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Old 04-08-2016, 10:12 PM   #1
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Are waste tank chemicals necessary?

My gosh there are a lot of them; deodourizers, enzymes, digesters, etc. And they're not cheap either.

Is all of this stuff necessary, and if so, any advice on types/brands? My gut tells me that well-maintained tanks shouldn't require them but maybe I'm way off. Surely these products haven't been around for that many years, have they?
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:01 PM   #2
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I don't use the commercial potty chemicals. I use the Geo-Method and have for years. Never have a problem with tank smell or sensors. I mix mine up in a 5 gallon bucket with hot water and dump it into the black tank before every trip, the grey tanks every 4-5 trips. Powdered Calgon has disappeared from the market so I use the liquid stuff now. Most Walmarts have it.

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Old 04-09-2016, 02:23 AM   #3
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First i hear of his geo method. Interesting reading.

My experience with tank chemicals is they help clean the tanks by assisting dissolving the waste and also help with the scent, especially when enjoying the hot summer days.

Remember the vents are typicaly on the roof of the rv, so the scent might affect the neighbor a few sites down more then yourself.
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:33 AM   #4
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Go with the system that Aaron recommends.

The RV industry has done a great marketing job at inventing stuff that we don't need, then convincing the RVer that they need then.

Most of the products that you find in a dealer's parts showroom can be found at the big box discount stores or check your your local auto parts store, many have an RV section.

First lesson on RV ownership. You bought yourself a hole in the road/camping spot, that you pour money into. You can shop at an RV dealer and pour lots of money into it or shop around and save a bunch of that money.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:41 AM   #5
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We've always used the "blue juice." We use 1/2 the recommended amount. Like the way it deodorizes and decomposes. That's all we use, and back-flush with a Flush King before we leave.
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Old 04-09-2016, 03:42 AM   #6
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I give my black tanks a good flush and add a pack of treatment. Treatment is a drop in the old bucket, as it were. No stinks yet.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HudsonFrog View Post
First i hear of his geo method. Interesting reading.

My experience with tank chemicals is they help clean the tanks by assisting dissolving the waste and also help with the scent, especially when enjoying the hot summer days.

Remember the vents are typicaly on the roof of the rv, so the scent might affect the neighbor a few sites down more then yourself.
First thing.... these are HOLDING tanks. They aren't septic systems. Second thing you need to use LOTS of water to flush them. I have been using the Geo-Method before we even knew what it was called. I have never had odors from my tanks, even in the hottest weather. I am not too worried about the smell (if any) bothering my neighbors. I am sure their Sh*t don't stink either.

Seriously, I was camping a while back at a state park and the people pulled in the site next to me, when they opened up their camper I could smell the mold and mildew in my site. Sewer smell would have been an improvement!

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Old 04-09-2016, 03:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
First thing.... these are HOLDING tanks. They aren't septic systems. Second thing you need to use LOTS of water to flush them. I have been using the Geo-Method before we even knew what it was called. I have never had odors from my tanks, even in the hottest weather. I am not too worried about the smell (if any) bothering my neighbors. I am sure their Sh*t don't stink either.

Seriously, I was camping a while back at a state park and the people pulled in the site next to me, when they opened up their camper I could smell the mold and mildew in my site. Sewer smell would have been an improvement!

Aaron
Like I said the industry creates a product then tries to convince us that we need it. All you are paying for is a perfumy concoction and that is all it is.

The fancy little tags like "Enzyme" or "Digester", are meaningless. Those chemicals need alot more time to do their job, than it takes to fill the black tank.

The easiest and most effevtive way to get rid of the solids, what these snake oil concoction claim to do, is dump the tanks after doing a couple of laps around the campground or drive to a public dump site. The solids get freed up from the agitation and moved out with the water.
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hddecker View Post
Those chemicals need alot more time to do their job, than it takes to fill the black tank.
I'll disagree, we always camp for 4 days at a time and everything but last nights dinner is completely broken down when I flush, and I know that because I have a clear dump connection. We just use one pouch for the toilet (Thetford makes it) and the cheap orange stuff for the sinks. Not that expensive and no chemicals to haul or mix.
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:12 PM   #10
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From numerous back-flushes using the Flush King, I say the most important thing to worry about is the type and quantity of toilet paper used. Solids are gone in the first flush, TP often takes 4 flushes, and we use the RV type.
I agree with Dawniewest, as well as the airlines, bus and other travel carriers. I use Thetford.
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Old 04-09-2016, 04:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dawniewest View Post
I'll disagree, we always camp for 4 days at a time and everything but last nights dinner is completely broken down when I flush, and I know that because I have a clear dump connection. We just use one pouch for the toilet (Thetford makes it) and the cheap orange stuff for the sinks. Not that expensive and no chemicals to haul or mix.
That's the great thing about this forum, we can disagree.

I just won't donate my money to the RV industry for something I know I don't need. I have never had a problem with solids not being flushed out and I have never had a sewer smell problem. Even when I working on the roof, the only time I get any sort of sewer smell is when I'm checking the lap sealant on the stack collar.

The OP was asking if the chemicals are needed. They aren't needed, but that doesn't mean you can just pull the valve and ignore it.
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MartyG View Post
Solids are gone in the first flush, TP often takes 4 flushes, and we use the RV type.
Another overpriced product invented by the RV industry.

I can't remember the person that first posted it to give them credit, but here it is. Take 3 sheets of toilet paper, put in a jar with a lid, add water, shake for a minute. If the toilet paper disolves it's OK to use in your RV.

I don't remember what we use at the moment, but we buy it at Wally's World and it's 15 rolls for the price of a couple of "RV rolls.

There are very few "RV" items that doesn't have an everyday product that does the exact same job. RV products = dollars, everyday products = cents out of your pocket.
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Old 04-10-2016, 10:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MartyG View Post
From numerous back-flushes using the Flush King, I say the most important thing to worry about is the type and quantity of toilet paper used. Solids are gone in the first flush, TP often takes 4 flushes, and we use the RV type.
I agree with Dawniewest, as well as the airlines, bus and other travel carriers. I use Thetford.
We use Charmin... there are a bunch of videos on Youtube showing the various tests. It all comes down to WATER and the more you use the better. Also getting things stirred up prior to dumping.

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Old 04-10-2016, 11:40 AM   #14
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Been using Tetford blue stuff for too many years to count, the liquid not the powder. I stopped using the powder after rinsing out a load of granular residue from it while prepping for winter storage. I tried Piranha enzyme stuff once that was supposed to be the greatest. I didnít notice any difference other than the increased price. I may give the Calgon a try just for the sake of ďscienceĒ. It does make sense that the solids will rinse out better with the extra soft water in the tank.

Iíve tried many brands of paper and found this to work best for me. Price isnít bad and you get more for your $. It breaks down really quick.
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Old 04-10-2016, 03:51 PM   #15
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We use Charmin... there are a bunch of videos on Youtube showing the various tests. It all comes down to WATER and the more you use the better. Also getting things stirred up prior to dumping.

Aaron
Charmin, that's it.

We probably use 30-40% of our grey water to flush the toilet and don't dump until the tank is over 3/4 full.

Exact reason in don't dump until I've done a couple of laps around the campground or drive down the road to a public sani-dump.
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Old 04-11-2016, 02:23 PM   #16
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Not to long ago, on a similar thread. Someone posted that use a recipe of 1 cup of pine sol, 1 cup of household ammonia, 1 cup of fabric softner, and 8oz. of arm&hammer baking soda. mixed with water in a one galllon jug. adding approx. one cup in each tank. The poster said they got this from a rv dealer years ago, and have been using with success. Anybody been using this or your opinions of this recipe? Just got my trailer last year, so not much experiance regarding tank maintinance. Although, Looking at the geo method, it makes sense to me
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Old 04-11-2016, 03:27 PM   #17
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Been using Thetford liquid blue stuff for years. Don't use rv tp use what ever we have on hand from the house. Those that say they have never had a smell problem don't RV in the desert HEAT. All you have to do is flush your toilet to know if you have a smell problem.
I am going to try the geo method and see how it works. Still have some Thetford on hand just encase.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:05 PM   #18
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Not to long ago, on a similar thread. Someone posted that use a recipe of 1 cup of pine sol, 1 cup of household ammonia, 1 cup of fabric softner, and 8oz. of arm&hammer baking soda. mixed with water in a one galllon jug. adding approx. one cup in each tank. The poster said they got this from a rv dealer years ago, and have been using with success. Anybody been using this or your opinions of this recipe? Just got my trailer last year, so not much experiance regarding tank maintinance. Although, Looking at the geo method, it makes sense to me
Not sure why you would want ammonia.... that is one of the by products when the stuff in the tank starts to break down. I have never heard of that particular mix. FWIW I use 5 gallons of hot water with the Geo-Method to get everything well mixed and to get some water in the tank. But I have a 28 gallon black tank and I want some water in it to start with.

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Old 05-17-2016, 07:42 PM   #19
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Charmin, that's it.

We probably use 30-40% of our grey water to flush the toilet and don't dump until the tank is over 3/4 full.

Exact reason in don't dump until I've done a couple of laps around the campground or drive down the road to a public sani-dump.
Call me uneducated but how are you using grey water to flush the toilet? Is this a mod you have done?
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:54 PM   #20
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Call me uneducated but how are you using grey water to flush the toilet? Is this a mod you have done?
It must be a Canadian thing, in the States we use water from the campground hydrant to flush our toilets.
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