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How Do I Figure Out Which Lever Dumps Which Holding Tank On My RV?

by Marty

I have an '08 28'-0 Pilgrim Lite. And in my old age :) I can't remember which is my black tank lever and which is the gray tank. Front or rear? The bottom of the trailer is covered so I can't see the pipes. Thanks, Marty

ANSWER Greeting Marty thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Well Marty your dilemma has nothing to do with old age, it has to do with the way RV Manufacturers do or do not mark the handles of the holding tank dump valves. You would think that the grey holding tank valve would have a grey handle and the black holding tank valve would have a black handle, but NO the manufacturers use whatever valve they can get regardless of the color of the handle.

I have seen some RVs where the RV manufacturers have actually labeled the valve handles or provided handy little diagrams in the sewer compartment of the RV outlining which valve opens which tank. I am going to assume that you have already looked at your trailers owner's manual (if you have one) to see if they have the specifics there. Since Pilgrim International is out of business you cannot contact them.

I am afraid I cannot tell which one is which on your particular trailer. So you are going to have to live dangerously the first time you dump your tanks and choose one of the handles and just pull it. Remember you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. If you end up dumping the black tank last no harm will be done, you are just going to have to spend a little more time rinsing out your sewer hose.

The first time I dumped our motorhome, I also forgot which lever was which as the valve handles were not color coded or marked so I just went for it, and luckily I ended up dumping the black water tank first. What I did after that was I got some good old duct tape and put it on the handle of my grey water valve, so I would know that it was the qrey water valve the next time I dumped. Yes, I know that duct tape is more silver than grey in color, but it works for me.

I have seen some RVers who have used label makers and made nice little labels for the handles on their dump valves. I have also seen people who have bought black duct tape and put it on the handle of their black water tank valve.

Some RVers use clear sewer hose fittings on their sewer hoses such as the Camco 45 Degree Clear Hose Adapter Sewer Fitting or the Camco 5" Clear straight Sewer Hose Adaptor. The advantage of these clear sewer hose adapters is that you will definitely know which tank you are dumping and you will also know when everything has been dumped.

Sorry I could not give you specific instructions for your trailer, but once you dump the first time you should be able to ensure that from this point on you will know which Holding tank valve is which. If any of our visitors have suggestions for you they can leave them by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Clear fittings
by: Anonymous

While my handles are clearly marked I use the straight clear section in my connection. I do this to know when I have rinsed the black water tank enough to run clear and not brown. You should get in the habit of dumping the black water first and rinsing the tank several times to avoid a sludge build up. Then lastly dump your grey water to flush out your hose and I always follow up with fresh water to clear the hose for storage.

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