Winterizing Black Water Tank

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by n1vwd, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. n1vwd

    n1vwd
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    Hello to all in the group.
    I live in VT and I am in the process of winterizing my TT for the year. I have read that after draining the black water tank you should always add 3 to 5 gallons of water to the tank to keep any remaining solids from drying out and keep every thing in solution. Do you still do this at the end of the season? What about freezing, wont it damage the tank? If I drain the tank what about any residual nasties left behind wont they dry out.
    All replies will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. dog bone

    dog bone
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    When you winterize. you will get some RV antifreeze from your toilet. I also put 2 gallons windshield washer fluid down there. It's a lot cheaper than RV pink stuff. About a buck a gallon at Walmart, sometimes.
    I have been doing that for years now. Seems to work fine, no problems. The windshield fluid is good down to -50. Windshield washer fluid doesn't freeze in your car. Why would it freeze in the tank?
     
  3. fpullanosr

    fpullanosr
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    You should not only drain the black water tank, but also flush it real good so that most of the solid stuff is washed out. Let the flushed tank drain a few hours, then flush again.

    When you feel it has been thoroughly cleaned out, add a little water and RV antifreeze, no more than couple gallons combined.

    I wouldn't risk using cheap antifreeze. Trying to save $1 or $2 isn't worth the risk of a several hundred $$$ tank replacement.

    The alternative is do like many of us RV'ers do, and spend the winter in a warmer climate!
     
  4. SteveE

    SteveE
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    I am also new to RV's (and this group), but I subscribe to the theory that if there is no water, then there is nothing to expand (which is what causes damage) when it does freeze. In addition, the salts naturally present in the contents of the black tank (without adding lots of extra water) will inhibit freezing to some extent when in use. So, I have been just washing and well draining the tank and calling it good. I do leave the drain open for a long time to confirm that is is well drained. Same with the grey tank, other than the addition of a cup of RV antifreeze in every drain to protect the traps.
    We live in the Bend (Oregon) area which is high desert and while it does get cold (we had our first freeze a couple weeks ago), it is nothing like the interior climates. And I have no idea what winters in your part of the country are like.
    However, we do use our trailer off and on through out the winter as a base for winter hiking, skiing, and snowshoeing as my wife prefers it over a snow cave (....and I have to admit that is sort of nice....). So I go through the draining process multiple times a year (about eight last year and looking forward to atleast as many trips this year). Of course, since I dump into my homes septic tank, I have plenty of time to let it all drain. I also try to pick days that are above freezing to do this, even if means I have to leave the trailer for a few days (heated) until it warms up enough to dump.
    Having only done this for one year, perhaps I have it all wrong. So I too look forward to hearing what other members have to say.
    Regards,
    Steve
     
  5. BC Wanderer

    BC Wanderer
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    I wouldn't risk using cheap antifreeze. Trying to save $1 or $2 isn't worth the risk of a several hundred $$$ tank replacement.

    The alternative is do like many of us RV'ers do, and spend the winter in a warmer climate!
    [/quote]

    We live in Calgary, Canada.

    We have used our TT and Motorhomes in the winter for years and have always used Windshield Washer Antifreeze to flush the toilet when the weather is cold. We used the facilities sparingly though but we never had a problem. We did not use the Grey Tank.

    You must remember that the solution becomes diluted when mixed with waste though. What may start at -50 can quickly degrade to -20 or -10 in a hurry.

    We loved parking our Motorhome at the ski hill. When most people were tired from a day's skiing getting ready for the two and a half hour drive home, we had the BBQ out and were enjoying a glass of wine. We got many envious looks.

    We left the parking lot in the morning fresh from a good night sleep, had no traffic problems and enjoyed the weekend longer than most others.
     
  6. Tom

    Tom
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    I thoroughly rinse the black tank and empty it. Then as I run RV antifreeze through all the faucets and plumbing, antifreeze gets down into both the gray and black tanks. That has worked fine for me for 8 winters so far.
     
  7. dog bone

    dog bone
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  8. SteveE

    SteveE
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    QUOTE(Tom @ Sep 16 2011, 06:51 AM) [snapback]27586[/snapback]

    I thoroughly rinse the black tank and empty it. Then as I run RV antifreeze through all the faucets and plumbing, antifreeze gets down into both the gray and black tanks. That has worked fine for me for 8 winters so far.



    Bob, Thank you for the heads up. I'll take a mirror and look around in there (though the toilet opening) to see if there is any residue. I'll be sure sure to tie a string on the mirror so I don't do a oops and drop it :eek:
     

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