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Old 11-30-2019, 05:02 AM   #1
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THOR #16986
Black tank ? Thor Vegas

So obviously we need all the help we can get ! Do you leave the black tank open while at a site that has sewage connect ? Gray tank closed to use to clean hose after , but black tank open correct? So “solids” flow out ? Reason why we are confused, you add all the stuff to stifle bad smell and help digest toilet tissue, but you keep black tank open and it just goes down the drain? Should they both be closed ? I read Ed Felkers manual and I still didn’t get the answer ... just says keep grey tank closed. Thanks again for your help, and understanding.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:22 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by SueTac View Post
So obviously we need all the help we can get ! Do you leave the black tank open while at a site that has sewage connect ? Gray tank closed to use to clean hose after , but black tank open correct? So “solids” flow out ? Reason why we are confused, you add all the stuff to stifle bad smell and help digest toilet tissue, but you keep black tank open and it just goes down the drain? Should they both be closed ? I read Ed Felkers manual and I still didn’t get the answer ... just says keep grey tank closed. Thanks again for your help, and understanding.
Never, Never, leave the Black tank open. You will build a Poo Pile in the bottom of your tank if you do. You can leave the gray open. Dump stations have a water hose. You use that to flush the drain hose.
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Old 11-30-2019, 05:54 AM   #3
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Thanks so much ! We appreciate your time answering these questions! We appreciate it greatly.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:21 PM   #4
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Wouldn’t suggest leaving either open or draining half empty tanks. Your best to have a full black tank to create a surge, then dump the gray to clean out the hose.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:28 PM   #5
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Yeah the general recommendation for the black tank is leave the valve closed at all times and never empty it unless it is at least 2/3 full. If it isn't 2/3 full and you wish to empty, fill it with water until its 2/3 and then dump (note that the bathroom sink also goes to the black tank so you can just run that faucet until it is 2/3 full).

As for the grey tank: you'll get differing opinions there. If you are staying somewhere for any length of time (with full hookups) you can leave the grey open. I'd still recommend closing the grey a day or so before leaving to have some extra to flush out the hose after emptying the black.
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Old 11-30-2019, 12:28 PM   #6
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Black is always closed unless dumping... and typically better to dump when full.
Gray I leave open until the day before I’m going to dump on longer trips, then close to collect water to flush pipes and hose. On short trips it stays closed too.
Can typically go up to 7 days between dumps on long trip... YMMV.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:03 PM   #7
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I usually leave both valves closed until ready to dump. The valve arrangement in the Axis-Vegas is ideal for using the gray water to back flush the black tank after dumping it. Very easy to do.
Cheap black tank flush:
After black tank dump, leave valve open, raise the dump hose a little above the valves, open the gray valve and let gray water flow into black tank (not the sewer) till you feel it stop. Close the gray valve and let hose down on ground so black tank drains. Repeat as desired. On the final flush, while the gray tank is still draining into the black tank, shut the black tank valve and drop the hose back to ground. This last action will keep debris from building up in your gate valve track seals, making the valve hard to open and close. This will also add a little gray water to your black tank, since it should always have some water and never empty before using
Save enough gray water after your final black tank drain to flush the hose.
Of course if you have one of those tank flush systems, forget about the cheap flush.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:27 PM   #8
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We leave both closed until it's time to open the bomb-bay doors...
Then: you've got enough "stuff", to make it worthwhile.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:54 PM   #9
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Dont leave open

Never leave it open.
1) For starters the black tank NEEDS to build up liquids to push out solids if you leav it open all your liquids will run out and your solids cannot be pushed out.

2) sewer rats do live in the septic tanks or sewer lines the campgrounds or houses use if you leave it open they will find their way up into your RV and likely up the sewer vent and into the walls of the RV where they will completely destry the coach. Ask me how I know this...

3) that said My common practice it at the begining or end of each day Ill drain mine if I have hookups. Black tank first then gray tank to rinse the hoses and pipes I also always remove my hose and close the sewer access everyday so I have no chance of a rat finding his way into my tanks again...
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Old 12-08-2019, 02:36 AM   #10
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I appreciate this info greatly. We have hooked up to sewer and left it open before. However, never again ! We will hook up when ready to dump from now on and valves will be left closed. I have been told to leave black open and grey closed. Seems like bad advice now ! Never thought of sewer rats ! Yuck , what happened?? So if I understand this, leave both tanks closed until almost full, then hook up, and dump black first, gray second. Then flush out with more water , yes ? Thanks everyone ��
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Old 12-08-2019, 02:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SueTac View Post
So obviously we need all the help we can get ! Do you leave the black tank open while at a site that has sewage connect ? Gray tank closed to use to clean hose after , but black tank open correct? So “solids” flow out ? Reason why we are confused, you add all the stuff to stifle bad smell and help digest toilet tissue, but you keep black tank open and it just goes down the drain? Should they both be closed ? I read Ed Felkers manual and I still didn’t get the answer ... just says keep grey tank closed. Thanks again for your help, and understanding.
As you've seen, keep them closed until ready to dump. Most septic systems will also have 'sewer flies' which can come back up into your coach via open valves and through the toilet. WHile some will say let it fill before dumping, I follow the other opinion that half is enough. The sensors that tell you the tank levels will clog and show false readings and most of this is due not to the crap but paper hanging on them. If you fill up, all your sensors run this risk...if you go about half, all you have to think about keeping clear are your bottom sensors. If they show false readings, flush the tank..either with a wand or a system in the coach or just run water from a hose into th etank to fill it. You'll be surprised at how much paper runs out...and no, it doesn't all break up. We've also found it's a good idea to keep a couple of gallons of water with some cleaning agent...any will do in it while storing. This keeps anything that settles in the tank from getting hard and never flushing out.Also sloshes around during your next trip before the first stop that helps too.
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Old 12-08-2019, 04:04 PM   #12
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OK, I'll ask how you know.
How does your vent terminate as an open ended line inside a wall?
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Old 12-08-2019, 05:23 PM   #13
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I never thought about sewer flies or rats ! Thank you for the info and good advice!
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:08 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by SueTac View Post
I never thought about sewer flies or rats ! Thank you for the info and good advice!
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:45 AM   #15
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I open the gray valves when showering on a full hook up and the black always stays closed till we hit at least 2/3. The joy of a full hook up is the ability to use the water freely without having to run in and out to open and close valves. If you are worried about flies, and there is truth to that one, keep the gray closed while not using the water or bend the sani hose into a "P" trap under the drain. As far as sewer rats getting into your RV I have been RVng first with my family while growing up in the 60-70s and then through 25+ years and several RVs of my own I have never heard of rats getting into an RV through the sewer. Not saying it can't happen but I've never heard such a thing.

It is possible to get a sewer smell outside your unit from the camp septic with the gray valve open as the gas can come up through your tanks and vent out your roof. But "P" trapping your hose will eliminate that possibility as well. SueTac, If you really want to learn all about owning a motorhome I highly recommend a couple guys on YouTube called RV Geeks. They have an excellent series of vids that will cover many of your questions.
Happy RVng Mark
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:47 PM   #16
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I never dump black tank until my gray is almost totally full. It flushes stuff better. Too bad our indicator lights are not always accurate, so I've learned to estimate my tank capacities based on time, population, and distances.
Plus, when you are at an RV site you can just fill both tanks with water and then flush them. Or make your kids take and extra shower or two.
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:29 PM   #17
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As noted above we always keep our black tank valve closed until time to dump; otherwise I worry about building an Egyptian pyramid using a different kind of "stones". However we do not worry how much volume is in the tank when dumping - sometimes we dump after a day of use, sometimes 4 days. If we are not going to use the coach for a while I flush the tank before storing. We usually leave the gray tank closed also unless doing laundry.
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