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Old 07-12-2018, 02:55 PM   #1
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New to Gray and Black water systems.

Last month we purchased a 2013 Forest River Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S. It replaced a palomino palomini 132fd. The Palomini did not have tanks so it was a simple operation. But now I have to deal with the gray and black water tanks and know nothing about them. No manual came with it so I'm hoping someone here can give me some guidance on how to use and keep in good condition.

Thanks in advance, Earl
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:26 PM   #2
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Last month we purchased a 2013 Forest River Rockwood Mini Lite 2109S. It replaced a palomino palomini 132fd. The Palomini did not have tanks so it was a simple operation. But now I have to deal with the gray and black water tanks and know nothing about them. No manual came with it so I'm hoping someone here can give me some guidance on how to use and keep in good condition.

Thanks in advance, Earl
No fear Youtube is your friend:
Youtube search_query=gray+and+black+water+tanks

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Old 07-12-2018, 03:27 PM   #3
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There are way too many chemicals on the market today for the black tank. Water is your best friend, start with 3-4 gallons. Look into the GEO method (https://sites.google.com/site/cbruni/)
Dump the black tank first. If you have a sewer flush use it. DO NOT use your drinking water hose for this, there should be a hose at the dump station for this. Using a clear elbow like the pic below between the outlet and hose will let you see the water is running clear. Then empty the grey tank to flush the 'yuk' from the sewer hose. And get a decent quality sewer hose. I've used Rhino on our last 4 campers. Others will chime in with their thoughts too.

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Old 07-12-2018, 03:39 PM   #4
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Congratulations! I remember going from a PUP with no tanks to our first camper with tanks. Totally changed the way we camped for the better, but dealing with the tanks was the trade-off. There is a TON of information about dumping and maintaining tanks on the internet and forums like this, so you will get a lot of good answers. Here are some bullet points:

1) ALWAYS wear gloves when emptying the tanks. I keep a box of disposables in the camper. And a container of Lysol Wipes to clean my hands afterward.
2) Make sure your tanks are at least 1/2 - 2/3 full before leaving your campsite to facilitate dumping. Add water from faucets and using the foot pedal on your toilet, if necessary, to bring up the water lines in both tanks.
3) I use a plastic tote with lid for my dump supplies. I store it under the camper at the site. In it there is:
a. A CLEAR plastic elbow connector attached to my sewer hose so I can literally see when the tanks are emptied.
b. A water hose to hook up to the black tank rinser. Mine is orange so it is NEVER confused with the potable water hose!
c. Geo-method supplies.
4) Always dump your black tank first. Run your tank rinser.
5) Then dump your grey water tank.
6) Rinse your hose with the sprayer at the dump site.
7) Return your supplies to the bin/tote.
8) Add some water to your black tank - I fill 2 gallon jugs and dump them with my detergent and softener right after I empty my tanks so it sloshes around while I drive home and never have a dry black tank.
9) Take off your gloves, wash your hands or use sanitizing wipes or liquid.

Your gray tank will pretty much take care of itself since it always has soapy water in it from use. Black water tank - a different story. You need to maintain them. There are a lot of differing opinions on the best product and/or process. You can use organic compounds to break down the solids, you can use the geo-method (soaps/detergent and softener) or a combination of methods, including some who, , put their used toilet paper in a closed container and never flush it, since really, that is what causes the problems in a poorly or inappropriately maintained black tank. Do some research on "maintaining the RV black water tank" and decide for yourself what is right for you . In the end - no pun intended - it is TOTALLY WORTH IT to deal with the tanks to have the benefit of using them!!
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:55 PM   #5
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As a rule in my RV, I insist on #1 only when using the toilet.
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Old 07-12-2018, 03:57 PM   #6
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As a rule in my RV, I insist on #1 only when using the toilet.
To each their own but...why??
There is no use having a jon in your RV if you can't use it!
And I refuse to NOT put TP down there too.
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Old 07-12-2018, 04:01 PM   #7
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As a rule in my RV, I insist on #1 only when using the toilet.


I hope you are talking about gloves from HappyCamper1962's bullet point 1).
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:41 PM   #8
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Old 07-13-2018, 11:02 AM   #9
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Just don't do this....
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:54 PM   #10
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Do not keep black tank valve open to drain continuously the solids will build up and create a pyrimid of icky water is your friend in black tank
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:34 PM   #11
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Do not keep black tank valve open to drain continuously the solids will build up and create a pyrimid of icky water is your friend in black tank

Exactly. Keep the tank valves closed until you dump the tanks. That way, you avoid the dreaded "poo pyramid", which are difficult to get rid of once formed. Ask me how I know!


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Old 07-13-2018, 04:50 PM   #12
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HappyCamper1962, you are the first person I have ever seen that recommends anything less than 2/3 of the black tank before dumping. In fact, the more full the black tank is, the better it is.
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Old 07-13-2018, 06:32 PM   #13
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Do not keep black tank valve open to drain continuously the solids will build up and create a pyrimid of icky water is your friend in black tank
Don't keep the gray tank open all the time, either...

Of course, the "I've been doing it for 40 years with no problems!" police will be out soon...

But...check out this video from someone who is in the sewer business (and you have to watch the whole thing...not just the first 30 seconds-it's only five minutes long):

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Old 07-14-2018, 05:00 AM   #14
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Thanks all. I watched one video that said to drain tanks and add about 2 gal back in. So do I drain when leaving camp ground or wait till the tanks are 2/3 full?
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:26 AM   #15
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Fun??

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As a rule in my RV, I insist on #1 only when using the toilet.
3:00am stomac cramps must be fun, running around the camp ground looking for a toilet. 🙀
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:53 AM   #16
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Thanks all. I watched one video that said to drain tanks and add about 2 gal back in. So do I drain when leaving camp ground or wait till the tanks are 2/3 full?
Before you leave the campground, fill tanks until they are at least 2/3 full. Then dump.
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Old 07-14-2018, 11:27 AM   #17
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We use drop in chemicals to break down the solids, calgon and valve lube after each dump. If we are not going to be using the rv for a while, we throughly rinse the black tank to remove any residue. That includes filling it up with fresh water dumping and then putting the sprayer down the toilet. We always us septic safe toilet paper and have never had a problem. Always dump the black water, close the valves, then dump the grey water.
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