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Old 04-20-2013, 06:53 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
We have run into the grey water " overflow" also. We've never reached capacity in the black tank but the grey is another matter. We try to manage it to some extent by washing dishes using a dishpan which can be emptied into the bowl when full. Saves a little from going into the grey tank. We do this when we are out a few days without any hookups. It's only overflowed one time. In that emergent situation I capped my discharge and opened the grey valve first then opened the black valve and let the 2 tanks balance their levels. Then in the morning I took the trailer to the dump station. Beware, though, when doing this you will be getting a bit of a dump when you remove the cap to put the hose on so watch your feet.
I would never let the black water into my grey water tank.

I would drain the grey water on the ground first.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:27 PM   #44
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Our record is 8 days, but sometimes it starts to smell after 3 or 4. Then we add more chemicals and get a few more days. If it is inconvenient to add chemicals (we're on the road and not near a dump station), we open the bathroom fan and turn it on as a last resort. But since we started using dishwashing detergent, the tank stays cleaner, flushes better and smells better—see post #18 for a link for that.

Because we backflush with a Flush King, that cleans out the tank better. Since we've been using detergent and something else my wife would remember if I asked her, it backflushes faster, but it can take 4 or 5 flushes to get all clean water. That takes time. Without deterrgent, it takes 7 or more backflushes.

We'd like to use the green chemicals, but they don't seem to work very well. I haven't seen much difference between RV and regular toilet paper. The RV paper is supposed to dissolve faster, but it all appears to come out in the backflush.

The detergent keeps stuff from sticking to the tank walls. Some add ice to the tank—while driving the ice will scour the tank walls. Never tried it though.

Also, get good quality sewer hoses. We bought Revolution by Camco (was available at Walmart; may still be). The ends are glued on and we've used it about 3 or 4 years without a problem. And there are products that the hose goes on to provide a slowly descending pathway to the drain (except when the drain is higher than the trailer drain at some campgrounds). I store all the sewer stuff in a plastic contained kept in the back of the pickup. The storage tube under the trailer never gets used.

Use a dedicated hose for the backflushing. It is unlikely the dirty water will back up this hose, but why would you want to take a chance? If the faucet is too far away, you may have to add a second hose and if it is white, clean it out with a solution of Clorox; that should solve the problem. Buy a big box of disposable gloves to do the job and remember not to scratch your nose or rub your eye when doing it. My nose always starts to itch right after I put the gloves on. Surgeons must have the same problem, but a nurse will help them.

This is not a pleasant thing to deal with. Before we had the trailer, I never thought about it and the salesman will never tell you about it before you buy a trailer. I am not sure how I got this job, but I'm stuck with it. I also have the dirty job to grease things that need greasing. I wonder if this has been featured on "Dirty Jobs"? It is tough to be a man.

Gene
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:32 PM   #45
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Like I said Tom this is an " extreme" response to a bad situation. I think that by opening the grey first and flooding the discharge and closing the grey first will reduce the chances of blackwater inflow to the grey tank. I wouldn't recommend doing this otherwise. Discharging on the ground is illegal in most places. But if it's allowed, yes it works also.

I do not use any of the chemical treatments. Use a Flush King and flush well before returning home and have not noticed any odors.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:35 PM   #46
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Newbie Question

Hi,

We've never had an RV with a bathroom before. I don't understand the circumstances when odor is typically a problem. What condition is it that you have trouble with?

--Odor coming up from the toilet when in camp (I've read that keeping some water in the bowl is supposed to stop this; is that true?)

--While traveling? (can you leave water in the bowl when on the road, or will it slosh out?)

--Outside the unit when parked (coming out the roof vent?)

--Or.....?


Just want to know what we're getting ourselves in for.....Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #47
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It seems to me that there are two types of water, potable and non potable so I think the contents in the grey tank versus the contents in the black tank are irrelevant providing they end up in the sewer pipe. Many RV's only have one tank and I'm quite sure some of them have toilets as well. So what is the issue? What am I missing? Do I have to re-plan my plan b. And here I thought I could relax!
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:10 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
Hi,

We've never had an RV with a bathroom before. I don't understand the circumstances when odor is typically a problem. What condition is it that you have trouble with?

--Odor coming up from the toilet when in camp (I've read that keeping some water in the bowl is supposed to stop this; is that true?)

--While traveling? (can you leave water in the bowl when on the road, or will it slosh out?)

--Outside the unit when parked (coming out the roof vent?)

--Or.....?


Just want to know what we're getting ourselves in for.....Thanks.
We have been parked and living in the 34' for the last 8 months, and we get some odor when the black tank is approaching full and we flush the toilet. Flushing opens the valve to the blk tank and allows some odorous air to come back up through that valve. When we empty the tank, I am poised with several gallons of fresh water that I pour through the toilet when the tank is partially empty to try to make sure we flush out everything with a good strong flow of fresh water. A small amount of water stays in the toilet after you flush it; it doesn't slosh out as you go down the road. Have fun with your trailer, that's the main thing!

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:26 AM   #49
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RV toilet paper costs too much

Scott tissue is cheaper, easier to find, and breaks down to nothing. A friend uses really soft, double ply, quilted Charmin. It does not break down and gets clumpy. They had to open up her septic tank at her house, and there was a huge pile of tissue. There are clumps in her RV waste as well.

One more time....The Enzyme method eliminates the NEED to " wash " your
black tank. The enzymes will die if they have nothing to eat. But yeah when it is convenient I flush my tank and drive with clean water sloshing around

Personally, I don't care for the smell of chemicals, or the nasty perfume that they put in the blue stuff either
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:37 AM   #50
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Question I won't eat yogurt either....

I don't eat anything that ain't dead.
Why would I want to sit on it?

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:42 AM   #51
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One more thing.......

Another friend uses no additives. A lot of tenters use his bathroom. He gets the Porta John people to empty his tanks. He can't understand why I bother with additives. He used to use a maceator into his toilet but it kept clogging. He meticulously washes his tanks after every camping trip.

Did I mention....don't use chemicals. I guess it doesn't matter if you don't have kids to pass the world onto. Then just use chemicals. And what the heck, we are all taking steps to take care, so it doesn't matter if just you dump chemicals, used oil, herbicides, and pesticides into Mother Earth.
Sorry for the nasty sarcasm. ( EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS )
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:00 AM   #52
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OK TWO more things....

Wally used no chemicals....He just dug a hole under his camper. Stuff just perked into the ground and the micro organisms in the dirt took care of it.
Animals have been dumping in the woods for a really long time. Does the woods smell? Do farmers use cow dung as fertilizer? The grass around a broken septic tank is greener.
People who need perfect lawns and spotless back tanks are the exception, and they are allowed do whatever they want. Again, sorry for the sarcasm
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:02 AM   #53
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Everything is under control.

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Old 04-21-2013, 12:03 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSquared View Post
Hi,

We've never had an RV with a bathroom before. I don't understand the circumstances when odor is typically a problem. What condition is it that you have trouble with?

--Odor coming up from the toilet when in camp (I've read that keeping some water in the bowl is supposed to stop this; is that true?)

--While traveling? (can you leave water in the bowl when on the road, or will it slosh out?)

--Outside the unit when parked (coming out the roof vent?)

--Or.....?


Just want to know what we're getting ourselves in for.....Thanks.
--raw sewage will start to smell, especially in warm weather. You might try this as a science experiment in a bucket at home.

--keeping water in the toilet bowl will not stop the odour because the sewage and clean water are in separate compartments. Then (as we learned in the above-mentioned "experiment" of our own) the shower drain is where excess effluent tends to back up if you have a problem.

-- Yes, water left in the toilet bowl will slosh out when traveling. Ask me how I know. Also recommended-- put a rubber band around your toilet paper roll while traveling. We once had an entire roll unroll while traveling.

-- By the time you have stinky-poo smells coming out your roof vent, your RV will be uninhabitable.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #55
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Wally used no chemicals....He just dug a hole under his camper. Stuff just perked into the ground and the micro organisms in the dirt took care of it.
Animals have been dumping in the woods for a really long time. Does the woods smell? Do farmers use cow dung as fertilizer? The grass around a broken septic tank is greener.
People who need perfect lawns and spotless back tanks are the exception, and they are allowed do whatever they want. Again, sorry for the sarcasm
Dave, I assume by sarcasm you mean that this is a joke.

Speaking of cow dung, we lived not far from Walkerton Ontario, when some people died and dozens got really ill from E. coli bacteria from a cattle pasture that got into the drinking water system.

We also weren't far from Toronto when a big SARS outbreak put much of the city into quarantine mode. This bug can be transmitted by fecal matter, including unwashed hands, as well.

Wally went camping back when not too many other people did.

The days of digging a hole in the ground are over unless people are in a truly remote area.

But I guess this wasn't your point?
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:37 PM   #56
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Consumer Reports rated Walmart "Great Value - Extra Strong" toilet paper as a best buy, and we have been using it for the past year. It dissolves easily and does not clog. Also, it's inexpensive and readily available on the road at all Walmarts.

We previously used Costco Kirkland brand tissue; but surprisingly, the Great Value paper is better quality and available in smaller quantities. (Who wants to store 36 rolls of toilet paper in your Airstream?) Also, the Kirkland brand tissue has declined in quality during this same period, with many switching to other brands (per product reviews on Amazon).

Our Bambi has the optional, built-in black tank spray system, which was installed by the Airstream dealer when we purchased it new in 2005. The sprayer was used 2-3 times with limited results. In my opinion, it is a pretty-much useless option, which I should have declined.

Before dumping, we just hold the flush valve open until the black tank is completely full to get a powerful, complete flush; and we do NOT flush repeatedly until the flush water looks clear. Afterall, it is just going to get refilled with black water.

We tried the "Geo Method" (https://sites.google.com/site/cbruni/), and it may work in cooler weather. However, in the 110+ summer temperatures in the desert southwest, it does not neutralize odors. In the winter, our toilet smelled like clean laundry; but in the summer, it smelled like untreated sewage.

As an aside, if you decide to use/try the Geo Method, Calgon is just citric acid. I didn't shop around, but I suspect that you can buy citric acid cheaper at whole food stores and other places where one can purchase bulk chemicals. It probably doesn't need to be "food grade", since it is going in the toilet.

Over the years, we have also tried about all of the "green" toilet chemicals, deodorants and enzymes in our Airstream, our boat's marine holding tank and a porta-potty. Most are effective controlling odors in empty, recently dumped black tanks (while in storage), and gray water tanks. However, they are ineffective in partially full black tanks in 105+ degree weather. Only toilet chemicals containing formaldehyde seem to be effective in elevated temperatures.

Note: We had some success with products containing "quaternary ammonia", as they masked the sewage smell. However, their own distinctive chemical odor was so obnoxious that that we found them undesirable.

We also tried enzymes; but we found them to be pretty much useless in RV tanks, which are actually used for waste storage, not treatment, composting or whatever other marketing claims are printed on the side of product containers.

So, after much experimentation, we have returned to the faithful, old, blue liquid that came with our Airstream, our boat and several porta-potties, and which is used by airlines, trains and commercial bus lines.
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