As a Full Timer it’s important that you properly maintain your RV waste water systems, not only because you want to avoid disgusting odors but also because you know that prevention is the best defense. As a rule, it’s always better to avoid a problem than to have to deal with it later. There is a lot of misinformation out there regarding the best ways to treat your tank, so we’ve developed this easy to follow step-by-step guide so you can effectively treat your black tank without worry.
Repeat each time your dump your tank. To ensure your waste is being properly digested and odors are controlled, treat your black water holding tank following these instructions after each dump. You will only need to use 2 ounces of RV Digest-It per treatment after the initial treatment.
Everyone has differing ideas on how to properly treat your gray water holding tanks. For Full Time RVers, the method you ultimately choose is your decision and it should be based on how you routinely camp. Here are our recommendations when using RV Digest-It.
Before we get started, for full timers who camp with full hook ups, please know we recommend keeping your gray valve open with a trap in the hose to prevent sewer gas from backing up inside your RV. We know this goes against the grain for some of you who’ve been properly trained to ALWAYS keep your black valve closed but the reality is, your gray tank should be treated differently than your black tank.
Note: In some states, you are required to keep your waste hose off the ground. This is sometimes punishable by law and can cost unsuspecting RVers their hard earned money. Please make sure you are aware of all local laws and regulations.
Because we use our gray tanks more than our black tanks they tend to fill up faster. If you routinely keep your gray valve closed you will have to dump very regularly - often every day. This means more work and more expense if you are treating your gray tanks with RV Digest-It after each dump. This is simply not necessary if you’re camping on full hook ups.
Besides convenience and cost, we also suggest keeping your gray valve open because grease (from food waste, soap, shampoo, etc.) will likely end up in your gray tank. If you allow water to accumulate in your tank this grease will end up coating the walls and bottom of your tank and will eventually lead to sensor problems and odors. By leaving your valve open the gray water, grease, and light residue will run out of your tanks naturally.
The majority of the waste going down your sink, shower, or dishwasher drains should be primarily liquid. Your goal is to never allow solids into your gray tank, so, solid waste (aka clogs) shouldn’t really be a problem. If you don’t already use one, a good sink strainer is crucial to ensuring that only liquids go down your drains.
Some will argue that it’s not good to keep your gray valve open because you may get solids backing up that can cause a clog or cause your sensors to get debris on them and cause them to misread. This simply shouldn’t be the case if you are ensuring that no solids go down your drains and end up in the gray tanks. Further, by treating your gray tanks once per week you help eliminate any grease buildup in the walls, lines, bottom of the tank that can lead to odors or sensor malfunction.
It is also very important that you put a 'trap' in your discharge line so foul smelling, dangerous sewer gas doesn’t back up into your unit. If you forget to make this trap by creating a dip or kink in the line as mentioned above you will know it pretty quickly as your unit will fill up with foul smells from the sewer.
Even if you allow only liquids into your gray tank you will still accumulate grease, soap, and residue buildup in the tank bottom and lines that can eventually lead to foul tank odors and cause sensors to misread, so it’s important you follow these steps to make sure your tanks remain operating properly and that you don’t get odors in your RV.
Important! It’s crucial that you make a 'trap' in your sewer hose to keep dangerous and disgusting sewer gases from backing up into your RV.
If you are dry camping (boondocking) full time and don’t have access to full hook ups it’s important that you use a waste treatment product to keep odors down and help keep your sensors operating correctly as you will often keep your gray valve closed.
Important! Make sure no solids get into your RV gray tank. The waste going down your drain should only be liquid waste so solid waste doesn’t accumulate in your gray tanks and lead to clogs and misreading sensors. If you don’t already use one, a good sink strainer is crucial to ensuring that only liquids go down your drains.
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This is an excerpt from a training video that we offer store associates to help answer the commonly asked questions about RV holding tank problems. There is some good information here that may be valuable to you and fellow RVers who are struggling with common RV tank issues.