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Old 02-16-2019, 07:02 PM   #1
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Dump Or Travel with Less Than Half Full Tanks?

Howdy,

Up till now every long trip I took the past 2 months I was able to time 75%+ black and gray tanks.

Leaving for a 250 mile trip tomorrow and both are only ~1/3 to 1/2 full. I was practicing boondocking and seeing how long my semi- conservative use would get me

Should I dump or with the sloshing around be a good thing? Have to use a dump station, otherwise I'd fill and flush.

Thanks,

Rounder44
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:30 PM   #2
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I would make the decision based on what the next stop is. If you are headed out and unsure what the next stop will have, I would dump. A year ago we upgraded from vintage to a newer Airstream with tanks that have much more capacity. In many ways I am still thinking vintage which means; never pass a dump station without making a deposit.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:31 PM   #3
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Rounder44,

If you do this on a regular basis, you don't have to travel with a 75% filled tank to keep everything broken up (and easily flushed). Towing with two or three gallons of water is all you need sloshing around in your black tank to keep it working properly.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:36 PM   #4
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Most dump stations have water hoses. I would take a 5 gallon bucket (I always carry one) and fill the tanks (black and grey) and then dump. That’s what I do at full hook up campsites. I just don’t like driving with the extra weight. I don’t see the harm in driving with it either. Just a matter of extra weight. I also agree with the last post. We normally always drive with some water in the tanks.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:46 PM   #5
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I never know what my next adventure will be when leaving a CG so I always dump and add a few gallons just in case.

Having said that on holiday week-end I may dump night before if I know there will be a crowd at the DS or depending on next day stop just go for it and dump there.

No rules just do what you think the best option is at the time.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rounder44 View Post
Should I dump or with the sloshing around be a good thing? Have to use a dump station, otherwise I'd fill and flush.
As Hans Solo said, we follow standard Imperial procedure and always dump our trash, gray tank, and black tank before jumping into hyperspace.

Most all dump stations have a non-potable water source. We often use dump stations at interstate highway rest areas, FlyingJ and other truck stops, or at state parks.

On the final leg of a long trip home, we will dump the back tank and put in 10 lbs of ice to churn around and help clean it out. We then make the last dump before parking.

73/gus
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:52 AM   #7
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Throw a bag of ice down the toilet. The existing fluids and ice will clean the walls of the dark tank.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:20 AM   #8
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I always try to run with a full tank of fresh water and dump / empty grey and black water tanks.

On my 30í grey and black tanks are behind the axels. I donít like the reduced tongue weight when they are full.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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It Depends

Don't know the size of your gray and black water tanks so this answer might not work for you.

We full-time eight months per year, are generally on the move, and boondock at least two days per week to save money. Our general rule of thumb with normal usage is two days on the gray tank and up to one week on the black tank. So for us, the main concern is managing the gray water tank. We always make sure it is empty when we leave an RV Park or campsite because you never know if plans will change and we like knowing we can get by for two days of boondocking or primitive campsites with the gray tank if we need to.

Even though we can get by a week with the black water tank, we like to empty it twice a week. We used to do once per week but were experiencing frequent problems with the tank rinser getting jammed up. Ever since we switched to the twice per week schedule, it's been working like a champ. And I guess the added bonus is that we're carrying less weight around as well.

In summary, we don't worry too much about weight; it's more about fitting tank management to our travel rhythm.

Hope this helps!
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:49 AM   #10
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What he said... almost

Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfraat View Post
I always try to run with a full tank of fresh water and dump / empty grey and black water tanks.

On my 30í grey and black tanks are behind the axels. I donít like the reduced tongue weight when they are full.
Ditto... except our grey and black tanks are in front of the axles and I don't like the extra tongue weight.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:16 PM   #11
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Throw in a tide pod or similar product to help launder your tanks...
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:05 PM   #12
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I think the OP was questioning whether it is bad to have the tanks sloshing around from a travel and stability point iof view, not whether it is good to slosh to clean tanks.
I have run 300 miles with 1/3 to 1/2 tanks simply because there was no available dump. My tanks are in font of the wheels and therefore add weight to the hitch. The only issue I find is poorer gas mileage especially if it is hilly. If the travel is going to be a lot of Rock and Roll, I would dump. otherwise it is a chance to see how it works out without much downside except for running a bit heavy.

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Old 02-24-2019, 11:50 AM   #13
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ice to clean back water tank

Quote:
Originally Posted by Photobum View Post
Throw a bag of ice down the toilet. The existing fluids and ice will clean the walls of the dark tank.
Check out this YouTube video about this concept. Pretty funny and enlightening about this practice.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:15 PM   #14
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After picking up our new 30 Classic, we were dumping after every camping stay. Put a few gallons in the black tank and move on. What I found after two months of this is the black tank sensors stopped working properly. It would show 50% and then jump to 80%.

At our next opportunity, I dumped the black and ran the tank spinner and filled to half way and dumped again. I have a clear section on the sewer hose and I saw a lot more clumping and white toilet paper than usual. I kept going and filled and flushed a few more times. Sensors still not working.

After some research, I found a recipe here (bad use of word) to use a capful liquid laundry detergent and a capful of Calgon water softener in the black tank instead of the Aqua-Chem I've been using. We also stopped dumping every chance we got. We let the tank fill up and slosh around when traveling.

The results were better than we expected. The sensors came back after a week of using this concoction and we no longer had any trace of chemical smell. We used this method for the rest of our trip (three more months) and never had a problem with sensors or buildup.

Benifits:

No more chemical and chemical smell.

No more buildup.

Lower cost and no storage fears.

Happy black tank.

I might add, some people add a little Clorox to the tank also. We have not done this and have wonderful results all around.

I believe dumping too often does not allow the sides to get cleaned properly with sloshing water. It also allows for buildup under the toilet.

As for towing with extra weight. Owning a Classic we were told to fill the fresh water tank when traveling. I had noticed a slight sway with the trailer and after adding 450lb. of fresh water, the sway was better. Surprisingly we went from 11 MPG to 12 MPG average.
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