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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How We Maintain Our RV Black Tank

There is no more common topic in the RV world, than how to deal with black tank odors and what to do to take care of your black tank. I will share how we maintain our RV trailer black tank. As seasoned campers, we have tried it all and this are the simple inexpensive tips to care for your black tank and to keep the black tank odors at bay

rv tips, black tank

Maintaining Your RV Black Tank

What To Put In Your Tank To Keep Odors Away

1. Honestly, I am not sure you can totally keep black tank odors away as frankly poop and pee are dropping in a plastic holding tank. What you want, is to keep the smells at such a minimum that you don't smell the black tank contents and odors.

At first, like everyone else I bought the blue powder that you find in the RV sections of stores or you can order and there are liquids you can order and frankly some can be expensive. I still, with careful cleaning and an older trailer was finding we were getting some smell from the black tank when we flushed the toilet. Finally, I gave up on RV black water tank chemicals. I thought why not try some other methods and see if I can find a better and cheaper way to add our own cleaners to our black tank. I have read many warnings against putting bleach in the tank so I have not ever tried that.

2. Here is the easy black tank additives I make myself that have worked wonders to keep our tank from stinking. This is inexpensive and I literally just pour in and add water.

Homemade Black Tank Cleaner

1 cup of liquid Gain laundry detergent 
1 cup of liquid water softener (you can use the powder form but dilute one cup of the powder with one cup of hot water)

Pour in tank and add a generous amount of water. You DO NOT want your black tank to dry out. Think of what might be left in there along with some toilet paper and if it dries you will have a cement like mess down in there.

3. Once you have dumped your tank and flushed it, if you have the chance, add the black tank cleaner from above and a good amount of water. The trailer is ready for the next time you head out. Nothing more needs to be done.

4. At the end of the season especially and after each camping trip if I can, I will do a black tank flush to really try and get things off the side of the tank and as much residual waste out of the tank as I can. We have an older trailer so I do not have an automatic black tank flush so I use a wand I ordered that screws on the end of the hose. Do not use your water hose. I know we all know this but I want to cover all bases of safety.

**Here is a tip...do not turn the water on until you have that black tank wand down in the tank. It has a little lever to turn water on and off. You will get some water and maybe yucky stuff sprayed around. I just pull the toilet lever, put the wand down in the tank and turn and blast while my husband checks to see when the contents look like they are pretty much gone.

Afterwords, add the above cleaner recipe and some water and you are done. I do take some of my homemade bleach cleaner on some paper towels and spray the inside of the toilet bowl and wipe down that area and the whole toilet gets a good bleach wipe down.

Always wear rubber gloves while dealing with your tank sewage. We keep a box in the trailer side compartment.

I know some that don't put any toilet paper in their tanks. That is up to you if you are comfortable not putting RV toilet paper in the tank and what you will do with it. I will leave that up to each RV owner.

Many black tank sensors, including mine, get stuck. I have noticed the water softener helps to keep the contents from stick on the side of the tank and has helped to unstick our black tank monitor though it seems to stick again from time to time.

Black Tank Valve Cover Reminders:

Always keep the black, and as well the grey tank valves closed except when dumping. You do not want the odors and gases from sewer hook ups coming back up into your RV as well as keeping any critters out of crawling back up that drain hose.

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1 comment:

Mary Rawlings said...

Don't forget to keep the tank closed when using it to keep smells inside between flushes. It also prevents snakes from getting in the RV