Don’t Let Your RV Trip Tank

Everything you need to know about RV tanks. 
There’s a lot to like about RVing. You can travel all over and see all that the country has to offer while enjoying the comforts of home. But, there is one thing that most RVers wish that they could skip—emptying the tank. If you want to truly enjoy a seamless trip in your you need to know the best way to handle emptying the tank. When you have that down it’s actually faster and easier than you would think.

What are the tanks?

If you are new to RVing it’s important that you understand that there are three separate tanks. Understanding what they are and the purpose they serve is important. The freshwater tank does exactly what it says. It’s the tank that holds the fresh water that your RV will use in your sink and shower. The gray water tank is the used water that drains in your sink and shower. The black water tank is where all of your sewage and wastewater goes from your toilet.

What you need to know about the black water tank

The first thing that you need to know is that your black water tank should always start out your trip with some water in it. This might seem like a waste of water to you, but it serves some actual purposes. First of all, it helps to keep the odor down. Secondly, if you don’t have water already in the tank when it starts to fill any solid material could get stuck in the tank making it messy to clean out later.

The next thing you need to do before leaving home is to buy a tank chemical to get in the tank. These chemicals are used to breakdown the toilet paper and solid material that makes its way into the tank. The directions on how to use this will be on the package. Using these chemicals will also help to fight the smell that can build up from sewage.


How to empty your black water tank

Emptying the tank is not as awful as it sounds. Start by putting on a pair of rubber gloves. Best case scenario you won’t need them, but it’s better to be safe. Once you are gloved up you will get your sewage drain hose and hook up one end of it to the black tank valve that’s on your RV. The other end of that hose is going to hook up to the dumping station.

Once you are sure that both ends of the hose are secure, you are going to empty the tank by pulling the valve. Once the tank is completely empty you need to rinse it out. Some RVs are set up where you can use the gray water tank to do this. Then, you are going to drain all of the water from the tank again. You should also follow these steps to empty the gray water tank.

When the tanks are empty and have been rinsed out you will want to remove the hose on the end that is attached to your RV. Clean the hose and then you can disconnect it from the dumping station. Remove the entire hose and store it away.

A product that can help you if you are having a problem flushing everything from the black water tank is called Flush King. It’s a flush valve that will help make this job easier.


Don’t want to clean your tank yourself?

There are actually some campgrounds that offer services where someone else will dump your tanks for you. If you really don’t like the task of doing this then it may be worth it to you to pay someone else to do it.

Keep up on the maintenance

Everything is easier for maintenance when you keep up on it from the start. Make sure that you are flushing your tanks when needed and that you are using chemical treatments in it when you need to as well. This will help to keep down the smell as well as help to keep everything working as it should.

If you have questions about the maintenance of your RV, we’re here to answer your questions at Sky River RV.

PASO ROBLES  | 805.226.9292
2525 Theatre Drive
Paso Robles, CA 93446

In Beautiful Wine Country, a short drive from Bakersfield and Fresno.

PISMO BEACH | 805.779.7700
444 So. Dolliver
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

With all of its RV parks and famous Sand Dunes and Beaches.

ATASCADERO | 805.462.2164
1200 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93422

Halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco and right off the 101.

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