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Old 08-16-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Florida
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KittySue is an unknown quantity at this point
Question about Black Tank chemicals

Do you really have to buy the high dollar chemicals for the black tank or can you use Borax ? And if so what would be an appropriate amount? If not Borax then what else would be comparable

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Old 08-16-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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Well, I have done a lot of research, here and "out there" on RV sites. There are about as many opinions as RV owners themselves. Some maintain just plain water and lots of it is fine and all they ever do. Many use the blue chemicals. We bought a used camper and, after many months, are still cleaning out the black tank. Many members on this site use Happy Camper and yes, it is expensive, but a super product and a tub goes a long way. I am in the process of using liquid Calgon as well to slick up the sides of the tanks. You do not ever want to use bleach or bleach products in there, that is for sure. One issue is you do not want to harm your seals or valves. I will let others weigh in on using the Borax. An experienced member just responded to a question of mine saying that he uses washing soda. That is different than Borax (I know as I make my own laundry detergent and buy both products).

Tom and Debbie
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1972 Chevy K10 Custom 4 x4 - (Mellow Yellow) Orig. owners !
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:18 PM   #3
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What I have are the weather vane things on the black vents they really work. If the tank is yucky dump a few bags of ice in the tank and go for a ride the just let it melt and empty the tank. A lot of the smell good stuff is full of formaldehyde and that is bad stuff you want the bacteria to work so putting stuff in there just kills them along with the stink bottom line a healthy tank should not smell.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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I can second the Happy Camper procuct as well. It works very well for us. It is a little high , but not bad. It is a small company that makes it, and when wanted samples for a rally they gave us plenty. They lady even hand packed them since they did'nt have regular sample bags.

David & Mary Ann
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:07 PM   #5
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I haven't used Happy Camper, but Odorlos--which CW just started carrying again has worked well for us as long as we've had the 2499. There is a big difference between maintaining a "clean" well functioning holding tank and rescuing a black tank that was abused in a seasonal site with the valve left open. Even walking around regular campgrounds it's rare not to see at least one or two RVs with both gray and black valves open.

We travel almost daily on our cross country trips and I dump both tanks every day. The fresh tank is securely attached with a steel cage. The black and gray tanks are attached with clips screwed into OSB and I tow as little as possible with as little as possible in them.

I know some people buy RVs to use all the facilities contained, but we came through tents and pop ups and still use the public facilities when acceptable.We don't put tp or garbage down the toilet or grease and all kinds of food prep solids down the sink. Our tanks dump clean even when 1/4 full and are flushed with at least one bucket of water plus one more to slosh around for travel. I occasionally use Odorlos because it has valve lubricant. Our sensors have always worked because there is no tp to gum them up. I have a Flush King, but only used it for the first year it took me to realize we didn't need it... and I don't have a wand to wave around in the toilet. This system is not for everyone, but has worked well for just two adults for years.

f you use your tanks heavily it is best to dump them as full as possible--it's a very simple concept of "head", just like a toilet tank is elevated above the bowl. Buy tp that dissolves in a day--test it in a bucket of water--and use something like Odorlos.



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Old 08-19-2012, 10:35 PM   #6
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thanks everyone for all the good info
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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I highly recommend Blue Streak, BLUE STREAK RV CHEMICAL® CLEANS, DEODORIZES & LUBRICATES SEALS . Was waiting for someone else to mention it but not sure now why it wasn't. I've had real good experiences with it. After installing the applicator, you just fill it and it lasts for several months. It makes the head smell real nice all the time and it seems to keep the tank clean, the sensors still work. The toilet has a nice blue color, like using tidy bowl and there's very littel maintenance or guessing how much has been added or needs to be added. It's not cheap but after the initial buy, it's paid for itself in ease of use and how long a bottle lasts.

good luck,


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