Caring for your RV

Important Things to Remember About Your Black Water Tank

Ok, so you’ve decided to park your RV at a campground for the long term.. Great!  When we decided to do this, I thought since the campground had a sewer connection, I could just leave my tank valve open and allow everything to just make it’s way down there and forget about it!  Right? Wrong! 🙂 

Here are some more things you need to know about your RV’s waster water system…

Never ever leave the dump valve for this holding tank open. This is because the water will drain away leaving a solid mess to accumulate in your tank.
The tank will fill, and your toilet will block. (Don’t do it!) Needless to say, if you do, this will be a nasty clean-up job.

Certain chemicals are sold specifically for black water tanks. They work to control odor, and break up solid matter, so as to drain easier. There is also special RV toilet paper that breaks down easier than your regular toilet paper. All this is done to try keeping your holding tank as blockage free as possible.

Remember, that lovely shiny monitor will not always work as great as it did when it was new, and may tell you you’re holding tank is only half-way full, when it’s actually close to bursting. Depending on how many people you have in the RV, set a schedule to dump the black water. It can be every other day, or once a week, whatever works.

Clean your black water tank often to prevent buildup. The easiest way to do this is to stick a garden hose in your toilet. Use as much pressure as possible. Black water holding tanks are usually immediately under the toilet, so this should work to flush the holding tank.  Or if your RV has a built in tank washing system, all the better!

When you hook your sewer hose to the ground sewer connection, many campgrounds and municipalities require you to use an odor tight connection.  This requires a special hose fitting that didn’t come in the courtesy kit supplied with your RV.  It may be a 90-degree plastic fitting that fits inside your sewer hose, or it might be a rubber donut ring that goes around the outside of the hose. 

Happy RV’ing!!

2 thoughts on “Important Things to Remember About Your Black Water Tank

  1. Mary Ann

    Thank you! Question? Our managers of the park said to leave the gray water closed as well. I thought it would be better to leave it open?

    • That’s a great question Mary Ann!
      There are differing opinions on this.
      Here’s mine. Since only sink and bath water collects in the RV gray water tank it needs less attention than the RV black water tank.

      Most people use so much water whenever the RV is hooked up for a long period, they find it convenient to leave the gray water tank valve open. It’s fine to do this.

      If you use the RV for more than a week with the gray water valve open then it’s a good idea to close the valve, add holding tank chemical and allow the tank to fill. This helps flush out any buildup of stuff from the kitchen sink and keeps the tank fresh. It is quite possible for a gray water tank to get very stinky unless it’s flushed periodically.
      Close off the gray water valve when the black water tank reaches 3/4 full and you know you’re going to want to flush it out. Then you can use the built up gray water to rinse after dumping the black water. Helps to give that “whoosh” to clean everything out.

      Would love to hear any one else’s ideas or experiences with this!

      Happy RV’ing!

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