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Old 07-27-2021, 05:37 PM   #1
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Draining Black Water at Seasonal Site

Hi Everyone!
We have a Chaparral 5th Wheel and since COVID hit have been stationary at a seasonal site in an RV park. A plumber told us always to leave the black water valve OPEN since we are not moving and hooked up to an outside holding tank at risk of sedimentation. Is this correct? I thought that the onboard holding tank (In the RV, that is) needs to have lots of water and a good "head" to move everything through, esp. solids. Any thoughts in this?
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:47 PM   #2
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Keep valve close until ready to dump with plenty of water.
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Old 07-27-2021, 05:51 PM   #3
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The plumber would have most RV’s plugged solid in a week or two. Keep the tank closed until full, then dump it and reclose it.

I have a guy across the street from me who says he keeps his open all the time and it is fine. The only thing I can think of is that his drain is pretty much straight under the toilet so everything drops right down the drain line as soon as it is flushed, most campers won’t work that way.
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Old 07-28-2021, 07:59 AM   #4
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Plumber must also run a tank cleaning business.
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:20 AM   #5
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Keep the black valve closed just like us weekend campers.

The plumber may be experienced with "mobile homes" but not "RVs."

Years ago I lived in a "mobile home" and, no surprise, there were no valves so all the waste water and sewage went directly to the sewer. Clogs were not an issue but (1) there was no waste tank in the trailer to slow things down, (2) the drain pipe was smooth inside, not corrugated, and a straight, angled shot to the sewer, and (3) there were flush toilets using a good quantity of water.

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Old 07-28-2021, 08:34 AM   #6
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When you are on site, dump as required. When leaving, dump and flush and add about 5 gal of water. In the freezing time of the year I dump in a couple of gallons of pink antifreeze, after dumping and flushing, to protect the plumbing and valve. This goes for the grey water tanks also.

Tale of the Redwood; For three seasons the snowbirds left the tank valves open. After it sat for a year, in place, the new owners quickly experienced a full plugged tank. The pile had moved. You know the rest of the story, the tank cleaners were summoned. And the story gets better, the original owner, a non citizen, never paid the tax or had it titled. The selling dealer moved it on site for the customer. The new owner was mailed a receipt and statement of origin. It took some time to get that one sorted out.

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Old 07-28-2021, 09:00 AM   #7
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Don't forget to use a high quality treatment in the tank after each draining. I prefer an enzyme over a formaldehyde based treatment. And it would be wise to flush the tank occasionally after draining it.
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Old 07-28-2021, 10:10 AM   #8
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Plumber must also run a tank cleaning business.
Have to generate business one way or another!
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:16 PM   #9
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I spend 6 months sitting in Arizona with a lot of friends in an RV park. We ALL keep the black valve closed and the grey open. The day before the weekly dumping of the black we close the grey. Then on dump day open black, flush out if you can, close black and then open grey to help flush. On warmer days I put chemical pods in black after dumping.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:49 PM   #10
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That plumber is looking for business. I am a plumber and I keep my black tank valves closed until ready to dump.
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Old 07-28-2021, 12:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ross0547 View Post
Hi Everyone!
We have a Chaparral 5th Wheel and since COVID hit have been stationary at a seasonal site in an RV park. A plumber told us always to leave the black water valve OPEN since we are not moving and hooked up to an outside holding tank at risk of sedimentation. Is this correct? I thought that the onboard holding tank (In the RV, that is) needs to have lots of water and a good "head" to move everything through, esp. solids. Any thoughts in this?
It is not!

As you eluded to and as was mentioned, even when seasonal and connected to sewer full time, a R/V toilet does not provide enough water with each flush to move the solids to the sewer system.

I hope you don't already have a poop pyramid at the bottom of your black tank.

The use of chemicals is dependent on how long you wait between times of emptying the black tank. Many folks who are seasonal but only weekenders and dump when leaving on Sunday do not use chemicals as the contents isn't in there long enough for chemicals to work or to present an issue. But... be sure to use lots of water when flushing the toilet and to at least somewhat fill the tank before dumping as both the toilet flushing process and the tank dumping process requires plenty of water to do the job correctly.

If your of the mind set to leave the black tank entirely fill with toilet flushes before emptying the tank, then that could take a month or more of weekend use. In those cases, most folks use a tank chemical of their choice.

In the end... remember it is a holding tank and not a septic tank.

Folks who are NOT connected to sewer and move between non-hook-up sites follow a bit different holding/dumping plan that most always involves chemicals since they typically don't dump until full and smell becomes an issue.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:40 PM   #12
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I've been on a seasonal site many years and have always kept the black closed be between dumps with no issues what so ever.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:59 PM   #13
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So do you leave the grey tank valve open? When I camp with full hookups, I keep it closed, but only so that I can rinse out the black tank after I dump that.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:03 PM   #14
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I agree with all about keeping the black tank valve closed.
But hereís a idea for seasonal camping. Change your manual valves to electric and install the switch inside. As long as youíre hard piped which most seasonal sites require then you have nothing to worry about, just push a button to dump your tanks while inside.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:07 PM   #15
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Our kids bought their first RV is year. Went to take it out the first time and noticed a poop pyramid in the tank. We are guessing the previous owner used it last at a full hook up park and left the black tank valve open. Yea, it was rough getting it cleaned out.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Homebrew View Post
I agree with all about keeping the black tank valve closed.
But here’s a idea for seasonal camping. Change your manual valves to electric and install the switch inside. As long as you’re hard piped which most seasonal sites require then you have nothing to worry about, just push a button to dump your tanks while inside.
I don't know that I'd say "most".

2 of the 3 CGs I've been seasonal at didn't have sewer hookups in the site we were on.

1st one required the honey wagon every week. Current one requires a portable tote.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:32 PM   #17
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I don't know that I'd say "most".

2 of the 3 CGs I've been seasonal at didn't have sewer hookups in the site we were on.

1st one required the honey wagon every week. Current one requires a portable tote.


Ok agree if there is no sewer fitting , but Iíve been to 3-4 and had sewer hook ups and we were not permitted to use flexible sewer hoses unless we were dumping. Then the hose had to be removed and put away.
I guess they didnít want animals to damage it or the sun to break down the flexible hose.
All I know is that I had to purchase pipe,fittings, glue and order the bayonet fitting online to connect to the RV for a 6 month stay.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:41 AM   #18
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We leave our black water and bathroom grey water closed ... flush our system weekly or more often if needed ... black tank first, then grey to clean out the lines ...
Both dealerships we bought our 5ths from have advised this, including campground owners.
Dont know anyone here, seasonal park, that doesn't do it this way.
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Old 07-31-2021, 12:47 AM   #19
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Homebrew this is for you

Switch inside? ElectrIc? You have my attention ... any links for this, please ....
I would love to do have this option ... I'm here most of the time by myself and sometimes have to end up dumping tanks; try to wait til hubby is here, but sometimes, just can't.
Thank you in advance .
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:19 AM   #20
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Homebrew this is for you

Switch inside? ElectrIc? You have my attention ... any links for this, please ....
I would love to do have this option ... I'm here most of the time by myself and sometimes have to end up dumping tanks; try to wait til hubby is here, but sometimes, just can't.
Thank you in advance .


Sent you a pm with a link.
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