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Old 09-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #15
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I would not poop in it more than you have to. If you put the sewer treatment stuff in there, it will help with the odor. Some of the newer trailers had 50 gal black and gray water tanks and at least 50 gal of fresh water. You would have to poop a lot of fill that up. Solids in the black tank are what you don't want too much of because they are hard to get out of there when it is time to dump. We use ours to pee in and try not to do number 2 in there unless we have to. It makes for much less smelly a trip not to mention the dreaded trip to the dump station.

Perry
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:16 PM   #16
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I'm just continually amazed at the people I meet who don't want to use their facilities. It's there to be used. If you keep enough liquid in it, it will be fine until the next dump station visit - when you take it out of storage just hit a dump station at the beginning of your trip, empty it, put some water back in and add some ice, and the tank will be scrubbed clean again by the time you set up to camp.

If it is actually stored in an enclosed building, then I would agree, you will probably smell odors from the vent, but otherwise, I think it is a well designed system, why not use it?
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:30 PM   #17
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I used my Airstream as a day-time hideaway when our house was being re-modeled and by necessity, I had to use the facilities. The black tank had plenty of water in it and I use a enzyme-based black tank smell control product. It was good for about three weeks before the odor started to permeate the trailer, even with repeated applications of the control product. We have no dump facilities nearby so I hitched up and went to the nearest Provincial Park. $12 to get in but I could dump and flush to my heart's content and spend the day there walking the dog!
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:46 PM   #18
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I don't understand how the smell permeates. I just spent the whole summer puting in custom gray and black tanks I built (I've tested it all, but the wheels aren't on yet to go anywhere). The system is basically airtight, with the only way for any air to leave the system is through the vent stack outside through the roof and when the flush valve is pressed (and that can hold water all day long in the bowl). Other than at flush, I can't see how any smell could get out. I can kind of see maybe with the original system my trailer had - it had a one way valve that I'm sure was dry rotted inside, but other than that, how does the smell get in the trailer?

Rob
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:01 PM   #19
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Clorox works quite well and it evaporates after it does its job....

It is also fairly cheap.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:17 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robwok View Post
I don't understand how the smell permeates. I just spent the whole summer puting in custom gray and black tanks I built (I've tested it all, but the wheels aren't on yet to go anywhere). The system is basically airtight, with the only way for any air to leave the system is through the vent stack outside through the roof and when the flush valve is pressed (and that can hold water all day long in the bowl). Other than at flush, I can't see how any smell could get out. I can kind of see maybe with the original system my trailer had - it had a one way valve that I'm sure was dry rotted inside, but other than that, how does the smell get in the trailer?

Rob
At a guess I'd say through the toilet sink waste pipe, which is connected to the black tank. I'm sure there's some kind of valve down there but it probably isn't very air tight.

In my case it wasn't an awful smell but it was just there in the background. Dumped, flushed and re-applied the enzyme stuff and all was well again.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:25 PM   #21
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Ah, mine plumbs to the gray tanks
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:00 PM   #22
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I am not sure if this is true...but I was told it was a bad idea to leave even fresh water in the tank if hot summer heat present for extended period...I hope someone can tell me this is wrong so I dont bother wasting fresh water I have in that tank when I get home? I just sanitized my freshwater system entirely and drained the FW tank for the time being until I learn otherwise.
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:22 PM   #23
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The view from HOT HUMID eastern Virginia here. Every time you flush there is a displacement. Gravity takes what's in the bowl and plops it to the bottom of the black tank, and a little puff of air is displaced upward and outward as fast as the stuff fell into the tank. If your fantastic fans or your bathroom vent fan are running, air will be sucked down the vent stack and through the Airstream to the fans.

Most chemicals will help break down human waste and over TIME render it into an almost odorless "manure tea" which is good fertilizer. In most cases this takes at least 3 months, cooler climates it's longer.

I'd have to say that 3 weeks is as long as I have ever gone without dumping the black tank - and the climate here makes it bad to go longer. I agree that a porta potty or a drywall bucket and some sawdust or kitty litter is a good way to go if you've got a project with an indefinite finish date.

There's really no problem with going more than 30 days with a half a tank of waste - as long as it doesn't make you gag to be there. Worst case if you walk in one day and go "holy cow that brings tears to my eyes" and it's not because the Airstream is so pretty... well you have to run out and buy a blueboy, then find a cleanout to dump it in. With a porta potty or "bucket with sawdust" you find a compost pile or dumpster at your convenience.

Happy renovating, hope you don't find too many ugly surprises.

Paula
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:31 PM   #24
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I wouldn't let it go 30 days. We let ours go one work week (camping without a sewer hookup/dump station one weekend, then at a site with one the next weekend) and the smell was powerful. And that was with four of those Eco-Smart toss-ins treating the tank (we intended to use two, twice our normal dose, but my wife and I both thought the other hadn't done it, so we got four). I had run a lot of extra water into the black tank during that first weekend so it wouldn't dry out between the trips. But the smell...
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Old 09-09-2014, 03:45 PM   #25
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One solution we've used to good effect and can vouch for, is to line your AS toilet boil with 2 new (so no pinholes) trash bags-- big enough so that they fit over the toilet bowl rim. Put in a few garden-trowels full of ordinary garden peat moss. It is very light weight and highly absorbent. Cover anything unsightly with more peat moss for multiple uses. At the end of your day, remove the inner garbage bag (outer, too, if the inner one leaked) and dispose of properly. This is no more unsanitary than disposing of used baby diapers.

Our Bambi has a very small waste-water tank, so we hit on this solution after one wretched waste-water back-up in Death Valley.

Or just go to your local camping store that caters to auto and tent campers, and look for a Luggable Loo-- basically a plastic bucket with a toilet seat on it. Proceed as above with the liners. Much easier and more pleasant to use then the flushable style of porta-potty.

For more effort, you could get one of those mobile plastic waste storage tanks that you can hook onto your AS sewer pipe. These come in all sizes at Camping World. Empty them out as needed at your nearby sani-dump.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:52 PM   #26
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Pharmgeek, we drain our fresh water after every trip including pulling the low point drains, and leave it empty until we're going to use the trailer again. I sanitize once every spring. We have done this for the 20+ years we have owned trailers, and never gotten sick from the water (and yes we drink our fresh water). Even sanitized systems will eventually grow bacteria. There is always a little bit of water left in the tank after you drain due to the way these tanks are plumbed. We make sure we open the drain as we start to fill the tank to flush out the water left before new water goes in. After a couple of minutes, we close the main drain and fill the rest of the way with fresh water.
Some people like to keep water in their systems in the event of a sudden need for exodus (like hurricanes). That's fine, too, I think as long as you drain and fill with fresh water every couple of weeks.
Some also add a little bleach to their fresh tank to keep it fresh for longer, and that also works.
Hope this helps your questions.

Kay
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:21 PM   #27
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3 pages and no one made a joke about that subject title.

I was expecting someone to say "When ya need to go, ya need to go"
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:26 PM   #28
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Good grief, dump the thing when it's full and don't give it another thought!
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