Question Are RV holding tank additives a gimmick?

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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,902
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
I believe they are! Up until about 2 months ago I always used something in the black tank and sometimes put happy camper in the gray. I used to use those blue die packs before I installed sani-con, some don't like the odor, I much preferred seeing blue instead of, well, you know. Anyways since I did my first extended stay recently of about 2 months (with a 1 week break in the middle for Cummins) I stopped putting holding tank additive in. I've had ZERO odor in my coach from either black or gray. Now I do put stuff in when I want to intentionally clean them such as Dove, Pine Sol, Cascade, or Happy Camper Extreme cleaner but this is now only when I'm deliberately doing a cleaning such as add the stuff, fill the tank with water to a certain level, drive to next stop, dump/rinse.

My opinion now is that these additives are worthless and a gimmick. What's your opinion on additives? Think they do anything?
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,579
Location
WA, MT or somewhere else!
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Mountain Aire 4047
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2014 Honda CR-V
We have not been big users of chemical additives to the holding tanks, except...as you stated...when we want to clean the tanks. Many RV years ago, a friend told me he dumped a pint of household ammonia into his holding tanks on his last travel leg home to clean the tank, then dumped and rinsed for a good cleaning. I have done that, on occasion, as well as having used Dawn dish soap and Happy camper. They all seemed to work pretty well.

As you've said, we don't seem to notice any odor problems, so don't use the scented RV products.

TJ
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
278
Location
SW Florida
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4369
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
Tandem Tow dolly
Fulltimer
Yes
I use the "blue" stuff from Walmart and always have in my black. Not sure if it helps anything or not. I have had good luck with RV black tanks since 2011 so I probably won't stop using it.

Prior to travel days I dissolve two packets of OxyKem in each holding tank so they get a good cleaning. I know that works because when I set up at the next stop and open the gray it almost looks like black water flowing out sometimes!

I've always felt that most tank odors actually come from your gray and not your black.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
757
Location
No Where In Particular
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4369
RV Length
43’ 9”
TOW/TOAD
2016 Colorado
Fulltimer
Yes
We use happy camper if we leave the coach for more than a few days. I will do the same as others occasionally on travel days. Haven’t encountered any problems or smells since we went full time.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
444
Location
Florida
RV Year
2018
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
CanyonStar
RV Length
39' 11"
TOW/TOAD
Demco KarKaddy 460SS and VW Passat
Fulltimer
No
In my opinion, if you only flush the 3Ps, Pee, Poop and limited camper grade toilet Paper, flush the black tank before storage, or monthly if on the road, you should not need any additives. Be sure the tank vents are clear. Over the last 20k miles this is our routine. Never have any issue with unpleasant odor.
Also I keep some 'clean' water in the tanks when stored.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
502
I only pee in the RV toilet. No TP, no #2. I use Blue Power to keep the odor down in both tanks, maybe every 2-3 tank fulls. It helps keep the odor down. I guess I have very strong smelling urine. Essentially all of my stays are at least on mont, so it is difficult to keep the sensors clean. I have tried Happy camper, Blue Power, RV digest it, Aqua Chem, etc. Nothing works while stationary, very well. On travel days, 1/2 cup of Dawn, and some watter softener in 13 tank of water, ( grey and black) and dump and rinse at next destination and all is well.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
187
Location
West Palm Beach Fl
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4369
RV Length
44
TOW/TOAD
Buick Enclave
Wow, that is a novel approach. I don’t use any additives, short of samples I have received at shows. Have never had a problem. My toilets are “full use”! 💩
 
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