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Old 02-11-2012, 12:02 AM   #1
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Full timing and the eternal toilet question...

Hi everyone! I've been a lurker, for a looong time...
I've looked and looked and can't find the right answer to my question.
I will be parking an Airstream for at least 2 years at an RV park w/hook-ups and the idea of having to run to the park's bathroom to take care of our "dirty business" (as many rv-ers have told me) makes us uncomfortable.
I've read in this forum about the smell when you ft, I've read about the Nature's Head toilet and the NO smell deal but if we are going to be hooked up for at least 2 years, why not installing a small home toilet?
When the time comes and if we turn it into a travel trailer again, then we can look into re installing the rv toilet.
Any input on this?
Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:58 AM   #2
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There are commercial composting types of toilets out there, and there are five gallon paint buckets with a seat lid attachment with lid included.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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We don't full-time, but we spend most weekends in our AS and have found no issue with smell if we do the following....

1. Use a 'digester' that cuts odor - we use Oxy-Chem and it works great.
2. Dump (the black tank) regularly and give it a good rinse - our AS has a tank rinser that is built in and we just hook a garden hose to a port on the outside of the AS and turn the water on.
3. Fill the black tank a little after dumping it so that waste goes into water and not on the dry floor of your black tank. This means that you won't be able to 'deposit' the full capacity of the tank, but the extra effort of dumping the tank every few days is no big deal.
4. Make sure the vent to the roof from the black tank is always clear of debris and pests.
5. Be sure that TP and 'waste' are rinsed completely from the flush valve in the toilet - if either gets caught, the seal between your bathroom and the black tank is compromised and 'odors' will get in to the AS.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:42 AM   #4
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If you are going to sit in the same spot for 2 years, I don't see any reason why you would have a problem.

The problems arise, I think, when what's in the black tank has to sit for days or weeks.

All of the above suggestions, plus run lots of water into your toilet when you take care of business, keep your hose hooked up to the sewer connections and just pull the plug every couple of days.


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Old 02-11-2012, 09:00 AM   #5
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Every couple of days?

... I'd be a bit leery of that, unless you put a LOT of water down your toilet every day. It seems to me that the biggest issue you will face will be the need to get the solids to break down as much as possible before dumping the tank; in "travel trailer" mode, the "sloshing" that accompanies driving around breaks things up nicely. Add a little digester and it's even better and faster. But you will be sitting in one location, with minimal "sloshing."

So, the received wisdom is to a.) make sure you've got a couple of gallons in the black tank before using it; b.) get it as full as possible before dumping it, so you get a good rapid outflow; c.) consider use of a digester; and d.) yes, keep the toilet valve and also the dump valve free of debris. You can accomplish item d. by dumping a more or less full gray water tank right after dumping the black tank, or by using a tank rinser, as suggested above.

The one thing you cannot do, for certain, is just leave the tank's dump valve open - all the liquids will drain out, leaving the dreaded "black mountain" of solids right under your toilet. By following a few simple precautions, you should be able to use your trailer as-built, with few difficulties.

I see no need for, nor advantage to, use of a "home" style toilet here. If others do, they should chime in.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:47 AM   #6
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I agree with all the suggestions above. Depending on the amount of use, you might find you dump your black tank once a week. The tank rinsing device is very important. It may sound gross, but I bought a clear attachment for the cleanout so that I can insure that when I rinse I am getting everything out of the tank. Every once in a while, putting a five gallon bucket of water with a cup of Boraxo down into the tank and letting it sit 30 minutes plus and then filling it up and dumping can help the cleanout process also.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:00 AM   #7
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This is a Non-Issue

We are hooked up all winter in an RV park in Mesa, AZ.
The gray-water valve stays open.
The black water valve stays closed.
When the black water holding tank is full, I dump (About once a week)
After dumping, I flush two full toilet bowls to clean the line.
I close the black water valve.
I put 2 or 3 ounces of Campa-Chem down the toilet.
I make sure there is always water standing in the toilet bowl.
Life goes on.
There is nary an odor in the coach.
This topic makes me nuts!
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:48 AM   #8
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I don't understand why you would have to use the CG facilities?

We have stayed as long as 4 months in one location with no odors from the black tank and use no chemicals.

As above regardless of what kind of toilet you will have to still deal with emptying the black tank.

We leave the gray tank valve open all the time and have a Flush King to rinse the black tank and normally dump every 4 to 5 days.

It is no big deal to dump the black tank you leave the hose connected all the time so it is just a matter of pulling a valve and flushing once or twice.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
... I'd be a bit leery of that, unless you put a LOT of water down your toilet every day. It seems to me that the biggest issue you will face will be the need to get the solids to break down as much as possible before dumping the tank; in "travel trailer" mode, the "sloshing" that accompanies driving around breaks things up nicely. Add a little digester and it's even better and faster. But you will be sitting in one location, with minimal "sloshing."
Well, I was thinkin' of the odor issue, which is less of an issue when you dump frequently.

If you are hooked up to sewer, pulling the plug takes just a minute as that black water empties quickly.

We save the use of chemicals for when we are going to be stationary for awhile, particularly in warm weather.

Otherwise, we empty at least every other day---and have no odor problems.

We also have a smaller holding tank than most of y'all out there.


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Old 02-11-2012, 11:24 AM   #10
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We have been full timing in our 27 FB for three years. Odor is NOT a problem if you flush your black tank regularly and leave your gray tank open with a small water trap in the sewer line.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
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We are in our trailer for 3 months during the winter. There is no problem with odor from the black tank. The only time I smell it is when I flush the toilet when the exhaust fans are running, especially the Fantastic Fans. Stop the fans while doing your business and the sewer gas will not come back through the toilet.

Like others said, while parked and hooked up keep the black tank dump valve closed and the gray open. Close the gray prior to dumping the black, so the black does not flow into the gray. I always leave the water running in one of the sinks to build up some water in the gray tank, while I dump the black so I can flush the gray line after the black stops running. My Safari does not have a rinse system, so I flush by filling the toilet several times after the initial flow stops. In my Safari the toilet is mounted directly into the tank so I can see if any solids have not been flushed out. After I flush and close the black tank valve I add a few gallons of water and a few ounces of additive to the tank. I do not wait for the tank to get full, I dump every 4-5 days. If there is not enough liquid when I am ready to dump I just add enough water to get a good strong flow to move the solids.

The strong flow is what is important to get the poop and paper on the move.

DW will not touch the dump valves or hoses. She says if anything ever happens to me she's selling the trailer "as is", poop included! ;-)
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:26 PM   #12
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DW will not touch the dump valves or hoses. She says if anything ever happens to me she's selling the trailer "as is", poop included! ;-)

I have never emptied the holding tanks, and it's one of those things I prefer not to even learn.

I would if I had to, though, as we wouldn't give up traveling just cuz Doug couldn't do it. I tell him he has to stay fit and able to he can drive in the mountains, though, as that would be the deal-breaker for me!


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Old 02-11-2012, 04:52 PM   #13
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I tell him he has to stay fit and able to he can drive in the mountains, though, as that would be the deal-breaker for me!

Maggie
Judy will not consider towing at all, so I do all the driving! Her car is mid-sized. She does not like to drive the truck, even when it's empty and loose from the trailer. But, we have practiced to make sure she can in an emergency, if something does happen to me.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:58 PM   #14
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I agree with all the suggestions above. Depending on the amount of use, you might find you dump your black tank once a week. The tank rinsing device is very important. It may sound gross, but I bought a clear attachment for the cleanout so that I can insure that when I rinse I am getting everything out of the tank. Every once in a while, putting a five gallon bucket of water with a cup of Boraxo down into the tank and letting it sit 30 minutes plus and then filling it up and dumping can help the cleanout process also.
THAT is sage advice - we have one and it is the best thing to see when things are running clear!
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