NEWBIE - QUESTION ON GREY/BLACK WATER TANKS

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happytobehere

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Jun 5, 2006
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Hi!  My husband and I are new at RVing.  We recently purchased a 1998 Sportsmen camper trailer and have been on 2 trips so far.  Our question is, when our trailer is not being used should we leave a couple of gallons of water and chemicals in the grey and black water tanks?  Or should they be drained completely after being treated with the chemicals?  We go camping once a month and the rest of the time the trailer is sitting at a storage facility.  Thanks in advance for your replies.
 

Smoky

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I am sure you already know that when the camper is being used, to let the black water tank fill up completely or nearly so with the valve shut, before dumping it.  Then after a full dump of black water, you dump the gray water behind it which serves as washing action.

That said, if it were me, I would completely empty my tanks before storage and then put a few gallons of fresh water into the black water tank when it is going to sit.  Here we do not use deodorants but instead use RidX, just like sceptic tank users do.  I would add a teaspoon of RidX to the tank after the couple gallons of fresh water and then let it sit in storage.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It really doesn't matter much. The tanks will keep well enough whether empty or partially full.  But it's a good idea to put a couple gallons of water in the black tank before the first toilet flush (so there is some liquid to help dissolve solids and paper), so you may as well add the water right after you dump the black tank. The gray can stay empty - no sense using up the limited capacity.

You should keep a bit of water in the toilet bowl, though, to keep the rubber seal moist. It inhibits deterioration of the rubber.
 

joelmyer

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We always put 5 gallons in after dumping the black tank - except when winterizing.

And I usually run 5 days or so before dumping.

Once we stayed 15 days at an electric only campground and didn't fill the black tank. and put

Now for my problem:  Dumped at Arlington Texas and put in the 5 gallons.  One night stand at Lincoln Parish Park (beautiful) and on to Marion Mississippi.  Hooking up there was a bad odor!  Looked underneath there was a brown drip coming from where the dump valve assembly connects to the black tank. 

Dumped and backwashed the black tank and hosed down the area.  Drip and smell gone.

This morning dumped & backwashed the black tank and put in 5 gallons.  No drip.  Stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast.  No drip.

So should I just hope it doesn't happen again or crawl under and try to tighten up whatever?
 

Smoky

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There should be 4 bolts for each valve.  It might be possible they came loose or maybe the seal or valve needs to be replaced.
 

Smoky

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Ahhh.  I just reread the message stating the problem. 

Sounds like maybe the leak was not at the dump valve but at the connection to the tank.  I have never messed with that part.
 

joelmyer

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Karl said:
Joel,

Is it possible that the black water tank was completely full and it backed up to the rubber toilet flange that was not as tight or sealing as it should have been?

Karl,

Seems like it since it went away once I dumped.

Also seems unlikely since I had only one nights accumulation.  Well at most 4.  And we have gone 15 days.

I'm taking Gary's advice.
 
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