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Old 04-29-2019, 05:02 PM   #1
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Question Complete black draining?

Hi folks FNG here.....'19 GT: what is the best slope to have Interstate on to completely drain black tank......I have a hard time getting below 25%......TIA.....look forward to being fairly active on the threads.....
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:20 PM   #2
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Hey Beemerman,

I'd like me a 4-door M3 or M5 meself...

The black tank (as should the gray) should be on a slight angle as-installed, so if your trailer is level, should pretty well drain. Any nose high attitude you can provide should make it drain even better.

A good "trick" to help clean it all out is when the camping trip is about done and you are headed home, dump a big bag of ice down the toilet. As you drive, the ice cubes shake around and dislodge all the "tidbits" and then when you dump it for the last time, you're basically bare.

You probably already know this, but a simple trick to help prevent the "Volcano of Nasty" is to keep both valves closed until it's empty time. Then you dump the black tank first. When it's purged, you dump the gray tank. That cleans out the pipes. If you leave them open, all the time, the liquids will drain but the solids will remain. Over time, that leads to a.....

I bought my trailer used off a cat that did just that. There was a Yuck-Mountain of solids in the black tank that I had to pull the belly pan, pull all the black piping, and get a LONG handled wooden spoon and "remove" it. Probably the most disgusting job I've ever done. I would spare you that pain....

The ice cube trick works great. I did that a few times and it removed everything that I couldn't get with the wooden spoon.

Liquid is your friend. Keep your valves closed until the tanks are full. Then drain them. Black first, then gray.

Cheers,
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Beemerman View Post
Hi folks FNG here.....'19 GT: what is the best slope to have Interstate on to completely drain black tank......I have a hard time getting below 25%......TIA.....look forward to being fairly active on the threads.....
It might not be a slope issue - but rather an inaccurate tank level reading. The gauges are notoriously inaccurate. The best way to check your black tank is right through the toilet. With a flashlight you can see if there is any waste left in tank after you empty it with a 25% tank reading. You could also use a dip stick to check the black tank level more accurately.
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Old 04-29-2019, 05:42 PM   #4
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JIMGOLDEN - Interstate vans have a macerator pump so leaving the drain valves open is not an option or an issue.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:02 PM   #5
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The black tank (as should the gray) should be on a slight angle as-installed, so if your trailer is level, should pretty well drain. Any nose high attitude you can provide should make it drain even better.
An Interstate Grand Tour van like Beemerman's isn't like a trailer.
Quote:
A good "trick" to help clean it all out is when the camping trip is about done and you are headed home, dump a big bag of ice down the toilet. As you drive, the ice cubes shake around and dislodge all the "tidbits" and then when you dump it for the last time, you're basically bare.
No ice in the black tank for an Interstate! Ice will destroy a macerator pump!
Quote:
You probably already know this, but a simple trick to help prevent the "Volcano of Nasty" is to keep both valves closed until it's empty time. Then you dump the black tank first. When it's purged, you dump the gray tank. That cleans out the pipes. If you leave them open, all the time, the liquids will drain but the solids will remain. Over time, that leads to a...
There is no bypass on the macerator pump, so you can't leave the gray tank valve open and let it drain. You hold the waste or you pump it out. No other options.

But to address the issue of getting the black tank clean and empty, a bit of dish soap down the black tank, along with a bit of Clorox, helps break up solids. And you can take advantage of an Interstate's wet bath layout by using the handheld shower head to spray HOT water into the black tank about an hour before you plan to drain the tank. Hot water helps soften the solids so the macerator pump doesn't have to grind so hard.

As for slope, I find that on my 2012 Interstate, having the van level front-to-back and slightly down on the driver's side gets my tanks emptiest when draining them. But tank arrangement and plumbing from the tanks to the macerator pump is not consistent between model years— and the Grand Tour, which has the wet bath on the driver's side instead of the passenger's side, is by definition plumbed differently from all other Interstates.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:06 PM   #6
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Your tank is likely empty, and you are getting a false reading. Probably a bit of “debris” on a sensor. Do you run the black flush?
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:01 AM   #7
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Thanks Protag......sounds like good “poop scoop” ‼️
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Old 04-30-2019, 04:47 PM   #8
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Until last week I was plagued with the same issue; false readings of the black tank. We had tried everything we've heard/read about and spent many tens of dollars on chemicals, detergents, tried various amounts of hot/cold water, driven around the block like a pizza delivery guy to churn things up, drain again... nothing worked.

Finally bought a rinsing wand, shoved it down the hole and rotated around and up and down to squirt the spray against all the walls of the tank and, PRESTO !! it's fixed. Black tank now repeatedly shows accurate level.

Best nine bucks I've spent in quite a while...

https://www.campingworld.com/holding...124&cgid=sewer
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Old 04-30-2019, 05:25 PM   #9
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Finally bought a rinsing wand, shoved it down the hole and rotated around and up and down to squirt the spray against all the walls of the tank and, PRESTO !! it's fixed. Black tank now repeatedly shows accurate level.
So the built-in sprayer at the tank end of the flush fitting didn't work for you?
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:01 PM   #10
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Protag:
Thanks for bringing that up... yes, I tried that maybe 8-10x over the past 25 dump cycles... (whenever I could... many non-potable water supplies have NO screw-on fitting). No luck at all. The $9 spray stick worked first time with maybe 30 seconds of diligent dipping and rotating of said stick in the nether regions of the black tank.

The AI built-in flush feature is presumably only aimed at a few fixed locations on the inner sides of the tank. The offending material was evidently where those spray patterns did not reach.

This handy tool also took care of a buildup around the "collar" just below the paddle valve so a recent smell build up was also dealt with adroitly.
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:24 PM   #11
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<<snip>> whenever I could... many non-potable water supplies have NO screw-on fitting <<snip>>
You need one of these for those time there are no threads on the hose end.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_thief

Camco also makes a similar item called a Water Bandit.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:31 PM   #12
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You need one of these for those time there are no threads on the hose end.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_thief

Camco also makes a similar item called a Water Bandit.

Hi Alan,
Aren't those Water Bandits designed to go onto a metal faucet that has no threads? What I'm faced with here in Oregon is many dump stations provide a hose but it has no threads on the outlet end of the rubber hose. I'm guessing a WBandit would not work in that case (?). I do not carry a non-drinking water hose and maybe I should... I'll double check that it's a standard hose bib cause it's often a pretty large diameter hose they offer at these public dump stations.


But even so... like I said, repeated flushing through the AI supplied flush fitting did not do the job for me but the stick worked well.
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:41 AM   #13
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The Water Thief is for non pressurized situations like filling the water tank or flushing with an open end device.
As long as the flow is not restricted beyond, the WT will work on any hose that will fit into its flexible end.
If pressure builds up due to restriction beyond the WT, the pressure will push the WT off of the hose.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:38 AM   #14
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Thumbs up Great advice

Great advice & discussion for this FNG......I've already used some of the posted tips, and am getting much more believable tank readings
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:40 PM   #15
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Quick connect for Black Tank Sprayer Fitting

FWIW, got this suggestion here on the forum.

Buy a short piece of threaded hose as well as a male/female quick connect fitting for flushing your black tank.

Connect the appropriate quick connect ends and flush away!

Have never tried using a water thief/bandit but my guess would be that it would not seal all that well with the end of a smooth rubber hose!
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig Rat View Post
FWIW, got this suggestion here on the forum.

Buy a short piece of threaded hose as well as a male/female quick connect fitting for flushing your black tank.

Connect the appropriate quick connect ends and flush away!

Have never tried using a water thief/bandit but my guess would be that it would not seal all that well with the end of a smooth rubber hose!
What a great idea! Quick connect for that would make it so easy to use. Ordered!!

3/4" Garden Hose Quick Connector Value Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IDHCL58..._hktZCbZV5E8N6

Thank you!
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Old 05-07-2019, 04:09 PM   #17
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Whoops...my bad. I didn't read the profile....thought he had a 19' Globetrotter (which I think is actually a 26' now that I think about it...) I forgot Airstream makes more than trailers

Tally Ho!
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