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Old 10-23-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
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winterizing the black tank?

This will be our first season storing our Airstream for the winter. Followed the procedure we found on this site: Drain all tanks and flushed the black water tank several times, blew out all the lines with compressed air and also pumped RV anti-freeze (for peace of mind) through all lines until they ran pink.
We added about 2 gallons of RV anti-freeze to the Black and Gray Tanks.
Our question is: Is it necessary to add chemicals to the Black water tank for odor control
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:18 PM   #2
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I add 4 oz of CampaChem to my black-water holding tank for odor control.
You did not mention draining the hot water tank. Please drain it and by-pass it so it doesn't require 10 gallons of RV antifreeze.
By the way, based on a suggestion in these forums, I now use cheap vodka instead of RV antifreeze in the lines after blow them out with compressed air.
This eliminates that RV antifreeze after taste that we find so unpleasant.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:48 PM   #3
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Then you can always drink any vodka left over in the bottle.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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I have never added any odor control chemicals to the waste tanks and had no problem.

I blow all the lines then pump full of pink antifreeze but don't put any in the tanks other than what goes in there as I fill the lines with pink stuff - I do let sink taps run a bit in order to ensure sink traps are also full.

I bypass and drain the HW tank, but I let a small amount of pink stuff into the tank through both vales just to ensure the short iines from the valves are protected.

Same with the two low point drain taps under the trailer and also the external water tap.

If your toilet has a bowl rinse hose, don't forget to do that (I missed doing t the first year we had the trailer - I didn't know there was one, the previous owner neatly tucked it out of sight behind the toilet! Sure enough burst hose and damaged rinse valve in Spring!

Don't forget also the filter cartridge in your galley faucet if so-equipped.


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Old 10-23-2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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"By the way, based on a suggestion in these forums, I now use cheap vodka instead of RV antifreeze in the lines after blow them out with compressed air.
This eliminates that RV antifreeze after taste that we find so unpleasant."

So that's what that horrible taste was - couldn't figure it out at the time this spring. 2 gallons of Vodka - just add orange juice in the spring and no need to drain and refill - just good to go!
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:35 PM   #6
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If you are running the pink stuff through the lines there is no need to blow them out first.

After draining the hot water tank and setting the by-pass valves then empty the lines at the low point drains (open the faucets while doing this) then lower the front of the trailer to the ground - empty the water tank of as much fresh water as possible - then put in 3 gallons of the pink stuff - run it through the lines, through the faucets, shower and toilet, down the drains - through the P-Traps - then out the (empty) grey/black tanks into a bucket for disposal.

Leave about 3 inches or so of pink stuff in the toilet over winter to keep the seal moist and also put the plug back in the hot water tank (very, very loosely - this is mainly so you don't lose it). Finally, leave the waste tank valves open for a couple of days to let the tanks dry out - then lubricate the valves/sliders with silicone spray and close them up for the winter.


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Old 10-23-2013, 07:11 PM   #7
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When I run antifreeze through the water supply line to the toilet, I get some antifreeze into the black tank. Don't forget to do the toilet wand if you have one.

I am not sure about the vodka method. My friend said that a guy ended up with a " science project " in his tank when he tried it. Could be an urban myth.
I don't know where I could find vodka for $3 a gallon, but I would rather use vodka than antifreeze.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies.

We did drain the Hot water tank, close the by pass valve and installed the HW tank plug.

Double checked all the sink faucets, shower inside/outside and toilet. Put AF in all the drains and toilet bowl. Did not put AF in the water storage tank, but did drain it.

We were concerned about putting the chemicals into the Black water tank with the RV antifreeze.

Not having a chemical background we didn't want to create that science project thing going on in the tanks as posted by mandolindave

Decided since no one really had any concerns about odor over the storage season, we will not be putting any chems in the tank and see what happens.



Thanks for all the help
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:19 PM   #9
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I'll add a little Clorox to the fresh water tank, but I won't drink any water from the trailer plumbing. I never do any thing to the black water tank other than flush it out a couple of times.
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Old 10-24-2013, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Lumatic: I'll add a little Clorox to the fresh water tank, but I won't drink any water from the trailer plumbing. I never do any thing to the black water tank other than flush it out a couple of times.


My thoughts are: I plan to sanitize the Freshwater tank when we take the Airstream out of storage.
Fill the Fresh water tank with a water clorox solution and use the solution to flush the AF out of the lines.
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:26 PM   #11
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Something to consider… Chlorine evaporates out of your water in just a couple of days. So whatever chlorine you put into the tank before storing will not still be in the tank when you take it out of storage. The time to sanitize the tanks is right before you use the trailer for the first time after storing it.

Clorox is no substitute for antifreeze, either.
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