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Old 07-05-2019, 07:57 AM   #1
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2017 Interstate Lounge Ext
Delray Beach , Florida
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I forgot to drain the tanks...

Hi all,

Itís been a little while since Iíve last posted and hope this message finds everyone well.

Iíve had some distractions lately and forgot to empty the grey and black tanks after my last trip. They are both at least 3/4 full and been sitting for months. I am going on a trip tomorrow and want to empty them at a nearby RV park before we leave.

Do you guys have any experience and advise with draining stale tanks? I am afraid itís dried up or something so maybe I should add some water before I leave to drain them? Any thoughts?

Also, what should I do with the water tank once I empty it? Should I disinfect the tank by adding drops of bleach when I fill it up again?

Any advise is appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by BocaDad View Post
Hi all,

Itís been a little while since Iíve last posted and hope this message finds everyone well.

Iíve had some distractions lately and forgot to empty the grey and black tanks after my last trip. They are both at least 3/4 full and been sitting for months. I am going on a trip tomorrow and want to empty them at a nearby RV park before we leave.

Do you guys have any experience and advise with draining stale tanks? I am afraid itís dried up or something so maybe I should add some water before I leave to drain them? Any thoughts?

Also, what should I do with the water tank once I empty it? Should I disinfect the tank by adding drops of bleach when I fill it up again?

Any advise is appreciated.

Thanks!
The gray tank may be a little smelly, so dump a quarter-cup of bleach down the drain and make sure it's washed to the tank with an adequate amount of fresh water.

Then dump a bag of ice cubes into your black tank through the toilet. You can put liquid enzymes with it for deoderizer if you want.

Then immediately go drive a few miles and let the bleach in the gray tank and the ice cubes slosh around for a bit and clean the tanks before you go and drain the tanks. When you return, put some fresh water in the black tank, and more enzymes while it sits and your next trip should be more pleasant.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:15 AM   #3
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I would just go dump them.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:16 AM   #4
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I would fill the tanks with water so that the water line from months of sitting is under water. This would give a chance to soak loose stuff on the water line. Surprised that you did not notice any smell after the months of sitting. The traps and vents must work well.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:38 AM   #5
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(1) Dump as usual.

(2) This next part is most easily done as a 2-person job. Carefully haul a live (but not running) water hose in through your van door, stick the business end into your open toilet, and when the moment is right (when you and your assistant area in place), turn on the water and blast out the inside of that tank through the open toilet flap.

(3) Fill the tanks with fresh water, let set, maybe drive around a bit to slosh the tank. I have a friend who insists on adding a bit of Dawn dish soap at just point in the process, but I have never done it.

(4) Repeat step (1).

(5) Iterate with (2) if you feel the need. A flashlight down the toilet opening might be enough to show you whether it's clean.

We have actually worked on our black tank fittings, especially when we upgraded our toilet, and so we've had to make that tank VERY clean. There's no better method that I have found than hose-blasting it.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:19 AM   #6
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Hi

Simple answer is to dump / fill / dump / fill / dump to the point that things seem to have settled down. Then fill to as full as you dare (you will have to use the tanks ...) and let it sit for a day or two. Then dump / fill / dump.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post

(2) This next part is most easily done as a 2-person job. Carefully haul a live (but not running) water hose in through your van door, stick the business end into your open toilet, and when the moment is right (when you and your assistant area in place), turn on the water and blast out the inside of that tank through the open toilet flap.
Good advise from IB for getting that "squeaky clean" tank feeling. One small suggestion for step 2... wear rubber gloves and long sleeves... and don't look down the hole while blasting to see how the job is progressing!
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:46 AM   #8
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For the grey tank I’d drain and refill with a water bleach solution and drive around for a while.

For the black tank I’d drain, of course, and then use a cleaning wand to wash out the tank. Now THAT is a fun job! Many RV supply stores will have that tool.

If there isn’t time to do that, refill the black tank half full with water and drive around for a bit.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:56 AM   #9
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Some great ideas/suggestions. I use the bleach on the gray and Camco orange scent RV toilet treatment...help with keeping everything decomposing correctly and also helps control bad smells.

But on the black tank, I thought that was what the backflush port is for??
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:03 AM   #10
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Also, if the fresh tank wasnít drained, or even if it was, that will need sterilization.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:10 AM   #11
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But on the black tank, I thought that was what the backflush port is for??
If it's got one. My '04 Interstate doesn't. My '06 Born Free does. Works great when it's there.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:34 AM   #12
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The gray tank may be a little smelly, so dump a quarter-cup of bleach down the drain and make sure it's washed to the tank with an adequate amount of fresh water.

Then dump a bag of ice cubes into your black tank through the toilet. You can put liquid enzymes with it for deoderizer if you want.

Then immediately go drive a few miles and let the bleach in the gray tank and the ice cubes slosh around for a bit and clean the tanks before you go and drain the tanks. When you return, put some fresh water in the black tank, and more enzymes while it sits and your next trip should be more pleasant.

I would do this method and not worry about it too much ...if you feel you still have build up in black tank I would use a pressure wand ...... Ice cubes work great.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:17 AM   #13
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You do not need to stick a hose down the toilet. Your model has a black tank flushing connection which should be used every time you dump. If you don't, it can plug up forever and the only fix is black tank removal. It has a vacuum break built in so you don't have to worry about cross connection. I would also recommend getting a clear view fitting to confirm a efficient cleaning of the black tank. When I really want to cleans the tank, I shut the valve and read the tank level indicator to 60-70%. With the clear view adapter, you will be amazed at what continues to come out. Better than any celebrity worship shows or the Bachelor on TV and pretty similar intellectual content. Sometimes I have to do it 2 or 3 times. Stay close to the valve and DO NOT LEAVE even for a minute. More than one person has and had the distinct experience of a poop geyser coming out of the roof tank vent.



The ice cube trick has been pretty much debunked. Google it.


Then close the black tank valve and drain the grey water. I like to keep the grey tank near full to help flush the sewer hose.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:26 AM   #14
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I would just go dump them.
I agree.
I don't know what you put in your black tank, but I use the old fashioned blue liquid.
The only thing that causes problems is when you leave the black tank valve open at a campground, then the liquid (#1) drains and the solids (#2) dry out in the tank.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:06 PM   #15
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You do not need to stick a hose down the toilet. Your model has a black tank flushing connection which should be used every time you dump. ....
(1) True - thems that have flushing connections should use them as they were designed to be used.

- HOWEVER -

(2) It's debatable whether they are the best option for heavily-soiled tanks. I think it would depend on the individual design.

I actually bought Valterra retrofit flushing hardware for my system recently, because ours is too old to have one of those integrated. My conclusion - I wasted my money. It is too inefficient because it's essentially sending water up from below rather than crashing it down from above. There's no delivery of kinetic energy with the flushing event. I'm a lot better off either hosing from above, or alternatively, dumping in buckets of water from above the toilet, down into the system, so that it can flow through there with force.

Sometimes low-tech wins.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BocaDad View Post
Hi all,

It’s been a little while since I’ve last posted and hope this message finds everyone well.

I’ve had some distractions lately and forgot to empty the grey and black tanks after my last trip. They are both at least 3/4 full and been sitting for months. I am going on a trip tomorrow and want to empty them at a nearby RV park before we leave.

Do you guys have any experience and advise with draining stale tanks? I am afraid it’s dried up or something so maybe I should add some water before I leave to drain them? Any thoughts?

Also, what should I do with the water tank once I empty it? Should I disinfect the tank by adding drops of bleach when I fill it up again?

Any advise is appreciated.

Thanks!
Which of your units are you asking about, Flying Cloud or Interstate.

If it is the trailer, look down into the tank thru the toilet. If it is not dry, add some water then drive a few extra miles on your way to the dump to mix things up. Then dump normally.

I have no idea about your Interstate, especially if a macerator is involved.

Make SURE everything is connected properly. You do not want to have a spill accident with this load!
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:12 PM   #17
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Smile

After you dump, put 5-10 gallons in the tanks with a tide pod it will wash as you drive
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:08 PM   #18
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I would also recommend getting a clear view fitting to confirm a efficient cleaning of the black tank.
HHENDRIX - apologies for my ignorance, but what is the "clear view fitting" ? Is that just for systems with regular 3" sewer hoses or do they work on macerator systems too (which is what I have in our AI)? Or is this an actual fitting put permanently in lieu of a length of the black pvc sewer pipe?
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:26 PM   #19
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I had this same facepalm moment a couple months ago when I was inside the A$ and idly checked the levels. The black tank had 40%...! I knew we weren't going camping soon, but had an appointment with the dealer to 'tune up' a few things under warranty. What I did:

I have water softener powder ("Rain Drops" or something similar) so I put a cup of that into the tank, followed by a capful of cheap laundry detergent. Added water to the 70% mark. Let that sit for a couple weeks, to get things 'softened up', then it was time for the appointment. An hour and a half drive to the dealer's, in city traffic.

At the dealer's, it went, WHOOOOOOSH! Checked later, clean. (Keep a FIRM hold on your flashlight...)

I've used this method for some 20 years in our RV and boat holding tanks, seems to have worked well.

Hope that helps.
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:27 PM   #20
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Using bleach kills the enzymes, it’s one or the other, not both. We never use bleach because we have been to places that have septic tanks, (bleach is contraindicated in septic
tanks). Enzymes are best IMO. We use “Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment”
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