Winterizing Black Tank - 3/4 Full

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by CampermanDan, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. CampermanDan

    CampermanDan Member

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    I'm open to suggestions.
    I know that the tanks should have all been drained before the camper is winterized but then life happens.

    I bought a 2001 Jayco Hybrid last weekend for a really good price. A friend helped me tow it home because I don't yet have a proper hitch on my Explorer. It rained like crazy for the couple days before we brought it home so the back yard was a soupy mess. We barely got it around the house and into the garage without totally being stuck in the backyard (I've got a lot of yard work to do to fill the ruts and canals we made).

    So...the camper is now neatly tucked into the garage for the winter and for all of my repair and update projects. I thought all of the tanks were emptied, but lo and behold, the black tank is 3/4 full. The grey tank and water tank are empty.

    We got the camper home without tags so that was a bit of a leap of faith. Due to the difficulty (if not impossibility) of getting the camper out of the yard (which is still a soupy mess - I need to run some gravel for next years access), and the lack of a proper hitch on my tow vehicle, and the lack of a tag...getting the camper to a dump facility is not in the cards. So, how can I keep the black tank from freezing over the winter?

    The black tank is not large - the camper is a tiny Jayco Kiwi 17a, the black tank is about six gallons and I'd estimate it has about three or four gallons of poo in it based on looking down from the top and the meter reading. And it's not even my family's poo which for some reason is even more gross.

    Ahem. I'm thinking the first thing is to get some RV antifireeze in there. Then wrap the drain pipe with a heating pad. And then maybe keep a little electric heater blowing on the tank and drain pipe during cold snaps?

    I live in Maryland so it can certainly get below freezing, but we've had mild winters as well. The garage is partially insulated as well.

    So...I know what should have been done (I'll do better next year!) - we should have checked and dumped the tank before getting it home, but this is where I am right now.

    Suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

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    Drain into a bucket, dump into toilet.
     
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  3. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Blue Boy
     
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  4. Matt Benoit

    Matt Benoit Active Member

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    This is the best solution. Why chance something freezing and breaking ? My guess is 2 half full buckets you can dump in your toilet... Easy peasy
     
  5. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Drain it. Doesn't matter how, just drain it or you will have a poopy mess to clean up in the spring.
     
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  6. CampermanDan

    CampermanDan Member

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    Thanks all. I guess we'll drain it. Good times.
     
  7. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Fill with hot water, let it sit a day or two (depending on the temperature) then drain it.. FYI... 90% of the time those level sensors read wrong.
     
  8. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Eek , i would try to get the tags done, then get the tv ready. Wait till the ground is a bit more solid then pull it out and dump it. A lot of work ,but it need to be done eventually.
     
  9. bikendan

    bikendan Member

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    since tank sensors are notoriously inaccurate(especially the black tank), i'd shine a light down to verify that it is that full.
    if you dry camp or boondock, you'll need a tote tank anyway. Use it to drain it.
     
  10. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Again....Drain it. You will never get enough RV antifreeze in it to prevent freezing
     
  11. SlavCo

    SlavCo Member

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    Dan,

    I would suggest you at least drain the liquid out of the tank as that's what would possibly cause damage. Although pretty gross, you can leave the solids in there over winter, and maybe throw in a jug of antifreeze in there just for good measure. I wouldn't be concerned with the tank itself freezing, it's the drain pipe between the tank and valve that could potentially freeze if it's full of liquid.
    Come spring time, fill that sucker up with water and let it sit for a couple of days before dumping and you should be good to go.
     
  12. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the bucket plan. You don't want to leave solids in the tank with no liquid - that creates the "poop pyramid".

    Six gallons is minor to drain with a bucket. Just do that and you won't have an issue come spring.
     
  13. CampermanDan

    CampermanDan Member

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    Thanks for the replies. An RV friend enthusiast and I will attempt to drain it in the next week or so. No hard freezes are predicted for the next coupe of weeks here.
     
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  14. Athomeinthpines

    Athomeinthpines New Member

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    I would drain it, but the heat pad is a good idea. Used those when winter camping and they work well, especially if it is in a garage.
     
  15. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Let it freeze.
     
  16. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Poopsicle.
     
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  17. CampermanDan

    CampermanDan Member

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    Thanks everyone. We did drain it this weekend. Backed the camper up to the septic tank inlet and let her go. It's a small tank and wen't quickly without any issues. We then blew out the lines with an air compressor and filled the traps with that RV antifreeze stuff so I think we're good. Hopefully. And just in time, it's supposed to be pretty cold this week.

    And as other folks have suggested, the black tank LED meter doesn't work. I looked in the tank before we drained it and could see it very full. After we drained it I looked in the tank and saw it pretty empty but the meter said it was still 3/4 full.
     
  18. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    They say putting ice cubes in the tank and going for a ride will sometimes clean the sensors.
     
  19. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    This pretty much shoots holes in that theory..

     
  20. silverfz

    silverfz Active Member

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    Luckly you did not do the bucket of other guys poop. I was going to suggest your local potta company might do this with a long hose and drain it .
    its expensive but you do not have to do anythinng
     

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