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Old 08-20-2020, 09:03 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by trailmacs View Post
I have had many trailers and motor homes over the years and your issue is not normal. In fact highly abnormal. Neve have I heard or experienced this issue. Your routine is very unsanitary and frankly gross. You do not want to be down on the ground anywhere near a dump station. I have seen some major spills in my time. The tank should be installed such that it is very flat when the trailer is level or slight taper to the tank exit to ease Flow during dumping. Perhaps your tank is not mounted flat? Or perhaps your trailer is not level front to back as many drains are actually on the long side which makes the front to back angle very important. Also make sure to fill toilet two or three time completely filled then flush near the end of the drain process. You must always get 99.9% out during dumping. Good luck
As I said in one of my replies it looks like the drain line comes out of the tank and slopes up to the sewer line that goes out of the rig. I need to open up the bottom to confirm it and will when I get back from my current trip.

I can assure you I am not lying on the ground at a dump station without something to lie on.
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Old 09-05-2020, 08:46 PM   #42
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New Information

I am back from a two week camping trip and have learned more about what is going on with my black tank.

This is a long thread, so a quick recap.

After my first trip with my camper the black tank always read 1/3 full no matter what I did and I tried a lot of things. Whenever we camped it would start at 1/3 full, read 2/3 full within a day and full around day 5. That was not what I expected for a 50 gallon black tank.

I found that the tank wasn't completely emptying and that by bringing the camper nose up all the way and pressing up on the tank I could get it to read empty (at least that worked once in my driveway where I got over 20 gallons out of a previously drained tank by doing that).

Before going on our latest trip I was running a wire and had the back wall of the basement open, I noticed I could see the outlet pipe from the black tank and it looked like it might be sloped up. I planned to look into that when I got back.

That brings us up to the new part.

On our trip the black tank read empty to start the trip, around day 4 the tank read 1/3 full, around day 8 it read 2/3 full, and around day 12 it read full. We kept using the toilet and made it to day 15 when I dumped. I am really happy with this, two weeks on a tank is great.

I had a deserted dump station so I was able to disconnect from my truck, raise the front and run the spray bars for a long time. When I went back to level and checked the tank it read 1/3 full so that was frustrating. I was planning to open up the bottom of the camper when I got home anyway so I decided I would figure out what is happening then.

At home when I opened up the bottom of my camper, the first thing I noticed was multiple 6 to 8 foot loops of wire loam that fell out on the ground. The wiring for the stabilizers is much longer than it needs to be and just left in a pile on the coroplast. Not a lot of pride shown in Jayco's wiring workmanship (I have also seen big wire loops in a service chase in the corner of my bathroom). Then I looked at the pipe coming out of the black tank and it angles up about 4 inches. The tank is only 7-1/2 inches tall so this pretty much guarantees it will never empty more that about half way. The 50 gallon gray tank next to it also comes out at an upward angle but only about an inch and the entire 3" waste pipe run along the tanks needs to be redone. Even when I raise the nose of the camper up all the way the black tank pipe still has some upward slope. The tank also bulge down between the cross bar supports.

At this point I have decided I will redo it myself. There are a lot of constraints on the line placement between the tank locations, coroplast underneath and where the outlet is. I just don't see the dealer taking the kind of time to get it just right that I will. I am planning to redo the 3" waste lines and add support under the tank with an aluminum angle iron frame. I also want to put new tank levels monitors in, run some other wires underneath and generally clean up all the underside wiring and penetrations. There is a lot of wiring hanging in mid air that needs to be secured, I can see multiple places where the wires will likely break over time.

The other thing I discovered while I was under the camper is a spring and wire sticking out of the brake drum for my left rear brake. My camper has never stopped very well and I have always had to run the brake controller on my truck turned all the way up. On my latest trip I even blew a fuse in the truck brake controller circuit doing a hard stop when someone cut me off. It looks like at least one spring in the brake is loose and I think the wire is the power line to that brake and it is cut. Clearly at least that one drum isn't working at all. The good news is I had already ordered a disc brake conversion for my camper and the install is scheduled to happen at my house mid September. This is another reason I am fixing the black tank myself, because I don't want to drive anywhere with the camper until the brakes are fixed.

So far I have the pipes removed from both the black tank and the 50 gallon gray tank that sits next to it, I will spare you the details of how gross that was. Now I need to get the right fittings and pipe, I thought I could just go to Home Depot, but the RV piping is ABS not PVC like Home Depot carries. The pipes are held into the tanks by hose clamps with a soft white caulk all around and they were pretty easy to remove so that was a big relief. Does anyone know what Jayco uses to caulk it, I am thinking maybe butyl or caulk tape of some kind? I need to figure that out for when I reseal it. I am hoping to get the plumbing redone this week but may get held up waiting for parts. my tank monitors are due Wednesday and I already ran the wires to all four tanks plus moved some other things. I don't want to leave the bottom open too long because it is getting cold at night and i don't want critters moving in. When I am all done I plan to reseal the bottom so every single crack is filled and there are no openings at all.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:55 PM   #43
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Something to consider that may or may not be helpful...depending.

You should know about Fernco fittings: https://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

These are the Sharkbites of drain plumbing universe. You can marry ABS and PVC no problem. And it sounds as if you might connect to the tank with one of these.

I once used a Fernco Tee to replace a cracked plastic Tee in my 1 1/2" or 2" drain lines on my previous RV. Lasted forever and the Fernco takes up shock that hard line can't withstand.

Anyway, for what it's worth. And you probably don't need the schedule 40 stuff. A thinner wall should be fine.
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Old 09-08-2020, 03:53 PM   #44
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Something to consider that may or may not be helpful...depending.

You should know about Fernco fittings: https://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

These are the Sharkbites of drain plumbing universe. You can marry ABS and PVC no problem. And it sounds as if you might connect to the tank with one of these.

I once used a Fernco Tee to replace a cracked plastic Tee in my 1 1/2" or 2" drain lines on my previous RV. Lasted forever and the Fernco takes up shock that hard line can't withstand.

Anyway, for what it's worth. And you probably don't need the schedule 40 stuff. A thinner wall should be fine.
I have seen these and thought about it but didn't know how well they last. I am only replacing part of the drain lines and I am worried about how to make the last connect when everything is rigid. Something like this might be a solution. Thanks
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:26 AM   #45
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Here are some pictures of what I am seeing:

Here is the wire loam that fell out. You can't see it in this picture but one is actually tied in a knot:



Here is the black tank outlet, it goes up about 4" so with a 7-1/2" tank height it will never empty beyond maybe half way.



I need to at least make it flat and then slope down to the gray tank all within the height allowed by the Coroplast bottom.

Here is the tank, it is pretty empty here so you don't see the bulge much but I will be fabricating a support frame to prevent the bulging.



And finally, here is my brake drum with the spring and wire sticking out:



I have the ABS pipe and fittings starting to come in but I still need to figure out what the white caulk is you see in the second picture. It is still soft and is very sticky. I tried calling Jayco and they transferred me around several times and then opened a ticket. I also called my dealer and they are supposed to get back to me too.
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Old 09-14-2020, 10:31 AM   #46
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I re-plumbed my 50 gallon black and gray water tanks this weekend. The line comes out of the black tank basically flat now and then slopes down to the gray tank. The gray tank line comes out at a downward angle and then everything slopes down to the final outlet. I got it all together with no leaks and it fits above the Coroplast. My dealer said to use Butyl tape for the seal to the tanks and that seams different than what was in there from the factory but seems to work fine.

The tanks drain much better now but still retain some liquid, they both bulge down when full. The way they are held in place with three cross bars they sag between each bar. I am going to try to put plywood under each tank with some bracing as a next step.
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Old 09-15-2020, 11:26 AM   #47
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Glad you fixed it.
That's one helluva mess!
I'm shocked about the wire. At the cost of copper these days, that's stunning. My guess is it was 4 pm on Friday afternoon, and the wire installer was already into his second sixpack, chose the wrong wire kit...one designed for a much bigger rig...and said screw it.
That plumbing nightmare is inexcusable.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:15 PM   #48
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Glad you fixed it.
That's one helluva mess!
I'm shocked about the wire. At the cost of copper these days, that's stunning. My guess is it was 4 pm on Friday afternoon, and the wire installer was already into his second sixpack, chose the wrong wire kit...one designed for a much bigger rig...and said screw it.
That plumbing nightmare is inexcusable.
My rig is 42' long so they don't get much bigger, it really makes no sense to me on the wire.

In terms of the plumbing I have redone it and the tanks drain better but both tanks still bulge down at the bottom and retain some liquid. I am working on supporting them now. The problem is I think the entire tank bottom needs to be uniformly supported so I am thinking of putting plywood under them with bracing mounted to the plywood but the tanks appear to be supported top and bottom and I am worried that if I push them up with the plywood it will transfer all the weight to the bottom supports and that might not be good.

I suspect every fifth wheel Jayco makes has at least some bulging in the front tanks, it really isn't a good design.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:29 PM   #49
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I'm wondering if I have a similar issue with my shower grey tank. It seems to fill up far too quickly albeit only 30 gallons, we use it VERY sparingly. When I drain the tank, it never seems like 30 gallons to me.

I guess I will remove the chloroplast this winter and take a look and see what hidden gems I will find covered up.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:51 PM   #50
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I'm wondering if I have a similar issue with my shower grey tank. It seems to fill up far too quickly albeit only 30 gallons, we use it VERY sparingly. When I drain the tank, it never seems like 30 gallons to me.

I guess I will remove the chloroplast this winter and take a look and see what hidden gems I will find covered up.
You can buy a water meter on Amazon and see how much it takes to fill it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

They are pretty handy to have, it is part of how I figured out my black tank wasn’t emptying in the first place.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:55 PM   #51
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You can buy a water meter on Amazon and see how much it takes to fill it: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I've found that meter to be incredibly inaccurate - counting more than double the gallons pumped for me. I'm certain my 60 gallon water bladder can't hold over 120 gallons...
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:05 PM   #52
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I've found that meter to be incredibly inaccurate - counting more than double the gallons pumped for me. I'm certain my 60 gallon water bladder can't hold over 120 gallons...
Hmmm... mine is dead on measured on multiple tanks and buckets. Maybe they have a quality control issue.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:32 PM   #53
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It does not bother me if some liquid stays in the tank after flushing it out. I always add some to keep the tank wet.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:18 PM   #54
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It does not bother me if some liquid stays in the tank after flushing it out. I always add some to keep the tank wet.
When I started this whole process my black tank was holding on to about 30 gallons and filled very quickly on trips. I wouldn’t mind a few gallons but I don’t want to lose a significant portion of my tank capacity.
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Old 09-16-2020, 01:06 PM   #55
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It does not bother me if some liquid stays in the tank after flushing it out. I always add some to keep the tank wet.
You missed the point. And no, there shouldn't be any measurable amounts left behind unless you want stink. But yes it's a good idea to add water or antifreeze to keep the tank and valves moist. I add 12 gallons of water to the black tank and treatment after emptying and thoroughly flushing. My two grays I had a couple gallons each to keep them moist.


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Old 09-16-2020, 02:54 PM   #56
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I re-plumbed my 50 gallon black and gray water tanks this weekend. The line comes out of the black tank basically flat now and then slopes down to the gray tank. The gray tank line comes out at a downward angle and then everything slopes down to the final outlet. I got it all together with no leaks and it fits above the Coroplast. My dealer said to use Butyl tape for the seal to the tanks and that seams different than what was in there from the factory but seems to work fine.

The tanks drain much better now but still retain some liquid, they both bulge down when full. The way they are held in place with three cross bars they sag between each bar. I am going to try to put plywood under each tank with some bracing as a next step.
Get some square tubing and run it down the center of the tank between the two other rails, weld it on. Or take the square tubing have a shop weld some flanges on the bottom of each end and use self drilling hex head screws into the two other braces. There are places called metal supermarkets and the will sell you anything you need. If you left the square tubing down a half inch a piece of plywood could be put on top. the other two rails would hold the weight that's what they were made for.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:06 PM   #57
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I'm wondering if I have a similar issue with my shower grey tank. It seems to fill up far too quickly albeit only 30 gallons, we use it VERY sparingly. When I drain the tank, it never seems like 30 gallons to me.

I guess I will remove the chloroplast this winter and take a look and see what hidden gems I will find covered up.
Our gray tank did the same thing, but even showing full, still took a lot more water before backing up in the bathtub. I found the issue when I replaced the sensors. The upper two sensor wires were switched. If you check them, from the top down, the colors should be red, green, then yellow and white at the bottom. Now when it reads full, it really is. If they did it to ours, there may be others out there the same way.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:24 PM   #58
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Our gray tank did the same thing, but even showing full, still took a lot more water before backing up in the bathtub. I found the issue when I replaced the sensors. The upper two sensor wires were switched. If you check them, from the top down, the colors should be red, green, then yellow and white at the bottom. Now when it reads full, it really is. If they did it to ours, there may be others out there the same way.
I forget the name of them but there are sensors that go one the outside of the tank and use the old wires. They are accurate to 1/4 inch I think
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:08 PM   #59
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Our gray tank did the same thing, but even showing full, still took a lot more water before backing up in the bathtub. I found the issue when I replaced the sensors. The upper two sensor wires were switched. If you check them, from the top down, the colors should be red, green, then yellow and white at the bottom. Now when it reads full, it really is. If they did it to ours, there may be others out there the same way.
It’s not a sensor problem, the tank just doesn’t empty all the way. I drain it, it still reads 1/3 full and the bottom of the tank is bulging down from the retained liquid. If I raise the nose of the camper all the way and press up on the tank I get 20 plus gallons out after previously draining it.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:09 PM   #60
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I forget the name of them but there are sensors that go one the outside of the tank and use the old wires. They are accurate to 1/4 inch I think
It’s not a sensor problem but I did recently add the Sea Level Systems tank monitors because I want more accurate readings of the tank level.
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