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Old 01-17-2015, 01:31 PM   #15
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Please note that this was posted in the Interstate forum and they have macerators so the replies from trailer users which don't may not be exactly what an AI owner wants to do. Personally, since I consistently use my AI around town a couple of times a week (largely because I like having my own private toilet) dumping "after every trip" would be preposterous. I dump about once a month whether I need to or not or any time I get up to past 2/3rds full. Before dumping I add water on top and drive around a bit if I'm concerned that there is not much in there or it is mostly solids.
Macerator or not.......

I would guess that most folks would interpret "trip" as a camping/road trip, not just running errands.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:36 PM   #16
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I have had boats also but Rv's are a little different. In hot climates I only go about 3 days. When its colder you can go a little longer. When I will not be using the trailer then I dump the tanks and refill the black tank and dump again. On my boats I never really had an odor problem but in an RV you will if you do not dump on a regular basis. BTW to save some loot I make my own black tank additive. In an empty gallon container put in 1 small bottle of (I think a pint) of Pine Sol, a few scoops of boraxo and fill with water. I just add a cup of this solution to the black tank after dumping.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:43 PM   #17
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Weight

All good advice! But on thing I don't see mentioned here is weight.

The difference between the unladen and max weights on our Airstreams seems like a lot--but it's really not. Your clothing and beauty supplies for two people probably weigh around 150-200 lbs if you're going on a long trip and packing two weeks of clothing and then doing washes on the way. (We know this from weighing our bags when we fly to destinations.) Dishes, utensils and a full set of pots and pans can vary, but are probably another 100+ lbs. Do you carry wine? Beer? 8 lbs per gallon, so if you've stocked up for a long trip...The groceries--do you pack canned foods? Do you carry separate fresh water for drinking? We do--as much as 12 gallons (96 pounds right there.) How about your tools, chairs, BBQ and everything else in your (albeit tiny!) storage compartment? Books? Have you added more batteries for solar? Maybe bicycles off the rear? Of course, the best way to tell is to weigh your laden trailer. But a quick tabulation even without weighing will probably bring you very close to, or just over, your max weight.

And that is with zero water in any of your tanks. As I'm sure you know, water weighs 8lbs/gallon. If you fill up your fresh when you travel, that 40 gal tank holds 320 lbs! If you leave your black 1/2 filled, that's a total of 480 additional pounds between the two. And the difference between your trailer's empty weight and GVW is probably between 1000-1200 lbs!

As you may have guessed, we always travel as empty as we can. Black and grey are emptied every day if we are traveling each day, and we fill the fresh between 1/8 and 1/4max--that's between 40 and 80 lbs of water in the tanks. We do use the outside flush mechanism almost every time when we're on the road, for all the reasons stated in the other answers here.

When we are camped in a park for long periods of time, our behavior is much more like the other people here. But if we're doing a lot of driving, we want to be as light as possible and start the black and grey empty at the beginning of each day with a thorough secondary flush from the outside hose opening before we go.

By the way, love Aldean Fan's suggestion as to the ice cubes--hadn't thought of that one and will definitely use it!
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Old 01-18-2015, 01:24 AM   #18
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I think the formula I have for a deodorant does not contain bleach, so I am wondering what the concern was. Maybe someone can inform me if I am mistaken. My idea of "bleach" is Clorox at about 5-6% sodium hypochlorite. And for sure mixing this with ammonia is not to be done.

But, let me know if I am misinformed.


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Old 01-18-2015, 01:45 AM   #19
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:41 AM   #20
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As for the ice cubes in your black tank there is a video on you tube that proves it doesn't really work , the video shows a clear tank installed in the back of a pickup with ice cubes added to the tank and he drives around like a mad man in parking lots to mix the solids in the tank and you can see at the end of the video it doesn't really work . I will see if I can find the you tube video.
I tried it doesn't work but here is the video name( do ice cubes in a rv black tank really work) just type that in the search area
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:35 AM   #21
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Please note that this was posted in the Interstate forum and they have macerators so the replies from trailer users which don't may not be exactly what an AI owner wants to do. ....
True, it's in the AI forum but the user's vehicle is not in the profile. Pmulhern, welcome to the fold... if it was an Interstate that you acquired, double congrats. FYI I'm about 15 miles south of you. There are not many of us in this area with Interstates.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:54 AM   #22
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Our process. When traveling which for us means a new place every night or so, we reserve a full hook up site about every three or four days and do a dump at the site and a wash out prior to leaving in the morning. If staying some place for a week or so we dump when the black and gray when they are 3/4 or so full, fill them up the rest of the way with fresh water and then actually dump, black tank first - close valve and then gray. We always add the commercial sanitizers to both tanks along with a couple of gallons of fresh water after dumping except when putting it away for the winter. Then we dump, rinse, dump and rinse and put her away. I have a clear elbow connection so I can watch much of the process from the dump area.
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Old 01-18-2015, 08:25 AM   #23
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Just what I do....

I never dump a partially full tank when leaving the CG.

I let the road macerate the load. Much more dependable than ice cubes or the little critters that eat cr@p. Slosh it around real good and the tanks stay clean, rong word..... useable.

Did the ECO thing once, 8yrs ago, now just a little Dawn at Spring get ready keeps the sensors working.

FWIW.....empty grey, full fresh. The weight helps with stability and detracts nothing from ability.

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Old 01-18-2015, 12:53 PM   #24
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You might be interested in a set of black tank experiments from the FitRV here:
Black | The Fit RV
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:48 PM   #25
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Once Per Week Whether It Needs It or Not

We are full-timers and empty the black tank once per week whether it needs it or not. So far, so good. Generally, after emptying the black tank, we will refill it and rinse two times and then add a few minutes of water to the black tank. Just be careful not to overfill the black tank before rinsing.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:22 PM   #26
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So having spent about 14 nights total in our new AS and having dumped the blank tank about 5 times, I can say that I'm officially a "pro." Okay, maybe not but I've learned a ton. I use the Sewer Solution and have never used the stinky slinky. The SS is obviously very clean from the user side and the only complaint I have is that it uses a LOT of clean water throughout the process.

Does anyone know if the black water tank neck is a straight shot into the back? It sounds like the water is getting back there but not sure. Using the water rotor head thing seems to do a great job getting the sticky stuff out and leaving a much cleaner smelling tank. Didn't do that the first time and the was definitely residual stank. However, we also tried to conserve water and ended up primarily filling the black tank with the human waste and not so much water. We do very much the opposite now.

Also, why doesn't Airstream just placard the valves as "black tank / grey tank" instead of the cryptic main holding (wash) or however it's said? That seems odd to me.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:31 PM   #27
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So having spent about 14 nights total in our new AS and having dumped the blank tank about 5 times, I can say that I'm officially a "pro." Okay, maybe not but I've learned a ton. I use the Sewer Solution and have never used the stinky slinky. The SS is obviously very clean from the user side and the only complaint I have is that it uses a LOT of clean water throughout the process.

Does anyone know if the black water tank neck is a straight shot into the back? It sounds like the water is getting back there but not sure. Using the water rotor head thing seems to do a great job getting the sticky stuff out and leaving a much cleaner smelling tank. Didn't do that the first time and the was definitely residual stank. However, we also tried to conserve water and ended up primarily filling the black tank with the human waste and not so much water. We do very much the opposite now.

Also, why doesn't Airstream just placard the valves as "black tank / grey tank" instead of the cryptic main holding (wash) or however it's said? That seems odd to me.
FWIW, you're in the Sprinter/B van section which uses a different system for emptying the tanks. That being said, someone here may know the answer.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:34 PM   #28
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Also, why doesn't Airstream just placard the valves as "black tank / grey tank" instead of the cryptic main holding (wash) or however it's said? That seems odd to me.
Why not just color-code the handles? It can't be that hard for Airstream to put a black handle on the black tank valve and a gray handle on the gray tank valve. Can't get any more intuitive than that.
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