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Old 03-14-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
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How hard is it to clean your black water tank?

Hey everyone I will be picking up my first Jayco Jayflight 26BH on saturday and everyone is telling me not to use the bathrooms because it is really hard to empty at the dump station. Also people are telling me that it is really hard to clean your black water tank. I am so confused and could really use some advice from the camping veterans on this one. Thanks and your help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:07 PM   #2
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Not sure why "everyone" is telling you not to use the bathroom in your Jayflight. I do not own this type of trailer, but would think it is just as easy as any other Jayco or other brand. Basically, you need to make sure that your black tank is at least 2/3 full before you drain it, so sludge will flow out the drain smoothly and rapidly. In order to do this, don't hook up your drain hose to the trailer and then leave the valves open - keep them closed (both gray water and black water) until they are 2/3 or so full, then open the black valve. Wait until it stops flowing, close the black valve, then open gray valve to rinse out the line. Same applies if you are using a dump station instead of a sewage connection at your site.

If you need to more thoroughly clean the black tank, there are inexpensive water wands available that you can hook up to a hose and push down the toilet past the flush valve, which will then spray water in a rinsing action to dislodge clumps remaining in the tank. There are also flush kits which can be installed in the tank permanently, which allow you to hook up the hose outside the trailer. These also send a rinsing spray into the tank to help clean it.

One last thing that I do is to pour a homemade solution into the tank before every trip, along with a bag of ice cubes and a couple of gallons of water. The sloshing action while towing the trailer to the CG really helps keep the tank clean and odor-free. Solution is: 8 oz of liquid water softener, 8 oz of ammonia, 8 oz of Pine-Sol, and 1 cup of baking soda. Mix these together in a gallon jug, then fill the jug with water and mix again. Pour about a cup down each drain (sink, lavatory, etc) and the rest down the toilet with the ice cubes and water.

You will be surprised how clean and odor-free your tank will be. We have been camping for more years than we can remember, and have never had a hard time keeping our tanks clean.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:11 PM   #3
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ummm.... OK? Its not hard to clean/dump, plenty of videos on youtube on the general maint,flushing and dumping to get you comfortable with doing it. Why pay to have the bathroom if not going to use it? Thats the best part of owning a TT
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:22 PM   #4
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Congrats on the 26BH......We picked up ours a couple of weeks ago... Mine is equipped with a black tank flushing system.

Lizzie Thanks for posting that information. It's been a long time since I had a TT and my last one didn't have a toilet (or a lot of other things) the black tank ,for some reason, has caused me a little concern as well...I did have one question regarding your homeade cleaning solution. You put it down the drains and toilet before you start your trip...Once you get to the campground do you let that solution go down the sewer or do you just hold it in the tank(s) until they need to be drained....
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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I'm new to Jaycos, but I've had a camper before. The key is to always refill your black water tank with some water after you drain it. I always hold the toilet flush valve open for 30 seconds after I've emptied the tank and reclosed the drain valve. That way, paper products (or worse) won't stick to a dry bottom.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #6
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Doodlebug, I just leave it in there for the duration of the camping trip. Sometimes up to a week at the same location. Does not hurt anything, and helps us get our tanks (two 35 gal gray and one 50 gal black) up to around the 2/3 full mark. Since there are just the two of us, it takes a little longer to get that much in the tanks. If you have kids or a number of campers, it obviously fills faster.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:12 PM   #7
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I don't know why anyone would tell you that... Thats why we buy theses TT with these amenities. I also do a solution, no measurements of powdered fabric softener, tide, and pine sol. I only put the solution down the black, but have heard about using the softener in the grey tanks as well. I put the ingredients right down the toilet after I dump with 1 1/2 full toilet bowls of water. If you slightly press the pedal on the toilet, it allows the toilet to fill. When its full I dump it into the tank and do it again with 1/2 to 3/4 of a tank. Then the sloshing around on the way home cleans everything up. The new White Hawk I'm getting has a tank flush, never had this before.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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As everyone else has said tank maintanence isn't difficult but necessary.

Be sure to use plenty of water, don't dump till at least 2/3 full...if your on a short trip just add water to get it full before dumping. Use a solution or good tank chemicals, I use store bought with good results. Always add chemicals/solution and a few gallons of water right after you dump. The only time my tanks are 100% empty is when it put away for the winter.

If your 26BH doesn't have a tank rinser get one. I installed the quickie flush DIY, very easy, very affordable and absolutely worth it. The wands work but you are then dragging hoses through your TT or worse the kitchen window.

Again as others mention...Never, Never, Never leave the black tank valve open while camping at a full hookup site. The liquid will drain leaving solids and that is a mess. Leaving the grey open is up to you just as long as you close it a day or so before dumping black to get some water stored up to rinse the hose after dumping the black.

Enjoy the TT
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:12 PM   #9
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You guys that never had a black tank flush will love them. If I"m on full hookups, I drain the black tank, then hook the hose up to the flusher and let it go until I see only clear water. I use a Rhino hose setup with a "clear" 45 with bayonet fittings on both ends [got it at CW for $12] for observation. Make sure the valve is open during flushing. If I'm at a dump station that has a water source, [no hose hookup], I'll fill a 5 gal bucket half way [to avoid spillage] and go in and pour it into the toilet to help the flushing process. Happy camping, Terry
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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I would only add that if you have never had a camper with a bathroom and dealt with a black tank...you really should watch videos on YouTube or do a basic search on this topic on this site (many threads already) and/or a Google search. They are very helpful. Also, remember to maintain your seals! Always keep the bowl seal wet or it will dry out and crack very fast. This is also important while in storage for a few weeks or full storage during winter months. Owning a camper is just like owning a home. There is always something to maintain if you don't want expensive bills down the road. Black and grey tank upkeep is very easy as long as you are diligent. We have the black tank flush and it is absolutely the best. Also having a clear flush valve is great and can be purchased at Wal-Mart.(http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...ush-king/20522). This allows you to see when the black tank is running "clear" after using the flush. My father-in-law doesn't follow very good dumping/flusing practices (my opinion) and he has all kinds of problems. But he wants to do it his way. :-) (AKA...Stubborn father-in-law!)
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by clubhouse View Post
As everyone else has said tank maintanence isn't difficult but necessary.

Be sure to use plenty of water, don't dump till at least 2/3 full...if your on a short trip just add water to get it full before dumping. Use a solution or good tank chemicals, I use store bought with good results. Always add chemicals/solution and a few gallons of water right after you dump. The only time my tanks are 100% empty is when it put away for the winter.

If your 26BH doesn't have a tank rinser get one. I installed the quickie flush DIY, very easy, very affordable and absolutely worth it. The wands work but you are then dragging hoses through your TT or worse the kitchen window.

Again as others mention...Never, Never, Never leave the black tank valve open while camping at a full hookup site. The liquid will drain leaving solids and that is a mess. Leaving the grey open is up to you just as long as you close it a day or so before dumping black to get some water stored up to rinse the hose after dumping the black.

Enjoy the TT
Question on all your tanks being 100% empty during winter. Do you empty the water out of your black completely during winter? What if any solid id still down there? I think I put 2 gallons of rv antifreeze down my toilet during winterization. I wasn't sure but figured it couldn't hurt.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:54 PM   #12
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Question on all your tanks being 100% empty during winter. Do you empty the water out of your black completely during winter? What if any solid id still down there? I think I put 2 gallons of rv antifreeze down my toilet during winterization. I wasn't sure but figured it couldn't hurt.
Yes, completely empty them in the winter. I can't imagine any solids being left. I significantly flush the tanks at every dump. Then when returning from the last trip of the year I add 1/4 tank water, Chemicals and 10+/- lbs of ice for the ride home. Once back in town I make a final dump at the city yard and call it good.

I don't winterize with anti-freeze here in CA, I just blow out the lines and drain the water heater. Until last month, reading on this forum, I never even thought of adding antifreeze to the sink traps or draining the water pump. Next winter I probably will do that, and any left over antifreeze may find its way into the black/grey tank just so I don't have to store it for a year.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #13
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If maintained through out the year as stated, it should be good to go for the winter.
A gallon of anti freeze is fine, if there's any water left in the seal etc it will protect it over winter.
Certainly won't hurt anything.

I have a small trailer, so I put what is left over from a gallon of anti-freeze in the toilet. I leave a little after closing valve in toilet.

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Old 03-14-2013, 09:08 PM   #14
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All I can say is...dont be scared of the poo....

Seriously...I just emptied my 26BH a few hours ago...easy as can be....I have friends that dont like to use their tanks because they dont like the "mess"....but I have NEVER gotten Poo on me...and if so...it is just NOT a big deal...

You just take your time and empty the black and then the grey....no gloves...no fancy stuff....sure you wash your hands when you are done...but that is about it....if you do it right you have nothing to worry about...isnt what why you purchased the bathroom?



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Old 03-14-2013, 10:10 PM   #15
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The only chemical I add to the black tank is 8oz of Dawn Blue Ultra dish washing liquid. I've done this for many years. It's readily available at any grocery store or Walmart.
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:23 AM   #16
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I agree with Terry. Once I got the plumbers outlook, everything became easy.

As far as cleaning your tank goes: Don't use cleaners that will damage the valve seals. My habit is to contact the manufacture of the different components and see what they recommend.

As far as winter storage goes: I wouldn't leave anything in the tank that would freeze.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:48 PM   #17
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All good advice and make sure after flushing to leave some water in the bowl (an inch or 2) to keep the seal tight and the smell out of the bathroom...
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:38 PM   #18
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Thanks everyone for the advice I love this site because everyone is so helpful!!
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:00 PM   #19
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TCNashville hit the nail on the head. A rinse is key, I have either added or ordered with a rinse on all my Jaycos (3 of them) and use exactly as he described.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:41 AM   #20
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Ditto to all statements,

I would add... When using full hookups, don't keep your valves open to drain constantly, this will drain off all the liquid and all the solids will just sit there. This could cause a bunch of problems and may be what happened from all the people telling you not to use the toilets.

I've never had any issues with the tanks that I can't laugh about today...
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