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Old 05-03-2017, 09:59 PM   #1
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GEO Method - Need some help with specifics

We are preparing for the first trip of the season (Mother's Day weekend) in our new Cherokee 274DBH. I've been preparing a to-do list for dealing with the grey and black tanks and would like to try the GEO method as our black tank maintenance method of choice. I've read up on it, but would appreciate some feedback:

Minimizing water usage - A lot of water usage is supposed to be key with this method. Michigan state parks (and many places we camp) do not have water or sewer hookups. Normally, we try to minimize our water usage and not fill tanks too quickly. Will this be problematic if there is a good "base" of 2-5 gallons of treated water sloshing around in our black tank at the beginning of trips?

Detergent choice - Does it matter if it's dish washing soap (like Joy) or laundry detergent used with the Calgon? I've seen recommendations for both.

Process when the line is long - Our state parks in the summer often have a mass exodus of campers at the same time, which can result in lengthy waits at the dump station. I know that ideally, our process will involve emptying the black tank, emptying grey, flushing our black tank, and then adding a couple/few more gallons of water and more calgon/detergent prior to the drive home. We've yet to go through this process, but I worry that it will take a bit of time with people waiting behind us? Any thoughts/experience with that scenario would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:21 PM   #2
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Dump station 101.
DO NOT TRY TO FLUSH YOUR BLACK TANK WITH A LINE OF PEOPLE BEHIND YOU. Dump and move along under 10 minutes MAX.
Find somewhere else to dump, rinse, flush. Maybe your local RV dealer? Many places to dump and take as long as you want.
Just imagine if you were 10th in line and everyone took 30-40 minutes to flush their tanks. How understanding would you be to sit for 4 to 5 hours?
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:26 AM   #3
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Congratulations on your decision to try the Geo Method. We've used it exclusively for several years and have been very happy with it.

First, I agree on the comments about flushing at the RV park dump station... there's a reason they don't call them sanitization and flushing stations!

Second, adding Geo Method to your tank with 2-5 gallons of water in it will definitely help. If you're preparing to leave and you're concerned that there's not enough water in the tank to help with dumping, add some.

We have always used powdered Sunlight with Calgon in a 50/50 mix. We pre-mix a big batch and put it in used deli containers... This 1 lb container treats two tanks. For the black tank I fill the toilet bowl with fresh water, dump in the mix and flush. For the grey I mix it with water in the sink and pull the plug. We use it three or four times a season. And so far all of our sensors have continued to work.


A couple of options for dumping...

If you are moving from one park to the other, dump on the way into the second park... a lineup at check-in time is less likely.

Have you considered dumping at home? A Valterra Sewer Solution could help, or the Flojet Macerator pump like we use. Here's our setup:

Tech - Holding Tanks
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchman12001 View Post
Just imagine if you were 10th in line and everyone took 30-40 minutes to flush their tanks. How understanding would you be to sit for 4 to 5 hours?
Crunchman, we have no intention of holding people up, which is why I posed this question. I feel we have a good handle on the procedure, but having never been through it yet, I'm not sure how long it takes. And, if it's not possible to do it within the courteous 10-minute time frame, how do others go about it?

Also, I sure hope we won't be spending 4-5 hours to flush our tank! Seems like that would only be reserved for a "tower of doom" scenario, which I hope to prevent with proper usage at the beginning.

I'm not familiar with being able to dump at RV lots, and can only imagine they'd charge a fee to do so. If there are other places I'm overlooking, please suggest them!

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Originally Posted by Restcure View Post
A couple of options for dumping...

If you are moving from one park to the other, dump on the way into the second park... a lineup at check-in time is less likely.

Have you considered dumping at home? A Valterra Sewer Solution could help, or the Flojet Macerator pump like we use. Here's our setup:

Tech - Holding Tanks
Thanks Restcure. I like your idea of pre-mixing the solution. We could do that with gallon milk jugs. Aren't we supposed to avoid driving with waste in the tanks? I didn't realize dumping at home was an option (was wondering how people fuss with their black tanks at home). Although, the sewer solution looks a bit involved, and we have a septic tank at our house, with no easy access to a port.

I'm thinking we'll need to reserve flushing the tank for trips when we are lucky and don't have a line behind us at the dump station. We should be able to dump and quickly add a few gallons of solution/water to the black/grey tanks without holding people up though. Right?
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Old 05-04-2017, 01:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MILover View Post
...We should be able to dump and quickly add a few gallons of solution/water to the black/grey tanks without holding people up though. Right?
Better yet - pull ahead far enough for the next guy to get in and start dumping - THEN add water and solution to your holding tanks.
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MILover View Post
We are preparing for the first trip of the season (Mother's Day weekend) in our new Cherokee 274DBH. I've been preparing a to-do list for dealing with the grey and black tanks and would like to try the GEO method as our black tank maintenance method of choice. I've read up on it, but would appreciate some feedback:

Minimizing water usage - A lot of water usage is supposed to be key with this method. Michigan state parks (and many places we camp) do not have water or sewer hookups. Normally, we try to minimize our water usage and not fill tanks too quickly. Will this be problematic if there is a good "base" of 2-5 gallons of treated water sloshing around in our black tank at the beginning of trips?
Thats exactly what we do.

Detergent choice - Does it matter if it's dish washing soap (like Joy) or laundry detergent used with the Calgon? I've seen recommendations for both.
I use the cheapest laundry soap I can find. I normally used liquid. Never tried dishwashing soap.

Process when the line is long - Our state parks in the summer often have a mass exodus of campers at the same time, which can result in lengthy waits at the dump station. I know that ideally, our process will involve emptying the black tank, emptying grey, flushing our black tank, and then adding a couple/few more gallons of water and more calgon/detergent prior to the drive home. We've yet to go through this process, but I worry that it will take a bit of time with people waiting behind us? Any thoughts/experience with that scenario would be much appreciated.
Just dump your black, then gray, then move along.
Either pull forward or wait until you get home, then put a couple gallons of fresh water and a new dump of calgon/soap and you are good to go until next time.
Try to book one night sometime within your next 3 or 4 trips somewhere with full hookups then flush all you want.


Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:25 PM   #7
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Thanks kfd! Ok. We'll make sure not to fuss with anything while emptying. Just stick to the basics and pull ahead if needed.

Also, for anyone else who might be reading this thread and also wondering about dump locations, I found a website that has a great directory of places to dump. Perhaps it's already been recommended on this forum, but I found it to be really informative! https://www.sanidumps.com/

Cheers to stink-free tanks!
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:44 PM   #8
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we have a septic tank at our house, with no easy access to a port.
Do you know how to open your septic tank for clean out? At our house, we have the tank pumped out about every 3 years. No reason you can't use the Sewer Solution and discharge directly into the tank.

For a long discharge on the Sewer Solution, get a 3/4 "contractor" or "farm and ranch" water hose. You should be able to get them at any big box hardware store.
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Old 05-04-2017, 08:56 PM   #9
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We've used the Geo Method for 5 years now in both the black and grey tanks. We can get the black tank sensors working but we've found the grey tank sensors don't get cleaned as well. We have a strainer in the kitchen sink but it must get too much gunk. Dawn dish soap or Super Clean degreaser should work better for the grey tank.

It's getting impossible to find Calgon up here in Canada now so we're going to try OldCoot's method using Pine Sol and Super Clean this year.

I also use RV Digest-It to treat the tanks at the start of the season.

Regarding dumping, Flying J truck stops around here have dumping stations where you can flush. At our provincial parks there are frequently lineups at the dump station on Sunday mornings. Other days aren't as bad. I like to book a 3 day weekend and leave Monday morning or book Monday to Friday. Either way, there usually isn't as much of a lineup. With only one car waiting I'll flush once, quickly. We have the routine down and with 2 of us working at it, we can dump both tanks and do a single flush of the black tank in well under 10 minutes - definitely no more time than larger rigs take to dump 3 tanks. If there are more than 2 cars waiting, I just dump and move on.

If full hook up sites are available, we also opt pay the extra fee for the convenience of avoiding the line up and being able to flush at least twice.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:01 PM   #10
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Depending on usage, I like to use the old bucket method 3-4 times a season. An old 5gal paint bucket full of just water. Four or five times of dumping it down the toilet helps the clean-out, after the dump. I have the clear short 3" view tube and you would be surprised at what comes out after you think its all done.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MILover View Post
Crunchman, we have no intention of holding people up, which is why I posed this question. I feel we have a good handle on the procedure, but having never been through it yet, I'm not sure how long it takes. And, if it's not possible to do it within the courteous 10-minute time frame, how do others go about it?

Also, I sure hope we won't be spending 4-5 hours to flush our tank! Seems like that would only be reserved for a "tower of doom" scenario, which I hope to prevent with proper usage at the beginning.

I'm not familiar with being able to dump at RV lots, and can only imagine they'd charge a fee to do so. If there are other places I'm overlooking, please suggest them!
Google search.

https://rvdumpsites.net/

RV Dump Stations

I see you have a septic system at home. That is perfect. Buy a turd taxi (black water tote) and dump to your hearts content at home. Locate your septic clean out access and dump the taxi in there.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Restcure View Post
We have always used powdered Sunlight with Calgon in a 50/50 mix. We pre-mix a big batch and put it in used deli containers... This 1 lb container treats two tanks. For the black tank I fill the toilet bowl with fresh water, dump in the mix and flush. For the grey I mix it with water in the sink and pull the plug. We use it three or four times a season. And so far all of our sensors have continued to work.
You mention 3 or 4 times per season. Is the method not used after every dump or just sparingly? Also does it take place of the packets or liquid you pour in your black and grey tank?

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Old 05-05-2017, 08:03 AM   #13
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...It's getting impossible to find Calgon up here in Canada now...
I used to get it at Home Hardware but they aren't listing it anymore. I did a Google search and it appears it will no longer be offered in Canada.

Good thing we go to the US at least once a year...
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:12 AM   #14
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Sine you said you have a septic tank; If you decide to wait until you get home to dump your black tank, be careful about what type of Toilet solution you use. Some are designed to kill bacteria as a way to control odors. Despite what the package says, I would not want to add these to my septic tank. Lots of good alternatives available.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:51 AM   #15
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Sine you said you have a septic tank; If you decide to wait until you get home to dump your black tank, be careful about what type of Toilet solution you use. Some are designed to kill bacteria as a way to control odors. Despite what the package says, I would not want to add these to my septic tank. Lots of good alternatives available.
True, but we would just be using Calgon and a detergent, which would not be problematic. That said, our septic access and drain field is in our backyard and down a hill. I could dump into a tote tank though. The septic access is under the lawn (we do know where, but we only dig it up for pumping every few years. From what people are saying, it sounds like there might be another port somewhere between the house and the tank (?), but we'd need to track that down under the dirt too, I think.

Anyway, at least I know the options and have a general idea of what others are doing.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:57 PM   #16
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Before leaving the campsite, we try to fill the black tank as much as possible with whatever fresh water is left in the fresh water tank. Just stand there with your foot on the toilet pedal until the tank is empty. The more water there is in the black tank,the better it will flush and drain.

Later, usually after we get home, we add water and Dawn. The bouncing around on the next trip helps keep everything clean.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:29 PM   #17
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Geo Method

Does anyone here know where a Box or bottle of water softener can be purchased here in Ontario Canada. Our Walmart stores do not carry it, at one time Home Hardware did but not any longer.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:00 PM   #18
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If you do a search for Calgon in Canada you'll soon hit cloth diaper blogs/sites/forums. The consensus is that Calgon is no longer available in Canada... well.ca has marked it discontinued and it no longer appears on the Home Hardware website.

Apparently, Borax is also an effective water softener. I have both at home and will try to remember to do a test soon.

We will be camping to the US for the May long weekend and I plan to stock up on Calgon there. I would consider getting some to you if we can work something out (we're in Ottawa).
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:18 PM   #19
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do you use powder or liquid?
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:28 PM   #20
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Calgon not available in Canada? Sounds like Glysomed Hand Cream not being available here in the USA. Despite being made by Blistex, I can't find it here. I should think about bringing Calgon up there and swapping out for Glysomed; nothing worked better for my hands than that.
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