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Old 01-23-2008, 06:22 AM   #21
Fire5er
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I fully agree that the key is the clear extension between the hose and RV dump outlet at the trailer. I feel that if you can't see when the system is running clean then how do you know when you have flushed the system fully. We are only weekenders and vacationers but when we dump we let the black tank fill all the way up before we dump. We have heard way too many stories about those who have backed up or cloged black tanks. When you fill the Black tank fully before you flush the head pressure will blow out all of the waste in the tank. We keep filling and then dumping until the water runs clear.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:40 AM   #22
bncinwv
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Ditto all remarks about the clear extension and letting tank fill partially (still scared of topping it off), usually time fill to about three minutes then dump, then repeat process. Usually takes 15-20 minutes to get clear drainage. I also use the orange chemicals after each dump and use a little after cleaning as well. Yes, the same stuff that most on the forum do not condone (it is a personal choice). We are also only weekenders and vacationers (three-six weeks in summer is longest stay) so the system seems to work for us.
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Bingo and Cathy - Our adventures begin in the hills of WV. We are blessed by our 2014 3850FL Big Sky (previous 2011 3750FL and 2007 3400RL) that we pull with a 2007 Chevy Silverado Classic DRW CC dually.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:56 AM   #23
genecurp
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Another helpful, practical topic. I have just begun filling the tank a second time before running the flusher hose. I got curious and looked up the literature that came with the flusher option. It says 2 minutes run time! I don't have a clear extension (yet)but I was was sure 2 minutes wouldn't get the job done. 15 minutes doesn't seem to clear up my level indicators all the way.

Thanks for the tips everyone.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:34 PM   #24
bncinwv
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Odds are, even if you flushed for days, you would not get your level indicators working correctly. Nature of the beast unfortunately.
Bingo
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:01 PM   #25
Waynem
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First thing I'm doing is to buy a clear flush valve . Second thing is to take the Hanna to the Texas City Dump station and flush it until it runs clean using the methods described in this thread. I knew I'd get some good answers, none of which are wrong, but some may work better than others. What ever works is what I am going to end up with.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:48 AM   #26
skypilot
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Regarding the question on how long it takes -- I've never really timed it but I only run the flush unit for a couple of minutes if I'm at a public dump site. I have the 'luxury' of having put in a dump station at home so I can take as long as I want, or need, when we get home. For the full-timers or those on extended trips I realize that is not an option.

Now, that all said -- when we went to ABQ last fall for family funeral I had to stay at a site out east of town for a night. I was given a sheet explaining water restrictions and such; in Colby KS last spring we were advised no washing of clothes, vehicles, etc., due to water restrictions because of the drought. I don't consider myself to be an ecologist but I guess the brain washings from my daughter and from some of the literature I've read is beginning to rub off on me. If a couple of 2 to 3 minute runs of the turbo wash clears the outflow, then that is enough for me. But, like so many of the things we each do, it is an individual thing.

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Old 01-24-2008, 04:19 PM   #27
snfexpress
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Skypilot,

Your conservation goals are genuinely admirable. We, too, do not like to waste water, electricity, propane, or ???.

We are new to this game of RVing, so we have tried various ideas and continue to experiment as new information (at least to us) is forthcoming. Last year, while wintering in Arizona, I dumped the black tank and then used the sprayer for two minutes. Sometimes, I even ran another few minutes until the water "ran clear". I say "ran clear" because the water is flowing over the solids on the bottom of the tank - the sprayer is on the top of the tank. Over a three month period, our tank gradually began to fill with yuckies. I know this because when our tank is clean, we generally run about 7 days before our Monty burps. Last year, we got down to just 3 days before our Monty burped.

This year, I find that with the method that I have described, mainly because we are sitting, our tank stays relatively clean allowing us 7 days before our Monty burps. I find that I need to spend the extra fill/dumping time every other week. When we start moving again, we don't need to use as much water. At some point, if we don't use the water now, we will either have to use an extraordinary amount of water to dislodge the build-up of solid waste or, worse, replace our tank. We use the stuff from "Happy Camper" and with our cleaning schedule, we no longer have any smells.

We have tried using enzymes, "good bacteria", Calgon, etc. and find that the "Happy Camper" granules work the best, for us.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:10 AM   #28
skypilot
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Understand completely about stuff setting up (been there - done that -- forgot one fall to dump/clean tanks and left it until spring -- amazing how much water evaporates over a period of a couple of months!!!!

My personal concern (note personal concern) is blocking a dump station for an hour (or even 30 minutes) when there are others in line waiting to use it and get on the road. I personally don't like to travel with a black tank approaching 1/2 full or more (weight plus the mess if that tank were to crack / leak). As I said above, I have a luxury in the form of a clean out that I can dump to at home. So, I try to dump the tanks, do a 'quick' rinse and then clear the dump station so that the next person in line can get in and then on to their travels.

When I get home, or to a site that does not have water restrictions, then I do a much more thorough cleaning of the black tank, but again, not more than several minutes with the flush running. To date - using the water softner routine, I've not experienced any buildups using this methodology. Not to say that I won't, but it works for me so far. Who knows what tomorrow will bring though.

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Old 01-25-2008, 09:30 AM   #29
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Skypilot

When we have to use a community dump, we dump fast, very little rinse, Calgon it, add a bit more water and book it out of there.

When we have FULL hookups, and sit for a while, we use the power rinse and rinse away till it runs clear, as described here.

IF, we ever found a campground that was in water rationing, we would abide by their rules, and pray real hard for rain!

We try to adjust to the conditions presented.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:39 PM   #30
Waynem
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Skypilot,
I was going to PM you about the "water softener," (Calgon) I think it is of value to us all if you could expound a little about its use.

Thanks
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:52 AM   #31
skypilot
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A couple of years ago I read about 'a natural' tank methodology. Tried it for awhile but didn't really like it so I went back to my old way (I use the blue stuff in the holding tanks to control odor); however, I had some calgon powdered water softner left so I continued to use it. When I discovered that I left the black tank about 1/3 full for the winter and the water froze / evaporated out, the dealer had me fill the tank some and try to dump it. Well, the valve opened but nothing would come out so they had me pull the trailer to them so that they could try to 'unplug' the thing. When I got there, the 20 mile trip broke the stuff loose from the tank and it emptied. Techs there were surprised and asked me what I had in there -- told them the blue stuff and about 2 cups of calgon water softner. They all said at once -- "That's it".

Basically the calgon keeps the sides of the tank slick enough that the waste comes out easier -- same principle as washing your body with water from a water softner.

In any case, I still put about a cup to 2 cups of calgon into the black tank everytime I start it out after dumping. Figure it can't hurt anything and cheap insurance against my ole brain doing something stupid again .
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:59 AM   #32
skypilot
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Was just looking at posts and realized my little brain 'death' episode wasn't shown -- several years ago when I still had my Cougar (2 trailers ago so 5 or so years) we went to an away game and upon return I was rushing and didn't dump tanks right then. Well, weather changed and I winterized but still didn't dump grey or black tanks (had emptied fresh on the way back). Well, after everything had froze I thought I had better dump them -- needless to say I couldn't. Come Spring, gray tank dumped a little water but nothing from black. Ran some water in, nothing out -- OH crud --- plugged. So phone calls to the dealer who gave me estimates of replacement costs etc... and the suggestions. Was very happy when the stuff came loose and broke apart -- very lucky actually. So, since then I've made it my routine to dump tanks while unloading the trailer after a trip / tailgate. I used to wait until the end of tailgating but as fickle as the weather here in Kansas is I now dump after every trip.
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:32 AM   #33
MacDR50
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I have heard of the ice-cube trick but never tried it. In our seasonal campsite situation I flush every dump. I keep the valves closed not open like many I have seen and only dump when they are full. Once a week I do the extra flush routine filling and dumping and repeating. When moving I put 5 gals of water in the tank, add a 1/4 cup of TSP and a cup of Mr. Clean or Lestoil. At the campsite I add more water until the tank is full and then dump and flush. I also add a few gallons to the gray tank, a bit of cleaner and some TSP as it breaks up the grease. When we are away from the MH during the week I dump, add 5 gals water and Mr. Clean etc. It softens up anything left behind. Through it all I use tank deodorant. Never had a problem.

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Old 01-26-2008, 10:57 AM   #34
Waynem
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I always use the deodorant. I'm ignorant to the acronym TSP. Help please.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:28 PM   #35
MAMalody
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I have been toying with the idea of a macerator and hose...any thoughts? One of the advantages is that I could dump at my house and not have to go to a dealer on the way home. Also, it seems to be a little less troublesome to set up and handle.
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:24 AM   #36
simonsrf
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MAMalody

I have been toying with the idea of a macerator and hose...any thoughts? One of the advantages is that I could dump at my house and not have to go to a dealer on the way home. Also, it seems to be a little less troublesome to set up and handle.
Mike,

You might want to look at the sewer solution. We are able to pump 70 feet away and slightly uphill. http://tinyurl.com/38dsz3
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:41 AM   #37
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MAMalody

I have been toying with the idea of a macerator and hose...any thoughts? One of the advantages is that I could dump at my house and not have to go to a dealer on the way home. Also, it seems to be a little less troublesome to set up and handle.
I use a macerator. Looked at the Sewer Solution but found that the macerator setup was better for me.

Orv
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Old 01-27-2008, 07:28 AM   #38
simonsrf
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[/quote]
I use a macerator. Looked at the Sewer Solution but found that the macerator setup was better for me.
Orv
[/quote]

Orv, that is one interesting statement. I also looked at the macerator, and am wondering how you came to that conclusion? I have a hard time understanding how a macerator could be better in any situation; please enlighten me with your expertise and explanation.

Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:11 AM   #39
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by simonsrf
I use a macerator. Looked at the Sewer Solution but found that the macerator setup was better for me.
Orv
[/quote]

Orv, that is one interesting statement. I also looked at the macerator, and am wondering how you came to that conclusion? I have a hard time understanding how a macerator could be better in any situation; please enlighten me with your expertise and explanation.

Thanks.
I'm able to pump the sewage to an upstairs toilet in a relative's house when parked there. The Sewer Solution won't do that.

Orv
[/quote]
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:34 AM   #40
simonsrf
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by ols1932

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by simonsrf
I use a macerator. Looked at the Sewer Solution but found that the macerator setup was better for me.
Orv
Orv, that is one interesting statement. I also looked at the macerator, and am wondering how you came to that conclusion? I have a hard time understanding how a macerator could be better in any situation; please enlighten me with your expertise and explanation.

Thanks.
I'm able to pump the sewage to an upstairs toilet in a relative's house when parked there. The Sewer Solution won't do that.

Orv
[/quote]
[/quote]

I get it now, you use a macerator with a pump. You have some very loving relatives. LOL Thanks for your explanation.
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