse it off and put it away?
Is that's what's done? I don't have anyone else to do either the inside or outside part, so there would be a lot of running around on my part.
After the tank has initially drained, do you close the valve before flushing out the tank or just do it continuously with it open?
Do you do this flushing before letting the grey water out? Do you flush out the grey water also or no need for that?
I guess a procedure would be nice, but is there really one? I would like to know what I'm doing before I actually have to do it...  :-[

Thanks,
B.L>
 

OldSoldier

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Sierra Vista, Arizona
OK,here's what I do.  Others can add or subtract from this.

I  also got a 45degree clear connector but WITH a flush valve and connector.  But given that you do not have the flush valve connector here's what I did.

First, get a ball-valve adapter to connect at the end of your hose.  that way you don't have to go in and out of the camper to control water.  There are sprayers that are available also for y our hose that you can put on the end of the hose with a ball-valve shut off capability.

1.  fill your black and grey water tanks to at least 2/3 full, the more the better.
2.  Dump the BLACK tank
3.  Refill Black tank to preferred 2/3 and dump again.
4.  Add a couple of gallons to black water tank to slosh on the road
5.  Flush grey tank
6.  Refill grey to preferred 2/3
7.  Dump grey again
8.  Add a couple gallons of water to grey tank to slosh on the road as in 4 above.

That's the 90% solution.  There is more you can do, including spray nozzles, chemical, etc.

I'm sure more will answer this thread.  Pick what you think most meets your requirements.

Good Luck,  :)
 

Tom

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Here's a sewer dump procedure previously offered by forum staffer Gary Brinck.
[edit]Link update[/edit]
 

Bob Zambenini

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Orange County California
You will get a lot of ideas on this area.

First, you should have a hose for the flushing that is separate from the hose you use for hooking up to city water for normal use.

I would investigate getting a flush kit installed on your black water tank. They can be done for a reasonable price at a place like Camping World and you just hook up a hose  to the exterior and let it run a few minutes and your done. Frankly I used to see people doing the procedure of dragging a hose inside to flush, but I haven't seen that in ages.  Are you sure your RV does not have a flush system installed for the black water tank???  They are quite common on new units.

I have never flushed out my grey water. I just drain it at the campground and go on my way.

The clear elbow is good and with my flush system the water turns clear in just 4 or 5 minutes of flushing. I do dump some ice in the black water tank sometimes. Gets rid of some smell and is good maintenance when driving down the road until it melts.

Couple of tips. Go to an auto supply store or battery place and buy a pair of battery gloves. They are black rubber and have cuffs that come up your forearm and are great for these chores. Also the clear elbow is good. I get set to dump and check all my hose connections and then I hold that connection at the elbow with one hand and pull the T handle. That is the place where it can come off and create a diaster.

Bob
 

joelmyer

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Georgia
Boy do we ever like to talk about black water!

Gary's procedure is of course great.

In my mind, there are three kinds of dumps - or at least two.

During the trip.

At the end of the trip.

At the end of the season.

Gary has described the "During the trip dump" - what I don't think he addressed is putting 5 gallons of water in the black tank to slosh around as you go down the road and to lay the foundation for what is to come.

Then at the end of the trip - at the last sewer connection - I back wash using this
http://reserveamerica.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm/Maintaining-Your-RV/Sanitation/Drain--Flush-Systems/RV-Hydro-Flush-with-AntiSiphon-Valve/skunum=14496

I run water into the tank for 2-3 minutes, let it run out & observe.  Repeat until it comes out clean or I get bored.  Then the five gallons.  I used to fill the bowl and dump it five times.  That got boring.  I cut a peice of 1/4" x 1" board just long enough to wedge between the wall and the little handle.  I have determined by an extemely scientific process that 4 minutes = 5 gallons.

End of season is like end of trip, except I don't add the 5 gallons to freeze.

Joel

 

blsmith25

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Santa Clara, CA
I'm not sure my unit has one. No one said anything about it having one, so I assume not. I wouldn't likely know by looking even if it jumped up and bit me unless someone showed me what I'm looking for to see if it has it or not.
I did see those backwash clear elbows when I was there, but I wasn't sure what kind of a hose went on and where to connect the other end to. Is there a tap at the dump station to hook a hose to?
Does it have something in it to prevent the black water from coming out the hose opening?

I guess I would be donig the "during the trip" procedure since I'm living in it, although every now and then I would need to do the backwash?
If I don't do the backwash all the time, I should be fine just to do the simple dump black, close, dump grey, close, unhook and rinse?
If I don't have to backwash all the time, how often should I do this? Every X number of dumps - not a time frame.

Maybe I can exchange the regular 45d elbow with the backwash version?

So far, I've gone 1 1/2 weeks and I'm 1/2 full so I've got a bit of time to figure out what I need, but not a lot if I'm to dump at 2/3 full. My grey water is already at 2/3 since I did some cleaning and washing. So I'm thinking that every two weeks may be my dumping cycle, but of course it will vary.

B.L>
 

Betty Brewer

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blsmith25 said:
I wouldn't likely know by looking even if it jumped up and bit me unless someone showed me what I'm looking for to see if it has it or not.

Hi B.L.,
On our recent trip to  Alaska,  a couple in a rental Class C  pulled along side the dump station and watched Terry  go through the procedures of dumping, letting Terry know that he had never done this and wanted to learn how.  Since our  rigs were  very differennt Terry offered to  pull up and help the guy.  They were ever so greatful.  You might consider wherever  you are staying to just confess your "newbieness"  and see if you could get a hand that way . RVers are ready to help and flattered to be asked. 
We live full time in RV and have never rinsed the grey water tank.  Terry says if he  had decent water pressure  at a campground with full hook ups he would rinse black water every time.  Sometimes a  dump station does not have good water pressure so a rinse is not as effective.  We have never taken a hose  inside rig for any kind of a rinse.

You are asking very good questions and considerably better to ask than have a disaster at the dump!
Betty
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Joel

>>That got boring.? I cut a peice of 1/4" x 1" board just long enough to wedge between the wall and the little handle<<

To eliminate this step just use your back-flush to add water to the tank. When I'm done flushing & the water runs clear I shut the black water valve & run water in for 1-2 minutes.

 

blsmith25

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Santa Clara, CA
Ok, so I'm considering going back to Camping World on Saturday to exchange the regular 45d elbow for the backwash version. From people's comments, this sounds like what I need to do.

However, I'm thinking I need to find a place to dump before then since my indicator just changed from 1/3 to 2/3's full for the black tank so now both are 2/3 full. I may be able to last a couple more days...
I guess what I'll need to do is some manual stuff like filling the toilet then flushing it down a couple of times to get a semi-good rinse until I get to CW to exchange that.

As for asking for help, with my luck, I'll be the only one at the dump station and no one in sight...  :(
 

scottydl

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B.L., make sure you read the reviews on the CW website of each flushing product before you exchange... and know what kind of piping you have between the tank and the flush valve - straight shot, several curves, etc.  It looks like the RV Hydro Flush (that joel recommended/linked above) doesn't work all that well unless you have straight pipes to the tank.  The Flush King is about $20 more but has nothing but positive reviews, and the Quickie Flush looks to be a permanently installed piece that also helped forcefully spray water into the tank.  Good luck!  Let us know what you decide and what works.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I think you folks are making this awfully complicated.  Dump the tank, per the instructions Tom cited.  If you want, and it is convenient, you can flush using an external garden hose.  If you don't have a built-in flush port, you can use a flush adapter, the one with a connector for a standard garden hose on the side.    Flushing is a preventative measure that can help keep "gunk" from building up in the tank, but not something critical to life in an RV.  My rig has a built-in flush port and I use it whenever it is convenient, but I don't bother if I'm using a public dump and others are waiting in line or if there is no hose connection handy.  It's not a big thing - life will not cease if I don't flush the tank every time.

As Joel mentons, it's also a nice thing to add some water to the tank after emptying. A little water helps those first few pieces of paper(etc.) start dissolving. That's easy to do if you have a built-in flush valve, but probably not worth running a hoise inside the rig if you do not.  Just flush the toilet a few times (using the water in your fresh water tank) and that will add enough water to keep the tank wet.

Yes, most dump stations have fresh water available. However, many will not have a threaded hose fitting available. That's a health safey measure to discourage people from filling their fresh water tank there.  If there is no hose fitting, just rinse out your drain hose and go on your way.    If you have a way to connect a hose, you can use a flush adapter to "back-flush".  When the tank is empty and the drain valve still open and drain hose still connected, hook the hose to the 3/4 inch hose fitting on the adapter and turn the water on. Let it spray up into the tank through the drain hole for a minute or two and then shut it off to let the water drain back out into the drain. If you still see a lot of dirty water coming out, repeat the process.  It doesn't have to sparkle - you aren't drinking the stuff. Just trying to prevent accumulatons of toilet paper in the tank and around the valve.
 

blsmith25

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Santa Clara, CA
Yes, thank you Gary. I was under the impression that it was something that HAD to be done all the time or else...
I'll try it out and see what happens...
I'm sure after I do it the first time, it'll be just fine.
And simple is usually best.

thanks for all the instructions from everyone.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm sure after I do it the first time, it'll be just fine.

I'm sure too. This isn't rocket science, so don't get your knickers in a twist and fail to have fun.  We have a tendency to talk about the best practices as though they were a religion unto themselves, forgetting that a newbie doesn't have the expereince to apply some judgement to each situation and know when a procedure can be safely ignored or skipped. Don't be afraid to ask if a recommended procedure is a "must do", "should do" or just a "nice to do".
 

Skamper

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Aug 20, 2006
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I"m far from an advanced rv'er,but several years ago our unit had a flexible hose shower head,and we just used that to add water to the tank...just held the toilet open and added water thru there.We were very careful to not get the shower head inside the toilet of course.
We had an older 16' trailer as I recall,sounds like flushing systems have come a long way these days.
 

Ronn Trenaman

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Aug 21, 2006
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I just bought a Georgie Boy 35 foot Landau, we are going camping Labor Day weekend.  Not looking forward to dumping the tanks, your advice is appreciated.
 

Shayne

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Jan 22, 2006
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Garden hose, rubber gloves,  and some bleach/water  in a bottle for cleansing fitting and gloves upon completion.  Nasty job but someone has to do it.  Not that bad whenb yhou get the routine down.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Ronn Trenaman said:
Not looking forward to dumping the tanks, your advice is appreciated.

Ronn,

It's not really that big of a deal. Hook up both ends of the hose, open black water valve, when the black water is done close valve. Open gray water valve, this empties the gray water and rinses out the hose from the black water. When the gray water is done, close the valve. Disconnect the hose from the MH and elevate to empty hose. If water is available rinse out the hose some more. Put hose away. Wash hands and you're all done.

I've done a lot of things that were worse than dumping the tanks. Shayne says it's a nasty job but I'd rather dump the tanks than change a dirty diaper.
 

Shayne

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Diapers not bad when you enjoy the kids.  Neither is dumping really. The worst part is whrn the joker that dumps before you doesn't clean up now it becomes nasty.
 
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