Relatively new to trailer life... Seeking help with a few issues.

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lfeather1213

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Joined
Aug 21, 2005
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1
Hello,
Last year when we made the switch from pop-up to trailer, the folks on this board were so helpful. I'm hoping you can help again!

1. Our blackwater tank never empties at the dump station. It always stays at least 1/3 full (per indicators). My husband ends up cleaning it out at home (which is gross)  :-[. We use an enzyme solution and we use RV TP. I've seen on the board that we don't need to use the
RV type, but we thought that was the problem, so we are trying everything to solve it!

2. We have a Jayco JayFeather 25G. We pull with a Trailblazer EXT. We are well within the weight range even when fully loaded. The undercarriage of the trailer creaks and grinds and makes horrible loud noises while we pull it. We've tried taking items out to lighten the load, but it doesn't help.

Any help is appreciated!

Laura
 

Ned

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It's probably not the tank that's at fault, but the indicators.  The is most likely emptying, but the indicators are notoriously inaccurate.  Our black water tank reads full, even when it's just been emptied.

Some more advice, don't waste your money on the "RV TP".  Use a tested household brand, like Angel Soft, and you'll have fewer problems.  Also, we haven't used any chemicals in our head for several years and don't notice any difference in performance.  They're just another waste of money.
 

joelmyer

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Mar 5, 2005
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Georgia
Laura,

Care & feeding of blackwater tank is something that everybody has an opinion on.

I agree with what Ned said.  With a couple of additions.

Whenever we dump, I put 5 toilet bowls full of water back in the tank. This was recommended by the guy who did our pre-delivery checkout.  That sloshes around and helps keep the solids from caking up.  18 months so far and no problems.

I have one of these things: http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?deptID=3&subOf=252,19&skunum=14496 that I use for the last dump at the end of a trip.  Then I put 5 toilet bowls of water in unless I'm going to winterize.

No idea on the creaks and groans except crawl under and tighten any thing loose and grease anything that has a grease fitting.

Joel

Joel



 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
1. Our blackwater tank never empties at the dump station. It always stays at least 1/3 full (per indicators). My husband ends up cleaning it out at home (which is gross)? . We use an enzyme solution and we use RV TP. I've seen on the board that we don't need to use the
RV type, but we thought that was the problem, so we are trying everything to solve it!

My own black tank is forever 1/3 full despite thorough dumpings.? ?Tank indicators are like the stories fishermen tell -- approximations at best.? Just be sure that your tank is about 2/3 full or more before you dump so that the pressure will push the crud out.? ?RV stores sell a dump elbow made of clear plastic with a valved garden hose fitting.? ?Attach the elbow between the trailer dump fitting and the sewer hose and attach a garden hose to it and to a water faucet.? ?Dump the tank and leave the valve open.? ?Then turn on the water faucet full blast.? ?The water will rush in and back flush the tank.? ?It works surprisingly well as a cleanout device and should work even better to break up a blockage.? ? A spray wand bought at an RV store is great for cleaning off the sensors.? Just insert thru the toilet into the black tank.

Like Ned said, lose the "RV" TP, it is almost guaranteed to clog up.? What you want is ordinary TP that is marked as approved for septic tank use.? ?I use single sheet Scotts.? It is found everywhere, is cheap, and works just fine.? ? You probably can loose the enzymes too.? ? Nothing should work about as well and again is a lot cheaper.? ?Adding a gallon or two of plain water to start an empty tank is an good idea also.

. We have a Jayco JayFeather 25G. We pull with a Trailblazer EXT. We are well within the weight range even when fully loaded. The undercarriage of the trailer creaks and grinds and makes horrible loud noises while we pull it. We've tried taking items out to lighten the load, but it doesn't help.

What type of weight distributing hitch and sway control do you have?? ?My Reese Dual Cam setup is a great system but it is noisy as hell.



 

Gary RV_Wizard

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At our Silver Springs FL home
On the TP question, any single ply, non-quilted, no colored TP should work nicely, which means dissolve quickly and easily in the tank.  The fancier papers have to be made with tougher fibers to carry the embossing, color dyes, etc, and do not dissolve readily.  RV TP is a waste of money and  some of it is stringier than household TP.

"Groaning" seems likely to be the weight distributing mechanism of the hitch in operation - some of them can be quite noisy.  Depending om make and model of hitch, some lubrication may be indicated. However, if the hitch includes a sway control, there maybe places on it that must not be lubricated. Check your owner manual or ask a hitch dealer.  The trailer's springs and spring shackles may also be noisy. They probably do not have grease fittings, but they can b sprayed with a "rubber lubricant" or plain old silicone spray and that somethies helps. If it does, chances are it will have to be repeated regularly.

As the others have said, the 1/3 full problem is surely the gauges and not the tank.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
We pretty much agree with what others have said.  If your tank level indicators don't feel along many don't.  If you want to try and get them to work put in about 3/4 tank of clean water, add about two large bags of ice cubes, and drive around for a while.  The sloshing ice may clean up any gunk on the sensors.

There are some companies that sell products for your holding tanks that contain Formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is an excellent preservative probably one of the best.  Now personally I question the integrity and motivation of any company that would want to sell me something to preserve the contents of the holding tanks.    Stay away from any holding tank products the contain ingredients ending in hyde.

Many of us use nothing but water as an additive in the holding tanks.  RV TP is probably the worst you can use.  We use Scott's single ply and our second choice is Angel Soft.  Use the expensive RV stuff and you clog the tanks.

Oh Thetford products are not welcome in the Eagle. ;D
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Detroit Michigan (for now)
I see someone told you about GCFI,  Check in the bathrooms, that's usually where they park the GCFI, it will control all bathroom, kitchen and possible the external outlets (Anywhere that can get wet)

As for the Black tank.. Rinse it well, use one of the "Stick down the toilet" hose adapters or a built in rinser, I was kind of surprised when I rinsed out mine the last time out... Got a lot more stuff out of it in the rinse cycle then I though I'd get (I have a clear section in the plumbing so I can see when it's clear)

Those indicators can be fun.... I can clearly see the sensor plugs on my fresh water tank, though the "Full" one is very close to the top the 1/3 one is about at the 1/2 point.  Not at all accurate  Waste  tanks are likewise not where they claim
 

camper1b

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May 19, 2005
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48
Location
Endicott, NY
Great advise so far.? And like Joel said, everyone has an opinion about black water (I don't know why that subject draws such a following! :) ) so here's my opinion....

After 6 years with this camper I think I have found the best mangement practice for my black tank, (I use no chemicals and have no smell).? I installed a quickie flush (http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?skunum=7332&src=SRQB) in the black tank.? It's a cheap and easy install, just a little unsettling - you have to cut a hole into your black tank with a holesaw :eek:? I also bought a clear plastic 45 degree connector (http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm?skunum=22169)that I install between my sewer hose and the sewer outlet on my camper.? I then follow these steps.....
  • Dump black tank
  • While valve is open, turn on quickie flush and watch through the clear connector all the yuck come out
  • After it runs clear, close back valve but leave water running for 1 minute - time it!? You don't want to forget about it!
  • Open black valve and watch more yuck run out
  • If you have time and the camper will be sitting for a while, keep doing the last couple steps until it runs clear.
  • Close black valve for last time and let water keep running for 1.5 minutes.? This will give you the charge you need in the black tank for next time.
  • Turn off water and drain gray water tank

This sounds complicated but it's really not and it works really well.? I do the long version if I'm at a site with sewer.

As far as the noises go, are you sure it's coming from under the trailer and not the hitch assembly?? If it's underneath, maybe its the spring shackles that need some lubrication.? I have never had to do this to mine but have read about others that have.? If it's the hitch, ours made a lot of racket until I found out it required lubrication.? Your hitch ball and weight distribution bars should be liberally coated with grease at pivot points.? DON'T lube the sway bar!? That is now the noisiest part of our setup and lubing that may quiet it down, but would certainly defeat its purpose. :)

Good luck!
 

joelmyer

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Mar 5, 2005
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Location
Georgia
camper1b said:

Cool idea Rich.  I was thinking about plumbing modifications inside to make it easier to get that 5 gallons into the black water tank.  The quickie flush would be easier to install and use.  Once you get over taking a hole saw to your bwt!

Changing the subject....It was great meeting up with youse guys.  Here's a picture of cave girl.
 

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camper1b

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Endicott, NY
joelmyer said:
Cool idea Rich.? I was thinking about plumbing modifications inside to make it easier to get that 5 gallons into the black water tank.? The quickie flush would be easier to install and use.? Once you get over taking a hole saw to your bwt!

Changing the subject....It was great meeting up with youse guys.? Here's a picture of cave girl.

Thanks, Joel.? Likewise.? I saw your updated web site.? Welcome home!

Yeah, I really like the Quickie Flush.? If you put one in, use one size smaller drill bit for the pilot holes for the screws than they recommend.? You want those screws to be tight!? (Don't want to think about the results if they come loose? :eek: ).

BTW, thanks for telling me about this forum.? Although I follow 4 different ones, this one and Sunnybrooktalk are the freindliest.? Later.
 
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