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bobandwendy1972

Preparing Grey & Black Before First Trip

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We are new motorhome owners.  We are about to take our new RV for our first trip.  I have already pre-sanitized the fresh water tank.  What suggestions do experienced RV'ers  suggest for preparing the grey & black tanks prior to leaving.

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You don't need to do anything, other than making sure there is some water in the black tank before using the toilet and that both dump valves/blade valves are CLOSED.

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Welcome to motorhome ownership. Agree with Wolfe10. In your black tank, water is your friend. Be sure to get full of liquid before dumping black so as to push the solids out.

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It's not preparation, just management that is a concern.  Be certain that the dump valves are closed!  You should dump the black water tank when it is near full.  If it isn't full after a weekend trip, it should still be dumped, don't let the black tank sit for long periods of inactivity in a partially full state.  We dump several buckets of water down the toilet after the black water tank has emptied.  This will attack the solids that can tend to build up under the toilet.  Dumping the tank after driving will also help as the movement will stir the tank helping to liquify the contents.

The gray water tank should be nearly full before dumping the black water tank.  After dumping the black tank, close the valve and dump the gray water.  This will rinse the sewer hose. 

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9 hours ago, bobandwendy1972 said:

We are new motorhome owners.  We are about to take our new RV for our first trip.  I have already pre-sanitized the fresh water tank.  What suggestions do experienced RV'ers  suggest for preparing the grey & black tanks prior to leaving.

Welcome to the forum. After reading the excellent advice the only thing I can add is  make sure the valves are closed and go have some fun with your new toy. Let us know how the first trip went.

Bill

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Definitely make sure the valves are closed.  Ask my DW how she knows that and will never get near a grey tank (or any tanks) valve.

For the Black, I dump while the back wash is activated watching the color of the water flow through a clear elbow.  When it is almost clear I'll close the tank valve and set my watch timer for 2 or 3 minutes then open the valve. I may do this a couple times.  Every other dump (or so) I'll ask DW to fill and flush.  She will fill the bowl to the brim and flush, doing this two times.  If I notice after the second time she does this that the water flowing is not to my liking she may do it a third time.  When I'm satisfied I'll close the valve and let the back flush fill for 1 minute. 

For the grey I dump after the black to clean the line, plus, I have an adapter that I purchased at Wallyworld that attaches to the sewer line and I run water through it for a few minutes.

After all that and stowing the gear I'll go in and put one smelly packet in the toilet along with two cap fulls of Calgon water softener.  That has made a big difference when dumping.

To each their own, but that's my stroke.

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I want to add that it would be a good idea to get a clear sewer hose adapter so you can see if it is flowing clear after you flush out the tank. They come in many angles and length so you should be able to find one that works. I used this as it was the first good picture. You can get them from Camping world or Amazon or walley world. All the instructions on flushing your tank are great but you need this little window to see if it is working.:D

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-39562-Clear-Sewer-Hose-Adapter-3.5-Adapter/54409461?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&adid=22222222227057519621&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=161506821305&wl4=pla-269335435589&wl5=9027284&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=online&wl12=54409461&wl13=&veh=sem

Bill

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I can't type that long, but if you have any questions, just ask.  DW says I'm a know-it-all, but my oldest son contests that as he thinks he knows-it-all.

Who am I to argue with that.

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3 hours ago, bobandwendy1972 said:

Thanks for all the advice.  If anyone has any other advice please keep them coming.  I will be sure to update after we complete our first trip.

There really is not a lot of advice needed here.  You have a clean fresh water system and you have 2 other tanks that don't need any maintenance.  What they do need is proper use.  Keep both valves closed until the black tank is about 3/4 full.  Dump the black and when that's complete, dump the grey.  Close both valves and you don't need to do anything else until the black is 3/4 full again.  If you happen to take really long showers you might have to dump the grey once between black dumps but that's OK, too.  Just be sure to close all valves when you are not in the dump process.

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Wanted to let everyone who provided me help with answering my questions how things went.  Prior to departing I filled the fresh water tank and emptied it, then filled it again we did not experience any issues with the contents of the fresh water tank.  I also put in about (6) gallons of water and a deodorizer packet into the black water tank.  I did not do anything with the grey water tank, but next trip I will add a deodorizer tablet and some water into the grey water tank prior to departure.  I had no issues dumping either tank when we departed the campground.  I want to thank everyone who responded, your incite helped a lot.  I also, want to thank our neighbor at the campground he provided me a number of suggestions on things to do. 

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Happy Camper is a product that many use, we've started to use it about three years ago now. Periodically, say three to four times a year. We'll dump grey and black, add water to about 1/3 of the way full in each tank. Add either Happy Camper Heavy Cleaner (Not sure of the name, but it's their severe cleaning product.). Or if all we have is normal Happy Camper, we'll add some to both tanks along with a good squirt (about two to three OZ's) of Dawn dishwashing fluid. Then go drive to our next campground. The sloshing around as you drive, helps clean the tanks and the level sensors probes. 

We also have Back Flush rinses on our tanks. I use a separate 8' hose just for that duty. And flush about every third to fourth dump. 

On older coaches, I've just tried a tip from another forum. I dumped both tanks. Split a cheap gallon of vegetable oil into each tank. Let it sit for about 20 mins, then dumped. While dumping this small mouth of vegetable oil, I opened/close the blade as rapidly as I could until it was fully drained. (For me, that was only about 3 - 4 times. A a half gallon drains fast.) and then flushed both tanks. The vegetable oil works around the blades and seals to help treat them. I found that the Black tank which was becoming a bit hard to pull open, was again moving easier. 

Final item I do about 3 -4 times a year, is when the blade is fully open, I rub some Protect All on the metal shaft, and slide it in/out 4-5 times to help coat the inside track too. This also seems to help on easy open/close of the blade. (Some use teflon or silicone for this, but I've found the Protect All to do the coating well for us.)

And another tip that a fellow RV'er showed me, was once you have drained the black, followed by the grey, and back flushed if needed. Let the hose fully drain. Disconnect from the coach first, and 'walk the hose' until it is fully drained into the dump side. Once it is allowed to drip/shaking some while dripping, then disconnect from the dump side. Connect the male into the female end of the hose for storage. This keeps possibly contaminated grey/black from dripping into your storage area for the hose while traveling. 

Also keeping a small bottle with a mix of bleach water in the Water Bay, allows to spray hose bibs (Run the water a bit too.) before connecting your hose to the bib. (Just watch what happens in campgrounds and RV parks, as may will take their Stinky Slinky and rinse them at the hose bib that is providing 'fresh drinking water' to the next user of the site... Have seen this enough to know bib contamination is a reality.)

And as others have said. Go have some fun:)!

Best,

Smitty

 

 

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I never have understood the logic in wanting to deodorize the black or gray tanks....be like deodorizing a septic tank at home.  The key to keeping the tanks working properly, especially the black tank, is lots and lots of water.  All these tank additives do is make a contribution to the manufacturer's bottom line.  I have a tank flusher that I seldom use.  When I do use it, normally nothing comes out but clear water.

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Five.  I use my tank flusher a couple of times a year, but I don't put anything in the bowl, just run water. Other than HP3% in Fresh tank and water hose, that's it. :)

Herman.  I have not had that "Senior moment, yet"! :lol:

Smitty.  I'll skip the Vegetable oil, don't need that on my sensors! :wacko: Protect all does work.:)

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