RV Tank Talk

The title of "Dummies Guide to RV Tanks" is very fitting because before you RV, you must educate yourself on the RV tank system.  Otherwise, you could end up with a Black Tank DISASTER.

Fresh Water

This one is simple, it's where your fresh water is held. From your fresh water tank it goes where it needs to from your water pump. This is also called "Potable" water.

Gray Tank

The gray tank is where your sink and shower water goes.

Black Tank

You know the children's book "Everybody Poops"?  Well in an RV, this goes into the Black Tank.

Here are a few tips about RV Tanks:

  • Tank gauges inside the RV don't always show an accurate reading. Residue can build up can cause the gauges to read full most of the time. You can tell for sure when the gray tank is full though because water will come up through the shower or another drain. When the black tank is full a bubble will show up when you flush the toilet.
  • How can you tell which lever is for which tank? Use a clear piece on your hose to tell if it's clear water or brown, then you can mark the lever for future reference. In some RV models you are able to see the pipes leading up to the levers, this helps too. But as long as you have them labeled you should be able to tell the difference.
  • Always wear gloves when handling your hoses and tanks. You are dealing with waste, it's not only gross to not wear gloves but it's also unsanitary.
  • Don't leave the black tank open at a campground because the liquids will drain out and the solids will become a poop pyramid. Let your black tank fill up to 2/3 or so before dumping. You want the weight and gravity to flush everything out properly. You may leave the gray tank open at the campground but make sure you time it so that it's full when you dump your black tank to flush out the hose.
  • Make sure you use RV or Marine TP.
  • Use a separate water hose for cleaning out your tanks. Fresh water hoses are white, use a different color to make sure you never use the wrong one.
  • Pick up some tank chemicals which gets rid of odor and also breaks down the waste.
  • After you dump your tanks, refill both tanks with just enough water to fill the bottom of the tanks.

 

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