Spray Lubricants / Black Tank Chems.

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elm_tx

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Joined
May 19, 2006
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106
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Houston, Tx
Hey All,

I'm wondering about cleaners/lubricants. WD-40 and Spray Silicone take care of the hinges and seals on my cars and has done so wonderfully for 20+ years.

I get to the camper store and they seam to have half a dozen or more "specialized" spray lubes for each thing on a 5er. Do I really need all these specialized things or will a few every day items do the trick just as well or Better?  I realize I'm not giving specifics here regarding what I saw at the store, I'd need to go back and write it all down.

Also, there had to be a dozen different types of chemicals available to dump into the black tank. I'd like enviro friendly, but not at the cost of screwing up the system. Any suggestions on brands?

Thanks again,
Eddie
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
49,064
Eddie,

Most folks here don't use any chemicals in their black tank. Just let nature take its course. I've done this on boats and RVs for many years.
 

Karl

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Mar 3, 2005
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5,154
Location
Elkhart Lake, WI for the summer. Work at Road Amer
Eddie,

I wouldn't use gear lube in a sewing machine, or sewing machine oil in a differential, so yes, there are different lubricants for different applications - but not as many as they would have you believe. Just look at all the different glue types at any Home Depot; same thing. WD-40 and spray silicone should do for most light-duty work; for engine, drive train, and suspension applications, always follow manufacturers recommendations. That doesn't mean you have to use their brand, but something of the same weight and quality. Teflon spray is good for drawers, windows, and sticky locks. Personally, I always carry a can of Marvel Mystery Oil for general use. Been around for years, works well, and doesn't get sticky with age. Great for bronze motor/fan/blower bearings!
 

davidsimmonds

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Joined
Sep 17, 2005
Posts
58
Location
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
No chemicals in the black tank? I have not heard of that before? I have been told that additives are necessary to help "disolved" stuff. Is that not true? We can just make sure that enough water is in the tank? What should be used for odour control? I have heard that adding water softener salts and washing machine detergent can help clean the tank but I don't have quantities.
 

Ned

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Feb 1, 2005
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25,107
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USA
We also do not use any chemicals in our holding tanks.  The black water tank is a miniature septic tank and as such uses bacteria to break down the waste products.  Chemicals at best do nothing, at worst, kill the bacteria that do the work.  If you've been using chemicals, it may take several cycles of filling and emptying to get rid of them before the system is working correctly, but once it is, you will not have any odor problem or clogging.  You do have to use proper technique, not dumping until the tank is at least 2/3 full, and rinsing it, if you have a rinse mechanism, after dumping to insure it's completely empty.

We do start to get some odor when the tank is nearly full, but that's likely because the vent tube is nearly covered and can no longer do it's job.
 

Tom

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Jan 13, 2005
Posts
49,064
Ned said:
We do start to get some odor when the tank is nearly full, but that's likely because the vent tube is nearly covered and can no longer do it's job.

Ah, that probably explains why we start to get an odor when our tank is full to the very top.
 

woodartist

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Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
No chemicals here either. Heck the gray water seems to smell worse than the black...when dumping. If you are "hooked up," don't keep the dump vavle open. Only dump the tanks when needed. Otherwise solids will build up in the tank. FYI
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At my Silver Springs FL home
I'll deviate slightly from the others here and note that if the rig sits unused in hot weather for weeks at a time with a half-full black tank, you may find some chemical odor control useful.  But I agree that in regular use there should be no need for chemicals of any sort.  Like the others here, we don't use any chemicals when we are living in the rig full time.

Adding a few gallons of fresh water after dumping the tank may help avoid getting toilet paper clogged around the dump valve. It also assures there is some liquid to help dissolve solids until you add enough "natural liquid" to do the job. Adding water is not something I would call a necessity, but it's a good habit to get into.

Silicone spray and WD40 will do for most things.  Motorcycle chain lube is another handy item - it clings well to areas that are exposed to road dirt & spray, e.g. the hinges & bearings on steps.

 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
davidsimmonds said:
We have not yet used our black tank, so we're ok there. How much water should I put into the tank before using it each time after dumping? A half dozen or so flushes?

About two gallons.  Just dump a couple of gallon jugfulls thru the john.
 

Smoky

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Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Posts
3,589
Location
wherever we are parked
We use Rid-X.  Which is not a chemical, but a bacterial additive.  someone above says the gray water tank smells worse, and they are correct IMO.  For that reason we also add an occasional Rid-X down the drain to the gray water, to insure bacterial action there as well.

Rid-X for us is likely an unnecessary procedure.  Once bacterial action has started, there is enough left after a dump to keep going.  We just feel better by adding a little help.  Keeps us from being tempted to add RV chemicals.  ;D
 

BernieD

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Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
5,878
Location
Goodyear, AZ
davidsimmonds said:
We have not yet used our black tank, so we're ok there. How much water should I put into the tank before using it each time after dumping? A half dozen or so flushes?

David

We usually fill the toilet bowl 2-3 times.
 

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