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Old 07-22-2021, 08:47 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Chateau 26B
State: Florida
Posts: 6
THOR #24275
Question Gray and Black Tank Emptying

My wife and I just bought a new Chateau 26B and are excited about exploring the country! We've been boaters all our lives and decided now was the time to explore land for a while. While there are similarities in some systems, I just want to verify what I "think" about the black tank before it gets ugly. Please excuse what may be a simple issue. I'm all clear on the gray and black handles on the left side of the coach by the drain. I am under the impression that the third handle on the right side - across from the others - is to make sure the cross over pipe clears. Yes?

If I'm right, I assume the right side handle should only be open when actually draining the tank and closed before the black handle on the left?

Last, hopefully, question on the tanks and drainage. We used the coach for the first time last weekend and saw that many were hooked directly to the sewer at their site. When you stay hooked up like that during a couple day visit, do you leave the valves open all the time to drain or just open when needed? We would have asked our neighbor but, we were there only one night and it was about a zillion degrees until the heavy rain started! Few people were ever seen.

Thanks for advice for this new RVer.

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Old 07-23-2021, 10:08 AM   #2
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Model: ACE 33.1
State: Mississippi
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Originally Posted by SteveD View Post
My wife and I just bought a new Chateau 26B and are excited about exploring the country! We've been boaters all our lives and decided now was the time to explore land for a while. While there are similarities in some systems, I just want to verify what I "think" about the black tank before it gets ugly. Please excuse what may be a simple issue. I'm all clear on the gray and black handles on the left side of the coach by the drain. I am under the impression that the third handle on the right side - across from the others - is to make sure the cross over pipe clears. Yes?

If I'm right, I assume the right side handle should only be open when actually draining the tank and closed before the black handle on the left?

Last, hopefully, question on the tanks and drainage. We used the coach for the first time last weekend and saw that many were hooked directly to the sewer at their site. When you stay hooked up like that during a couple day visit, do you leave the valves open all the time to drain or just open when needed? We would have asked our neighbor but, we were there only one night and it was about a zillion degrees until the heavy rain started! Few people were ever seen.

Thanks for advice for this new RVer.
I am under the impression that the third handle on the right side - across from the others - is to make sure the cross over pipe clears. Yes?

Not sure about this, I only have two handles, grey and black.

When you stay hooked up like that during a couple day visit, do you leave the valves open all the time to drain or just open when needed?

Never leave the drains open. Keep both closed until full or preparing for storage. Dump black tank first close black tank valve. Dump grey tank. Then close grey tank valve, open black tank valve, and flush with Saniflush system if your rig has it.
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Old 07-23-2021, 12:15 PM   #3
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Model: 2021 Chateau 28A
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THOR #23131
I have 2 black tank valves, when emptying I open the left side, then the right, after flushing I close in reverse.
I leave my sewer line hooked up with all valves closed at campsites and only open the valves to dump when necessary.
Some, but not me leave the gray valve open, but that seems to be personal preference, just do not leave Black open as only the liquid will drain and the bad stuff will pile up and dry into a mess.
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Old 07-23-2021, 12:20 PM   #4
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If you don't have one, get a trestle or such to get the drain hose off the ground. This does a couple things, helps protect the hose from the ground and gives the hose a constant positive drain angle. Dragging a hose on the ground will make it leak. String trimmers at parks, or home, will puncture the hose.

I took some 4" sewer PVC drain hose and split in half lengthwise and cut in 4-5' sections. I carry 4 pieces and that's a tray sort of the hose sits in. It is supported by the trestle.

When draining and flushing the black tank, stay right there IF you decide to close the black tank waste valve while using the tank flush. Adding the extra water then draining, helps get extra solids out but if you wander away even to get another cup of coffee, you will forget and overfill the black tank. Stuff exits at the point of least resistance.
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Old 07-23-2021, 01:02 PM   #5
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Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
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First: Welcome to the Forum!
I had two black tank valves in my Outlaw.
I always opened the one on the passenger side last, and closed it first...
This gave "last night's dinner" a running head start toward the drain on the driver's side of the RV. I closed it first so that there (in theory) would be nothing left in the cross-pipe when I was done.
(The gray tank valve got handled just like any other gray tank valve... nothing special about it)
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Old 07-23-2021, 01:10 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forum. You are correct about the valve on the passenger side. It stays closed until you are ready to drain the black tank. After the black tank is empty, close the passenger valve first. That will allow the crossover pipe underneath a chance to drain out. That valve is there to prevent accidental spills on the highway should you damage that crossover pipe. When at a campsite, you should keep the valves closed until ready to dump. You need enough liquid to help move any solids out of the tank when you dump plus you don't want any campground sewer gas from entering you motor home.


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Old 07-23-2021, 03:34 PM   #7
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State: Texas
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After several yrs and a few forums here's what we like todo and why

We stopped using a sewer hose support.
This creates a P trap keeping flying bugs and campground orders out.

We keep the black tank closed.
This keeps the brown pyramid from forming.

We keep the gray tank open.
Keeps us from dumping it every 3rd day or sooner with grandkids.
I close it a couple of days before dumping the black tank, good soapy rinse water.
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Old 07-23-2021, 04:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by abjbrtd View Post
After several yrs and a few forums here's what we like todo and why

We stopped using a sewer hose support.
This creates a P trap keeping flying bugs and campground orders out.

We keep the black tank closed.
This keeps the brown pyramid from forming.

We keep the gray tank open.
Keeps us from dumping it every 3rd day or sooner with grandkids.
I close it a couple of days before dumping the black tank, good soapy rinse water.
I've done the same way for the past 40+ years without any tank issues.
I did however use the split PVC pipe as a tray for the hose with the P trap sag formed as it connected to the rv then laid on the tray at a slight angle to the sewer.
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:43 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for the information. Between the suggestions and some of what I assumed, we’re on the right track.
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