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Old 03-26-2012, 04:28 PM   #1
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Black Tank Cleaning

My new to me campers black tank has a very strong (BAD) odor when the tank is empty and half full. I have been searching posts on how to clean out the tanks and most solutions (i.e. ice in the tanks and travel down the road) do not apply to me because my trailer is at a seasonal spot and is never towed. I tried filling the tank and letting it sit all week with this http://kronen1.com/performance.phpchemical my RV dealer recommended. It did not help really at all. Doe anyone have an idea what I can use to soak in the tank to clean it. I am sure it is sludge built up in the tank from the previous owners.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Google Unique RV-Digest It - I have found it to be the best product on the market. No harsh chemicals.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
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Yes, We have helped others with the seasonal camper clogged black tank problem using the RV-Digest-It from www.rv-digest-it.com

Follow the directions for the "24 hours" soak.
One quart in the tank and wait 24 hours.
Then dump and flush with a toilet wand.

Repeat after 72 hours.

The flush is easier to do if you have a clear elbow on your dump mast.

Plan on doing this at least twice; so think ahead when you order from them. You will be using it occasionally from now on to keep that squeaky clean tank... well... squeaky clean.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post
Yes, We have helped others with the seasonal camper clogged black tank problem using the RV-Digest-It from www.rv-digest-it.com

Follow the directions for the "24 hours" soak.
One quart in the tank and wait 24 hours.
Then dump and flush with a toilet wand.

Repeat after 72 hours.

The flush is easier to do if you have a clear elbow on your dump mast.

Plan on doing this at least twice; so think ahead when you order from them. You will be using it occasionally from now on to keep that squeaky clean tank... well... squeaky clean.
As Herk said look ahead the last time I ordered if you bought 4 quarts the shipping was free - don't know if that is still their policy or not.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:23 PM   #5
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Once you get it clean I would highly recomend a Tornado tank rinser to help keep it clean.
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:32 PM   #6
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Might be a good idea to make sure that the vent is actually "venting" as well - might be plugged at the roof.

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Old 03-26-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769
Yes, We have helped others with the seasonal camper clogged black tank problem using the RV-Digest-It from www.rv-digest-it.com

Follow the directions for the "24 hours" soak.
One quart in the tank and wait 24 hours.
Then dump and flush with a toilet wand.

Repeat after 72 hours.

The flush is easier to do if you have a clear elbow on your dump mast.

Plan on doing this at least twice; so think ahead when you order from them. You will be using it occasionally from now on to keep that squeaky clean tank... well... squeaky clean.
I will give RV-Digest-It a try. Sounds like you guys have had good luck with it. After reading the info on their website, it looks like the same type of product Kronin is using "good bacteria".
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTX Al View Post
Might be a good idea to make sure that the vent is actually "venting" as well - might be plugged at the roof.

...VTX-Al
X2! Last year I had Paper Wasps make a nest in my vent pipe...

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Old 03-28-2012, 05:42 PM   #9
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I truly feel your pain,,,we too had a horrible time getting the smell out of our tank,,we tried every and I mean EVERY thing that anyone suggested to us, to no avail...we ended up pulling it off the site and bringing it home for further inspection..we came to find out that it was just a mess inside..we rinsed and rinsed and even ended up using a pressure washer (with just slight pressure) not full strength... after many times flushing the unit, we finally were able to get a clean tank..I will now use the geo method and the rv digest...everyone on the site was so helpful but I it is just so hard to get it flushed properly when you are on a permanent site, and we didnt have sewage hook up which complicated things more...I hope that you can get it taken care..
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #10
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So I followed your guys procedure with RV-Digest It. The smell went away temporarily but after two times using the camper, it's back. I got to looking at the tank after I drained it and there was visible water in the tank looking down the toilet. After looking under the camper, it looks like the tank is sagging...is this normal?
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:44 PM   #11
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I know I have seen a picture like this before. I spent the last hour looking for it and can't find it. If the original poster of that photo is still online please chime in.

If the tank bottom is bowed like that, IMO the under tank support is broken or missing.

The belly of the tank should drain toward the dump valve. With a "belly" like that there is no way for the tank to completely empty; worse yet the solids will settle in the "belly" and create an odor problem.

This needs to be looked at by the dealer or photos sent to FR for a decision.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:03 PM   #12
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An 06 model is out of warranty and I doubt FR will do anything. I would be heading out to buy a pc of 2" x 4" x 0.075 tubing 8' long and bolting the 2" side to the frame right in the middle of the tank.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:37 PM   #13
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Lou, I doubt FR will stand behind their product, but I will give it a shot with emailing pictures to them. The camper is setup on a seasonal site, and would cost me probably a couple hundred bucks to tow it to a dealer for them to tell me they cannot do anything for me. In my opinion it is obviously mfg defect. My previous camper was an 97 37' Keystone Sprinter and I know my black tank did not look like that!
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:43 PM   #14
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Pomme De Terre: French for potato
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunnnc
Pomme De Terre: French for potato
That would be correct!
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:51 PM   #16
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My money is on that tank being over pressured to almost the point of failure. You may be forced to replace it; but before you do see if there is a way to jury rig something to hold the bottom flatter.

Like a piece of 3/4 treated marine plywood. Hold it up with a pair of screw jacks (sloped towards the outlet valve) and see if you can get a complete flush. If you can I say leave it alone until you are ready to move it off the seasonal site and either take it right to the dealer for replacement or try and do it your self (might be a LOT of work as you may need to drop or spread the angle iron side supports).
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:54 PM   #17
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Earth apple...
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:02 PM   #18
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actual translation is "apple of the earth" but the French-English is potato.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:03 PM   #19
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Lou, I was thinking the same thing with jacks and and plywood...it just hacks me off that it did this. Dumb question, but how would it become over pressured to the point of failure. Maybe the roof vent got clogged? I do not know the the complete history on this camper, I bought it in February from the original owner.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:06 PM   #20
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Herk, how about using a sheet of 3/4 cd plywood and the 2" x 4" tube and have a permanent fix. Takes all the load off the tank itself and just makes it a non-load bearing container.
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