Monday, November 21, 2011

How to dump and thoroughly clean your RV's black water tank

The RV Geeks demonstrate how to dump RV waste water holding tanks and thoroughly clean the black tank. Keeping your sewage tank super clean requires following a few simple procedures which will make it stay odor-free.

Many RVers think their black tank is clean when they just empty it and flush out the sewer hose with water from the grey tank. Even those RVers who use a black tank flush system often don't utilize the most important piece of equipment necessary to monitor the cleanliness of the black tank: a clear sewer elbow.

Most RVers use chemicals, other additive to their RV holding tranks


In the Nov. 19, 2011 issue of the RVtravel.com newsletter, we asked readers if they used chemicals in their RV holding tanks. Here are their responses after two days. You can read the up-to-the minute tally here. But the percentages will likely not change from these early results. As you can see, most RVers do use some sort of chemicals, although many use "biodegradable solutions." Many of those who left comments who do NOT use additives to their RVs reported they dump often and so have no need for them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sleek new portable toilet from Thetford hits the market

Thetford Corporation, which introduced the original Porta Potti in 1968, has debuted the new Porta Potti Curve, which may be a good option for RVers with small RVs that do not have a designated built-in toilet. The Curve features a user-friendly, battery-powered flush to complement its sleek home-like design. A raised seat height and increased bowl size create a more comfortable and relaxed sitting position. Controls are hidden to keep them in safe, working order and maintain a smooth appearance.

An integrated toilet paper holder ensures the ultimate in convenience. Fresh and waste water tanks can be easily monitored with a simple check of the easy-to-read level indicators. The Curve also features an improved water tank carryinghandle for easy transportation.

In addition to the brand new Curve, Thetford's entire Porta Potti offering has been revamped. The line now features a refreshed, modern appearance with a cleaner cover and seat design. A more ergonomic carrying handle simplifies transportation and a now standard lid latch prevents any accidental spillage. All models also offer a redesigned valve handle, fill cap and pump.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Using your RV toilet during a winter trip.

By Chris Dougherty
I have been, and continue to be a firm believer in winter RVing. There are many wintertime activities and adventures that can be made more enjoyable by using an RV.

Some people prefer not to use the plumbing system during the winter for fear of doing something wrong and having a freeze-up, and subsequent damage. Others prefer to just use the toilet, and depend on campgrounds for their other needs. It is possible to use your RV toilet for brief periods in freezing weather, and here follows a few thoughts on how to go about it.

Winter capable RV
Purchasing a four-season RV, or modifying one to handle sub-freezing weather is one possibility. I have done this previously with good success. This requires a coach with completely enclosed and heated holding tanks. I prefer to add individual tank heaters, and a separate heater for the utility compartment. I have also added digital freeze alarms to those areas to make sure that the temperature doesn't dip too low in vulnerable areas. Work off the holding tanks only, and dump when necessary. Don't stay connected to outside utilities.
Non-winter capable RV
No-water option
It may be possible to use the RV toilet without the use of water, but extreme care must be taken to prevent freezing and damage. If any of you readers out there have done this, or something similar, I'd love to hear about it (email me at mgy41512 (at) yahoo.com). I have not done this, but have spoken to folks who have.
The process involves using potable RV antifreeze instead of water to flush the toilet. Starting with a completely empty black water tank, add at least 3-4 gallons of RV antifreeze to the black tank, and continue to use the RV antifreeze to flush the toilet as necessary. When you're done using the system, dump as usual, the there should be no freezing problem.
Warmer climate water option
For you snow birds out there, using the coach water system from the cold temperatures to the warm and vice-versa is an option, but I wouldn't recommend doing so unless you're certain that your enclosed tanks are protected well enough for the climate you'll be traveling in. An option is to use the system as pointed out above, keeping the heat in the coach on, using minimal water, and making sure there's adequate antifreeze in the holding tanks. Many folks will start using the system in the Mid-Atlantic region, for instance, headed South, and will re-winterize there on the way back.
Which ever you decide to do, make certain that the toilet is well winterized when you are done. Small amounts of water can remain in the flush valve on some toilet models, which can freeze and crack the valve if not completely removed or replaced with antifreeze.
Enjoy your winter RVing!

Don't let it freeze!

RVing in winter can be a fun adventure if done properly, but failure to properly winterize can be costly. Our friends at Keystone RV have produced this video about winterizing an RV, and some pointers should you wish to complete this task yourself.