- When your holding tank release pulls are open, the tank’s contents are evacuated through your RV’s waste system and out the sewer hose attached to your RV. When your tanks are 90% to 100% full, the liquid forms a vortex in your tank, helping to wash away all of the waste material inside.
How do I know when my black tank is full?
There is another way to know your tank is full (or close to it) besides using sensors or sound. “Sound” is also a good indicator, but in addition to that method, the closer to full, the more it smells (even if you use chemicals). You’ll want to dump for sure when you can’t take the smell any longer.
Can you leave the grey tank open?
You can leave your gray valve in the open position so water runs right down the drain. You don’t have to pay any attention to how full your gray tank is and you don’t have to dump it every few days. But there’s no chance for sewer odors to escape either. It’s the best of both worlds.
How long can you leave black water in RV?
You should not leave matter in your black water tank for more than a week. Your black water tank should be emptied once it’s ⅔ full and/or at the end of every trip. If that isn’t possible, make sure to add water to the tank and add a holding tank cleaning chemical to avoid odor and backup.
How do you get rid of the poop pyramid in RV black?
To eliminate a poop pyramid, you need to get water into your black tank. The first thing you should do is close the black tank valve and get as much water into the black tank as possible. If the poop pyramid prohibits you from putting water into the tank, get some tank cleaner to pour down into the sewer drain.
What happens when your GREY water tank is full?
What Happens When Your Grey Water Tank is Full? As a grey water tank begins to reach capacity, water will take longer to drain or not drain at all. When your tank is full, the dirty water needs someplace to go, so it will come out of the drain that’s the shortest distance from the tank.
Why Is My RV GREY tank not draining?
If your valve is open and functioning correctly, you likely do have a clog. Gray tank clogs are less common than black tank clogs, but hair, food, and grease buildup can still gum up the tank and prevent it from draining. If water is backing up in the sink/shower: It’s possible the gray tank is simply full.
What is GREY water in an RV?
The gray tank holds any and all wastewater from your trailer or RV – this is primarily water that drains through the various sinks in your RV. This includes your kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and if you have one, your outdoor kitchen sink.
How do you know when your RV water tank is full?
You can tell when your RV water tank is full by either watching the water-level gauge (if your model has one), listen for water coming from the overflow (if you fill using the city inlet), or if you have a gravity fill, the water will splash back.
Will a full black tank freeze?
Keeping both your gray and black tanks closed means you won’t have wastewater freezing inside your hose. If your sewer hose freezes, you’ll be unable to properly dump any of your tanks until you’ve managed to thaw it out. You can avoid this by simply keeping your valves closed and dumping your tanks as needed.
When should I empty my black water tank?
Dumping your black water holding tank every 3-5 days will help control odors. Having enough water in your holding tank is absolutely critical to suppressing odors! Without enough water, the aerobic bacteria in your tank won’t be properly hydrated, resulting in less-effective waste breakdown and odor elimination.
Can you dump GREY water on the ground?
Generally, as long as your gray tank contains water that was used for washing, it’s legal to dump it on the ground.
Can you use Pine Sol in an RV toilet?
When you need to clean your toilet, use Pine Sol (or a similar across the counter pine based product), to disinfect and clean both the inside and outside of the entire unit.
Do You Keep Your RV Gray Tank Open? Closed? How About BOTH?!
It is possible that this content contains affiliate links. The ability to take long showers without having to worry about emptying or filling the gray tank is provided by leaving your RV’s gray valve open while it is completely connected. How do you deal with sewage odors that might rise up through the campground’s wastewater system? Find out how to enjoy the best of both worlds by following these steps! Showers, cooking, and washing dishes are all made easier when you stay at a full-hookup campsite because of the abundance of water available for your usage.
It goes without saying that the black valve should never be left open since “solids” will accumulate in the black holding tank when the “liquids” are depleted.
Some individuals believe that you should never keep the gray valve open as well, because it might enable aromas from the park’s sewage system to enter your RV and cause it to stink.
While cleaning may seem inconvenient, it is necessary when your RV is linked to a sewage line, particularly if you are planning on staying at a full hook-up site for a lengthy period of time.
- In the RV’s living room, the water in the traps serves as a barrier against scents.
- However, by just pouring a tiny amount of water down each drain, you may quickly remedy both of these difficulties.
- and that leads to the tank vents on the roof of the recreational vehicle.
- Occasionally, sewage scents can be detected at full hook-up campgrounds.
- In a recent issue of the RV Travelnewsletter, we learned about the most straightforward method of enjoying the pleasure of a full hook-up RV park.
- The gray tank doesn’t need to be emptied on a regular basis, and you don’t have to worry about emptying it every few days.
In addition, sewage smells have no way of escaping the building either. It’s the best of both worlds in a nutshell. Take a look at the video to discover how we accomplished it! Please utilize your full hook-up power wisely and don’t waste any water. Thank you. Featured Products and Related Products:
- A number of affiliate links may be included in this content. The ability to take long showers without having to worry about emptying or filling up the gray tank is made possible by leaving the gray valve open when your RV is completely connected. Nevertheless, what should be done about sewer odors that might emanate from the campground’s sewer system. Find out how to enjoy the best of both worlds by following these steps. Having unlimited access to water for showers, cooking, and dishwashing is one of the many benefits of staying at a full-hookup campsite. Using a sewer connection, you may keep your RV’s gray valve open, allowing water to drain directly into the sewer system rather from filling up your gray tank with waste. There is no way around leaving the black valve open because when the “liquids” run out, “solids” will accumulate in the black holding tank, causing it to overflow. The gray valve, on the other hand, is the subject of considerable debate. According to others, it is also not a good idea to keep the gray valve open since it might enable aromas from the park’s wastewater system to enter your RV. To be sure, leaving the valve closed means that you’ll have to keep an eye on the level of water in the gray tank and empty it every few days. While cleaning may seem inconvenient, it is necessary when your RV is connected to a sewage line, particularly if you are planning to stay at a full hook-up site for a lengthy period of time. With P-traps installed beneath every sink and shower in an RV, it should be impossible for smells to enter the vehicle while the gray valve is left open. Aromas are prevented from entering the RV by the water contained in the traps. For long periods of time, the water in the traps may evaporate, and driving on curvy or rough roads may cause it to spill out of the system. However, by just pouring a tiny amount of water down each drain, both of these issues may be resolved. There is, however, a pipe that has a direct connection to the sewage hose. and that leads to the tank vents on the top of the recreational vehicle. Roof vents can be compromised as a result of this, allowing sewer system air to enter the home through them. Occasionally, sewage scents can be detected at full hook-up campgrounds. It is conceivable that an RV is venting the park’s sewer system via the roof of their vehicle. According to a recent issue of the RV Travelnewsletter, there is no easier way to enjoy the luxury of a full hook-up RV park than to use your imagination. Leaving your gray valve in the open position can allow water to drain directly into the sink. The gray tank doesn’t need to be emptied on a regular basis, and you don’t have to worry about it being overflowing. In addition, sewage smells have no way of escaping the building. Basically, it’s the best of both worlds for you. You can see how we achieved it in the video below! Don’t forget to utilize your full hook-up power wisely and to conserve water! Relative Items that are Featured
- This adapter is compatible with the Camco hoses listed below, but it will not work with any other hoses that have ears or tabs built into them and that connect directly to your RV’s sewage port. Please keep this in mind before ordering. Instead, you’ll need a crystal-clear adaptor like this one
- Heavy durable sewage hose from Camco, 20 feet in length — this is our preferred brand.
As a last note, just a little follow-up. Despite the fact that this was not a film concerning tank dumping, it was linked to the topic, and there were some comments and queries regarding it. Leaving the gray valve open prevents gray water from being available to flush the sewage hose after the black tank has been emptied, which can cause backups. Here’s how we go about dealing with it. Most RVers are used to conserving water and keeping an eye on their tank levels, so it’s a pleasure to be able to forget about them once in a while.
- We just utilize the approach that we taught in the video to prevent sewage odors from entering the house through the open gray water valve.
- In addition to making occasional use of the park’s restrooms (as long as they are clean), we frequently take the weight off of the black tank, which takes a solid (sorry, again haha) two weeks or more to fill.
- After a few seconds of putting the full sewage line back on the sewer hose support, we dump both tanks, first with the black one of course, and then the gray.
- Whenever we’re in one area for a lengthy period of time, we like being able to entirely disregard both tanks for two to three weeks at a stretch without feeling guilty.
- This is a totally acceptable method of dealing with shorter stays as well.
- We just close the gray valve a day or two before we want to leave the park and empty both holding tanks on the morning of our departure from the campground.
Notice of Transparency We occasionally acquire items for assessment at no cost, and we may include affiliate links to products and services from which we earn commissions in order to earn money. As an example, as an Amazon Associate, we receive commissions on qualifying purchases made on Amazon. Having said that, we feel it is vital to let you know that our thoughts are entirely our own. Product recommendations are limited to those that we feel provide genuine value and that we can reliably endorse without hesitation.
Thank you very much for your support of RVgeeks as we strive to produce useful RVing-related information that we hope will improve your RVing experience!
As a result, even if we are pleased with the processes and items we employ, you should make certain that all methods and materials are suitable with your equipment and skills before proceeding.
Regardless of what we recommend, if you’re hesitant about working on your RV, consult with a qualified specialist. Unless otherwise stated, any assignment you complete or product you purchase based on the information we offer is entirely at your own risk.
Do You Leave Black and Gray Tanks Open or Closed?
Imagine yourself RV camping at a campsite with all of the amenities. Whether you leave your black and gray tanks open or closed is a personal preference. Read on to find out why I leave BOTH my black and gray tanks closed when I’m connected to a campground’s sewer system. After all, leaving the RV waste tank valves open might result in serious difficulties that could have been avoided if taken the proper precautions. Prevent yourself from making these beginner blunders. However, if you do, there is a solution!
Please be advised that this website contains affiliate connections to the items listed below.
The RV Waste Tanks
Imagine yourself RV camping at a campsite with complete hook-ups for your vehicle. Whether you leave your black and gray tanks open or closed depends on your preferences. You’ll learn why I leave BOTH my black and gray tanks closed while I’m connected up to a campground’s sewer system. Indeed, keeping the RV’s waste tank valves open might result in serious difficulties that could have been avoided with a little care. These newbie mistakes should be avoided. The good news is that there is a solution!
Please be advised that this website contains affiliate connections to different items listed on the next page.
Open or Closed Valves?
After we ask if you leave the tanks open or closed, we are referring to the valve that you open to empty the tanks when you are finished. This valve will, without a doubt, be left closed when in storage or while traveling. You might be tempted, though, after you’ve arrived at your campground’s full-hook-up location, to connect the sewage hose and leave the valves open, allowing the tanks to constantly empty while you flush the toilets, shower, and wash dishes or clothing. After all, why would you want to allow the tanks to become overflowing just to be forced to empty them later?
What Happens When You Leave the Tanks Open
Explaining what happens in the black tank when the sewage connection is left open is the simplest method to explain what is going on. So you go to the bathroom, wipe your hands, and flush. You’ll have three components: solid human waste, toilet paper, and a liquid waste container (water and urine). You may open and close the valve as needed, and the liquid will drain away, leaving the heavier solids of human waste and toilet paper behind. Over time, these solids will accumulate, producing a dung pyramid, to use an analogy.
As you can see, the poop pyramids become quite stable over time.
If it is just a minor pyramid, you will have to spend a significant amount of time and water soaking it and re-hydrating it before dissolving the contents and flushing it down the toilet.
That is, of course, provided you discover the problem before it worsens. If the pyramid is in such terrible shape that it must be replaced, the entire black tank may have to be replaced. And that comes at a high financial cost.
What Happens When You Leave the RV Waste Tanks Closed
If, on the other hand, the tanks are left closed, all of the liquid will remain in the black tank with the solids. The water acts on the toilet paper and other solids, dissolving them and transforming them into a liquid state. I don’t want to overstate the case here, but it is literally just melted ice cream within the container. Although it’s a stinky melting ice cream, you get the notion of the consistency. The fact remains that this liquid garbage is far easier to dispose of than a large amount of solid waste.
The Importance of the Black Tank Flush
The black tank may still contain a little amount of toilet paper that is in a more solid form after you have emptied it. Particularly problematic are the parts that were just added to the tank and haven’t had enough time to disintegrate and are now accumulating near the top of the tank. As you empty the tank, the scraps have a propensity to adhere to the side walls of the tank, making it difficult to remove them all. Consider a time when you lived in a stick and brick house and you were emptying the bath tub and saw how the soap bubbles or bath oils clung to the side walls of the bathtub.
That is why it is necessary to back flush your black tank on a regular basis.
PRO RV HINT: Before you empty your tanks, unlevel your RV so that it is tilted toward the sewage hookup, as shown in the picture.
Built-in Black Tank Flush Systems
You may find a little amount of toilet paper left in its more solid condition after emptying the black tank. Particularly problematic are the parts that were just added to the tank and haven’t had enough time to disintegrate and are now accumulating towards the top of the tank’s water column. In the process of emptying out the tank, these pieces tend to attach to the side walls of the tank. Imagine you were living in a stick-and-bricks house and you were emptying the bath tub and you saw how the soap bubbles or bath oils clung to the sides of the tub.
Back flushing your black tank on a regular basis is therefore essential.
PRO RV HINT: Before you empty your tanks, unlevel your RV so that it is tilted towards the sewage hookup, as shown in the picture.
No Built-In System? Here’s How to Back Flush Your Black Tank
Don’t be discouraged if you have an older RV (or even a modern RV) that does not have a built-in black tank flush mechanism. The type of alternative you choose will rely on your setup and your level of comfort with the technology in question. The RV sewer hose connector with a back flush rinser is the first of these options. With this, you’ll connect the water hose to the sewage connector, and water will be sucked up into the black tank through the sewer connector. To use the second approach, you’ll need to run a hose through your RV and into your bathroom.
- You might go for a straightforward tank rinser, but I recommend that you invest a few additional bucks to purchase the swivel ones, which will provide superior cleaning results.
- Using the swivel component at the bottom, you can replicate the whirly movement of the built-in black tank flush systems, spraying water all over the place.
- When you don’t have a direct drop from the toilet into the black tank, the Swivel Flexible Stick Black Tank Rinser is a wonderful option.
- This is true even for individuals who have a straight drop; the flexible hose just adds to the whirly cleaning activity.
Fill the tank to the brim (but don’t overfill it!) and then empty it. Allow the fresh water to run until the sludge coming out of the sewage pipe is completely clean of debris. That indicates you’ve gotten your hands on everything.
How Do You Know You Got All The Gunk?
I’ve noted on several occasions that you must run the black tank rinse until the water is clean before using it. But how do you know what you don’t know? An adapter for transparent sewer hoses might help you avoid this problem. The ability to see what is coming out of the tanks is important whether you are using theHydroflush adapter or aclear sewer extension, as described above. I know, it’s disgusting. However, it appears to be nothing more than filthy river water. Additionally, you’ll want to run the back flush until the water seems to be clear pool water.
What About the Gray Tank? No Poop Pyramids Here!
So you’re curious about the gray tank, aren’t you? When you don’t have to worry about poop pyramids in the gray tank, why would you want to leave it closed? In other words, you are really conscientious about making certain that you wipe down dishes and that you have drain traps or strainers in place to prevent food particles from getting into the sink, right? It doesn’t matter how well the strainers work; there are always a few little particles that get through. It may not appear to be a major concern, but it does happen from time to time.
of draining water that will pick up the particles and empty the tank more effectively.
After you have emptied the black tank, it is preferable to use a full gray tank to rinse off the sewage pipe.
Critters and Smells: Another Reason to Leave the Tanks Closed
As if poop pyramids weren’t enough of a cause to keep BOTH the black and gray tanks closed while connected to a campsite sewer connection, there are insects and smells to contend with as well as odors. In your RV, you may encounter pests and foul odors that have escaped from the wastewater system. One of the most typical scenarios is the presence of what are known as sewage gnats or sewer flies. These sewer gnats might be difficult to get rid of since they lay eggs and hatch much more quickly than you can eliminate them.
And there are snakes!
It’s possible that you have snakes in your RV!
What About the P-Trap in the Sewer Hose?
Some individuals believe that installing a P-trap in the sewage hose is sufficient to keep pests and foul odors out of your RV’s sewer system. Similarly to how a P-trap functions in a brick and stick construction, the P-trap is meant to keep some water in the hose to prevent vermin or foul odors from entering the dwelling. I don’t believe that a little P-trap with only a small amount of water will be effective in deterring a snake or rat that has been dwelling in the sewage system from coming up the drain.
Personally, I’m not willing to take the danger that anything may creep its way up the sewage pipe and into my recreational vehicle.
Take the handful of minutes per week it takes to walk outside and open the valves till they are completely empty, then close them back up, is something I’d prefer do instead. Opening and closing the gray tank valve on the way out and in is something I can do while walking the dog on a regular basis.
What If I Left The RV Tanks Open and Have Problems?
Oh noes, here we go again. You made the rookie error of leaving your tanks open while you were parked and utilizing the RV. You should have known better. Alternatively, you may have had a gradual leak at the valve, resulting in the water leaking out and leaving you with a dry poop pyramid despite your best efforts. First and foremost, if the problem is with the valve, you will need to repair it as soon as possible before proceeding with the rest of the procedure. The good news is that if you already have the poop pyramid in place, you may not have much leakage while you are replacing the valve.
- Take care to sweep up any excrement that may have fallen on the ground around you.Second, you will need to take on the poop pyramid.
- Fill the tank with hot water and allow it to sit for a while.
- Begin by soaking it for at least four hours, if not overnight, and then draining it well.
- It is made up of a mixture of bacteria and enzymes that “digests” organic material (read: poop, hair, gnat eggs).
- Bio Clean also works well in your gray tank and pipes to get rid of hair and other debris that may have accumulated there.
I Heard Ice Cubes Help
Apparently, using ice cubes and a drive along a curving road would assist in breaking up a poop pyramid, according to a widely circulated urban legend. This is just nonsense in my opinion. Let me explain. While I’m not sure how it is in your part of the world, by the time I put a 10-pound bag of ice into the black tank before getting into the driver’s seat and pulling away from the campsite, all of the ice has melted. It is not going to be able to maintain its frozen state for long enough to assist in dislodging anything in the black tank.
After a long weekend of tailgating or boondocking, I’ll frequently empty the black tank of any ice that has accumulated.
And then leaves you with water.
It’s not the fact that the water began out as ice that bothers me.
What About Critters?
As a result of keeping the gray tank valve open, sewer gnats are likely to be the most typical animal problem you’ll encounter. The good news is that Bio Clean can also assist in cleaning up the eggs and removing the source of the issue. Check read this post for additional information on how to get rid of sewer gnats in your recreational vehicle. In the case of other pests, you’ll have to take some action, such as using a roach sprayor to capture the pesky beasts.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellers have also shown to be effective in keeping bugs away from my RV while I’m driving. These do not upset me or my dog in the least, making them a safe, non-toxic alternative to the use of poisons or sprays.
Leave the RV Waste Tanks Closed
I hope you now see why I recommend that you always leave the RV waste tanks, both the black tank and the gray tank, closed when you are connected to RV sewer hookups in a park. In addition to avoiding the dreaded “poop pyramid,” creepy crawlers, and foul odors, you’ll be more likely to provide enough gray water to flush out your sewer pipe. You should also be aware of the need of using the back flush function on the black tank. Do you like these suggestions? Save this image for later! More information about your RV’s black and gray tanks may be found at:
- RV Waste Tanks Explained
- RV Waste Tanks and the Gear You Need
- RV Waste Tanks and the Gear You Need Instructions on How to Poop in an RV (also known as Instructions on How to Use the RV Toilet)
- You may make your own cleaning bombs for your RV’s black tank. RV Gray Tanks: These are the other types of RV waste tanks.
Should You Leave Black and Gray Tanks Open or Closed?
When it comes to RVing, there’s a lot to learn, especially if you’re a newcomer to the hobby. One question that people frequently inquire about is whether or not they are permitted to leave their black and gray tanks open. Today, we’ll look at how you should go about taking care of your tanks. Let’s get this party started.
What’s the Deal with RV Holding Tanks?
When it comes to RVing, there’s a lot to learn, especially if you’re a newcomer to the lifestyle. One question that people frequently inquire about is whether or not they are permitted to keep their black and gray tanks unlocked and unattended. Taking a look at how you should take care of your tanks is our topic for this week. Let’s get this party going!
Full Hook-Ups Are Luxurious
A large number of RV parks provide full hookups. Keep your RV linked to the sewer drain and be able to empty your tanks fast is a luxury that many people take for granted. It may save you a great deal of time and headache. RVers like full hook-ups because of the convenience they provide. This means you won’t have to be concerned with putting your tanks into a portable container or locating a dump facility for your waste. Without having to pack up your entire site each time, you can quickly and conveniently empty your tanks.
Let’s take a look at why you should keep them closed even in this situation.
Black Tanks on Full Hook-Ups: Leave Closed
Many RVers make the mistake of leaving their black tanks open when using full hookups, which is a typical occurrence. It is beneficial to leave the lids of your black tanks open since it allows any liquids that enter your tank to drain out promptly. As a result, any sediments in the tank are left behind, which creates an issue. As the solids accumulate in a tank over time, a ” poo pyramid ” might grow in the tank. It doesn’t take long for these solids to come together and become one. They have the potential to produce a mass that is too massive to flow through the dumping valve.
The likelihood of developing a “poo pyramid” can be reduced by keeping your black tank closed and flushing with large amounts of water each time.
When you empty the tank later, the force of the water flowing out will sweep away any sediments that have accumulated in the tank. Pro Tip: Add a scoop of Happy Camper to each gray and black tank to aid in the breakdown of solids and the prevention of odors from developing.
How Long Does it Take a Black Tank to Fill Up?
There is a difference in the length of time it takes to fill your black tank from one RV to the next and from one camping style to the next. Black tanks are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 20 to 60 gallons in most cases. There are some 100-gallon tanks available for purchase. If you are unsure about the size of the tanks in your RV, consult the owner’s handbook. Another thing to think about is how many people will be using the restroom in your RV at the same time. A large family will fill the tank more quickly than a single traveler or a handful of travelers.
In a campsite, you may maintain your black tanks clean by making use of the amenities provided by the park.
In other words, they don’t go to the bathroom in their RV.
Gray Tanks on Full Hook-Ups: Leave Open
Many RVers leave their gray tanks open until a day or two before they plan to empty their black tanks in order to conserve space. Using this method, they may empty their black tank and then rinse the sewage pipe with soapy gray water from the black tank. This helps to avoid unpleasant odors or disgusting waste. Every now and again, it’s a good idea to flush out your kitchen gray tank. It is possible for food particles from dishwashing to accumulate at the bottom of your gray tank. Filling your gray tank on a regular basis is necessary in order to flush it out.
This can result in scents that are comparable to or much more offensive than black tank odors.
A stench or sewage flies are prevented from entering your system as a result of this measure.
Will Odors from RV Sewers Get in My RV?
When it comes to keeping smells out of the living space, RV plumbing systems employ a device known as a P-Trap. A P-Trap is a device that holds water in two 90-degree joints and an overflow pipe in order to prevent smells from going through. Alternatively, if your RV does not appear to have a P-Trap, it is possible that you have an air admittance valve installed. This valve performs the same purpose as a P-Trap in that it prevents sewage odors from entering your recreational vehicle. On sometimes, you may notice a scent of something that is emanating from within your system.
If the odor persists, you may need to double-check that your P-Trap is functioning properly, as well.
How Often Should You Rinse and Clean Your Holding Tanks?
The greater the amount of time you spend in your RV, the more frequently you will need to rinse and clean your holding tanks. If you just use your RV for weekend vacations, you should rinse and clean your holding tanks after each trip to keep them in good condition. Raw sewage or food particles should not be allowed to accumulate in your tanks, especially if it will be several weeks or months before they are used again. When it’s convenient, many full-time RVers will rinse and clean their tanks whenever they get the opportunity.
We usually clean our tanks the day before or the day after we leave a full hookup site, depending on the situation.
We make every effort to clean our tanks after every discharge, however this is not always possible. Whenever this occurs, we just make a note that we may want a few additional rinses the next time we have full connections.
Are Holding Tank Sensors Accurate?
In the RVing world, it’s a running joke that the holding tank sensors are only accurate until you use the bathroom for the first time after setting up camp. If something adheres to the sensor, it will provide a misleading signal, indicating that the sensor is more filled than it actually is. Even after you’ve drained your tank, the sensors may still suggest that it’s about full. Many RVers employ methods like as throwing a bag of ice into their tank, using excessive amounts of water, or even putting dish soap in their tank to save money.
Because the more time you spend in your RV, the more you’ll pick up on the techniques and become more intuitive about the state of your tanks.
Then you’ll know it’s time to empty your black tank since it will be full.
In Conclusion: Gray Tank Open, Black Tank Closed
As unpleasant as it is to empty your tanks, connecting to a full hook-up site reduces the amount of time you have to spend worrying about it. Keep in mind that, while you may leave your gray tank open, you should only open your black tank once it has filled and you are ready to dump the contents of it. This can help you avoid the dreaded “poo pyramid” and go back to enjoying your RVing experience. How often do you clean the tanks in your home? Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API (as of 2022-02-08) / Affiliate links / Last update on 2022-02-08
A Beginner’s Guide To RV Holding Tanks
Liz Wilcox contributed to this article. RVing can take you to some breathtaking locations and provide you with the opportunity to make lifelong memories. However, not every aspect of RVing is visually appealing. It’s an unglamorous — but necessary — part of any RV adventure to keep up with and empty your septic system on a regular basis. And if this system is not properly maintained and cared for, things can become quite unpleasant. Whether you’re a first-time RV owner or you’re planning to rent an RV through Campanda, it’s important to understand how to properly maintain your RV tanks.
What does an RV septic system look like?
Recreational vehicles are often equipped with three tanks, which are positioned on the underneath of the vehicle to ensure that everything runs properly.
1. Fresh Water Tank
An RV typically has three tanks: one for fresh water, one for gray water, and one for black water. This tank is used to store fresh water, as the name implies. This is the water that comes out of your faucets and showers.
2. Grey Water Tank
The grey tank is responsible for storing the waste water from your RV shower and kitchen sink. It is possible that some secondhand campers and older RVs may not have this tank.
3. Black Water Tank
For novice RVers, this is the one that gives them the creeps.
The black tank is responsible for storing waste water from the toilet. This tank is used to collect all filthy water if your RV does not have its own separate gray tank. Any one of these tanks, if not properly maintained, might pose difficulties for the owner.
How often should I empty my RV tanks?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often you should empty your tanks; it all depends on how frequently you use them. The frequency with which you should empty your tanks is a matter of personal preference. If you are traveling with a large group of people, it is possible that you may need to empty your tanks every two days. If you and your spouse are the only ones in the house, once a week may be plenty. As a general rule of thumb, you should wait until your tanks are approximately two-thirds full before empties them.
Some recreational vehicles are equipped with devices that allow you to see exactly how much fuel is left in your tanks.
This type of sensor begins to malfunction after a few years of use.
Keeping track of how much water waste you generate is critical to staying on top of the situation.
How do I empty my RV tanks?
Your recreational vehicle’s holding tanks should be prominently labeled. If you’re renting an RV, make sure you obtain a tour from the RV owner before leaving. Before you start your first waste water dump, make sure you have a sewage hose and some gloves to keep your hands safe from the chemicals. Next, make a note of the valves that are located on the outside of your RV. These will be prominently labeled with the words “grey” and “black.” Connect your sewage hose to the RV’s waste water shutoff valve.
- Before pulling the valves, double-check that it is securely attached on both ends.
- It’s important to remember that the toilet waste water empties straight into this tank.
- Dump stations are always prominently labeled and easily identifiable.
- When you can no longer hear any liquid coming through the line, turn off the valve and remove the hose.
- This is critically crucial.
- It will force all of the liquid to drain out, leaving no route for the particles to drain out as a result.
- Pull the grey tank valve once you’ve made sure the valve is completely closed.
- Some RVers choose to keep the gray tank valve open outside the RV and allow it to drain continually to save time.
- Flushing the gray tank after flushing the black tank can assist in flushing any sediments that have been caught in your sewage pipe.
When removing the sewage pipe, go cautiously to avoid creating a mess. When the hose is not in use, many RVers store it in a bucket or tub to keep it contained.
How do I maintain my RV septic system?
Starter kits like this one are available at places like Walmart and RV retailers. Once you’ve gotten the hang of emptying the tanks in your recreational vehicle, the task can be completed fast and efficiently. However, there is more to properly operating your tanks than simply emptying them – upkeep is just as vital and will help you avoid problems down the road if done correctly. In general, flushing your system on a regular basis, as well as cleaning and sanitizing your tanks, will keep your system up and running relatively trouble-free.
Other things to know about your RV holding tanks:
The fresh water tank, however it is the least frightening of the three tanks, nonetheless need care from time to time. When connected to water or filling the tank, only use a potable water hose to avoid contaminating the water. Because of their white tone, they are simple to distinguish. When using this tank, it is critical to pay close attention to the weather. Insulate your hose during freezing weather and drain your fresh water during periods of excessive heat to avoid water stagnation and evaporation.
It’s the least frightening of all of the RV holding tanks.
To clean the tank, use regular household bleach.
- Pour 14 cup of bleach into your tank for every 15 gallons of water it holds. Continually run the water until you detect the fragrance of bleach Continue to run the machine until all of the bleached water has been removed. Allowing your tank to rest for 24 hours is recommended. Ensure that your tank is fully refilled and that the water is running until the bleach smell is gone. Use as you normally would
Gray Water Tank
Once again, here is the location where the water from your sink or RV shower is collected. Large travel trailers and fifth wheels may have two gray tanks to accommodate the additional space. It’s vital to notice that the drain into this tank is rather modest in diameter. Take all necessary precautions to guarantee that food particles do not end up in the sewer. Even something as little as a pea has the potential to block a drain.
Black Water Tank
You should only ever empty your tanks at a dumping site that has been authorized for that purpose. There are a few basic rules of thumb to follow in order to keep the dreaded black tank from causing problems:
- Single-ply toilet paper should be used. Two-ply might cause a blockage in the tank. Flush the toilet on a regular basis, always adding water to the bowl before flushing
- After you’ve dumped your tank, disinfect it. Special chemicals for this may be found in the RV area of any large box shop
- However, they are not inexpensive. Pouring a garden hose down the toilet is a good way to keep this tank clean. This should assist in flushing your system and clearing out any buildups that have occurred.
Although draining sewage may not be a part of your RVing dreams, it is a very real and necessary element of the RVing experience. Ideally, it should be a short and painless process if everything is done correctly. Follow the instructions above, and after a few trips to the dump station, you’ll be an expert at dealing with your RV’s septic system! Even though emptying your RV’s tanks is not a pleasant task, it is an essential aspect of RV life. Are you apprehensive about the prospect of emptying your own recreational vehicle tanks?
By clicking on the following link, you may view Campanda’s variety of trailers, motorhomes, and campers: To Rent, Please Click Here.
An RVDo you want to experience the delights of RVing — black water tank and all — with other RV enthusiasts? Consider purchasing an RV. You may rent out your RV on Campanda and convert your investment into a second source of income! To List Your Recreational Vehicle, Please Click Here.
Should You Leave Your RV Tanks Open at a Campground with Full Hook-Ups?
Especially if you’re a first-time RVer, you could consider full hookups as a chance to keep your RV’s tanks fully stocked for the duration of your stay. Consider the possibility. You’ve just driven into your parking space at a brand-new RV campground. Gorgeous views, plenty of amenities, and full power, water, and sewer hookups are all available at this location. It’s one less thing to worry about if you keep the RV’s tank valves wide open. Right? Unfortunately, this is incorrect. Please continue reading to find out more about why this might result in some major and unforeseen issues with your setup.
Should You Leave Your Black Tank Valve Open When Hooked Up?
While it may seem handy, you should never leave your RV’s black tank drain open while it is connected to a power source. This can result in a number of unsightly and expensive problems, such as the infamous “poop pyramid,” among others. This occurs when the liquid waste from your black tank overflows into the sewage system and becomes trapped. Solid waste is left to collect at the bottom of your tank, causing it to overflow. Over time, this trash accumulates and can lead to major blockage difficulties in the drains.
- Special tank cleansers can also be used from time to time.
- Additionally, when you leave your RV tank drain open, sewer gas from the park’s sewage system may occasionally escape.
- However, they are not without their flaws, particularly in recreational vehicles.
- In addition, keeping your black tank valve open may result in the arrival of some unpleasant guests – drain flies!
- A short flight later, you’ll find yourself in the comfort of your RV’s living quarters.
Should You Leave Your Gray Tank Valve Open When Hooked Up?
Maintaining the closure of your gray tank is also recommended, even if you do not have to deal with all of the same issues as you do with your black tank. This not only helps to eliminate unpleasant sewage odors, but it also makes the cleanup procedure of dumping your black tanks much easier. It is beneficial to let your gray tank to full and drain in order to wash away food particles or other substances that may have slid down the drain.
Benefits of Full Hookup RV Parks
The convenience of staying in a full hookup campground is still worth it even if you don’t keep your RV tank valves open. Of course, this is dependent on your financial situation and vacation intentions.
Ability to Use Water Freely
If you’re running your operation off of your freshwater tank rather than an external water source, you’ll be scrutinizing every drop of water you use.
With full connections, on the other hand, you may utilize as much as you need. So take an extra-long shower, wash a few more dishes, and, if you have one, start the washer and dryer as well. You can do all of your tasks without worrying about running out of fuel.
Ability to Dump and Rinse Your RV Tanks Without Holding Up Others
Everyone knows what a miserable experience it is to wait in line at a garbage station. However, with a full hookup park, you won’t have to worry about that. Instead, you’ll be able to fill, open, empty, and clean out the tanks of your RV without ever having to leave your parking lot. Because of this, you may do everything on your own timetable without having to worry about holding up other RVers or being slowed down by other RVers. It may seem like a little inconvenience at the moment, but small conveniences like these accumulate over time.
Ability to Shower in Your RV
It can get tiresome to go to the campsite showers, especially in cold weather, inclement weather, or in the early morning hours. With full hookups, on the other hand, your RV will have access to an almost limitless supply of fresh water. Shower for as long as you want is completely up to you. Furthermore, because the water has already been pressured, you will get a continuous and steady flow, as opposed to the variations that might occur with many RV water pumps.
Tips for Dumping Your Black Tank at a Full Hookup RV Campground
The gray tank holds the key to quickly and safely dumping your black tank in a safe and sanitary manner. The procedure begins a day or two before you intend to dispose of your black tank waste. In order to prevent gray water from building up, you should close the valve in your gray tank at that time. When it’s time to empty your black tank, simply open the blank tank valve and let the tank to drain as it normally would. Once that’s done, drain your partially-filled gray tank with the same hose that you used to fill it.
Staying at an RV park with full hookups may be a wonderful experience.
Leave your valves open and you might face a variety of problems, including serious clogs, smells, and pests, among others.
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be quite honest with you, we despise having to pay for camping. There are a plethora of free campgrounds available around the United States (with complete privacy). You should definitely give it a go! These free campsites are, in reality, yours to use at your leisure. Every time you pay federal taxes, you are making a contribution to the preservation of these lands. Subscribe to FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 other campers who are eager to get the greatest spot possible! We’ll email you a list of the top 50 free camping spots in the United States (one per state).
RV Black Water Tank: 6 Things You Need to Know
An very crucial piece of equipment in your RV is the black water tank, which can be found underneath the vehicle and contains the waste water from your toilet. Moreover, while figuring out where everything goes when you “go” is not a pleasant thought, it is an important part of what makes RVing so much more convenient and delightful than traditional vehicle travel or tent camping – no more depending on stinky pit toilets at the campsite! If you want to ensure that your RV’s black water tank is always operating correctly and efficiently, there are a few things you should be aware of regarding how it is designed to function.
- before you leave home.
- A gray water tank is a container that catches the water that drains from your RV’s shower and sink drains.
- Check out this page for additional information about grey water tanks.
- This particular tank is known as a black water tank.
- Using your RV’s onboard facilities without having to worry about continually being linked up to a sewer connection (however the only location you should ever dump your RV’s portable black water waste tank is a public sewer!) is what makes it possible.
- Apart from containing human waste, the RV black tank also serves as a holding tank for the water needed to flush the toilet and, of course, toilet paper.
- Image courtesy of Amazon Knowing how much waste is contained within your black water tank, the next obvious thing to ask is: how in the world do you maintain it clean and free of odors?
Is it necessary to use bleach?
In order to properly prepare for your camping vacation, you need add a dosage of RV black water tank treatment, which may be in liquid form (such as Aqua-Kem) or in packets that look similar to Tide Pods (such asthese, made by Firebelly Outfitters).
These chemicals not only have the potential to reduce tank smells, but they also have the power to break down solid waste and toilet paper.
Additionally, it’s necessary to deep clean your black water tank on a regular basis, possibly between camping excursions or before putting your RV into storage, in addition to keeping your tank clean using these cleaning products.
When it comes to unclogging your RV’s black water tank — which may happen even when you use the proper chemicals and toilet paper — there are a range of options for getting things back on track that you can choose from.
When you have to go, you have to go – and the same may be true about your recreational vehicle!
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to go up to a week or more without dumping the tanks if you’re traveling alone and regularly spending days outside the RV adventuring.
The majority of self-contained recreational vehicles are equipped with a sensor that indicates how full each of the tanks is, including the black water tank, as well as the gray water and potable water holding tanks.
Instead, you simply sort of.
The very least you should do after each camping trip is to dump and empty your black water tank.
To be more specific, you’ll want to fully cleanse your system, which we’ll discuss in more detail in the next section.
Let’s start with a step-by-step walkthrough of how to empty the black tank in your RV’s toilet. Are you looking for a disposal station in the area? Take a look at this page! To empty the black water holding tank in your RV, follow these steps:
- Connect a high-quality, dependable sewage line to the outlet drain of your RV’s sewer system to ensure that it is not clogged. You’ll see that there are two valves, one for the gray water and one for the black water, which you should use. Before anything else, always drain the dark water. You’ll be able to drain the gray water later, which will clean the hose and loosen anything that became, hmm, caught in the process. Make certain that the other end of your hose is securely attached to a city sewage intake. Disconnect the black water valve and allow the tank to fully empty before reconnecting it. Close the valve and draw the gray water valve once you can hear that it is entirely empty (there are no longer noises of water pouring through). Remove the plug and allow it to drain fully before closing. Maintaining the closures on both of your tanks at all times is a recommended habit, even while you’re camping and connected to a sewer system. You will have a very messy issue if you let the black water tank to drain freely because liquids will flow through but solids will get caught, resulting in a very nasty condition. Furthermore, by having the gray water tank closed, you are constantly accumulating soapy water that may be utilized to flush the debris of your black water draining process down the hose. Disconnect the sewage hose from your RV slowly—and consider cleaning the sewer hose with fresh water before disconnecting the other end of the hose from the city sewer hookup. Storage of your hose, as well as making certain that your tank drain is firmly closed, and you’re finished
The black tank flush system in certain recreational vehicles is pre-installed, allowing you to attach a hose directly to an intake valve in order to basically “power wash” your black tank. This makes it extremely simple to keep your tanks clean and free of contaminants. You should, however, carefully read and follow the directions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that you are using it appropriately. Most guidelines advise leaving the black tank valve open in order to prevent water from backing up and flooding your RV through the toilet!
- A hole must be drilled in your RV’s black water tank in order to install this sort of aftermarket option, which comes in a variety of sizes and designs.
- When looking for an RV black tank cleaning, one of the most popular solutions is to use an RV holding tank rinser, which is a garden hose extension.
- In order to clear dirt and tissue from the walls of your RV’s black water tank, this rinser is intended to spray water in different directions.
- Add a few drops of mild detergent, such as Dawn or Joy, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic DIY black water flushing method!
- It is possible to transfer the contents of your black and grey water tanks into an external tank, which can then be transported to a dump station, using these waste tanks.
- If you utilize a portable RV waste tank, it is vital to remember that cleaning and flushing the tank should be performed with the same care as cleaning and flushing the onboard RV black water tank.
- It will provide you years of comfort and odorless delight if you understand how your RV’s black water tank works, and how to clean it.
What’s the difference between gray water and black water?
The wastewater that comes from your sink taps and shower — as previously discussed — is considered gray water, whereas black water is considered garbage that comes from your toilet.
For further information, see our guides on RV water tanks and RV holding tanks.
How accurate are the tank monitors?
The frequency with which you clean your tank monitors will determine how accurate they are! Here’s how to clean the black water tank sensors in your recreational vehicle.
Best practices for dumping?
Never, ever dump your holding tanks into the ground or into a street sewer, as was the case during Christmas Vacation! Always use a city sewer connection designed particularly for that purpose, as was the case during Christmas Vacation!. It’s also a good idea to leave your valves closed and wait until your tanks are completely full, or almost full, before dumping, because gravity will assist you in the process (and a lot of gray water to wash the icky stuff through the hose).
What are some tank maintenance tips?
Always use specifically designed RV holding tank chemicals to guarantee that your tanks remain odor-free and that waste is decomposed rapidly and efficiently in your RV holding tanks. While you may clean your tanks more thoroughly with mild dish detergent or ice, you should avoid using harsher things like as antifreeze, which might dry up the seals and cause your sewer system to fail completely.
Does my toilet use affect anything?
To guarantee that your holding tanks remain odor-free and that waste is broken down fast and effectively, always use specifically designed RV holding tank chemicals. While you may clean your tanks more thoroughly with mild dish detergent or ice, you should avoid using harsher things such as antifreeze, which can dry up the seals and cause your sewer system to fail entirely.