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Old 05-29-2006, 09:21 PM   #1
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Should I have dumped my fresh water?

Finally got up north for a long weekend to actually use my Airstream and things went pretty well. Had some problems with mice which I think were getting in where the main electrical hookup goes into the trailer (think I have that one fixed). When I left the trailer (and I won't be back for several weeks), I left the fresh water tank about half full (sometimes it isn't easy to get water when you are boondocking). Now I'm having second thoughts about that. Will my tank be a moldy, algae filled, mess when I get back? Or will the lack of light prevent that? Also I dumped my black and grey water tanks and left them dry (yes the black water tank was 3/4 full when dumped) but now I worry that if I left some crud in it, that I won't come out. Should you always leave some water in the tank?
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:32 PM   #2
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You didn't mention if the water was clorinated. A little clorox will take care of any sanitary problems.
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Finally got up north for a long weekend to actually use my Airstream and things went pretty well. Had some problems with mice which I think were getting in where the main electrical hookup goes into the trailer (think I have that one fixed).
Did you leave your folding steps down? I am told steps in the down position gives them access. I haven't crawled under my Airstream and confirmed this.
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:38 PM   #4
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Water was not clorinated. I leave my steps down and have filled in the slides they travel on with expanding foam. You are correct that is another huge mice hold. Is it permissable to put a little bleach in those tanks every time you fill it? Will it hurt the level sensors?
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:42 PM   #5
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The book and an extensive thread in here gives you the amount of clorine to add to the tank depending of if you are sanitizing the tank or treating the water. I try to sanitize the tank annually, don't always do it. I have well water and when I find a campsite with good water that is clorinated I usually refill the tank with it.
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Old 05-29-2006, 10:02 PM   #6
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Soooo, the bottom line is what? Will I have a stinky fresh water tank the next time I go up? What about the black water tank? Should I have put some water back in it before I left?
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Old 05-29-2006, 10:36 PM   #7
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With regards to black water-and I'm super new at this whole thing, we filled our toilet with water, added two packets of the blue stuff-don't ask why 2-we just did-and flushed it...later I added a little more water when noone was looking. We live in Florida and our camper stays in storage...so far, no stink when we return to pick her up.....no idea about the fresh water-as we haven't used it yet.
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:15 AM   #8
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I don't think you'll have any problem. We usually leave our freshwater tank full between trips. Sometimes I flush and refill it before the next trip. We've never had a stinky mess. I do sanitize the tank with bleach at the beginning of the season and empty it for the winter. But we've gone a month or so between trips with no problem. Since it's dark there won't be any algae - algae is a plant that needs light. I would think the water would be pretty stable unless there's already something nasty growing in your tank - it should be just like leaving a sealed jug of water.
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:15 AM   #9
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If you're concerned about your fresh water tank growing a scince experiment on you, put in a cup of bleach for a tank of fresh water. If you are really, really concrened about it, drain your fresh tank when you get back, add the cup of bleach, and fill the tank back up.
Keeping a small amount of water in the black and grey tanks will keep the seals in the dump valves moist, and help prevent them from drying up and leaking. You can also add bleach to them to keep bacteria from growing in the tank, if you choose.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:28 AM   #10
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My "new" 1975 Sovereign sat in one spot for 25 years, dry as a bone. The black tank dump valve still works like a charm, but the gray tank has some mechanical issue that I'll have to repair, so I don't know how its seals fared over the years. I admit I am surprised that the black valve still seals and slides.

I don't think the black tank was dumped when it was parked. Why do I suspect this? Because as I am washing it out I'm getting 1/4" thick flat pieces coming out. The good news is that even if your tank is full of desicated leftovers, they still come out and apparently no harm done.

While replacing the water fill tubes, I felt the inside of the tank and it had a slightly oily feel, with a littel residue on my finger. I can't imagine what would cause this, unless it's just a little lube that was used to get the barbed fitting into the tank fitting. I'm wondering if I ought to "wash" the tank with a little detergent and a short road trip? Does the winterizing anti-freeze produce this kind of film, perhaps? I always drain fully and blow my pipes out, so I've never used the anti-freeze.
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