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Old 02-19-2003, 05:21 PM   #1
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Easiest way to flush black tank?


what is the recommended easiest manner to effectively flush the black tank? I have a '76 Sovereign. To date I have flushed with a garden hose. Has anyone tried anything else to increase the pressure in the tank? Does closing the tank, refilling and then emptying again do a better job? Please reply with all solutions.

Thanks, Joan
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Old 02-19-2003, 05:28 PM   #2
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You could fill it 1/3 and drive around. This will help to break up the waste. I've read that it helps if you put a bag of ice down the toilet prior to driving around. The ice helps to dislodge the waste.

Or you can close the valve, fill it 3/4 and then drain it. If you have a straight shot into the tank, you can take an old boom handle(you may want to get rid of it when you're done) and stick it down into the tank and move it around. Do this while the tank is at least 1/2 full. Then add more water and dump.

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Old 02-19-2003, 05:49 PM   #3
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I've read that it helps if you put a bag of ice down the toilet prior to driving around
I read it helps to clean the sensors (didn' work on ours)

Just don't forget to remove the ice from the bag first !!!!

Just teasing. (but somebody may follow your advice word for word, they may have a hard time to flush the whole thing though !!!)

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Old 02-19-2003, 05:53 PM   #4
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I've tried the wand, garden hose, ice, stick and probably other things but the only thing that I found to work is the attachment that goes on the outlet valve that lets you back flush the tank.
I use the FlushKing but there are others available at Camping World and other fine rv supply stores.
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for mentioning removing the ice from the bag. I'd hate to have someone think that the ice being in the bag has the scrubbing action .

I too read about cleaning the sensors with ice and thought maybe it could also loosen up the waste. I tried this to clean my sensors, but it didn't work.


Does the FlushKing really work? I saw your link from yesterday and it looks alot easier than bringing a hose inside the trailer.

Do you use a different water hose than the one you use for your city drinking water? I have a separate hose that I use for my black water tank flush. Even tho it has a check-valve, I'd hate to contaminate my fresh water hose and get sick.

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Old 02-19-2003, 06:25 PM   #6
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Regarding the Flush King

HI. How does the Flush King work? I am assuming you fit it on like you would the traveling cap and then hook the hose to a fitting on it and it squirts high pressure water into the tank ffrom outside. Does it work well or is just a simpler way to fill the tank. simpler than hauling the hose through the rig. How do you get it off without getting your hands all gunky?

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Old 02-19-2003, 06:33 PM   #7
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A good habit to get into when you're going to drain your black water tank, is to have your gray water tank filled too.

First dump the BWT and then dump the GWT. The water from the GWT flushes out the sewer hose for you, making it less funky to handle.

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Old 02-19-2003, 06:40 PM   #8
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Good habits

An equally good habit is to have a package of throwaway gloves in the tow vehicle. Put them on any time you are going to handle the sewer hoses and connectors. Remove them by turning them inside-out so that you never come in contact with the outside of the gloves.

Pinch the first glove to be removed between thumb and forefinger near the cuff and pull it off inside out. Then, slip a finger inside the second glove and roll it off. Now, the clean sides of both gloves are exposed and they can be handled without danger.
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:53 PM   #9
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I understand you not wanting to come in contact with any by products from the sewer hose. I too wear gloves, but their just the "garden" type with the rubber palms.

When breaking down camp, I usually save the dumping to last and I rinse them off before putting them away. I also store my 90 degree elbow by it's self in the front storage compartment on the A-frame.

I still find it amazing how people get freaked out over handling their sewer hoses and adapters, but well happily pick up the dog's stuff.

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Old 02-19-2003, 07:04 PM   #10
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Hello Joan

We bought our first A/S last summer. It came to us with "a smell".
We washed the entire trailer, steam cleaned the upholstery and carpets. Smell was still there. Of course being newbies we didn't check the obvious. It turned out the odour was coming from the black tank. Like John said.. we filled the tank 1/3 full with water and proper tank cleaner and drove around. After doing this 3 times....problem solved.
Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 02-19-2003, 07:16 PM   #11
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A lot of good ideas have been mentioned about dislodging old stuff but if I read your post correct, you answered you own question. If you start with a clean tank, the best way to maintain it is to always add a few gallons of water and chemicals before your trip to help dissolve the paper and waste before you drain. The chemicals really wonít break down the paper overnight, but will keep the odor down, especially in the summer. You don't want a dry tank bottom for something to stick to. After a weekend trip, or when ever it's time, fill it up the rest of the way with water and let gravity and volume help wash everything down. Fill the tank completely before you drain. I used the wand type rinse in my 76 and later built my own that had smaller holes for more pressure. They work great and provide the necessary pressure to help dislodge the "Stuff" but you will need to run the hose in from the outside, as the pressure from inside the trailer is not adequate. If youíre going to put the trailer up for a few weeks, do it twice. That is, fill the holding tank up again after you have used the wand, and let the force draw everything down. If you travel a lot, like mentioned before, fill it with a few gallons and let the road slosh it around and then dump at your next stop. Dry camping when you have to conserve black tank space requires a different approach. If you simply drain the tank and then park it for a few weeks, you will have surprises!
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