What Can We Do To Keep Our RVs Black Water Holding Tank From Clogging Up?
(Orlando, FL USA)
Keep Your RV’s Black Water Tank From Clogging Up
We have a 2004 Fleetwood Prowler 5th wheel. We are constantly having problems with the black tank clogging up. The gauge shows that the tank is not full however, it is coming up in the bowl. I have noticed the pipe going to the tank has a 90-degree bend. Good Sam Extended Service Plan is mechanical breakdown insurance for your RV, 5th Wheel, Trailer, and Tow Vehicle! FREE Quote
Is there any way to fix this? Would the water jets installed in the tank help? I have a wand jet that I attach to a water hose and feed it down through the bowl. That usually gets it done. I make sure the valve stays closed until I am ready to dump it.
This is very bad especially when we have quite a few people camping with us. I am short of asking everyone not to flush toilet paper but that would create yet another problem.
Please advise. Thank You!!ANSWER
Hi Wanda, the RV Lifestyle is wonderful however having to deal with problems with the black water holding tank can sometimes bring an ominous black cloud over the whole RVing experience. Unfortunately, you are pretty much stuck with the design of your black water holding system, unless you can find a plumber or RV Technician that is willing to try to reroute the plumbing. This could end up costing you some hard-earned cash.
Let's see if we can find some more economical solutions to your problem. First I am going to refer you to some products that I personally use to keep our black water holding tank in good operating condition and then give you some more tips at the end of this answer.
Let's start off with toilet paper (never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would start a paragraph with that sentence). If you are using regular house toilet paper in the RV toilet, you need to stop using it. You need to use toilet paper that is designed for RV use such as 1 Case Of Scott Rapid-Dissolving Bathroom Tissue
. Yes, we buy it by the case as it is cheaper that way. This stuff dissolves real quickly in the holding tank, so it will not clog up.
Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment
To break down the waste in the tank and to also keep the tank odor free we use Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment
Above). This product does a great job of breaking up all of the crud inside the tank as well as getting rid of the odors. We like it because it is very Eco-Friendly and it can also be used in your RV's grey water tank.
Now as far as your gauges not showing the proper level in your holding tanks, this could be due to the probes in the holding tank being dirty which causes them not to work. Not all holding tanks have probes, but if yours does you can try some RV Probe Cleaner
and see if that gets the probes working again. Some RVers just give up on the tank gauges ever working and have become pretty good at knowing when to dump the tanks.
The last product I would recommend is to install an aftermarket holding tank flushing system. Depending on how your holding tank is configured one of these 3 products should work for you. The Camco RV Dual Flush Pro Holding Tank Rinser with Gate Valve
or the Camco RV Dual Flush RV Holding Tank Rinser
. Our motorhome has a built in tank cleaner and it really helps get all the crud out of the tanks.
Here are some other tips on keeping your RVs black water holding tank trouble free.
1. Flush often while sitting on the toilet. Water is a black water holding tanks friend.
2. Always flush twice after using the RV Toilet, the more water the better.
3. After dumping the tanks, add about 1 gallon of water to the black water holding tank through the toilet before actually using the toilet.Save 50% off of Campsites With Passport America
4. Another way some RVers clean the probes in their RV's Black Water Tank is by filling up the black water tank halfway with water and dumping a couple of bags of ice down the toilet and then drive the RV around for awhile. The ice cubes move around in the tank acting as agitators to break up debris.
5. Some RVers have had great luck by using liquid Dawn Dishwasher soap in the RV holding tanks as it also breaks up the debris in the tank.
I hope that you have gotten some useful information. If any of our visitors have suggestions for you they can add them to this page by clicking on the add a comment link located near the bottom of the page.