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Old 05-18-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
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Tank flushing spousal dispute!

Ok, here we go again. Yes we are those same full-timers. I say we need to flush tanks once and awhile. Why?..he says. So I say maintenance. So what bad things can happen..help?
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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When the solids, food and such in the grey and you know what in the black, land in an empty tank they lay there while the small amount of liquid slowly runs out the open valves, without enough force or gravity to carry the solids.

When one keeps the valves closed and allows a volume of liquid to build up, then opens the valves, the "whoosh" flushing effect carries the solids out and down the hose.

Letting the solids build up means a poop mountain right under the toilet valve opening.

Leave the hose hooked up and ready, but keep the valves closed to let the liquid collect.

Regards,

JD
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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If you are dumping your black tank when it is nearly full, that will pretty much ensure a thorough flush (pardon the pun). Following your black tank dumping with one from a nearly full grey tank will clean up your sewer hose.

So, the need for a thorough flushing is kind of a waste of water in my opinion. Of course at the end of a trip (of whatever length) everything gets flushed as well as possible.

I use a bacterial black tank treatment so thoroughly flushing actually inhibits the effectiveness of the bacteria as they have to repopulate from zero instead of having a residual "soup starter" so to speak.

Mike
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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I fulltime too. People who use their trailers only for weekends and vacations SHOULD really flush - and even chlorine treat their tanks between uses. 1/4 inch of mixed water and human waste sitting in the sun for say 4 weeks between trips... OMG!

Flushing tanks for the fulltimer? Whenever I have to fill my white tank with strange water, I treat it with a very small amount of chlorine bleach. I don't drink this water or cook with it, but I do bathe and wash dishes in it. I don't treat, flush and refill, I just put in about 4 tbsps and fill the tank. Chlorine will actually bubble off or break down over about a week. I don't mind a minor smell from the tank but I don't want critters growing in the tank either. I drink Virginia Beach city tap water and if I'm filling my tank with that I don't feel the need to treat it with bleach.

The gray tank doesn't have flushers built in like the black tank, and most times when I'm camping I leave the gray drain open. When I move from my home campground I normally close the gray gate, run 1/4 cup of bleach into the gray tank along with the whole hot water tank's contents, and slosh the water around (I'm already hitched and just move the trailer back and forth about six inches). I then drain the gray tank while continuing to agitate it. It's not a bad idea to run a little bleach water through both sink drains and the shower drain too, just to clean out the traps. I originally thought doing this to the gray tank was overkill... but check the grease, hair and soap scum you get in that tank WHEW! In Virginia the gray tank can get pretty whiffy in the summer, so cleaning it about once a month isn't a bad idea.

For the black tank my only real concern is the "brown mountain" of T.P. and human waste. I always add a gallon or two of water immediately AFTER flushing so that nothing sticks to the bottom of an essentially DRY tank. I use the built in tank washers, but I know they're fairly anemic. Once the water runs clear, I normally consider myself done, but at least 2-3 times per year I really really clean the tank. First I drain it, then run the tank cleaner sprays, then close the drain gate, fill 1/2 way with warm water, a small amount of bleach and Dawn dishwashing detergent, then agitate for at least 5 minutes. Then I drain the tanks again and check for only clear water discharge.

I THINK I do enough without getting fanatic about it. I used to think that I could get by with less, but after agitating the tanks one time I became aware of how much gunk had settled on the bottoms. It's got to build up over time if you don't actively clean it out and it's easier to do it periodically than wait until you've got 2 inches of buildup.

On the other hand, I don't think the tanks need to be extensively cleaned every time I dump them. After all that pristine black tank could be just one hour away from another "donation".

The best advice? Do what keeps you comfortable... and doesn't knock out the neighbors with the effluvia!

Paula
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #5
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Guess he sorta wins this one...and today is his Bday. Thanks for the great handy information one again.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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It takes a lot of toilet use to fill up a black tank. An old AIR thread made a lot of sense -- I pour a couple buckets of water into an empty tank. I'm probably aiming at having my black tank a quarter full of water. Get that stuff floating around and breaking up. I don't hesitate to dump the tank in the same campground I've been staying in.

Put samples squares of the TP you are using in some water and agitate a little. How fast does it dissolve? A member pointed out that Scott's one-ply disintegrates purdy darn fast -- it wins my testing every time. Forget the "RV toilet paper" you see at dealers & CW. The plush 2-ply stuff you use at home can be used to patch your awning!
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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It would appear, ---- most women don't like single style and some even like triple.

Just make sure you have a min. of 2" of water in the black tank immediately after a dump to start, and use lots of rinse water to flush out the paper products at each sani stop.

I do believe a little liquid soap added at the beginning of each cycle will be of long and short term benefit.

Dave
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #8
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The single ply Cottonelle TP dissolves almost instantly and is a mite more, let us say, "user friendly" than the Scott's

Mike
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:11 PM   #9
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Even if you keep the tank closed, some trips are short enough to not gather enough liquid to do a good flush. I always make sure that I fill that tank to at least 3/4 full prior to doing that flush at the campground before we depart. So usually our last task prior to pulling out is to fill that tank and dump at the site (if it has a hookup) or the dump station.

Years and years ago with our first travel trailer we decided that we didn't have enough waste in the tank to dump. We brought the trailer home and didn't use it again for a month. Fast forward to that next trip and we got all set up and we added some water to the bowl along with our tank enzyme. When we opened the flapper on the toilet a bunch of flying somethings exited the bowl into the trailer. Apparently the ever ripening stuff in the tank attracted some bugs through the vent stack which apparently did a great job in multiplying in the nasty wet environment.

Jack
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
The single ply Cottonelle TP dissolves almost instantly and is a mite more, let us say, "user friendly" than the Scott's.
The wholly impartial Brick Schmidt House laboratories put this to the test today. Ten squares of the nearly transparent Scott's weigh slightly under 2 grams. Ten seersucker-textured Cottonelle single ply squares weigh about 4 grams. Considering that a discriminating customer probably would use more Scott's to avoid a... umm, breakthrough ... I'd figure that the amounts used wouldn't be as far off as the relative weights might suggest.

Testing dissolving head-to-head (a naval term), neither product dissolved instantly but did so well ahead of the familiar (eww...) household two-ply. The Scott's began to break apart a bit before the Cottonelle but I'd still rate the latter as "good".

The senior partner of this testing concern isn't that impressed with the Scott's. You know where this is going. R&D purchased a summer's worth of Cottonelle one-ply and that's the way we'll roll.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:50 AM   #11
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John Wayne TP

My kids call Scotts TP the John Wayne of TP:

"It's real tough and won't take crap off of anybody."
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:55 AM   #12
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Hello fellow streamers. I have found the Costco's Kirkland brand single ply TP to be much stronger and it still passes the disolving test in a bottle of water as good as the Scotts single ply.
Happy camping nm1oqrz
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