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Alaska, Last State in North America, 2017 (No Boat to Hawaii)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Learning From Others





I've been reading blogs, mostly RV blogs, for over two years.  Even though the dream of buying a rig was "Written in Smoke" whenever I read something I thought might be useful I copied it and put it into my "RV Tips" folder.


Now I have reason to go back and reread some of those!  It is because I have learned from others that I write about the things I learn as a new RV owner.


One not so fun, but necessary topics that has come up from time to time is the care of the black tank.  As far as I'm concerned it's Craig job to take care of outside connections, but when we noticed the monitors for the holding tanks were not reading empty after dumping, I recalled what several other people had done to clear up any possible blockage.  


We know that the Alfa was unused from at least June to September from some intake service records, but who know how long it was dry parked before that. So there is a good possibility that our use has dislodged something in the black tank.


In my tips file I had two recommendations.  Adding a solution of water, Calgon, and Pinesol, or  water, Calgon and  Liquid Detergent.  I choose the second because I had the detergent.  I poured that in and have been taking gallons of water from the house to get the tank at least half full before our next drive. 


But over the weekend when checking the dumping compartment for another reason, I notice a big yellow sign that said "San-T-Flush"  I went to my owners manual and YES,  it is a built in "power wash" for the black tank. It has a short length of black hose attached to connect to the city water, but I  bought an additional 15' garden hose.   I think between The San-T-Flush and the Calgon we should be well on the way to an "empty" readout on the monitor. If not I will do another treatment to slosh around on the way to San Diego.


 But at least I won't have to carry gallons of water up the hill again.  I know I could have used the onboard fresh water, but I wanted to know how many gallons I was putting in.


Ah,  the little things!  Understanding and caring for your plumbing is important.


We are having a very beautiful week here in California.  The sun will be shining all week and all of the trees that are going to turn colors are in their fullest glory right now. 


 A bit later than the East Coast.






We are also feeling lucky about the dry sunny weather predicted for this upcoming weekend when we drive up to Auburn for our RV Driving lessons.


I'm excited!















14 comments:

  1. Gee, It seems like our leaves turned ages ago! I am eager to hear about your driving lessons.

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  2. I wouldn't worry about the tank monitor too much. With a little experience you'll know when your tanks are full. Shouldn't dump the black tank unless it's at least 3/4 full anyway. The sani tank thing is helpful with the clean out.

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  3. I was worried about my black tank to and a few friends told me to put a bag or 2 of ice cubes in it just as I was ready to leave so they could roll around in there. I was also concerned about the fresh water tank as I had never cleaned it either. My friend gave me her bottle of cleaner since you use so little. When I dumped before coming home I also poured a few gallons of water into the black tank after I dumped it. Plus ran all the water out of the fresh tank into the sinks and shower, the rest went into the black tank. When I was done reflushing I could see the black tank was really nice and clean. I don't drink the water from the tank but I felt it needed to be cleaned out anyway.
    Also some times those level readers are not right so I have been told.
    Hope all goes well at driving school.

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  4. I was just going to say to put some icecubes down the toilet before you head out..scrub a dub dub!..loosen all the 'crap'..also if you purchase a clear fitting..then when you are dumping and cleaning the black tank you can see when the water runs clean!..great idea and worth the few dollars!!

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  5. I was just going to say to put some icecubes down the toilet before you head out..scrub a dub dub!..loosen all the 'crap'..also if you purchase a clear fitting..then when you are dumping and cleaning the black tank you can see when the water runs clean!..great idea and worth the few dollars!!

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  6. Well I learned something here...ice cubes!! Didn't know that. We have the clear fitting on our hose so we can see when the water runs clear. We always rinse well after emptying the black tank. For stubborn gunk, we have a wand that fits on the end of a garden hose. Insert from the inside, down into the tank. It swirls around and does a great job of cleaning.

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  7. Black tank monitors are notoriously innaccurate and I never go by that. Dawn dish soap is another additive to black tanks. Makes things slippery so they don't adhere to other things. Calgon does the same. I always add a bucket or two of water to the black tank after it has been dumped. The more liquid you have in that tank the easier and trouble free your dump is going to be. The ice cube thing does work, especially if you get a cone build up in your tank. Always lots of neat-o stuff to learn eh:))

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  8. I second, third and fourth JoJo, Sue and Doug, DonnaK etc! I used ice as well and they did a great job of scrubbing the tank. I also put in dawn dishwashing liquid at the same time. Amazing how fresh the tank smelled when we dumped it!

    The flushing system isn't the best on my RV's. Mine has a black tank rinser that doesn't get the passenger side of the tank so I am adding a water connection in the water heater compartment so I can take a 10ft hose and wand to really flush the tank out good.

    Regarding the ice, be careful it doesn't clump up in the drain, I would use a rod to spread the ice around so you can get enough in. I got a half bag in and it froze inside the drain so now I have a sacrifice wooden stick that I use to help the ice get around.

    Erik

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  9. I meant The flushing system isn't the best on "most" RV's. Mine is typical I believe so does an ok job but I'm anal so it of course must do better!

    Erik

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  10. Good question,we are still learning the same things. Good luck on the driving school.

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  11. My monitors really don't work very well anymore. I've cleaned & cleaned the black tank, sometimes it reads, sometimes it doesn't. Mine isn't hard to tell when it's full or not anyhow. My gray tank never reads, that's the one that I can't tell. But I've learned that after two fillups in my water tank, it's best to dump the gray water or it may sneak back up in the tub! I don't hook up to city water, I just fill my water tank up & use it.

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  12. I also try to learn from others and I find the forums (irv2 and Rv-net) are very helpful. You learn things that you never knew to even ask. I've been trying to learn about diesel engines now since they are so different.

    I'm anxious to hear about your driving classes and I hope you'll share some of your newfound knowledge with the rest of us!

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  13. Learning from others is definitely the way to do it! I agree with Judy no to worry to much about the gages. From what we've learned they are notoriously in accurate. Overtime we have learned how much time we have before we need to dump whether it is when we are in conservation mode or on FHU mode. We are almost 2 years in the RV and still are learning. Like most things the learning is a continual process. Have fun!

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  14. Well I learned something here...ice cubes!! Didn't know that. We have the clear fitting on our hose so we can see when the water runs clear. We always rinse well after emptying the black tank.It is good experience to learn with other as a owner of RVs. Thanks, for posting nice article it is quite interesting and very informative for us to learn more about RVs.
    Semi Trucks

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