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Old 04-14-2015, 01:19 PM   #1
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Black Tank Drain Issue

We have a 2013 Rushmore Washington 5th wheel. We have begun experiencing a dumping problem where the tank will not drain. I am wondering if the Sani Flush can be used to get the tank to empty. It is currently 2/3 full and I am concerned. Not thinking of things I did not flush and drain a couple of times after we bought it to be sure all is draining correctly. We bought it used but there are no signs of anyone having been in it more the one or 2 times. The propane tanks were not even filled. I digress. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 04-14-2015, 01:58 PM   #2
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We had our black tank plug up on us on our previous fifth wheel. We were told the way to unplug it was to fill the dumping hose with grey water and then lift it up, causing it to back into the black tank and dislodge the blockage. This worked for us. After that experience, we never tossed any toilet paper into the toilet again. We have a step can with a plastic garbage bag beside the toilet. Used toilet paper goes in there, and once a day I toss it in the trash.

Since doing that, we have never had the black tank clog up again. There are packets of stuff you can throw down the toilet to liquefy the waste. They are available at Walmart. Try that and see if it helps.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:56 PM   #3
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I fixed our drain problem the same way. Little trash can lined by the toilet. No problems since. I use the geo method to keep the tank fresh. A cup of laundry detergent an a cup of water softner after each camping trip.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:00 PM   #4
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I am wondering if your valve is opening. You could try backflushing it with the grey water but would be careful as you said it was 2/3 full already. Not a fan of the idea as I would be concerned about the possibility of it overflowing inside the rig. Snaking it is not going to be a pleasant experience but may be necessary. Once fixed try the GEO method and always add several gallons of water after you dump. I always add water and try to get it at least 1/2 or better before dumping blank tank. We even sometimes dump the dish water down the loo to make the grey last longer and to get volume needed to do a proper black dump. When done this way there is no reason you can't flush the toilet paper.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:11 PM   #5
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Are you sure the supports that hold the tank to the frame haven't bent from the weight of the water in the tanks. Mine did on my Jefferson drained real slow and was always 2/3 full of. Waste till I supported it correctly.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:38 AM   #6
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I am wondering if your valve is opening. You could try backflushing it with the grey water but would be careful as you said it was 2/3 full already. Not a fan of the idea as I would be concerned about the possibility of it overflowing inside the rig. Snaking it is not going to be a pleasant experience but may be necessary. Once fixed try the GEO method and always add several gallons of water after you dump. I always add water and try to get it at least 1/2 or better before dumping blank tank. We even sometimes dump the dish water down the loo to make the grey last longer and to get volume needed to do a proper black dump. When done this way there is no reason you can't flush the toilet paper.
Also, be sure to use a degradeable toilet paper. Many say they are, but some are better than others. Folks have posted tests on various RV forums, and the latest test I've seen rates Members Mark from San's club the most degradeable.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:21 PM   #7
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You will never have enough water in your black tank to flush it clean if you are camping with full hook ups and leave the black tank gate valve open. I will leave the gate valve closed and open it every two or three days just to empty the black tank. The gray tank gate valve I will leave open unless I'm building up a water supply to rinse the hose after dumping the black tank.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:55 PM   #8
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We park our rig in Florida in one spot for 3 months or more every winter. This past winter, one of our neighbors just left his tanks open all the time. I suggested this was not a good idea, but he felt he knew better. I drained ours every three days.

I am surprised it took as long as it did, but three months in his toilet backed up. I am pretty sure he was putting toilet paper down the hatch.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:38 PM   #9
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We park our rig in Florida in one spot for 3 months or more every winter. This past winter, one of our neighbors just left his tanks open all the time. I suggested this was not a good idea, but he felt he knew better. I drained ours every three days.

I am surprised it took as long as it did, but three months in his toilet backed up. I am pretty sure he was putting toilet paper down the hatch.
Leaving your black tank open is NOT a good idea. You need the volume for a proper dump. Jerry brought up a good point about TP. You can use any TP meant for RV or boat and even some "home" TP if it breaks down when wet. Many videos out there that explain that. It is perfectly acceptable to put your TP down the toilet. However, you absolutely need the volume to flush it out. My black is never nowhere near full after three days. If not 1/2 to 2/3 full you will need to add water to get a proper flush.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:05 PM   #10
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Leaving your black tank open is NOT a good idea. You need the volume for a proper dump. Jerry brought up a good point about TP. You can use any TP meant for RV or boat and even some "home" TP if it breaks down when wet. Many videos out there that explain that. It is perfectly acceptable to put your TP down the toilet. However, you absolutely need the volume to flush it out. My black is never nowhere near full after three days. If not 1/2 to 2/3 full you will need to add water to get a proper flush.
Agree! I know that most of us work on disconnecting the sewer hose the morning we're leaving a campsite. As such, we have lots on our mind, and don't want to "dally" around. But to this point, here's what we should do.
1. Close the Gray valve, and turn the hot water heater off. Then run hot water into the gray tank until it starts to run cool. (this will cool down your water heater, and at the same time, fill your gray tank with nice warm water.
2. Dump the Black tank. Close the Black valve, and by filling water in the toilet, do it again. That is, put at least 2/3rds tank of cold water back into your black tank. Then drain it AGAIN.
3. Clean your pipes and hose by draining the GRAY tank of warm water.
4. Don't forget to sequentially lift your drain hose from the outlet end all the way to the sewer end, to make sure everything went down.
5. With both black and gray valves close, disconnect your "stinky slinky," and hold the end up high. Then, with a hose other than your fresh water hose, or with your outdoor shower, point water into your stinky slinky. Don't touch it, or let your fresh water touch it. Just run some fresh water down the hose.
6. Disconnect the sewer hose from the screw-in-elbow. Collapse it, and stow it inside your 4" bumper.
7. Finally, remove the elbow, replace campsite cap, then hose it off with same hose/shower, before stowing.
8. Put hoses, elbows, and outside showers into travel mode.
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