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Old 07-05-2016, 06:35 PM   #1
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Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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Black tank question

I read on another thread that the motion of the coach helps keep the black tank cleaner (well, relatively, anyway). Part of the reason we're going to switch to an Airstream is that my Laborers projects seem to run 2-4 months at a time, and sitting still for that long isn't good for a motor home. Is that going to be a problem with the Airstream black tank?

David Lininger, kb0zke
AIR 54240
Heartland mpg 181 (sold)
1993 Foretravel U300 (for sale)
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:14 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Newer model Airstreams have a rotating rinse wand inside the black tank to help it rinse clean. Seems to me it is just another gizmo to give problems. Who needs a lawn sprinkler in their black tank. There are several "wands" that connect to a garden hose and can be threaded into the drain manifold and then spray water around in the black tank. I have never tried one of those.

Yes, water sloshing around in the black tank while towing will likely help clean gunk off the side walls and the like. So half fill with fresh water in the tank when you pull home from the job site, then dump and rinse it when you get home. You might be surprised how much stuff will be rinsed away. I even squirt a little dish soap in there while towing.

There are lots of people who live stationary in their Airstreams. I think the key is keeping the black tank "wet". I "prep" my tank with about 5 gallons of water after I dump the tank. And I dump the tank when it is between 75% and full so I get a good "head pressure" to rinse solids down the drain pipe.

It is not advised to leave the black tank dump valve open figuring you won't have to bother draining the tank in the rain some evening. Leaving the dump valve open will guarantee you will have a mound of solid waste and toilet paper stuck in your tank. Toilets wouldn't work very good if there was no water in the bowl. Water in the black tank is along the same line in my thinking. Yes, there are more chores living in a trailer than living in an apartment or motel room.

A properly designed black tank will mount the toilet over the "deep end" of the tank close to the drain port. If the toilet is located on the curb side, and the drain dump valves are on the street side (usual practice), I'd be a bit skeptical how that tank is going to drain fully.

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