The purpose of dating is to find someone you can spend the rest of your life with. That’s it. You don’t date to waste other people’s time. You don’t date to have someone feed your ego. You don’t date to temporarily fill a void emotionally or physically. You date to find that one person who you feel like you can spend the rest of your life with.
I’m seeing a lot of posts, questions, and issues surrounding the black tank, so let’s break down how it works, what to do with it, and why it matters.
First, what is the black tank?
The black tank is one of two different waste tank systems commonly found in an RV, and is specifically for waste from the toilet.
Second, what is happening in there?
Your black tank is much like a septic tank you might have at home, and is mostly a place to start breaking down waste before disposing of it. By the way, please be sure to always dispose of your black tank waste in a proper place, not just on the ground or in the open.
Third, why is it different than the gray tank?
The gray tank is for ‘used water’, that is, water and other liquids drained down the sinks that doesn’t have waste in it. While you won’t drink gray water, and you probably don’t want to use it for washing dishes, it CAN be used for watering plants, creating weighted jugs, and other non-potable uses.
Ok, let’s get down to business. Best practice for using your black tank is:
1) Keep the valve closed until it’s time to dump the tank.
2) From empty, put a gallon or two of water in there.
3) Put your choice of black tank treatment in there.
4) While using the toilet, be sure to use plenty of water; I like to use twice as much water as anything that goes into the toilet, which includes liquid waste, solid waste, and toilet paper.
5) Once the tank gets 3/4 full, it’s time to think about dumping. Once you’re hooked up to a sewer or dump station, go ahead and fill the tank from the toilet (just hold the pedal down and let the water flow in).
6) Dump the tank, and take note of how well things flow out (this is why clear elbows or connectors are important).
7) Be sure to rinse the tank out and dump it again until you have clear water coming through your sewer hose. You can run a hose into the water closet and down the tube, or just use your built-in tank rinse connection is you have one.
8) If you empty your tank before you drive somewhere, drop a cup or two of cleaner in there, like ka-boom or purple power, and add a few gallons of water so it’ll slosh around and clean the inside of the tank. You can also add a bag or two of ice to add some scrubbing power.
I’ve seen and heard of a lot of issues with the sewer lines and dumping the tanks, so let’s go over some things NOT to do.
1) Don’t leave your black tank valve open unless you’re actively dumping your tank.
When you leave the valve open, the waste you flush goes straight to the valve with no time to be broken down. This always causes a stoppage, which just creates all kinds of problems. Leave the valve closed until it’s time to dump.
2) Not using any kind of treatment.
When you don’t use any kind of black tank treatment, you don’t have anything in your tank to help the process of breaking down the waste. Without treatment, waste breakdown take 4-10 times longer than with treatment, which means you’re probably going to have issues with clogs if you don’t use treatment. Always use a tank treatment.
3) Don’t flush excess paper.
Really, don’t flush excess anything. The only stuff that should be going into the toilet is urine, feces, and toilet paper with feces on it. Putting TP with urine on it in the tank is optional, but the more paper you put in there, the more water you need, the faster it fills up, and the more you’ll have to do to keep it running smoothly.
I recommend your urine paper go into a wastebasket (with a lid on it!), and your feces paper go into the toilet.
Also, ladies, your sanitary products are best put into a wastebasket with a lid, not into the black tank.
Last but not least, what to do if….
If your toilet is clogged at the top (in the bowl) don’t reach for a plunger, it won’t do any good. In fact, you don’t even need to carry a plunger in your RV, it won’t work. Instead, you need a stick, 2-3″ across and 2-4′ long. Turn the water off to the RV, open the valve all the way, and use the stick to push the stuff down. The bottom of the toilet is connected to the top of the tank, and there is no ‘s-bend’ or trap like your toilet at home, so just give the stuff a little help down the tube.
If you’re having trouble getting your tank to drain into the sewer, fill it up with water and tank treatment, let it sit an hour or so, then drain it again. Repeat as many times as needed.
If you can smell your black tank, you need more, or better, treatment. For quick relief, drop some dish soap in there and fill the tank with water, walk around to shake up the RV a little bit, then dump it. For long-term relief, use a better treatment, or just more if it, and make sure to use 2:1 water:waste.
So there you have it, my thoughts and experience in dealing with your black tank. If you take care of your tanks, they’ll take care of you, and remember, it only smells bad when it’s treated badly!
There are a wide variety of opinions of the various parts and pieces of RV life, but one thing we can all agree on is that your black tank needs some kind of way to work out the waste we put in it, and that’s what tank treatment does.
Tank treatments come in several forms; i’ve seen liquid, gel, powder, tablet, and even liqui-gel type things. No matter the format, it’s important to put some kind of treatment in there to help break down the waste.
Tank treatments come in two types, black tank and gray tank. Black tank treatments specifically target breaking down human waste, causing it all to become a liquid that can be dumped and rinsed off. Gray tank treatments target things you’re likely to find in gray water; soap and other detergents from cleaning yourself or your stuff, dirt and debris from rinsing things off, and other such things you’re likely to send down the sink drain.
Tank treatments are an important part of maintaining your RV, no matter if you’re a summer camper, a weekend warrior, or a full-timer. As soon as you stop maintaining your tanks, you’re going to have a problem, and it stinks!
Be sure to keep up with maintaining your tanks so you can have miles of smiles instead of being down with a frown. 🙂
Another fun fact (hey, it’s fun to ME!~) is that the numbers on the road signs all have some kind of meaning, and once you understand the system, you’ll know what they mean, too!
Any two-digit highway sign (I-20, I-65, US-98, etc) means it’s a primary highway. If the numbers are EVEN, it’s an EAST-WEST highway. If the numbers are ODD, it’s a NORTH-SOUTH highway. So, I-20? East-West. I-95? North South. US-98? US Highway that’s East-West. Neat, huh? Watch this…
Any THREE digit highway (I-710, I-185, I-635) is EITHER a bypass, or a spur of the highway number.
How do you tell the difference? Well, if the FIRST number is EVEN, it’s a bypass, meaning it will reconnect with the main highway later.
If the FIRST number is ODD, it’s a spur, which means it does NOT connect back to the main highway.
So, I-710? A spur (first number ODD), off of I-10.
I-285? A bypass (first number EVEN), off of I-85.
Neat, right? Yeah it is, you nerd…… 😛
Part of our series on road signs, Mile Markers are found on every Interstate, US highway, and State highway. You may find them on other roadways as well, usually only on access-controlled roadways.
Mile marker signs are very helpful for navigating the country, and are best used for figuring out distance from one point to another.
For the US Interstate system, Mile Markers start at 0 in the WEST or SOUTH, and INCREASE going EAST or NORTH. So if you’re traveling EAST on I-20, the mile marker numbers will be going up, but if you then turn SOUTH on I-35, the numbers will be going down. If you just remember that all miles start in San Diego (Southern California) and work their way up to Maine (Far North East USA) you’ll do fine.
A second key point to remember is that mile markers reset at every state line, no matter which direction you’re going. Heading West means the mile markers will tell you how long it is until the next state line (or end of the interstate), and the same is true if you’re headed South. Heading East or North means you’d have to know how many miles of interstate are in the state you’re in, but luckily that information is on the top of the page for each state in your Road Atlas, or readily available on google.
Alright, now that we know what they do, what can they tell us?
Well, for one thing, they can give us distance to exits! Exit ramps all over the US are numbered based on the Mile section they’re in. So, exit 44 should be 44 miles from the SOUTH or WEST state line of the interstate you’re on.
Something else they can do, especially for interstate travel, is help us plan our route for long trips. When I was driving commercial trucks all over the US, I always planned for a 600 mile day, so i’d crunch the numbers to figure out where that would get me to, and then look along that route for likely delays, detours, traffic, construction, weather, or other issues.
So next time you’re on the road, take a look at those mile marker signs, and start practicing the math to figure out miles from where you are, to where you want to be!
There are a lot of signs out on the roads these days, but do you know what they all mean? Sure, some are obvious, while others, not so much.
From https://www.accuform.com/news/Road-Signs-and-Meanings-What-Do-Signs-Mean , here’s a brief overview to get us started:
The meaning of colors on road signs
- Red: Red generally means stop. The use of red on signs is limited to stop, yield, and prohibition signs.
- White: A white background indicates a regulatory sign.
- Yellow: Yellow conveys a general caution message.
- Green: Green shows permitted traffic movements or directional guidance.
- Fluorescent yellow/green: Indicates pedestrian crossings and school zones.
- Orange: Orange is used for warning and guidance in roadways work zones.
- Coral: Coral is used for incident management signs.
- Blue: Blue indicates road user services, tourist information, and evacuation routes.
- Brown: Brown is used to show guidance to sites of public recreation or cultural interest.
Although the colors play a critical factor in providing consistency throughout the roads and highways, each shape of road signs has a specific meaning, as well. The shape of road signs can alert drivers about the message prior to reading the contents. Depending on weather conditions, the only thing you might be able to make out is the shape of the sign. If that’s the case – the shape of the sign is just as critical as the message, if not more.
The meaning of the shape of road signs
- An octagon road sign conveys the need to stop. A stop sign is the only sign that uses this shape.
- An upside down triangle road sign always means “yield.”
- Diamond-shaped road signs always warn of possible hazards ahead. These are traffic signs, temporary traffic control signs, and some pedestrian and bicycle signs.
- Pennant-shaped road signs warn drivers of no passing zones.
- Round-shaped road signs are used for railroad signs. When you see a round traffic sign, you will likely see a railroad crossing or light rail transit crossing signs ahead.
- A pentagon-shaped road signs provides warning that a school zone is ahead or school crossing zone is approaching.
- A horizontal rectangle-shaped road signs usually provides guidance to drivers but can be used for a variety of needs.
- Vertical rectangle road signs are typically used to inform drivers of regulatory notices, such as speed limits.
Interesting, isn’t it? There’s a lot of other information available in the signs all around us, and we’ll talk more about that in upcoming posts.
Steve is my new dating wingman, and he is a No Drama Llama.
Steve is here to help me sort through the drama (bullshit) some women insist on bringing into every conversation.
Steve would like to remind you of a couple of important things:
1) Daniel has a simple system in place to ensure he’s meeting with quality women, AND, not wasting his, or her, time.
2) Criteria to meet is there for a reason; if it’s not clearly met, Daniel moves on.
3) Daniel no longer gives a shit if you call him names, or otherwise make your ignorance known. You, too, are an adult, and if you wish to throw a tantrum, well, so be it.
The oxymoron of dating here is girls saying, “But I want to get to know you!” while refusing to spend any time with me. What, are you going to interrogate me until I crack and spill all my secrets?
I’m very fond of my dog, I like my beer cold and my steak medium rare. There, now you know all my secrets.
When you’re ready to get to know me, show me. Poser.
In light of a recent post, someone brought to my attention that I cannot complain about being lonely while ignoring my dating profiles, so…. I concede, and I will pay a *little* attention to my dating profiles.
I have zero expectations of meeting a great woman here, and I have no intention of spending much time searching, but i’ll allow that anything is possible, and perhaps there’s a good woman who isn’t a complete bitch that would enjoy joining me on some of my adventures.