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Old 09-05-2014, 02:53 PM   #1
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Question Long Weekend - Black & Gray Tank Routine

Hey Folks,

Just wanting to hear what weekend campers usually do as far as taking care of their black and gray tank. I've read lots of threads about how to care for your tanks over time. I'm specifically looking for your routine as far as when you set up to when you break down and then put the camper back in storage until the next long weekend trip (a month or so down the road...not putting it in storage for a season).

When we get set up, I usually drop a "drop in" in the toilet and flush down a gallon of water. We have a "no solids" in the camper commode rule - so it's only there to control odor and break down tp. I wasn't really doing anything with the gray tanks...but the kitchen one especially started stinking to high heaven - only when we dump it. We never have ANY odor from either tank in the camper. At any rate, last trip out I dumped an 8 oz. bottle of AquaChem down the sink at the beginning of the weekend. Not sure if it helped or not, but I figured that tank probably had a lot of build up of little particles of food and dish-soap and what-not.

When we break down we dump all three tanks - 1 black and 2 gray - at the dump station. That's about it! We did finally do the black tank rinse this last trip because we had sewer hook-ups, which we normally do not.

Do you normally leave some water in your tanks when you park it for a month or so? Do you put chemicals in then as opposed to when you set up? Black and gray? Let me hear your expert opinions!

Thanks,
Amy
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:00 PM   #2
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Have you ever tried this?
https://sites.google.com/site/cbruni/
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
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We are weekend warriors, we use about 1 weekend a month during g season and 1 week vacation per year. Personally I have never understood the no solids rule. It is your bathroom, use it. As long as it is managed properly it wont be an issue. We use the geo method that Lloyd linked to above. Always keep 3-5 gallons of water in the black tank. When time to dump, fill to at least 2/3 full and then dump. Follow dumping by flushing, filling, dumping repeat until what comes out is clear. Then close the valve and put the 3-5 gallons of water in it. Dump the grey tanks after the black tank. I do put calgon water softener in my grey tanks 1-2 times per season. When at a full hook up we keep the tanks closed and dump when full or at the end of the trip (again fill black tank to 2/3 with water first). We dump at the end of every trip. One thing with bringing a weekender, if it us a long time between use in the hot Sumner, you may want to periodically put some water through the drains to keep the p traps wet.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:34 PM   #4
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Amen on keeping water in the p traps

This is what we use in the grey tanks: cheap insurance
http://www.amazon.com/Walex-TOI-6177...ords=elemonate

and still working so we go out sporadically, so we usually drain all then put a bit of fresh in for the drive home and the lil blue tabs in the black to keep it fresh.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:02 PM   #5
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We are almost exactly like anaro, except we use our camper 2-3 times a month during the season.

We use Geo method each time. Overkill...but a choice we make each season.
We use the bathroom and kitchen fully.

Each time we dump we use the flush wand.
Dump black tank, Using a clear elbow, wand tank until its full using the wand.
Dump - wand tank until its full using the wand 2nd time.
Dump - wand tank until its full using the wand 3rd time - if water discharging thru the clear elbow is still clear after 3rd time, Put GEO Method in and 1-2 gallons of water.

Flush Grey Tank - fill and empty tank until it flow clear at least twice.

I have never had to do either tank more than 3 times.

Each month I lube the tank valves and clean seal area.

After each flush I rinse out the seal area.

I know this is more than needed, we have it down in a routine and its not a big deal for us.

We also keep the bowl seal cleaned each time we wand.
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Old 09-06-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the feedback. Some great ideas here - and I know the Geo Method is smart and effective. I am going to incorporate the use of the powdered water softener and detergent (and possibly some bleach) in my tanks. However, we are rarely at a place that has a sewer hook-up. Literally, I doubt that we'll have sewer hook-ups between now and May. So filling and dumping and filling and dumping is not practical for us...even if it is the right thing to do. We can't take an hour at the dump station with a line of campers behind us waiting to dump their tanks.

I'm not worried about our tanks. They are new and I feel like we've done a good job taking care of them so far. I was just looking for the practical, easy route. LOL! Hey - at least I'm honest!
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the feedback.. I was just looking for the practical, easy route. LOL! Hey - at least I'm honest!

The old saying is---there ain't no free lunch.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:16 AM   #8
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Fill your tank before you leave your site. Have some empty milk jugs in the trailer filled with water. The DW can dump these into the black tank after dumping to fill some and then dump. If you have a black tank flush then the process is actually pretty quick. We did it at the dump station last weekend (we have a black tank flush and two 40 gal grey tanks) and were only about 5 min longer than the people at the dump station next to us. One thing we do is tag team it. I will put the calgon and detergent in while DH is dumping the grey tanks. Oh and I find the liquid calgon water softener is easier to use.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:40 PM   #9
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I see a lot of people with campers that walk to the shower and restroom facilities at the campground. I bought a camper with a shower and toilet so I could USE IT!

I just fill my black to 1/2 to 3/4 full before heading to the dump. Dump it first then grey. Never have used the sani-flush. When I get home I use a drop in and some borax and add several gallons of water. No problems so far.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:12 PM   #10
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There's something I could do - fill my tanks fuller before leaving my site so that at least they wash down well when we dump. Good tip! Then adding the water softener (or other stuff) and putting a couple gallons of water in the tank could be done there or at home. I like it!

Anaro - do you dilute the liquid Calgon or just dump in 2 cups straight from the bottle? I imagine it wouldn't matter since you're dumping in a few gallons of water at the same time. Do you add detergent too?

Thanks!
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:17 PM   #11
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Follow Lloyds link and it will answer all your questions about the Geo method. Calgon is used in the Geo method. It's all explained in the link.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:20 PM   #12
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I did. Read the whole thing and printed it. I was just asking if they diluted the liquid, that's all. I get the whole premise & process. Just trying to fit it to the way I am able to use it.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:25 PM   #13
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No, it's not diluted, I use it straight from the bottle. Some who use the powdered water softener may have to mix it with water.
Hope this helps you.
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
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do you dilute the liquid Calgon or just dump in 2 cups straight from the bottle? I imagine it wouldn't matter since you're dumping in a few gallons of water at the same time. Do you add detergent too?
I use borax. It is easier to find and cheaper for me. It is a water softener as well as a detergent. I don't get to technical with it. I usually just dump maybe 1/2 to 1 cup (I don't measure it out) in a 3 gallon bucket and add water. Sometimes hot water, and just dump it down the toilet. You can also clean the bowl with it with a brush. Rinse it all down with another bucket of clean water and done!
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Old 09-06-2014, 03:44 PM   #15
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Perfect! Thanks Tim!
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Old 09-06-2014, 07:56 PM   #16
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I just pour 1 capful of the liquid Calgon and 1/2 capful of liquid tide down the toilet. On occasion I might add a little bleach if needed.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:55 PM   #17
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A friend of mine said he dumps a couple of bags of ice cubes down the toilet at the camp site. he says it sloshes around while drives to the dump station and cleans the sides of the tank. Anyone heard or tried this?
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:45 PM   #18
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I tried it once or twice. Cant say it really does any better than just doing a good proper flush and using geo method.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:40 PM   #19
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I have never had to do either tank more than 3 times.

Each month I lube the tank valves and clean seal area.

After each flush I rinse out the seal area.

Gary,
Can you explain what "lubing" the tank valves and cleaning the seals means? I'm not sure what you meant by this. I use the Geo Method after every black tank flush but I haven't done anything with the seals or anything else.

Thanks in advance,
Travel well, travel safe,
Jim
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:44 PM   #20
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I'm not sure I would want something hard bouncing on the sensors. Don't they protrude into the tank?? Banging them with ice, to me, could damage them.
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