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Old 02-08-2010, 07:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Posts: 18
Digesters, Deodorizers and Formaldehyde

We are new to RV's, and am befuddled by the range of digesters and deodorizers on the market. My research has led me into the quagmire of the formaldehyde vs. no formaldehyde debate. Apparently, at one time, someone decided that formaldehyde was killing the aerobic (beneficial) bacteria in waste systems, and it was subsequently banned in many places. I am also seeing articles indicating how that has been proven to not be true, and that it is fine to use and the most effective product at eliminating odors.

At one local RV store, the unsolicited recommendation to us new buyers was to use Unique Digest-it (no formaldehyde). When we bought our trailer at another dealer, the trainer swore by Thetford's Aqua-Kem (formaldehyde), and the trailer came with a sample. He didn't seem to fear being unable to dump due to restrictions, but I was afraid to use it lest I wouldn't be allowed to dump it. Although not one anyone has recommended, I picked up the enzyme/bacteria digester at Wal-Mart since we were in there on our maiden trip (getting new towels to replace the ones soaked when I attempted to flood the new trailer, but that's another story). I used it that weekend, and experience no odor, and the tank seemed to dump easily, but it was only one weekend and the first use of the systems.

So what are others here using? (I saw one recommendation of Pure Power but haven't seen it in a store yet)

What is the latest info in the formaldehyde vs. no formaldehyde debate?

If I use the formaldehyde products in my tank, am I going to run into a lot of places that won't let me dump it? (The two RV parks here in NM we've dumped at so far stated no restrictions.)

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Old 02-09-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: East Bethel, Minnesota
Posts: 659
Is your main concern about leaving "Clumps" in the black tank and having odor? I do not use any chemicals except for Odor Control such as:
This is from our Local Dealer, but you can also buy these at Wal-Mart for about $8.00 or so.
As for cleaning out the tank, I have a wand that we use about every 3rd or
4th dumping. This is what we use.


Daryl and Sandy
2013 Eagle 314BDS
2012 Ford F150 Platinum, 4 x 4 Crew Cab with Ecoboost
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Old 02-09-2010, 10:54 PM   #3
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Posts: 211
Howdy John and Sarah,
Like Daryl and Sandy, I don't much chemicals in the black tank except maybe ordor controllers. I make sure I use plenty of water every time I flush. I also wait for the black tank to get 3/4 full before I dump to ensure that everything is pushed out by all that water. I also ensure that I use paper that dissolves quickly in water. While I have only owned my own RV for a short while, I have been responsible for maintaining a Class A motor home for a number of years, and practice the same with it. No problems so far. Every so often I dump a bunch of ice into the dump tank and drive around. The ice helps to break things up and clean the tank walls and sensors. Seems to work well for me.
Happy camping.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mostly the US
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As with rvrev2 we also use no chemicals in our black tank currently. We make sure to flush with plenty of water and only dump when the tank is 3/4 full. We learned that was the best to do from another forum we frequented with our old tt. We've practiced that chemical free practice since.
Denise, DH, grandkids, and two rescue pups
-2016 Jay Flight 29QBS Elite
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