Black water protocol - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-06-2020, 08:24 PM   #1
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Black water protocol

I have a newbie question for you. When draining one's black water tank, is it OK to do a couple of clean flushes at the end to get a little more of the debris out and start the hose cleaning process - or is there some inherent danger in doing this? Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:41 PM   #2
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Only the danger of impatient people behind you in line. Otherwise I don’t see any issues.

Honestly I just dump my tanks and go on my way, but especially with the black water tank, more cleaning seems like a good idea.
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Old 08-06-2020, 08:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Eugene Britton View Post
I have a newbie question for you. When draining one's black water tank, is it OK to do a couple of clean flushes at the end to get a little more of the debris out and start the hose cleaning process - or is there some inherent danger in doing this? Thanks!
Of course the blackwater tank is small on most fiberglass trailers so it takes a lot less time to clean and recharge than a typical bulgemobil.
Take the time to do the job right... an extra minute or two won't matter.
One important protocol... leave the dump station clean and rinsed for the next person.
Remember that the rinse hose is not normally potable water.
You can speed up the process a bit by having a jerry can already full of clean water when you leave the campsite. Use this to pour down the toilet for a rinse after you empty.
Also empty black first and gray afterward to rinse the hose once again.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:01 AM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions and the word of caution regarding those waiting behind me!
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:05 AM   #5
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Of course the blackwater tank is small on most fiberglass trailers so it takes a lot less time to clean and recharge than a typical bulgemobil.
Take the time to do the job right... an extra minute or two won't matter.
One important protocol... leave the dump station clean and rinsed for the next person.
Remember that the rinse hose is not normally potable water.
You can speed up the process a bit by having a jerry can already full of clean water when you leave the campsite. Use this to pour down the toilet for a rinse after you empty.
Also empty black first and gray afterward to rinse the hose once again.
Thanks Floyd - really good overview of the process and I like the jerry can idea!
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:17 AM   #6
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Since my Scamp has a macerating pump to empty the tanks it may take a little longer to empty the tanks, but there is less mess as I just pull the 1" hose from the electric reel to the sewer dump, open the valve and hit the switch. I pump out the black and then open the valve from the gray tank (tied together with 1 1/2" pipe" and let that water flush the black tank again and drain the whole works. then close the valve on the end of the hose and hit the switch to reel it back in, Done.
Occasionally I do flush the black tank due to buildup as the drain comes out of the side of that tank and it takes a little flushing to get it all.
Since we usually (read almost always) stay at a campground with full hookups this usually takes place before we pull out. Not always, however, as there some places that don't have full hookups.
Cleaning before "it" sets up like brown concrete is a smart idea.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:25 AM   #7
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Since my Scamp has a macerating pump to empty the tanks it may take a little longer to empty the tanks, but there is less mess as I just pull the 1" hose from the electric reel to the sewer dump, open the valve and hit the switch. I pump out the black and then open the valve from the gray tank (tied together with 1 1/2" pipe" and let that water flush the black tank again and drain the whole works. then close the valve on the end of the hose and hit the switch to reel it back in, Done.
Occasionally I do flush the black tank due to buildup as the drain comes out of the side of that tank and it takes a little flushing to get it all.
Since we usually (read almost always) stay at a campground with full hookups this usually takes place before we pull out. Not always, however, as there some places that don't have full hookups.
Cleaning before "it" sets up like brown concrete is a smart idea.
Sounds like a really nice set-up and that you have a seemless routine that minimizes the chance for an accident. We aren't ready for making the changes you have to the factory set-up yet, but it sounds like a good place to invest a little money when the time comes.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:56 AM   #8
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If there is no line at the dump station I usually do two rinses. I like to see clear water on the second rinse. If there is a line but the guy behind me is friendly I usually ask if I can take time to do one rinse. Folks are pretty flexible and usually don’t mind.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:13 AM   #9
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If there is no line at the dump station I usually do two rinses. I like to see clear water on the second rinse. If there is a line but the guy behind me is friendly I usually ask if I can take time to do one rinse. Folks are pretty flexible and usually donít mind.
Thanks! Sounds like a reasonable and courteous approach. I'm guessing that the stations are busiest mid-morning, just before check-out and probably Sunday morning would have the longest line - does that sound accurate based on your experience?
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:25 AM   #10
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Thanks! Sounds like a reasonable and courteous approach. I'm guessing that the stations are busiest mid-morning, just before check-out and probably Sunday morning would have the longest line - does that sound accurate based on your experience?
Mornings between 8 and 10 can be busy. If weíre going to another site sometimes I wonít dump until I get to the new site. Weíre leaving Flagstaff this morning and wonít dump until I get to our next site. It will be mid afternoon so should not be busy.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Carol and Mike View Post
Mornings between 8 and 10 can be busy. If we’re going to another site sometimes I won’t dump until I get to the new site. We’re leaving Flagstaff this morning and won’t dump until I get to our next site. It will be mid afternoon so should not be busy.
CAUTION! Some places charge extra to dump upon arrival, but not at departure. This seems to be a recent development which is catching on.
Also, While the Oliver is larger than most, waste water adds considerable weight to smaller fiberglass trailers, especially gray water which holds much more and is behind the axle.
Towing with full waste water tanks can add unnecessary stress to the trailer,reduce fuel mileage and even affect the handling of the trailer.
I prefer to tow with empty waste water tanks, and only about half full fresh water tank, unless needs dictate otherwise.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:41 AM   #12
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I use a Flush King to quickly backfill the black and grey water tanks. There are now other brands on Amazon.

https://www.campingworld.com/flush-k...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

To prevent overfilling I added an external tank level monitor, but as long as you keep track of the fill level, perhaps with someone inside watching a monitor, the Flush King is quick and easy to use.

I leave a little water in the black and grey tanks, add a little powdered water softener and detergent and let it slosh around on the ride home.

I then use a wand to final rinse the black water tank at either the dump station two miles from home or at home and let in drain onto the grass.

Iíve been doing this for 14 years and the tanks are nice and clean and the level indicators work fine. The grass never complained. I like working on the trailer (except waxing) so the extra effort is fine with me.

I replaced some of the gate valves last week and everything was clean (except the old seals) and easy to work with. There were no odors or unpleasant drips.

You donít need to be this thorough, it is a matter of personal preference. Many folks donít rinse the tanks with no adverse effect.
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Old 08-07-2020, 03:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
CAUTION! Some places charge extra to dump upon arrival, but not at departure. This seems to be a recent development which is catching on.
Also, While the Oliver is larger than most, waste water adds considerable weight to smaller fiberglass trailers, especially gray water which holds much more and is behind the axle.
Towing with full waste water tanks can add unnecessary stress to the trailer,reduce fuel mileage and even affect the handling of the trailer.
I prefer to tow with empty waste water tanks, and only about half full fresh water tank, unless needs dictate otherwise.
Good to know about dump charges. We havenít seen that yet. We mostly camp in public campgrounds, some of which donít even have a dump station! I try to travel with a full fresh tank (32 gallons) since we are often somewhere with no water. We left Flagstaff this morning with both gray and black at about 50%. Dumped here before we pulled into our site (AZ state park). Itís really not an issue for an Oliver to travel with full tanks, but I can see where it might strain some other fiberglass trailers.
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Old 08-07-2020, 05:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Carol and Mike View Post
Good to know about dump charges. We havenít seen that yet. We mostly camp in public campgrounds, some of which donít even have a dump station! I try to travel with a full fresh tank (32 gallons) since we are often somewhere with no water. We left Flagstaff this morning with both gray and black at about 50%. Dumped here before we pulled into our site (AZ state park). Itís really not an issue for an Oliver to travel with full tanks, but I can see where it might strain some other fiberglass trailers.
If you use the right chemical in the blackwater , you don't have to strain it! ...


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Old 08-07-2020, 08:12 PM   #15
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I'm not impressed with odorlos. The cheap blue stuff from Walmart works better to me.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:20 PM   #16
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I'm not impressed with odorlos. The cheap blue stuff from Walmart works better to me.

Could well be the same thing, even made by Odorlos, given Walmart's reputation for crushing its suppliers.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:38 PM   #17
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Could well be the same thing, even made by Odorlos, given Walmart's reputation for crushing its suppliers.

No. Odorlos seems ineffective to me. The walmart cheap stuff really neutralises odor.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:02 PM   #18
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No. Odorlos seems ineffective to me. The walmart cheap stuff really neutralises odor.

Perhaps it just numbs your sense of smell. Not really desirable. In any event, Odorlos has quite a following.
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Old 08-07-2020, 09:27 PM   #19
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Odorlos is the only product of its kind that works IMO.
It liquefies solids including paper in a very short time when suspended in water. As implied by the name , it is odorless and prevents tank odors in the bathroom.
In fact I have found many of its competitors to have a foul odor right out of the bottle. Every one I have tried I have given away after only one application and returned to Odorlos.


I have heard rumors that some folks stuff don't stink, but I have never made such a claim, at least not before treatment with Odorlos
I do use it at double the recommended strength which really isn't much.


Fortunately, there are other brands which serve to satisfy other folks and also to keep the price of Odorlos to a minimum 'cause it costs about $34 for just under 5 liters.


I have a quart of that Orange stuff from Walmart which I will give away when I get the chance.
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Old 08-10-2020, 08:19 AM   #20
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I heard the raving about odorloss so I tried it. Worked fine but didn’t seem to be working any magic. I still had smells. Since I need to order it online and have it shipped, it didn’t seem worth the extra packaging and time. So I just buy whatever the store happens to have.
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