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Author Topic: Holding Tank Open or Closed?  (Read 3204 times)
johns4104s
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« on: January 30, 2009, 06:48:20 AM »

We are living full time in the MCI 9. Our holding tank is set up where both the Black and grey are mixed in a 125 gallon tank(the fresh water is 100 Gallon Tank). Do we leave the tank open and draining all the time? Or do we let the tank fill up,mix then dump say every three days or so?

Thanks

John
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cody
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 06:52:28 AM »

We let ours fill and then dump, that way we don't get the little mountain forming, our kitchen sink also goes into the black tank so we have a supply of fluid to mix it with.
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2009, 06:53:13 AM »

You will get a better "flush", depending on how many are liveing in the coach, by dumping every week or so.  A 100 Gal. tank will take a while.>>>Dan
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2009, 06:53:56 AM »

Any black waste should be saved until a quantity is in the tank mixed with fluids.  If the tank is left open, the black waste will not have enough fluids to mix and flow out.  Eventually the black waste will solidify and grow to clog the system.

I would store a gray and black combined tank until a sufficient quantity is achieved to aloow free flow of all waste and clean the tank.

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JackConrad
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 06:59:37 AM »

Although we are not full-timing, we never drain our combination black/grey tank until it is at least 1/2 full. This insures enough liquid to flush all the solids out of the tank.  Jack
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 07:35:18 AM »

Also depends on what the temperature is and whether you have heating for the tanks and/or the drain line.

Batch dumping is the preferred method.
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2009, 07:41:08 AM »

I have a black/gray combination tank with a gray water bypass.When in a Park the shower and Bathroom sink goes directly to sewer,the Kitchen sink goes into the black tank with the stool for more water in it.I flush the black tank 1 time a week on average. Do not leave black tank open as the liquid will run out leaving the solids to mound up.
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 08:39:47 AM »

We have a 100 gallon combo tank with a gray water bypass.  In the past, I let the gray drain and dumped the black when necessary.  Lately, I have been letting it all go to the tank and dumping it all every couple of days.  It just takes walking by and pulling the valve and coming back five minutes later to close it.  I'll probably continue to do it this way for now.
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 08:53:29 AM »

We have a 100 gallon combo tank with a gray water bypass.  In the past, I let the gray drain and dumped the black when necessary.  Lately, I have been letting it all go to the tank and dumping it all every couple of days.  It just takes walking by and pulling the valve and coming back five minutes later to close it.  I'll probably continue to do it this way for now.

I just completely re engineered my system and opted for a combo tank. I have no problems letting my sink water drain under the bus through bypass while driving. I also feel that the extra fluid in the black tank while parked is a good thing... The batch dump makes the most sense to me.
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009, 08:59:02 AM »

It might be a good time to consider a remote drain valve operator of some kind for those cold, rainy days when the tank is full.
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2009, 09:06:41 AM »

Len,

Do you use one?  If so, do you use air or electric?
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« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2009, 09:13:09 AM »

Len,
Do you use one?  If so, do you use air or electric?

A friend made one using a Morse cable.  Jack
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2009, 10:28:51 AM »

Len,

Do you use one?  If so, do you use air or electric?

It just happened that I was able to use a 1/4" rod straight up from the valve to the bathroom floor right behind the commode.  Just luck and the junk I had laying around.
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2009, 11:05:25 AM »

What do you guys use for Tank odor/solid break up?? Do you use this everytime??My 125 gallon is a black/Grey mixture.

Thanks

John
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2009, 03:08:54 PM »

I have an air controlled valve on my tank.   The bus is an old entertainer, I have a switch wired in at my 12 volt control box above the driver that controls an air operated valve on my black/gray water tank.   Remote dumping is nice.  I've always been told that the entertainer buses had the dump on the passenger side of the bus because the bus could roll up to a water run off drain in town and dump if they had to.  Not legal or anything, but it is very easily done with this setup.  Once it was converted to a motorhome, a seperate gray water tank was added that can pump into the black tank if needed to help flush or it has its own drain also.

 
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2009, 05:13:56 PM »

Hi John,

This was a great subject for us as we will be living in ours in a couple of months. I agree that it's best to let it build up then dump. But watch out, the higher the volume, the more force there is to get it out, then dumping into a drain hole, better put a weight on that 90 or you won't like the result, don't ask me how I know OK? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2009, 06:11:23 PM »

Paul,

The day I left the Texas rally we used the dump station and it happend to me. What a mess.

John

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Sean
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« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2009, 06:25:44 PM »

... I have no problems letting my sink water drain under the bus through bypass while driving. ...


Well, those of us driving behind you actually have a big problem with this.

It is also illegal in most states.

... The bus is an old entertainer,


Oh, you mean like the Dave Mathews Band bus?

Quote
... I have a switch wired in at my 12 volt control box above the driver that controls an air operated valve on my black/gray water tank.


Just be advised that this, too, is illegal in most states.  So I would not advertise this "feature."  Our bus had remote dumps controlled from the driver seat when we got it... now, they are strictly manual, operated from the bay.

Quote
...  I've always been told that the entertainer buses had the dump on the passenger side of the bus because the bus could roll up to a water run off drain in town and dump if they had to.  Not legal or anything, but it is very easily done with this setup.


That, surely, is an urban legend (but reference, again, Dave Mathews Band -- yuck).  Entertainer coaches have the dump on the right (passenger) side because that is where the dump is located in bus garages.  The restroom and dump valve is on the right on seated coaches as well.

Several folks here have installed dumps on both sides, to facilitate dumping in either campgrounds, where the dumps are normally on the left, or bus garages, where they are normally on the right.  We thought long and hard about this, and decided against the extra parts and complexity.  When we need to dump in a bus garage, we just back in the other way.

Also, note that many entertainer coaches do not have bayonets on the dump outlet for a hose -- bus garage dumps are open affairs with coarse grates -- you position the pipe over the grate and let 'er rip.  Try not to be standing in the splash zone (and this is the main reason for remote switches at the driver seat).

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2009, 09:41:49 PM »

John4104,

Use NOTHING in the tank.  The waste will start digesting itself and keep odors to a min.  That is part of the reason to let the tank fill up before draining.  Also, waste that is freash may build up at the outlet and the tank will not have enuf volume to push the clog.  he clog always goes partway out the drain port outlet and you can't close the drain.  Terrible predicament that is resolved by pushing compressed air up the drain port in the opposite direction of normal flow.  The alternatives to that approach are GRIM.  All that additive crap is a waste of time.  I also have used plain toilet paper for years instead of that spendy RV stuff.

For those with the combo tanks you need to use bio degrade soap and only use that toilet cleaner right before you drain. 

John
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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2009, 05:17:32 AM »

John,

We buy the single ply from Dollar stores, real cheap. In fact we buy lots of stuff including food from the Dollar store. We live in the country and the only store is an HEB that used to have the monoply.This HEB charges double what the HEB in town charges. So we have learned just how good the Dollar stores are.

John
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« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2009, 08:01:15 AM »

I'm currently in a travel trailer (I travel a LOT with my work) until I get my coach done.

I keep my tanks clean by dumping them on Moving Day, then running the water for several minutes with each valve open (black first, of course) to get the best rinse possible.  Then I put a few gallons of water in each tank and hit the road.  As soon as I'm in the next campground and hooked up, I repeat the process.  Once that's done, I put a couple of gallons in the black tank.

The water sloshing back and forth does a good job of cleaning, then flushing before the gunk has a change to settle seems to make a big difference.  It cleaned out solids which had been stuck to the tank for years.

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akroyaleagle
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2009, 12:27:09 PM »

We have a 100 gallon single waste tank also. I installed a gray water bypass to use if needed. I have used it twice in 13 years (8 years fulltiming). I have never seen the reasoning for 2 tanks except that most motor homes and trailers cannot accommodate the single large tank.

We use Charmin. Parts of me like it. I suppose any paper will do as long as it is water soluble. If in doubt, put a sheet in a jar of water and shake it to see if it breaks down.
I wouldn't use any that doesn't. The torpedo fish do not clog things, the paper does.
When I began this little venture, I tried all the deodorants and additives. I gave that up in less than a year along with the sprays for waterspots on the shower doors. I have a small water softener that lasts a week or more between charges. It connects before the city water inlet and fits in the service bay.

I also installed an electric dump valve. It will dump from the service bay or from the bathroom cabinet.

We don't dump until the tank is full or we are departing. My wife is very good at operating the electric dump from the bathroom. She is NOT going to go outside and dump. Nor should she have to.

Tour buses do NOT dump into storm drains. I would have fired a driver for that. No one wants this in their vicinity. I have no idea what entertainers do except for what I read. This RV world is getting more crowded. Let's all be good ambassadors and do our part.

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Joe Laird
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2009, 01:45:09 PM »

... I have never seen the reasoning for 2 tanks except that most motor homes and trailers cannot accommodate the single large tank.


While single versus separate tanks is largely a matter of personal preference, there are actually some good reasons to separate them:

  • If you are in a place where dumping gray water on the ground is permitted (and there are still such places -- the public roads just aren't among them), having separate tanks might allow you to extend your boondocking time -- gray water is usually more the limiting factor than black water.
  • When connected long-term to a sewer hookup, you can leave the gray valve open -- this is not nearly the problem that it can be with the black (or combined) tank.
  • Finally, with a separate tank, you will rarely get sewer gas from the black tank into the rig.  With a combined tank, if the movement of the rig down the road empties any of the sink or shower traps (which does happen), you can get sewer gas in the rig.  The gas from the black tank is usually more of a problem than that from a straight gray tank.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2009, 02:05:37 PM »



That, surely, is an urban legend (but reference, again, Dave Mathews Band -- yuck).  Entertainer coaches have the dump on the right (passenger) side because that is where the dump is located in bus garages.  The restroom and dump valve is on the right on seated coaches as well.

Several folks here have installed dumps on both sides, to facilitate dumping in either campgrounds, where the dumps are normally on the left, or bus garages, where they are normally on the right.  We thought long and hard about this, and decided against the extra parts and complexity.  When we need to dump in a bus garage, we just back in the other way.

Also, note that many entertainer coaches do not have bayonets on the dump outlet for a hose -- bus garage dumps are open affairs with coarse grates -- you position the pipe over the grate and let 'er rip.  Try not to be standing in the splash zone (and this is the main reason for remote switches at the driver seat).

-Sean
http://http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com


Sean

Its not an urban legend  I happened right here in the Heart of Chicago.  Dave Mathews crew bus was leaving town after a gig at the House of Blues and it crossed over one of the grate style bridges  across the river in downtown. As the bus passed over the river the contents of the holding tank discharged (no one claimed it to be accidental) and the resultant EWWW rained down on a tour boat and passengers below.

The bus was spotted after reviewing the footage of the city of Chicago's spycam on the bridge. The Bus was  tracked down and the driver hauled into court  It was the darling story of the media here for a while.  Anyway  Big fines, a number of tour boat passengers sued (don't know how that was settled) and that was the end of it.

Great fun if you live here,, not so good if you were a tour boat rider that day

Larry
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Larry
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2009, 02:16:51 PM »

Larry,

You misunderstood my post.  I know all about the Dave Mathews incident -- I even brought it up.  Twice.

What I said was an urban legend was the suggestion that the dumps are installed on the right (curb) side of entertainer coaches to facilitate dumping into storm drains.  They are not -- they are on the right side because that is where the dump is located in a bus garage.

-Sean
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2009, 05:44:40 PM »

Misunderstanding seems to be my strong suit right now....  At least I think that's what my wife keeps trying to tell me.

I stand corrected kind sir

Larry

Now what were we talking about  oh yeah  EWWWWWWW...

Larry,

You misunderstood my post.  I know all about the Dave Mathews incident -- I even brought it up.  Twice.

What I said was an urban legend was the suggestion that the dumps are installed on the right (curb) side of entertainer coaches to facilitate dumping into storm drains.  They are not -- they are on the right side because that is where the dump is located in a bus garage.

-Sean
http://http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com

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Larry
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2009, 09:23:38 PM »

BG6,

None of that is needed or necessary.  Drain the tank when you have to and before traveling.  No rinsing or flushing or burping or anything else.  Those wands that you see that you stick down your toilet and connect to a garden hose so you can rince the interior walls of a black tank are a REAL KNEE SLAPPER.  You have to be really anal to worry about crap on the inside walls of a crap tank.....really anal.  The tank interior won't dry out for a year and any stuff that solidifies in there is water soluable and will disolve with first use.

Save you money on this and buy us all a beer when we get together.  Save your money and time, Amigo.

John the un anal
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