4 Tips for RV Waste Holding Tank Maintenance

Emptying and cleaning your RV waste holding tank isn’t the most pleasant job, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult! ! Understanding proper RV waste holding tank maintenance will undoubtedly make your RVing experience more pleasant. Learn our top tips for keeping your waste tank fresh and clean below.

RV Waste Holding Tank Maintenance

How to Sanitize Your Waste Holding Tank

It is a good idea to thoroughly clean and sanitize your RV waste holding tanks especially before winterizing. Build-up of bacteria and other waste can cause unpleasant odors. The best way to rid of this smell is to sanitize your grey and black water tanks. In this video, David Solberg instructs on how to use a bleach and water solution to sanitize your RV’s waste holding tanks.

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RV Waste Holding Tank Maintenance

Which RV holding tank chemicals are right for me?

There are several approved RV holding tank chemicals. These are chemicals that will not destroy seals and lubrication and will still allow for good bacteria, which helps break down solids. All are liquid, biodegradable, and come in convenient packaging. In this video, David Solberg makes some recommendations on proper chemical use.

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RV Waste Holding Tank Maintenance

Maintaining and Cleaning Your RV Holding Tanks

In this comprehensive video, you’ll learn how to dump the two RV holding tanks – the black and gray water systems. You’ll learn safety tips for preventing bacteria and pathogens from escaping into your environment, and you’ll show you which order you should empty your tanks. Being knowledgeable about dumping black and gray water systems is essential to RV ownership. Here are some safety tips and tricks to prevent the escape of exterior pathogens and interior odors.

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RV Waste Holding Tank Maintenance

Eliminating Odors Caused by RV Holding Tanks

Most of the foul aromas in an RV originate from faulty vents that lead odors up and out of the roof from RV holding tanks. In this video, David Solberg teaches how to find the faulty vent and come up with a solution to the stinky problem. Solberg’s methods are quick, easy, and best of all, inexpensive. Ridding these odors will provide a better RVing experience for yourself and all travelers.

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Discussion
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12 Responses to “4 Tips for RV Waste Holding Tank Maintenance”
  1. Steve St Martin

    RV Make: Tiffin Allegro, RV Model: 32SA, RV Year: 2016

    I don’t put the towlet paper down the tank I throw it in a trash can and change it every day. Keeps the black tank from getting clogged

    Reply
    • Tammy

      RV Year: 2012

      Our black tank tank is clogged now. We don’t put toilet paper down the commode. Any ideal how to unclog it

      Reply
      • Customer Service

        Hi Tammy,
        I would start by putting some black water conditioner into it and add water unless it’s already over 1/2 full? Thetford and Dometic both make a very good product that has “good bugs” meaning they break down the waster aerobically rather than chemicals that allow the bad bugs to work anaerobically and smelly. If that doesn’t help, next I would add some residential drain cleaner to see if that helps break up the clog if it’s in the drain pipe. If all that still does not break up the clog, you can use a hand snake from the outside and try to snake it up through the dump hose, past the valve and to the clog? This is very messy and you will need sanitary gloves with high sleeves as well as a large basin to catch the sewage once you get the clog busted up! Not a fun job!
        David- RVRC

        Reply
  2. Marta

    RV Make: Evergreen, RV Model: Bayhill, RV Year: 2014

    I have tried everything to thoroughly clean our waste tanks, even Borex and Calgon. Our gauges are always off even we I know they are empty. I’ve even tried the gauge Cleaner. And recommendations?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Marta,

      You could try a black water flush valve or just the flush tube inserted down the toilet? This is a very common issue with RVs and most people replace the probes. There is a new brand on the market that claims to eliminate the problem with a probe that is protected from the sludge on the side by a teflon guard. Check them out here: http://www.rvprobes.com/howitworks.html

      Another probe that manufacturers are using is a type that uses ultrasound rather than a probe inside the tank. Winnebago has been using these for over 10 years and have had no false readings. Check them out here: http://levelguardproducts.com/marine-rv/rv-marine-multi-tank-monitor.php

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  3. Jim King

    RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Pace Arrow, RV Year: 1991, Brand: Dometic, Model Number: Designer Series 2804

    How can I adjust the door so it closes correctly? The bottom doesn’t seal completely. The top has the latch.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Jim,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your door issue we need the make, model, and year of your RV. And are you referring to the entrance door or a compartment door? If it’s the entrance door, they do have a tendency to warp at times and the best way to adjust it placing a hard object such as a rod or I’ve used a 2×4 at approximately the middle of the door inside and pushed the bottom of the door enough to bend it back into shape! If you don’t want to chance that, take it to a body shop and they can adjust it as well.

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.
      http://go.rvrepairclub.com/C10742

      Reply
  4. Darrell

    RV Make: Redwood, RV Model: 38FL, RV Year: 2014, Brand: Redwood, Model Number: 38FL

    I had a shackle bolt (wet bolt) break on my Redwood. In repairing it, it was suggested I have heavier hardware installed given the weight of our Fifthwheel. Lately, I have been hearing a lot talk as the manufactures putting just enough suspension hardware on rigs just to roll them off the line. I am considering putting a heavier idler between the axles (SRE 4000) and a crossmember to add strenght to the suspension. However I am wondering if this is overkill or hype. Guidance here would be helpful. How do I know if anything really needs to be done.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Darrell,

      With all the forums and social media available today, you’ll find just about any issue that comes up on a rig becomes an epidemic! Tires are no good, refrigerators are no good-put in a residential one, everything spreads like wild fire anymore. Manufacturers do a tremendous amount of research and testing when it comes to suspension and structure, however one thing they don’t do is overbuild a coach to create what we call the “fudge factor”. This means that the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) posted are the MAX weight that can be on that rig. Exceed it and there will be issues! I would suggest getting your rig weighed to find out what you have on the individual axles and even wheel position before blaming the suspension? RV Safety and Education Foundation provides individual wheel position weighing and are still finding almost 50% of the rigs they weigh are exceeding recommend ratings in one or more categories. You can find their weighing schedule here: http://www.rvsafety.com

      I have not heard of many issues with the suspension and typically if there was an overwhelming number of failures, NHTSA would force the manufacturer to conduct a recall. You might also check with the axle manufacturer which is probably Dexter or Lippert? I think going to heavier hardware is overkill and might be masking other issues such as the weight?

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  5. Jim

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Fusion M-393, RV Year: 2009

    The brochure mentions spare tire storage. There is none on mine. In fact it didn’t even come with a spare. So, now that I have spares is there a way to store them out of the way underneath somewhere?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Jim,

      To provide more specific troubleshooting info on your spare tire storage question we need the make, model, and year of your RV! Several manufacturers are not providing a spare due to weight and cost and claim; “Most owners don’t change a tire in an emergency, they let the road service company do it”. To me this is a cop out because when the road service company gets there and the tire is flat or even shot, there isn’t a spare to change and they will not patch a tire on the road. So it’s either a tow or another trip to get a new tire put on the rim at the shop and back. I would suggest contacting your selling dealer or the RV company and ask exactly where they designed storage for a spare? Most of the time it’s just inside an exterior compartment taking up cargo space!

      Thanks,
      David RVRC Video Membership

      Reply
  6. Rick S

    RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: Residence, RV Year: 2018

    Concerning best ways to keep black tank flowing: We also DO NOT throw toilet paper down there. We wrap our used tp in additional tp and throw into paper garbage bag. Our nightly campfire will burn it all. Also, if your septic system can handle it use alot of water and dump the tank only when it’s full. Close the tank, run water to ensure the bottom of tank is wet, add some deodorizer that breaks down solids, and buy more toilet paper and small paper bags. Live stress free!!

    Reply