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Old 07-30-2020, 06:27 AM   #1
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First trip in new AS today — last minute questions

We're taking our first trip in the 2018 Flying Cloud 23FB we bought a week ago. Super excited! We won't be boondocking, exactly, but will be in a campground with no hookups and no water. I have a few last-minute questions.

1) We're bringing a full tank of water, as well as three full 7-gallon storage jugs. We have a Berkey water filter for drinking water. I assume this should be plenty for three people for 3.5 days? We're fine with doing only a navy shower once or twice during that period and we have body wipes. I also have a 30-gallon water bladder I could fill and bring but it seems like overkill?

2) Is it good practice to dump the grey and black tanks after every trip, even if they aren't full? There's a dump station on the way home that we could stop at.

3) Will the Dometic fridge operate on AC power when connected to a 110v / 15 amp home outlet via an adapter? Or does it need to be connected to a 30 amp outlet?

Thanks!
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:33 AM   #2
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We dump every time we have an opportunity! Dump and rinse helps prevent sludge... no one likes sludge!
As for the fridge, has it got a propane setting? If it is an absorption type unit it can be powered by propane and this is what you will need. If it is a compressor type like the ones coming in the newest models, I’d be amazed if you could go more than a day without charging the batteries. A quick read of the refrigerator manual would clear this up.
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:35 AM   #3
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We dump every time we have an opportunity! Dump and rinse helps prevent sludge... no one likes sludge!
As for the fridge, has it got a propane setting? If it is an absorption type unit it can be powered by propane and this is what you will need. If it is a compressor type like the ones coming in the newest models, I’d be amazed if you could go more than a day without charging the batteries. A quick read of the refrigerator manual would clear this up.
Yes, it has a propane setting. It has "auto" mode which automatically switches from AC to propane depending on whether we are plugged in. But my question was whether it will use AC when only connected to 15 amps rather than 30.

We bought the trailer used and it didn't come with the fridge manual, but I will try to find it on Dometic's website.
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:45 AM   #4
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Yes, it has a propane setting. It has "auto" mode which automatically switches from AC to propane depending on whether we are plugged in. But my question was whether it will use AC when only connected to 15 amps rather than 30.

We bought the trailer used and it didn't come with the fridge manual, but I will try to find it on Dometic's website.
I see... I know ours did work on the 15 amp cord. Ours was a tiny little fridge as used in the smallest Bambi models though.
The question is what does it consume in the AC mode. It depends on the size of the heating element. The propane works just as well as the AC mode and there are no benefits in terms of refrigerator cooling.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:03 AM   #5
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The fridge will work with no problems on your 15 amp home service. Just don’t try to use the AC.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:05 AM   #6
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Have fun.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:07 AM   #7
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1) That sounds like plenty of water for 3.5 days based on what you stated. Whatever your fresh tank holds plus 21 gallons is probably almost 2 tanks full.

2) I normally like to dump at the end of each trip, and then prime the black tank using the geo method so it's ready for the next trip. I might not dump the black tank if the time between trips is less than two weeks. It's good practice to let the black tank fill to 75%+ before dumping. So during a trip I dump the grey tank more often than the black tank.

3) I think you got the answer on this one. The refrigerator should work fine on a 15 amp outlet, but propane is a viable option too.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:11 AM   #8
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1) That sounds like plenty of water for 3.5 days based on what you stated. Whatever your fresh tank holds plus 21 gallons is probably almost 2 tanks full.

2) I normally like to dump at the end of each trip, and then prime the black tank using the geo method so it's ready for the next trip. I might not dump the black tank if the time between trips is less than two weeks. It's good practice to let the black tank fill to 75%+ before dumping. So during a trip I dump the grey tank more often than the black tank.

3) I think you got the answer on this one. The refrigerator should work fine on a 15 amp outlet, but propane is a viable option too.
I just looked up the "geo method" for priming the tanks. Dumb question, but how do you pour the solution into the black tank? With a funnel directly into the tank at the hose outlet? Or into the toilet?
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:15 AM   #9
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You only THINK you know how to do a navy shower. Bet you burn through half the water with three people taking a shower!

Your grey tank will fill faster than your black tank. You could (we do this when we boondock) put a flat tub in the shower when you take that "navy" shower and then dump it in the toilet when you're done. saves space in the grey tank.

Of course you're out there to have fun. My choice would be a full hookup canpground for the first few trips. Your gonna miss that tv!
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:24 AM   #10
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I just looked up the "geo method" for priming the tanks. Dumb question, but how do you pour the solution into the black tank? With a funnel directly into the tank at the hose outlet? Or into the toilet?
Directly into the toilet. That'd be the only way.
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I just looked up the "geo method" for priming the tanks. Dumb question, but how do you pour the solution into the black tank? With a funnel directly into the tank at the hose outlet? Or into the toilet?

All black tank treatments go thru the dumper.
I did the original GEO method years ago, now it's Happy Camper and 1/2oz of dawn into a full toilet bowl, swish & flush.
I have found it's always best to dump after driving 50 miles or so...helps get all the 'stuff' out.

Go camping...Sweet Streams.

Bob
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:48 AM   #12
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You only THINK you know how to do a navy shower. Bet you burn through half the water with three people taking a shower!

Your grey tank will fill faster than your black tank. You could (we do this when we boondock) put a flat tub in the shower when you take that "navy" shower and then dump it in the toilet when you're done. saves space in the grey tank.

Of course you're out there to have fun. My choice would be a full hookup canpground for the first few trips. Your gonna miss that tv!
Ha ha, you might be right. But we've all done extended tent camping trips without access to a shower at all, so we should be fine. We did get a privacy tent to put around our outdoor shower, so we could do that as well to save grey tank space. And we have a plastic dishwashing tub that we will use to wash dishes and dump that water in the toilet.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:21 AM   #13
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But my question was whether it will use AC when only connected to 15 amps rather than 30.
Yes.
It takes a full day to get cold. So don't expect to plug it in and feel something getting cooler.

In theory when you lose ac power it will automatically switch to gas. I always felt better by switching it off then on to auto.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:29 AM   #14
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If someone hasn’t already said, your refrigerator will consume some battery power using propane, an issue if boon docking. Enjoy!
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:31 AM   #15
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First trip in new AS today — last minute questions

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Ha ha, you might be right. But we've all done extended tent camping trips without access to a shower at all, so we should be fine. We did get a privacy tent to put around our outdoor shower, so we could do that as well to save grey tank space. And we have a plastic dishwashing tub that we will use to wash dishes and dump that water in the toilet.


Be careful someone recently accidentally dumped a fork in the toilet.🥵
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:34 AM   #16
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Try to dump that black tank as full as possible. You need the liquid to take out the solids. I have a 60 gallon fresh water tank with my Classic and typically if I don't have a water hookup I will bring 3 empty 7 gallon plastic canisters with me. That way if I run short, I can take those canisters to the nearest campground water supply and fill them and take them back to the trailer. Water will go faster than you realize. If I know the campground has no water supply to replenish, I fill those canisters prior to leaving home. Prior to heading for home, if the campground has a dump station, I will use what is left of my water to get the black water tank as full as possible if it doesn't have much in it. Drain the black tank first. Then close it off and drain the grey water tank. That will clean out the hose.

I have a 39 gallon black and a 39 gallon grey tank. That black tank technically will easily go 7 days for 2 people and maybe even another day or two. At 7 days I will typically dump that tank when I am at a full hookup site. I have filled a grey water tank within 3 days if you don't monitor your usage of water. Showers and dish washing and bushing of teeth will be your principal use of water.

I'm sure you know this but don't leave the black tank open when you are at a full hookup site. However you can leave the grey tank open at the full hookup site if you like.

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Old 07-30-2020, 08:41 AM   #17
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Thanks, everyone. I don't have Happy Camper on hand, but I do have a bottle of TankTechsRx that the previous owner had. The black tank is now empty. Should I add some water and some of the TankTechsRx to the toilet and flush so that the black tank is not completely empty before we start using the toilet?

I plan to use Happy Camper plus a little Dawn and Calgon (we have very hard water) in the future, but just wondering what to do for this trip.

Also, I understand the logic behind not dumbing the black tank unless it's 2/3 full. But if the trailer is going to sit for a month before our next trip, does that mean I should fill the black tank with water (via the toilet) and dump after this trip, even though it won't be nearly 2/3 full? Will not dumping it lead to a sewer smell if it sits for a month?
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Old 07-30-2020, 09:44 AM   #18
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Switters, I always dump the black tank when finished with the last trip no matter what the level. Use the black tank flush, let it run for at least five minutes with the dump valve closed then pull the handle.

As others have mentioned, grey water will be your Achilles heal. You could pick up a “blue boy” portable tank if the campsite has a dump station close by. Here’s one I’ve had in my Amazon wish list.

We plug into 15A at home and run the fridge on AC until we leave then change over to propane. Allow at least a day (two if you want) to chill down properly. *Make sure your trailer is level or the fridge will not cool properly.* Our first trailer was a 2018 FC23FB, nice model! Wish you many nights of fun camping.

-Jeff
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:28 AM   #19
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Switters, I always dump the black tank when finished with the last trip no matter what the level. Use the black tank flush, let it run for at least five minutes with the dump valve closed then pull the handle.

As others have mentioned, grey water will be your Achilles heal. You could pick up a “blue boy” portable tank if the campsite has a dump station close by. Here’s one I’ve had in my Amazon wish list.

We plug into 15A at home and run the fridge on AC until we leave then change over to propane. Allow at least a day (two if you want) to chill down properly. *Make sure your trailer is level or the fridge will not cool properly.* Our first trailer was a 2018 FC23FB, nice model! Wish you many nights of fun camping.

-Jeff
This is my first time dumping the tanks, and I'm a little nervous about it! Just want to clarify the full process:

1) Attach black tank flush hose and let run for a few min with valve closed.
2) Pull black tank valve and drain
3) Close black tank valve
4) Pull grey tank valve and drain

I have always been told that I should first open the black tank valve, then flush it using the hose, then drain the grey tank.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:43 AM   #20
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John & Roberta here
We see you have lots of four- and five-rivet advice, and maybe we could add something, but probably not. While this sterling panel is assembled, we’d like to put a question of our own out there—are we Airstreamers stuck with the rapid pounding sound that accompanies operation of our Pentair Shurflo by-pass pump? A secondary problem is the failure of the incorporated check valve(s) to block flow of city water into the fresh water tank, to the point of overflow down the side of the trailer.
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