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Old 06-11-2016, 02:23 PM   #1
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Boogieshoes's Avatar
2016 30' Classic
Little Rock , Arkansas
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 86
Classic Newbie mistake on a Classic

Hate to admit this, but I was very, very tired...

Setting up at a campground yesterday (water and elec only) I hooked up city water to, you guessed it, the black tank clean out inlet. Thank goodness the black tank was empty. At about the time I rolled out the big awning, a stream of not clear water poured off the awning; I looked up to see it rushing out of the vent located on top of the trailer. Slow, but not stupid, I realized what a bonehead mistake I had made and shut off the water.

Rinsed off the awning and side of the trailer, then unhooked water, elec, hooked up the trailer (for the second time; another story) and went to the dump station.

Question: There is no evidence of water anywhere inside the trailer; no evidence that the vent pipe leaked or otherwise failed (thank the Lord).
Do we need to worry that what was essentially grey water went through the vent pipe? Is it even possible to rinse the vent pipe? Any other actions we should take?

24 hours later there is still no evidence that water leaked anywhere.

Second question: I believe there is a backflow preventer on the tank rinseout intake; is that correct? Should we replace the city water hose?

Stupidity disclaimer: This occurred after taking three hours to hook up the trailer in our sloped driveway at home in the heat. Had dropped the trailer at home where the trailer was level and the truck was at an angle. After unloading the truck, had the idea of using interlocking blocks to build a lift for the rear of the truck. I was so tired after that ordeal it is amazing I could back the trailer into the campground spot.

Can you say "checklist"? Also hate to admit that I am a former pilot - where checklists are a way of life (or rather a way to remain alive)

Boogieshoes, DH of JudyJudy
WBAC 5932; Arkansas Razorbacks Unit of Reg 6
2016 F250 King Ranch 6.7 4x4 Crew Cab "Tex"
Members, North Texas Airstream Community
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:33 PM   #2
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 2,237
The vent appears to be a common vent between the gray and black tanks. Looking at the plumbing diagram from my trailer, it would seem the black tank, when filled, would spill over through the vent line into the gray tank. I think I'd be more concerned about giving the gray tank a good flush, maybe even sanitizing it with some bleach to eliminate the possibility of odors, but it wouldn't hurt anything to run some water down the vent stack if you can do that easily. In its normal use, that vent gets some pretty ugly gasses from the black tank, so my opinion is it's no big deal to get some possibly slightly contaminated water. If I remember mine correctly there is a screw on the top to remove the cap.

Yes, the black tank flush has a back flow preventer. I don't think these do, but some of them leak when back pressure is applied. Mine is in the back of the bathroom sink cabinet. You may want to look there and see if you can find yours to verify that there is no water there.

When I bought my trailer I sanitized the potable water hose like you would the potable water tank as a precaution. I filled a bucket with a somewhat stronger than recommended mix of bleach and water and put the male end of the hose in it. I hooked the female end up to a faucet through a shutoff valve. I ran water through the hose until all the air was out and closed the shutoff valve. I then put the female end downhill from the bucket and opened the valve to let the siphon pull out the bleach/water mixture. When I smelled it I turned of the shutoff valve and let it soak for several hours. You can decide whether you think you need to do anything at all, flush the hose, or buy a new one.

If you have no water inside the trailer, you are a very lucky man. Apparently the seal on the dump valve in your toilet and the seal between the toilet and the tank are good. Take a close look in that area to be sure that there is no effluent in the vicinity of the toilet base, checking if you can to be sure it didn't run under the tile or whatever flooring you have in the bathroom.



"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 06-11-2016, 05:38 PM   #3
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 5,899
Agree with Al that you seem to have dodged a major bullet! Did you ever see the movie RV with Robin Williams, Jeff Daniels and Kristin Chenoweth? Al's advice is also good to follow IMO.

Yes, the black water flush system has an anti-siphon valve which probably prevented your city water and plumbing system from getting polluted. I would still fill the fresh water tank with good clean city water (using a whole-house type filter inline to make sure the water has no particulates going into the tank), and add bleach per other threads to sanitize the tank, and run this water through all of your plumbing lines (hot and cold).

This will be easier to do while hooked up to a sewer connection. Just run the pump water/bleach from the tank through all lines and let it fill the grey tank, and part of the black tank via the toilet flush. Then dump the grey tank, close the grey valve, and dump the black tank, and close its valve when done.

Open the grey dump valve again, and run city water from the [ correct ] sidewall connection, and run all kinds of (filtered) city water through all the plumbing lines many times to get the bleach residue out.

Maybe overkill, but your health is paramount . . .

Good luck!


PS -- PS -- sorry but I keep having to chuckle at the whole event . . .

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Old 08-04-2016, 08:35 AM   #4
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2013 31' Classic
billings , Montana
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,798
New hose and robin Williams movie.....
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:07 PM   #5
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No matter how tired I am when I get to the cg, I do everything slow and deliberate and double check even the simplest tasks. The only way I can prevent destroying something or at the very least, embarrassing myself. That stuff happens live and learn. Good camping.
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