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Old 01-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
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2002 27' Safari
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Black water flush

First airstream. Please help me find the black water flush on this 2002 Safari 27. The manual says it may be optional. What do I do the? Use a water wand thru the toilet? Thanks, Chris It's my first Airstream.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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It is a nicety which is not necessary. If you don't have one (and even if you do) just make sure you proportion you tank contents with a lot of liquid. Before you dump a partial tank, fill with water so ther is a lot of liquid flow and rush to expel the solids.

I have an onboard flush system, because it came with one and I use it once a year at season end to get a good cleaning. Don't obsess about it.

You can get the wand as well, but again, not necessary if you mind your "Ps and Qs" about a lot of liquid in the tank.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:22 PM   #3
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Thanks Rivet Master. I won't fret over the lack of a black water flush. Chris
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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We have a flush system on our rig...but I agree with the posts above that you needn't worry if you do not have a flush system. On our rig there is an inlet for the flush on the street side of the trailer...in the area of the black tank. (If you do have one be sure not confuse it with the fresh water intake. They are rather close to each other on our rig, which is not a good design point, IMHO.)

I'm not so convinced that the sprayer itself inside the tank is all that effective in cleansing, but it does make it easier to add extra liquid to the tank to get the maximum volume when you release the valve....assuming you have a way to attach a water source to it. (Just don't allow your black tank to overflow if you use it to add additional liquid!) The more liquid volume you have the more "stuff" you will be able to get rid of.

If you do not have a flush system, you can add extra water either by flushing the toilet or by pouring water into the tank through the toilet.

Depending on how busy the dump station is, whether the dump station is set up to use a flush system, and whether we are dumping before moving to another campground, we often just do a regular tank dump. If we are on our way home we will take the time to do it if we can...if not, we don't worry about it. Always add a couple of gals of water to your black tank after dumping and a checmical packet (if you use them) so that nothing left behind dries out...that's when the problems start.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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I have used the wand down the toilet. Pretty much useless. saw it in the storage shed today and have decided to toss it out. Best system is to use the trailer a lot and use a lot of liquid. I bought an older trailer that had sat for a long time and I needed to change the valve. I had a company called hydro-flush come and clean the tank first. pretty expensive, but I judged it worth it because it made valve job go a lot cleaner.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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If your black water tank gets crudded up, put a couple of bags of ice cubes down the toilet on your way to your last dump. A few miles on a curvy road will do the job.
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:46 PM   #7
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This past week I got what I think is a great solution to this "nasty" black tank issue. I think it's made by Thetford, clips onto the drain and gives us a gate valve and a hose attachment on a clear fitting. The drain hose goes on the downstream end. Drain the tank as usual then close the valve and turn on the hose to backflush your black or grey tank. Being careful not to overfill you then get the increased flow benefits of a high water volume to extract the maximum sludge. Since I have been doing only gravity drains these past years I did this at least 8 times and was really suprised at the SLUDGE that was flushed out. Doing the grey tank was much less dramatic but having the clear fitting allows us to view ( yuch) the drainings. To do this every drain may be considered overkill by some but at the very least an end of season flush prior to storage would be a very good idea. I read about this last year but just got around to picking one up.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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polarlyse: I think you may have the Hydroflush by Valterra, or something similar. I "upgraded" to the Sewer Solution system so I can easily get from my home parking spot to the sewer cleanout, about 40 feet, and it is a similar design, but empties in to a smooth 1 inch hose. Compact, sets up quickly, and I just leave my grey tank valve open until I'm ready to dump the black tank. The first time I backflushed the grey tank it was pretty not-grey so the backflushing really appears to help. Funny thing, though, I can't get my wife to come out and watch the black tank flush, just not enough "entertainment" value!
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:24 PM   #9
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I was just reading about the sewer solution the other day. I've never heard about that before. I think you're right on the hydroflush. I do like it though. When I drained and flushed the grey tank I was suprised that it came as clean as it did. But the black tank was another story. Next time we're out I'll try flushing it some more. I just can't really understand the principle of having it all flushed down into a small 1" hose. Is the primary benefit simply being able to reach to a drain farther away ???? But I guess if it works, who am I to question it. So far I'm pleased with what I have but if I find the need I will take a closer look at the sewer solution method.

See ya all on the road sometime.

PS: Our recent trip was 4200+ miles. Saw a few AS's on the way south and only a few while camping. Where is everyone ????
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:45 PM   #10
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We have the sewer flush on our trailer, but don't use it. It sprays a jet into the side of the tank and may help, but back flushing is better. We use the Flush King which is probably the same idea as the Thetford item. You can also use the wand down the toilet, but that means dragging a garden hose inside the trailer. Don't mix fresh water hoses for drinking water (always white) and a garden hose for flushing.

We usually can get 5-8 days out of the black tank before the odor gets noticeable. That means getting out the Flush King and attaching a garden hose to it for back flushing. I usually add water to the black tank beforehand by just holding down the toilet valve with my foot. I find that 5-8 back flushes are necessary to get all clean water. The transparent part of the Flush King provides entertainment as you can see toilet paper and other "solids" go by. You will never get everything out even with 8 backflushes, but you will get most of it. The sewer flusher will not spray into the tank corners, so back flushing does a better job.

When you fill the tank, you can't tell when the tank is full, unless you have someone look down the toilet with a flashlight. Volunteers for that "duty" are hard to find. If you overfill, the water will climb up the vent and come over the roof and down the side of the trailer. At that point, everyone in the campground will be watching and you may get the worst shower you ever had. The photos will be posted on the internet. I rarely backflush for more than 2-3 minutes to make sure this does not happen. Some CG's have such high water pressure, 4 minutes would fill the tank and the vent and provide the nasty results. Stop at 3 minutes unless you have a twisted sense of humor or too much curiosity. Don't ask how I know this. And, don't ask if it happened twice.

On ours the sewer flusher is located just above the fresh water fill connection. Bad placement, but it is marked as what it is.

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Old 03-31-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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Yes Gene. I just couldn't bring myself to ask the wife to throw an eyeball down the bowl to watch the water come up. So I just carefully backflushed to avoid overfilling. Still I was amazed at what came out. I had read some postings here and was tuned in to the hazard of overfilling. I also read here that after flushing I should add some water to prevent the remaining content to dry out and harden. I had neglected to do that so I went over to the trailer yesterday and did add some. I keep it at my son's house about 10 miles from home. I like this thing and I will be comfortable with knowing that occassionally I will get a good flush done especially at season end. I also hope it will help to minimize the bathroom odors that I detect from time to time.

This was another tip picked up from this forum. So, Thanks all you folks are GREAT
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Old 03-31-2012, 12:53 PM   #12
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The moho is a 2005 and they put the flusher behind a separate locked door and thoughtfully included a hose bib from the internal water plumbing so I don't have to run a separate hose from the facility. I use a green hose even though there is a vacuum breaker to prevent backflow.

The SewerSolution, and I think the Valterra, has a backflow preventer as well to prevent discharge liquid from backing up into the supply hose. However, I don't trust it fully and disconnect it with the quick-connect when I'm not using it.

CrawfordGene's detailed description of water going up the vent have added amusement: thanks for the description, and increased caution for the flushing in the future: I will have my wife watching the level sensor inside to make sure I don't go above about half-full.

As for the SewerSolution 1 inch hose: because it is smooth inside, not corrugated, crap (literally) does not get trapped inside, and the hose water pushes everything through. Since I don't need the grey tank water pressure to purge the hose I can leave the grey valve open. As realtive newbies to this fun, we still have issues with water use and usually would fill the grey tank within 24 hours before changing to this system, even with attempted Navy-style showers. Now we just leave the valve open. The hose takes up less storage space, but I do seal the hookup unit in a plastic bag for storage. It looks "clean," but I'm sure it is not sanitary.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
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I have a question about the black water flush. Our dealer says close the valve and let the water build up a bit before releasing, which seems to make good sense. But the placard on the A/S states to ALWAYS have tank valve open when when flushing. Does it really matter? Any thoughts on this from experience? Thanks
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:24 PM   #14
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lubelg:

I have a black water flush that I use each time. As the factory service team stated at last years Alumapaluzza - use it or lose it. I let my tank fill up because you want a substantial amount of water to flush out the contents.
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