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 5/11/2004 8:22 PM
 
Hi everyone! New to this forum and have a question... We have a Hornet travel trailer and it will be in the same campground at the same site for the entire season. We have water and electric hook-ups but no sewer connection. Bathroom facilities are available but it's a little bit of a walk. We're thinking of using our built-in "black" water holding tank for only the middle-of-the-night calls of nature. Assuming we have the proper chemicals in the holding tank, how long can you leave the waste in the tank before emptying it? We'll use a "blue-boy" for grey water and simply empty it when it is full. Grey water is a little easier to deal with! I don't want to have to move the trailer after every weekend just to empty a partially full waste tank if I don't have to...
Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks! -Joshua
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 5/11/2004 8:47 PM
 
Joshua - Regardless what you do, the solids in your black tank are going to start breaking down almost immediately, as a result of their built-in bacteria. Within 5 days the waste will be compost. The problem is odor control, so as long as this isn't a problem, either because of the fumes being directed away from the rig, or odor control chemicals, there's no need to empty the tank before it's full. In fact, allowing the tank to become as full as possible, with the greatest amount of water, will actually help provide a more thorough flush when dumping. Good luck. - Dave

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 5/12/2004 7:29 AM
 
Hi Joshua, I'm a fulltimer and so I deal with this dumping issue practically daily. First off, if you don't want to go digging in your black water tank in order to empty it, use plenty, and I mean "plenty" of water everytime you do a #2. Yes it'll cause you to have to dump more often BUT it will dump. The next thing is we need to know just how large your black water tank is, how many gallons? We're fortunate in that we have a homebase and stay connected all the time. Our black water tank is about 50 gallons and it lasts us about a week using it all the time. As you probably know by now, you can't rely on the gauge to tell you when to dump, you'll have to physically watch to see when it needs dumped, which BTW will nearly always be in the middle of the night. Our holding tank does a sort of "burp" when it's starting to get to the top, this gives me ample warning that within about 2 flushes I'd better go dump, the trick is getting the wife to pay attention to this clue.

Neil
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 5/12/2004 8:47 AM
 
Neil,
Our trailer only has a 25 gal. waste water tank... But there's more to the story... My parents actually own the trailer but my wife and I use it also. Most of the time we're there at separate times. They live about 1 hour away from the campground and we live about 3 hours away. The kicker is that they don't have a vehicle capable of pulling the trailer. If it gets full when I'm not there they will have to make about 5 trips with the "blue-boy" in the back of their van. Now that I think about it, it probably won't take long to fill up a 25 gal. tank will it?
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 5/12/2004 11:38 AM
 
Used sparingly, a 25 gal. capacity black tank might suffice for 5-7 days, possibly longer if "sparingly" is really sparingly. But then what? When you gotta go, you gotta go. The blue containers can be messy, and heavy when full. They become one of those tasks that is put off until there is no other choice.
Other possibilities: 1) Many campgrounds have a "honey wagon" which will empty black and gray tanks when needed. Cost is usually minimal when compared to buying a pickup truck to haul the trailer to the dump station. I assume that you have checked on this. 2) Commercial sewerage pump companies may be available that will come in as needed. Again, cost may be in the $20 per dump range, but that might be better than the little blue tanks. 3) A neighbor with a large vehicle might be willing to tow the trailer to the dump station. Asking a lot, of course, but that's what neighborliness is about in the RV world.
Allowing black tank contents to remain in the tank for a long time invites a slow but steady lessening of the liquid, through evaporation and leakage. What is left can be as hard as concrete to dislodge. As Admiral Peary said on his trek to the pole, "Find a way, or make one." Dutch Hebron, MD Polk City, FL
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