Novice question re: dumping holding tanks. - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-26-2014, 12:00 AM   #1
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Novice question re: dumping holding tanks.

I've read the advice about only dumping holding tanks when they are full. What do you do if you're only camping for a weekend, and the holding tanks will definitely not be full?

I suppose one will just dump away, but do you do anything such as add water to the black tank before dumping? Or?

I guess you could just not get anything into the holding tanks, but that doesn't seem satisfactory.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:16 AM   #2
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Black first, gray second. I carry bottled water and pour excess down the sink to aid the gray dump (after draining and shutting the valve). OR, fill up "gallon" jugs and pour down the sink (after dumping the gray water tank and closing the valve) "fresh" water then cleans out the stinky slinky... YMMV

But, my new 5er is only going to have pristine water in the waste tanks...
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:18 AM   #3
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We usually fill up the fresh tank before leaving for a weekend. Before returning, we will split whatever fresh water is left between the black and grey tanks, and hit the nearest dump station on the way home.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
We usually fill up the fresh tank before leaving for a weekend. Before returning, we will split whatever fresh water is left between the black and grey tanks, and hit the nearest dump station on the way home.
I like that approach!
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. Of course, never having had a trailer before, I'm reading the owner's manual. It says partially full holding tanks can slosh around during towing, potentially causing instability.

I'm guessing that in practical terms, driving with partially full holding tanks is not much of an issue (and often not much of a choice)?
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:40 AM   #6
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I've towed an all molded towable for twelve years (I'm NOT an expert!). But I've never towed with a (partially) filled fresh water tank (fill up when you're close to your "site") nor do I haul "dirty water."

What's the point hauling any kind of "water"? Get rid of it as soon as is practical (dirty). OR, fill up close to destination or buy bottled (close to camp site). I know folks haul clean water from origin to destination (not me).
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:44 AM   #7
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10 gallons of water weighs 83 pounds. Don't think 20-30 gallons of fluids is going to cause much instability in a 3000 pound trailer..........

I don't always drive around with a full gas tank in my truck, either.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:50 AM   #8
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What's the point hauling any kind of "water"?
To save time, and to use water you know and trust...

Fill up the day before you leave, so you don't have to take the time to do it when you get to your destination and so you know the water is what you're used to.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:59 AM   #9
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Unless you stay at a full service campground, you will leave camp with tanks partially or totally full ( grey and black ) or empty ( fresh ). When and where you dump will depend on where you can.
I've passed by a sani-dump with 18 trailers lined up because I wasn't willing to wait and then paid $16.50 to dump at a campground just down the hill from home.
The main thing is that you want solids in the black tank to break up. The more fluid the better. So, if you can dump close to camp, and if you have access to water, fill that black tank, and then dump it, followed by the grey tank.
At full service campgrounds, do not connect to the sewer and leave your black tank open for the duration. All the solids will settle to the bottom of the tank and follow you home.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:30 AM   #10
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Actually driving with partially filled waste tanks can help with the sensor/monitor issue. You can dump some ice with some soap into the black and while rolling down the highway shake and clean your tank and sensors. This only works if you can dump near home, otherwise dump before leaving and then go home.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:41 AM   #11
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I dump with partials but prefer to fill the black to 2/3 at least. I've not had any issues.

If I have enough fresh I block open the toilet and let it transfer to the black (on my stick built, keeping the valve open keeps the water running). I do not empty the fresh though as I like to keep enough in it for emergency use.

Many folks don't bother dumping partials if they are going out again the next weekend, I've not done this as my trips are farther apart.

If there's a line, we have a sewage treatment [plant about 20 minutes away right next to the highway, I can stop on the way home and dump for 1$. Never seen another rv there, just don't breathe.

You could also pick up a Macerator and do the job at home.
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:03 AM   #12
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Hi: All... We use "The Geo method" to treat the grey/black tanks. After dumping add a solution of Calgon water softener, dishwasher detergent, and extra bleach if necessary. Seems to keep the scum buildup to a min. and keeps the tanks slippery and fresh. All basic laundry products.
Do a google search of the geo method for the recipe!!! Alf
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:45 PM   #13
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Hi All,

My sensors rarely seem correct either. They usually read 1/3 full when I am sure they are empty. I found this video online, and will try it next time:



Maybe it will help. Has anyone tried anything similar?

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Old 06-26-2014, 04:58 PM   #14
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Because I never know if there is going to be water when I stop, I usually travel with 1/3 of a tank of fresh water. Also handy for flushing after a pit stop along the road when there are no facilities available. Never had a problem with it "sloshing" while driving.

I've added flush systems to both the black & gray tanks, and use them when dumping if a threaded water supply is available at the dump station & there isn't a line.
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