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Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Texas
RV Year
2003
RV Make
Carriage
RV Model
Cameo
RV Length
35
Greetings from central Texas! I just bought a new used 2003 5th wheel. I'm going to apologize way in advance for any noobish or ignorant things I may say.
Long story short, I and my husband were in home care givers for my grandma. She no longer requires us so being on an extremely tiny budget we bought our 5th wheel. Moved it to an RV park with hookups and will be enjoying life again just us.

I'm new to every aspect of this so any tips are welcomed. It will be stationary for at least a couple of years. Its hooked up to water sewage and electricity.

My main question is with the sewage. Its hooked up to sewage, but from all these horror stories about cones of poop ect....what do I do. Do I close tanks and open them every few days? Or leave it open as is?

Any and all new comer tips are welcome. Thanks for having me!

Stephanie
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
492
Welcome Stephanie: We were all new at one point. Feel free to as anything. The people here are very friendly and willing to help. Believe me, it can be a lot cheaper to get the correct information, first rather than damage something for lack of knowing.

Tank valves should be kept closed until ready to dump. You want the pressure and swirling action to move stuff out of the tank. Some leave the gray tank valve open. I do not for the reasons above and to minimize chances of sewer odor seeping into the RV. The p traps should prevent this, but why chance it. Also i don't want to give any rodents living in the sewer system to enter the tank, if such a thing is possible. The only time I leave the gray tank valve open, is when my wife takes a shower. She does not like Navy showers.

Happy travels.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,877
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
Hello Stephanie, welcome to RVForums.com. There is nothing ignorant or dumb to say or ask, we are all learning together, we've all been there, and that's why this forum is here. Please ask anything and everything you have a question about and help others when you can. Please also let everyone know about RVForums.com to help continue to grow the newest and friendliest forum for RVers on the web.

As to black tank maintenance you'll want to do a rinse of some kind from time to time. You can add various chemicals to help clean or use dish soap, cascade, etc. from time to time. If your black tank system doesn't have a tank rinse option you can at least run water through it either via a garden hose into a toilet but it may help to get a picture of your black tank setup and those that know your systems better may be able to offer better advice.

Welcome to RVForums.com, great to have you with us.
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Texas
RV Year
2003
RV Make
Carriage
RV Model
Cameo
RV Length
35
Thanks I will get more info today on the make and model to better explain things. Thanks for the welcome and glad to be here :)
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Texas
RV Year
2003
RV Make
Carriage
RV Model
Cameo
RV Length
35
Welcome Stephanie: We were all new at one point. Feel free to as anything. The people here are very friendly and willing to help. Believe me, it can be a lot cheaper to get the correct information, first rather than damage something for lack of knowing.

Tank valves should be kept closed until ready to dump. You want the pressure and swirling action to move stuff out of the tank. Some leave the gray tank valve open. I do not for the reasons above and to minimize chances of sewer odor seeping into the RV. The p traps should prevent this, but why chance it. Also i don't want to give any rodents living in the sewer system to enter the tank, if such a thing is possible. The only time I leave the gray tank valve open, is when my wife takes a shower. She does not like Navy showers.

Happy travels.
Thank you! I appreciate that advice. I dont want to be taking Navy showers myself! The toilet thing was my biggest fear but I've already got great advice there too!
Oh and it's a 2003 Cameo Lxi 35ft if that helps for the future :)
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,557
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
Welcome to RVF, Stephanie; we are glad to have you here with us. As has already been said by others, there are no "dumb questions" here. Every question needs an answer and there are lots of knowledgeable folks here that can help. We were all new at this at some point; some fairly recently and some...well, lets just say that we have quite a few miles on us. :ROFLMAO:

You have gotten good advice on not leaving drain valves open. That's especially true of the black (sewage) valve. Put delicately, you need to maintain a liquid level in the black tank in order to keep solid stuff from building up on the bottom of the tank. How did I do with the "delicately" part? :rolleyes:

You will develop a routine for checking tank levels and knowing about how many days you can comfortably go between emptying the tanks. When you do empty your tanks, open the black tank valve and let that tank drain. After the black tank has drained, open the gray tank valve and dump that tank. Finally, do a rinse of the black tank by either using the tank rinse feature, if you have one, or filling and flushing the toilet bowl several times.

Be sure to close both black and gray valves when you are done. You'll quickly get the hang of this and I don't think you will find it to be as bad as it would first appear.

TJ
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Texas
RV Year
2003
RV Make
Carriage
RV Model
Cameo
RV Length
35
Welcome to RVF, Stephanie; we are glad to have you here with us. As has already been said by others, there are no "dumb questions" here. Every question needs an answer and there are lots of knowledgeable folks here that can help. We were all new at this at some point; some fairly recently and some...well, lets just say that we have quite a few miles on us. :ROFLMAO:

You have gotten good advice on not leaving drain valves open. That's especially true of the black (sewage) valve. Put delicately, you need to maintain a liquid level in the black tank in order to keep solid stuff from building up on the bottom of the tank. How did I do with the "delicately" part? :rolleyes:

You will develop a routine for checking tank levels and knowing about how many days you can comfortable go between emptying the tanks. When you do empty your tanks, open the black tank valve and let that tank drain. After the black tank has drained, open the gray tank valve and dump that tank. Finally, do a rinse of the black tank by either using the tank rinse feature, if you have one, or filling and flushing the toilet bowl several times.

Be sure to lose both black and gray valves when you are done. You'll quickly get the hang of this and I don't think you will find it to be as bad as it would first appear.

TJ
Thanks so much TJ.
Everyone here has been super helpful and kind
 

Jim

Joined
Dec 18, 2019
Messages
996
Location
North Carolina
RV Year
2009
RV Make
Tiffin
RV Model
Phaeton QTH
RV Length
40
TOW/TOAD
2016 Jeep Rubicon Hard Rock
Welcome to the forum Stephanie !
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
500
Location
DFW, TX
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
New Aire 3543
RV Length
35
TOW/TOAD
2020 Jeep Gladiator
Welcome to the forum! You’ve already gotten great advice about your holding tanks; if your RV doesn’t have a built in tank rinse, I highly recommend this...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T36LJF2/?tag=rvf01-20

i used this on my previous coach that did not have a built in tank rinse. Easy to use; you don’t have to use it every time you dump, just occasionally. The first time I used it, I was amazed how much extra crap came out! :ROFLMAO:
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Texas
RV Year
2003
RV Make
Carriage
RV Model
Cameo
RV Length
35
Welcome to the forum! You’ve already gotten great advice about your holding tanks; if your RV doesn’t have a built in tank rinse, I highly recommend this...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T36LJF2/?tag=rvf01-20

i used this on my previous coach that did not have a built in tank rinse. Easy to use; you don’t have to use it every time you dump, just occasionally. The first time I used it, I was amazed how much extra crap came out! :ROFLMAO:
😂😂awesome I'm going to show this to my hubby as soon as he gets home. ❤
 
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
2,557
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
Or, if you have gravity toilets (not the grinder/macerator type), here's a less expensive option that I think is just as easy to use.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000BGHYDO/?tag=rvf01-20

I used one of these in our 5th wheel some years back, You just step on the flush toilet valve, poke the wand down into the tank and turn the water on. Rotate the wand a few times and and then shut the water off. Remove the wand from the toilet and open the black tank drain valve. Repeat as necessary. No need to do this every time you dump either; just periodically.

TJ
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location
Texas
RV Year
2003
RV Make
Carriage
RV Model
Cameo
RV Length
35
I do have the gravity kind, this is also a good idea. I will research both before committing. I'm so glad I have some solid answers now 😁

I just realized there are soooo many bad puns in these posts. I'm a dork. Lol goodnight friends
 
Joined
Apr 29, 2020
Messages
35
Welcome to the forum! You’ve already gotten great advice about your holding tanks; if your RV doesn’t have a built in tank rinse, I highly recommend this...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T36LJF2/?tag=rvf01-20

i used this on my previous coach that did not have a built in tank rinse. Easy to use; you don’t have to use it every time you dump, just occasionally. The first time I used it, I was amazed how much extra crap came out! :ROFLMAO:


Welcome and enjoy your new 5er! Bless you for being a care giver!We also use this! We rinse every time we dump simply because we are usually headed back home for a few weeks or months.

We got one of those oxygenator shower head thingys that reduces how much water is used but helps increase the flow pressure. Works great!

We made lots of funny mistakes as nobodies (and still do, lol), but we have always kept the valves closed until dumping time:) One of our camping buddies had told us of a crowded campground where sewers had backed up into campers that had those valves open. Let’s just say all those campers paid the price. I actually think that is extremely rare, but lol the message stuck!
 
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