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Simple Sewer Solution

Simple Sewer Solution

It may seem obvious to RVers with a few years on the road, but keeping the sewer system maintained properly is a mystery to many (even some old-timers I know). It is easy and simple to do, but timing is a factor along with maintaining a routine.

For the best smelling results (no smell) in the bathroom, keep it simple. Do not flush toilet paper, even the rough expensive RV type. Store the used toilet paper in a lidded container nearby (no smell)..

Some travelers try to keep the black tank squeaky clean by using harsh chemicals. This is dangerous for their health and the health of the septic system they connect to at dump time. Little do they know that it is the presence of beneficial bacteria that best manages the odor in the tank.

Overview of Tank Maintenance

Close the grey water outside valve about 2 days before it is time to dump the black tank. After the black tank dump, open the grey water valve to clean the hose. Leave the grey water valve open until the next dump cycle.

Back inside, fill the toilet bowl with water and add 1 capful of “scent free” laundry detergent. If your RV is less that 5 years old, add 1 capful of Calgon water softener to help keep the sensors clean.

The only time I need to use anything else is when I find myself in over 100F temps, then add 1 scoop of Happy Camper Tank Treatment; great non-toxic product.  

Detailed instructions on the setup and gray/black water tank maintenance:
Setting Up    
1. Remove the RV sewer cap. Note the pins that fit in the notches of the sewer hose collar. Remove cap  
2. Twist on the sewer hose collar to the RV sewer pipe end (you removed the cap in step 1). Tug it slightly to test that it is merged securely with the pins on the pipe. Attach sewer hose  
3. Place the other end of the sewer hose into the Park receptacle. If possible, place any large rock on top. Park receptacle  
4. Open the Gray Water valve. Leave the Black water closed. Tip: Lubricate the valve pulls every year to prevent sticking valves.  
5. Inside the RV, fill the toilet bowl with water. Add one capful of scent-free laundry detergent. Flush! If the RV is less than five years old, add one capful of Calgon Water Softner (liquid or powder) to help keep the sensors clean.  

Emptying the Black & Gray Water Tanks
Note
: Close the Gray Water valve about two days before dumping the Black Water.

 
1. Inside, add one capful of scent-free laundry deter-gent into the toilet.

In hot weather, add a scoop of Happy Camper Organic Holding Tank Treatment.

Flush twice!  
2.
Outside, ensure that the park receptacle hose is secure.

Pull the Black Water valve slowly at first until certain that no leaks appear. Then pull the valve all the way open. When empty, close the Black Water valve.

You will hear a rush of water and possibly see some white suds if you have a clear section of hose.
 
3.
Pull the Gray Water valve all the way open to flush the hose.

Do not close the valve until about 2 days before dumping again. (This keeps the gray water tank from overflowing into the shower.)

An alternative flush is to run water into the tank for 15 minutes, then dump again. Or use a tank flushing mechanism with an outside water hose.
 
4.
Inside, fill the toilet bowl with water.. Add one capful of scent-free detergent or, if hot weather, one scoop of Happy Camper.
   
It is wise to keep a calendar of dump dates until it becomes routine.
If the RV is more than five years old, the sensor monitor may not be accurate.
 

If you smell blow-back from the tank, check the outside valve for a leak. Valve replacement may be necessary. Check the park office for a vendor recommendation if you prefer not to do this yourself. There are also special vent caps that can be installed on the roof to reduce odors.

Important: Replace the protective cap when traveling to your next destination. Some states may cite you for traveling down the road with liquid dripping from the sewer pipe.

Caution: Never leave the motorhome unattended for any length of time with the gray water valve closed. If a Reverse Osmosis water filter system is installed, it continually adds water to the gray water tank until the pressurized storage tank is full. This can add ten gallons or more to the gray water tank.

Black Water Tank Maintenance

Ensure that the Black Water valve is closed and the tank is empty.

On your first outing with your RV, clean the black water tank using a wand inserted into the toilet from inside. You can purchase these at any RV store or Wal-Mart.

This cleaning wand is basically a piece of PVC pipe with a cap to keep the water from running out the end. A few holes are drilled in one end near the cap. The other end has a hose fitting. There are two models shown here, one has a flex wand, the other a straight wand.

Toilet wandsewer wand 2

Turn off the outside water. Feeding your hose through a window, attach your water hose to this wand and insert it down into the tank.
Turn on the outside water and rotate the wand often. It may take 5-10 minutes of fairly high water pressure to clean the tank.

Tip 1: To keep from dragging the hose in through a window, purchase a Water Bandit, a rubber attachment that fits over the bathroom faucet.

water bandit

One end of the Bandit has a regular male hose end. Attach a short hose to the wand, turn on the water at the bathroom faucet, and you are in business. The Water Bandit is available at any hardware store.

Using the wand every six months works very well as long as you do not flush toilet paper.

Tip 2:
Do not be tempted to pay a vendor to pressure-wash the black tank unless there is a serious clog. It takes a long time to build the bacteria back up that keeps the smell down.

New Solutions on the Market

The Sewer Solution

Sewer Solution

Sewer Solution Click here to see it on Amazon.  

This system breaks down the sewerage using high-pressure water during the dump process. It works well, but there are a few downsides. Because the black water slowly leaves the tank, there may be more residue left in the tank than with other methods. Even a small uphill grade to the park collar clogs up the hose. This system is not suitable for boondocking. It is perfect for maserators with built-in pumps for disposal.

Watch the video here.

The Waste Master

Waste Manager

Waste Master Cam Lock Adapter Kit Click here to see it on Amazon.

This is a heavy-duty solution with a rugged-looking park connector. One downside that I saw is changing the RV termination opening to match this system with a cam lock; this takes some skill and tools. This is a permanent change. The other downside is its weight when lugging it around and storing it. Both of these downsides were enough for me to return mine.

Watch the video here. Watch the video demonstrating changing the RV termination to a cam lock here.

Valtera Viper

This is currently my favorite sewer hose. Since the end that fits in the park sewer connection is attached permanently to the insert, there is less chance of it popping out of the connection under water pressure. I also bought the 5-foot extension, easy assembly when needed. Watch the video here.

Valterra D04-0450 Viper 15' Sewer Hose Kit Amazon

Viper

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