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Old 08-09-2020, 07:47 AM   #1
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Control panel in Sandpiper 323FK

We very recently purchased a 2012 travel trailer and are first-time trailer owners. We are green horns at cleaning and sanitizing holding tanks and are confused by the Control Panel on our Sandpiper. There is a button to show the capacity level of the gray tank, one to show the level in black tank #1 and black tank #2, and another for the “galley”. To the best of our knowledge there are external drains for only the gray water and one black water tank - we see no other external drains. Are these Control Panels generic and used in other models that have these extra features? Very confusing, especially when there is no mention made of this topic in the “manual?” at all. Just concerned that we are not giving everything a thorough cleanse. Would appreciate some guidance.
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Old 08-09-2020, 09:12 PM   #2
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Only the fresh water tank needs kept clean. The holding tanks dont need cleaning or sanitizing. They are for used water and sewage holding. Black, grey, galley are the tank names. Grey and galley can be run off into the grass depending on where you are. They fill up much faster with sink and shower water. Black tanks are raw sewage and need emptied at proper sewer dump facilities or at campgrounds. The tank names are next to the appropriate tank valves. When you pull a black tank valve open, sewage comes out. Then open the galley or grey water tanks so the pipe and sewer boses will be rinsed out before being put away.
The level indicators are on the sides of each tank. The black 1 and black 2 tanks will both empty when the black water valve is pulled if there is only 1 valve.

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Old 08-09-2020, 10:05 PM   #3
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My best guess is that one drain dumps the black tanks and the other the galley and grey tanks. That would be a satisfactory arrangement so might be the case. It would however, suggest that the grey and galley are effectively one large tank (levels would equalize), and the two black tanks as well. This too would be an okay design. It's a bit confusing why there would be level indicators for both the grey and galley tanks, but stranger things are found in RVs. There is just one indicator for two black tanks? That would suggest they have a common connection and will equalize and knowing the level of one tells you the level of both (if there really are two). The control panel is generic and not tailored to your rig.

I don't think most of us do much to clean or sanitize the tanks. There is no practical way to fully extract all the contents of black tanks. Even a tank sprayer (if you have this feature) or putting a hose in the toilet with water running out the dump outlet clear does not mean there aren't some solids in the corners of the tanks. On the road I dump and don't try to get everything out. I put in some enzyme stuff (link below) at our next stop and that's it. This stuff results in very little solids at dump time. I have a clear elbow in the dump hose to see what's coming out, but mostly just to know when the flow has decreased substantially and it's time to close up.

The black tanks are essentially septic tanks without a drain field. They get drained now and then but don't need anything more than some digester starter to get decay started and thereby keep odor down in case you accidentally flush with the overhead fan on.

Same with the galley and gray tanks. Empty and put some digester in. The galley tank gets food particles so can stink via the vent (sink will have a trap under it), but it has to sit quite some days for that to happen. The stuff below takes care of that. It has no smell itself, it's just an enzyme or some such that digests the food particles.

When we get home from a trip and the RV may sit for months, it's the same, put a gallon or two of water in the waste tanks and add some digester.
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