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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day 8 - Shades of Gray (& Black)

Since we talked about the poo yesterday thought we could just follow up with talk about how to empty the poo tanks! Actually, there are holding tanks, usually refereed to as black and gray.

Our tank area as well as the water hookup area, electrical plug and outdoor shower!

There are the tanks that hold the voided liquid used in the RV. The gray water tank (from the kitchen sink and shower) and the black water tank (from the loo and bathroom sink) must be emptied. Much is written on this task and it is a necessary one but our experience has been fine. And that is more than just okay with us!

 The Panel that monitors our tank levels.
So our black tank holds 41 gallons and the gray holds 40 gallons. There is a panel that we check to monitor the tank levels. I think our sensors are off but we aren't totally sure, maybe a short, maybe something to do with humidity, who knows, but we know they must be emptied regardless of if the panel shows full or not. It's a task MiRV plans to look into at some point but since it's minor we don't really worry about it much.
 Close up of the black and gray tank area with hoses connected.

Tank maintenance is important and having water in the tank is even more important. There are chemicals that you can use to help with odor if that is an issue and then there are other things that can be done for just good tank care. We have utilized chemicals on occasion for odor before we made the discovery that water is more key then a chemical treatment. 

When you flush you should add water to the tank when done, that simple act solves the odor issue for us. We also will add some Calgon once in a while to soften the water which should any solids go down will help with getting them out; also Dawn dish washing liquid. Yep, Dawn, the original blue kind, it's good stuff! That is the only thing I use to wash the dishes, it's the best stuff to keep any grease at bay. I also use little sink strainers in my kitchen sinks to keep as much food and gunk from going down into the tank as possible. It all helps!

Our hoses

So back to the job of emptying the tanks, it's actually a lever that gets turned and pulled; that's it, that simple. MiRv does it, I have been shown but have never actually done it. 

Close up of the lever

There are also sewer hoses, these hoses hook the tanks to the dump area. Now those hoses have been somewhat challenging. They do not mix well with weed whackers that is for sure and we found out the hard way that ours had an encounter with one! Thankfully, the campground we were in bought us a new one! They are about $40 bucks each! We carry two since sometimes the distance can vary at your site to the sewer hookup. We later found out our sewer hose was not the only one that fell victim to the weed whackers that week! We also use a hose stand which is a cool little gadget that gives the hose a gentle drop so it empties better.

The hose that got hit by the weed can see the black rescue tape in a couple of spots that is keeping it working for now!
Oh and the general rule in tank emptying...always empty black water then gray. That way the gray water helps to wash out any black residue that could have been left. Not everything you need to know about your black and gray tanks for sure but enough to give you an idea of what they are and how they work!

More about the 31 days of posting right here!

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