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Old 04-17-2013, 06:49 PM   #15
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Our favorite place to boondock is 35 miles away from the nearest dump. Two of us make it a week on our 40 gallon tank. We could go another couple of days but don't want to push our luck.
We are careful with our grey water and can make it almost as long before that fills also.
Our water tank is 40 gallons and lasts only 3-4 days. We carry water in jerry cans.
Like others have said, the chemicals lose effectiveness after three or four days and we add more.
We use Oderlos. They are supposed to be environmentally friendly unlike the formaldehyde based chemicals we used to use.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:03 AM   #16
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Thanks for everyone's comments.

When I shop for chemicals they all seem to be biodegradable. I have the Camco orange scented bottles, 1 per 40 gallons. I only used half as I figured on our first trip we would only have 10 to 20 gallons of flush. However, our trip was cut short by a malfunction and the trailer is in the shop. We didn't dump before leaving. Hope to get it back Saturday and then I'll dump at our storage site. I'll try out the black flush.

Question about the black flush. I've never had this feature in my past RVs. I found the manufacturers card in the Airstream bag. It mentions not using the hose that you hook it up to for any other purpose. Can sewage get back flushed into the hose? Does everyone carry a hose specific for this task?

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Old 04-18-2013, 06:07 AM   #17
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Thanks for everyone's comments.

When I shop for chemicals they all seem to be biodegradable. I have the Camco orange scented bottles, 1 per 40 gallons. I only used half as I figured on our first trip we would only have 10 to 20 gallons of flush. However, our trip was cut short by a malfunction and the trailer is in the shop. We didn't dump before leaving. Hope to get it back Saturday and then I'll dump at our storage site. I'll try out the black flush.

Question about the black flush. I've never had this feature in my past RVs. I found the manufacturers card in the Airstream bag. It mentions not using the hose that you hook it up to for any other purpose. Can sewage get back flushed into the hose? Does everyone carry a hose specific for this task?

Thanks

Kelvin
My black tank flush fitting has a check valve in the line to prevent backflow.

However, it's still good practice to never hook up your blue-and-white (or all-blue self-coiling) freshwater line to anything but a potable water source and your fresh tank. Once it has been hooked to anything else, its sanitation is suspect forever after.
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:49 AM   #18
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We also flush at home thru the clean-out access.
If the tank is partially full I'll flush it with a section of dedicated hose 'til at least 3/4+ full. The trip home usually breaks things up pretty well.

A 1/2 cup of Dawn and a packet of Calgon powdered water softener at Spring get ready helps keep things working. I've done this complete Eco Method once four years ago and followed up with my Spring method with very good results...ie, the monitors are still working.

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Old 04-18-2013, 07:42 AM   #19
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I did a test and compared chemical vs enzymes

Bottom line don't use chemicals even if you don't care about the environment.
My friend used chemicals in her motor home. I used enzymes. I dumped both.
Hers had clumps of tissue and # 2 ( but it was a nice shade of blue chemical, and smelled like #2 and chemicals ) Mine was all brown fluid and didn't smell as bad. Mine dumped easier.
Enzymes eat the bad bacteria that smells. You don't have to totally wash your tank as the method calls for giving the enzymes some " food " Sometimes I use Ridex which is very economical.
If you ever have a little spill, micro organiams in dirt will eat the bad stuff before it can travel anywhere. Just as micro organisms eat the millions of pounds of rubber coming off of millions of tires. Not so with blue chemicals and perfume. A guy running a Honey Dipper truck had a bad spill next to my camper. I was furious. It smelled really bad. He said not to worry. He watered the spill down . It soaked into the ground and 20 minutes later no smell. The spill was from my buddies camper who uses no treatment at all.
But to answer YOUR real question. Urine is sterile for 20 minutes or so, then it gets nasty. so dump as soon as you can.
Oh yeah, I forgot Don't use chemicals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:57 AM   #20
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one more thing.......

Depending on your sink usage...Grey water can get very nasty as well. I use Ridex for the sink and shower. ( and it keeps the pipes from getting build up )

One of the reasons for studying history is so that we can benefit from our mistakes and successes. My thinking is that a whole lot of little efforts can add up to a big difference.
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:10 AM   #21
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One of the reasons for studying history is so that we can benefit from our mistakes and successes.
My reason for studying history is to learn from other people's mistakes and successes.

Good tip on the enzymes. Question… How fast do they work? Since my Interstate discharges through a macerator pump, anything that breaks up waste before the pump has to do it is all to the good, in terms of pump longevity. But if I'm only going to be camping for a weekend (for example, this weekend's rally) would it be worth adding enzymes if I arrive at the campground this afternoon and pump out before returning home on Sunday afternoon?
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:15 AM   #22
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I can't recommend this stuff highly enough:

RV-BOSS

I didn't realise that it was a Canadian product so I don't know how widely available it is in the US; if you see any in your RV store, though, try it. No, I'm not on commission!
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:26 AM   #23
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Hey Protagonist

Thats one of the advantages of the enzymes. There is not as big of a rush with the enzyme method.( And I am tired when I get home ) Actually you can get a head start before you start the trip. But yeah, my trips are usually four days. Depending on where I end up after a trip....I dump in a sewer clean out, a toilet, or my septic tank at the farmhouse. I don't want chemicals in any of those places. And my conscience gets to me.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:21 AM   #24
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http://www.rid-x.com/faq.shtml

Rid-x says their product isn't "tested" in RVs so they can't recommend it. Is there a reason why it would be a bad idea? It sounds good to me, but why would they not test it? :huh?:
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #25
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RID-X® Septic System Treatment Frequently Asked Questions | RID-X®

Rid-x says their product isn't "tested" in RVs so they can't recommend it. Is there a reason why it would be a bad idea?
Because it's intended for use in concrete septic tanks, not in plastic holding tanks, maybe?
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:20 AM   #26
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Sadly, no. There's no sewer access at all, even in the street; if it ever backs up (and they do), it'll all have to be dug up in the front yard, which is something you see quite often in our neighbourhood. If that ever happens then I'll pay to have someone put a discharge pipe in.
Mr.UKToad,

I don't know if Chatham is different in this regard, but I have owned several houses in Ontario and they all shared one feature: an indoor sewer access fitting (commonly referred to as a 'cleanout'). Perhaps it is just one of the differences we have with homes in other geographical areas, since it gets down well below freezing for a good part of the year here, and of course year-round access is important for that type of a connection. In any event, it is 'code' here.

Now, I am not suggesting that it be used for a flush system from your trailer, but I think you should find that you DO have access to your sewer. I believe that the only reason you might not think you do is that, if your basement is finished, it may have been thoughtlessly covered up.

Just look for your main sewer stack; at or very near to floor level in the lowest point in your home I am sure you will see a 'Y' connection, with a cap screwed into it sealing it shut. It's a good thing to know exactly where that is, in case (God forbid) you need it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #27
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Mr.UKToad,

I don't know if Chatham is different in this regard, but I have owned several houses in Ontario and they all shared one feature: an indoor sewer access fitting (commonly referred to as a 'cleanout'). Perhaps it is just one of the differences we have with homes in other geographical areas, since it gets down well below freezing for a good part of the year here, and of course year-round access is important for that type of a connection. In any event, it is 'code' here.

Now, I am not suggesting that it be used for a flush system from your trailer, but I think you should find that you DO have access to your sewer. I believe that the only reason you might not think you do is that, if your basement is finished, it may have been thoughtlessly covered up.

Just look for your main sewer stack; at or very near to floor level in the lowest point in your home I am sure you will see a 'Y' connection, with a cap screwed into it sealing it shut. It's a good thing to know exactly where that is, in case (God forbid) you need it.
Hey Aage,

Thanks for that! There certainly is a cap in the main stack in the basement and I'd never noticed it (black on black in a very dark area). If it was backed up for any reason I'm not sure that I'd be the one to remove the cap because there would be a waterfall of brown stuff, but I guess it would be ok for routinely cleaning the sewer when not backed up.

There is an alarming trend in our sub-division, though, of earth removal machines descending on people's front yards and digging out two metres depth of dirt between house and road to get at the sewer pipe. It tends to happen in spring so I wonder if sewers have collapsed over the winter. We don't get cold enough for the frost to go that deep but this year I've seen half a dozen dig operations in the area. If that ever happens to me then I will get them to add a small arm running to my driveway with a cap slightly above ground level. My slinky might not reach from the trailer's normal parking position but the Sewer Solution would.

Domestic plumbing tips on the Forum, who'd have thunk it?

Edit: The Sewer Solution would never reach into the basement so the cleanout cap stays closed!
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:05 PM   #28
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Because it's intended for use in concrete septic tanks, not in plastic holding tanks, maybe?
Have you seen any NEW septic tanks lately? Most are now plastic and have to be half filled with water when installed so that they won't be able to pop back out of the ground in the event of heavy rain/flooding. I couldn't swear that the same plastics are used in RV tanks and septic tanks but...

(Conspiracy Theory alert) ...Is it possible that the same factory that turns out Rid-X also makes RV chemicals and the only difference in formulation is packaging the product is put into at the end of the line? Could we be paying 2 to 3 times as much for RV specialty chemicals as opposed to down on the farm septic enzymes? I used to laugh at my Uncle Cal who trained dogs and used veterinary penicillin, etc. for himself and Aunt Martha. People would ba apalled and rant and rave about the poorer quality control and safety of the vet stuff. Cal's response... he had close friend who was a truck driver who worked for the drug manufacturer and he transported human and vet drugs from the same factory to the distribution hubs.

Remember a few years ago when there was a massive dog food recall because of an ingredient imported from China that had been deliberately adulterated? Over a dozen competing brands were recalled - because they all contracted with one factory to make and package the products? The same thing happened with multiple brands of refrigerators too. "Brand name loyalty".... Are any brands being loyal to US... or do they just slap different colored plastic shelving and a different door handle and label on a "Kenmore" versus an "Amana" or a "Maytag"?

(return to regularly scheduled program)
I fulltime. I normally don't set the air conditioning on when I leave the campground. If it's really hot, I'll set the air conditioner to maintain 78 to 80 degrees until I get home... and yes, fermentation will occur in that little steambox... so in hot weather I dump once a week or I could regret it. Adding a couple of gallons of water DOES help prevent an immediate return of the "whew factor". And using the tank flusher does delay it's start on the next batch. I put enzymes in immediately after changing the water. If you have a sensitive nose you'll know when you really should do it... but if I were going to park a unit and leave it for a week I'd dump it before leaving it!

have a pleasant day, Paula
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