This is something that is taken for granted as you will do this quite frequently, in the time you own your RV. Do it correctly and you will enjoy your ownership of your RV. Do it incorrectly and you will have a smelly frustration and maybe even a plugged system. Not Fun! This is a step by step process on how you do a dump of your Rv’s Dark and Greywater storage tanks at a sanidump. Follow the steps below and you’ll keep your tanks trouble free.
This added step that we have included here is the wand, we found that by using a wand we were able to get things down in the dark water tank extra clean and keep the smells down. I did a little research and found that if you improved the ventilation to the dark water tank the odors were kept down considerably, even without adding enzyme pucks and dark water tank solutions.
Don’t I just open the vent in my bathroom and turn on the fan? Well not exactly, your dark tank and grey tank have a separate ventilation on the roof of your RV, that goes right into the tanks, this allows all the gases from your tanks out. There is a cap that covers this pipe that prevents things from falling into it and allows the gasses to escape. Now if there is not proper ventilation to get the gasses out of the tank, it will the smells and gases will back up and out your toilet and into your bathroom and give it that all too familiar toilet smell. The standard cover on most RV’s out there is not sufficient to get the proper suction to get as much of the gasses out. I would recommend installing the 360 siphon that helps get as much of the gasses out of your septic tanks even with the slightest breeze. Here is a picture of mine.
It retails for $25 to $35 dollar and is well worth it. It is an easy install that takes not more than half an hr. The 360 siphon even has a bug screen built into it to prevent bugs from going down. The manufacturer even says that there is no need for chemicals to keep the odors down and out of the bathroom. With proper ventilation, I would agree.
Well, it can’t hurt to use something to speed things up, but why would you spend money if you don’t need to. A toilet treatment is about $1 to $2 per treatment each time you have made a dump, it does not take long before the 360 Siphon without toilet treatment to recoup your money spent. But if you find that you still have odors in your bathroom after you have used a wand to flush and installed a 360 siphon and do ahead and use the treatment. However, not all toilet treatments are equal!
Yes, that is right! Your Dark tank and your grey tank is full of bacteria, that is why it has a smell. There is a battleground of different types of bacteria in there. Their are nasty ones and friendly ones. We call those friendly ones Probiotics, kind of like the ones in your body and everywhere else. Those probiotics/bacteria break down your stuff that goes in the toilet and make it usable by the earth and completes the nutrient life cycle. There is a nutrient conversion going on that turns the waste into things like nitrogen for the planet. So picking the right stuff to put in the dark tank either masks and slows the process of conversion or speeds things up and helps mother nature complete the nutrient cycle. Our favorite brand for that is Unique and happy campers.
Do I leave my dark water and grey water dump left open the entire time I am hooked up?
Both dark water and grey water should be closed when using full hook up until your tanks have reached at least 2/3rd full. Then you dump just as you would when you are driving up to a sani dump station.
There are three reasons why we do this. First, the camps septic system is vented a particular way to take the gasses away from the sani dumps, and if the system is left open all the time the gasses will go into and through up into your bathroom. Second, you will getting a build up of solids in your dark and grey water tanks on the bottom and they could become stuck and build up causing other issues. Third, there are rodents that live in the septic system that can get into your dark water or grey water system and decide to stay there.
Follow the steps outlined above with the wand method of cleaning above, but rather than adding extra water at the end just completely empty, as you will be pouring antifreeze in the dark tank and down the drains into your grey tank after you completed cleaning the tanks.
Most everything here should eliminate the smells in your bathroom. If you have flushed with a wand a few times, used the enzyme and installed the 360 Siphon and put water in the tank after each sani dump. Then I would say that it is time to bring in the big guns and get an expert to have a look at your septic system. It might be that you have crud build up or some blockage of some sort in the ventilation systems. Etc. So time to get some expert help. Let me know if you thought this article was helpful or missing anything.
I hope this helps!