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Old 05-18-2011, 11:39 AM   #1
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Testing Black Tank Levels

I took my new Wolf Pup for it's first camping trip on the weekend; and most things seemed to work alright. There was one thing that concerned me; the black tank showed as empty for the entire trip.

Now my gauge only has the E, 1/3, 2/3, and F LEDs; so I know that it is possible that I was just under the 1/3 mark. However when I emptied the tank it seemed to take longer than I expected.

Is there an easy way to test the gauge? I was thinking of putting some measured amounts of water into the tank; the only issue is seeing as the tank has been used; it will no longer be perfectly "clean."
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
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The tank indicator lights are rarely correct, but it's usually the opposite showing 1/2 full when you just emptied it. Best thing to check is like you said add premeasured amounts of water. Based on the capacity of the tank. If you have a 20 gallon tank then adding 10 gallons should light up at least 1/3 but maybe not 2/3, add another 5 gallons and the 2/3 should be lit. You may want to do this when you have a sewer drain available at a campsite so you're not traveling with so much water in the waste tank and you won't have to deal with the USED portion of the job. A 5 gallon spackle bucket and a hose will do the trick.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:01 PM   #3
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you won't have to deal with the USED portion of the job. A 5 gallon spackle bucket and a hose will do the trick.
Yeah, my issue is that I think my next camping trip will be a boondocking trip, so I wanted to know ahead of time. So what you are saying is the idea of adding 5 gallons of water then emptying back into the spackle bucket isn't something you would attempt, right.
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Old 05-18-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
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On many travel trailers, you can just look down the toilet to check the level. If mine gets up the pipe that goes into the tank, then I figure that is getting pretty full.

On a 4 nite trip that I just got back from, the indicator was showing 1/3 full in the black tank. The missus and I used the toilet exclusively.....we made the comment on the way back that neither of us saw the insides of the campground bathrooms. I had to add quite a bit of water to the black tank to make the 2/3 light cut on, so that I would have a good "swoosh" when dumping.

MY 1/3 lite did not come on until the morning that we were ready to leave.

On the other hand, my gray tank was showing full after that time. But I forgot to dump the dewinterizing/sanitizing flush water out of that before leaving for the trip, so I didn't start with an empty tank.

In most cases, I think you will find that the gray tank will fill much faster than the black tank.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:00 PM   #5
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Here is the troubleshooting guide for your tank probes.

Here is the video of why I installed the Horst Probe update to my gray and black tanks.

Horst Miracle Probes for Wastewater Tanks in Recreational Vehicles RVs
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:35 PM   #6
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Here is the troubleshooting guide for your tank probes.

Here is the video of why I installed the Horst Probe update to my gray and black tanks.

Horst Miracle Probes for Wastewater Tanks in Recreational Vehicles RVs
I have a set of the Horst Probes, won them at the Hershey RV SHow, unfortunately I need another set since I have two black and two grey tanks. I plan to install them once we get back from Myrtle Beach. Did you have any difficulties? They look relatively simple to do.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken0042 View Post
Yeah, my issue is that I think my next camping trip will be a boondocking trip, so I wanted to know ahead of time. So what you are saying is the idea of adding 5 gallons of water then emptying back into the spackle bucket isn't something you would attempt, right.
That would depend on how much remaining dirty water you have and how far you have to walk to dispose of it properly. If very little remaining in the tank it won't be too bad, just be sure to open the valve slowly. Are you good friends with your neighbors?? May want to choose a day with the breeze going the other way
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfsoistman View Post
I have a set of the Horst Probes, won them at the Hershey RV SHow, unfortunately I need another set since I have two black and two grey tanks. I plan to install them once we get back from Myrtle Beach. Did you have any difficulties? They look relatively simple to do.
http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...1-a-12710.html

I took photos of every step.
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Old 05-18-2011, 11:45 PM   #9
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Are you good friends with your neighbors?? May want to choose a day with the breeze going the other way
Actually the trailer is parked along the fence that I share with my "jerk neighbour." <evil laugh>

I appreciate all the advice; I'll have to look at Lou's info and see how I'm going to proceed. Now I have a weekend project- although a pretty crappy project.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:25 AM   #10
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Our black tank never reads as empty but we always use the sewer hook up while camping and dump at 2/3 full. Best of luck...
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:42 PM   #11
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Well, I tried it out today. While it wasn't the most pleasant job I've ever done; it could have been a lot worse. So it looks like my readings come out as follows:

1/3 full after about 8 gallons
2/3 full after about 21 gallons
Full at about 35 gallons.

No so far that all jives with my trailer's specs; which can be found here: link However being the adventurous/ crazy person that I am; I wanted to see how full I could make the tank. I ended up putting in 45 gallons of water to get it to the top of the tank pipe; so I could see it in very bottom of the toilet.

Looking at those specs again; I notice other similar models show a 41 gallon black tank. Given my margin of error of filling 5 gallon buckets, that does seem to be right. And the grey tank does look smaller than the black tank when I look underneath.

So what do you guys think? Is it more likely that my black tank has a lot more room that what the specs say, or is it more likely that the Forest River specs have the tank sizes reversed?
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