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Old 07-16-2018, 02:05 PM   #1
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Holding Tank Operation

Ok, I just purchase our Volante 3801MD last week and we went camping in it over the weekend. My question is about normal position of holding tank valves while camping. Is it correct I should have the Black Tank Valve Open, the Gray Tank Valve Open, and the Gallary Tank Valve open?

In trying to figure out the configuration I tried filling all three tanks, however, there are some questions I ha e as a result. When I close Gray Tank and Black Tank Valves and try to fill each tank, water going into the shower drain goes into Gray tank. But when trying to fill black tank through toilet. This water also goes into Gray tank. The only way I can fill Black tank is if I leave both gray and black tank valves open. Can anyone explain?
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:48 PM   #2
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To answer the first question NO-NO-NO. Keep all valves closed till you dump. Do know about your camper but sounds like the valves are mislabeled. Easy to figure out. If on full hookup site dump all tanks then close all valves. Add water to the toilet then open one valve at a time to see which valve is for that tank. Repeat with your kitchen then your bath sink/shower. Usually the black valve handle is bigger then the other ones.

If you leave the valves open the water runs off and leaves the solids behind. Black tank is worst then the kitchen then the bath. My camper was on a lot before I bought it . Luckily they kept the black closed but the kitchen was chocked down with grease-food and would not drain very well. Had a plumber friend put a camera in and it was bad.


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Old 07-16-2018, 03:03 PM   #3
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Just a follow up question. Do you have the washer dryer prep? Now I may be wrong but I seem to remember something about with the washer the gray tank was just for it and the shower and the bath sink all went into the black tank. The kitchen was on its own tank. Not sure but You should call your dealer to find out.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:10 PM   #4
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It does have the washer/dryer prep. But from what I can tell everything in the kitchen goes to gallary Gray tank, shower and bathroom sink go to regular gray tank. What is confusing me is when I have both gray and black tank valves closed, toilet, shower, and sink go to gray tank. When gray and black tank valves are open, toilet goes to black tank and shower/sink go to gray water.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:43 PM   #5
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So it seems you have the kitchen figured out. Question with the valves closed If you add water to the toilet then open the black tank drain valve does anything come out? If not when you close that valve and open the gray does it run out? You could repeat this with the gray valve and your shower/sink. but keep the black valve closed and open the gray valve. Could be mislabeled. Also do you have a clear adapter on your drain hose? This will allow you to see when the tanks are drained.

I do not know if this is your first camper so do not take this the wrong way but when I dump I drain the black Tank first then wait till it quits flowing the open both the gray tank valves till every thing is drained. This helps to clean out the drain hose. Then I close all valves and the wife adds water and the toilet chemical to the black tank usually 3-4 bowls full. That is the way I was thought 40 years ago Ha Ha.
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Old 07-16-2018, 04:52 PM   #6
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In my 32 years of camping, this is what I do. Leave the black tank closed with two packs of Campa-chem (from Walmart) washed down. I do leave the gray tank open when I get to a full hookup site and the black tank always stays closed until you dump. If not camping at a full hookup site, leave everything closed until you dump. If Iím at a full hookup I close the gray tank the day before I leave to flush out the sewer hose once I dump the black. When Iím ready to dump the black I make sure the gray is closed and dump the black. I use the tank flush and clean the black tank opening and closing the valve to let the tank fill and dump again until clean. My wife stays by the toilet to be sure not to over fill the black tank. (Thatís self explanatory). That is unless thereís others waiting to dump them I dump add some water and wait till I get home to clean completely. Once the black tank is clean I close the black valve, flush a couple more packs of Campa-chem with a couple Gallons of water (leave in) and itís ready for the next trip. Flush the hose with the gray tank water. Always, and I mean Always, make sure the hose is securely clicked onto the dump pipe before you open a valve.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:38 AM   #7
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What these guys said... I leave both valves closed when I am at a Site.

With the Black tank valve closed it allows more liquids to build up and also break down any solids, adding some chem packs further helps to break solids down. If you leave the valve open the liquids tend to flow out down the drain leaving solids behind which can build up deposits and eventually gunk up the tank and valves.

I leave the grey valve closed and obviously dump some out when the levels get a little on the full side. But the objective is to have a full tank of water before you dump the black system. You pull the valve on the black system and wait till it's done, then sorta flush/clean the valve/pipes with all the grey water.

IF you have gunked up your system there are several ways to fix that, There are chemical treatments you can do to help break down and clean your tank. There are wands and other sprayers you can use to stick down the toilet drain to help dislodge any solids. There are also drain fittings you can fasten to the outside of the rig which blasts water up the drain to aid in flushing out the system. My personal favorite is to fill the tank up with 4 - 5 gallons of water and drop a few bags of ice cubes down the drain with some chem tabs and drive to my next destination, i've cleared a few issues with that.
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