How do you keep your grey and black water tank electronic gauges from getting slimed over?

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
I hear many stories about the electronic gauges that read inaccurately because they have residue buildup on them. There are also as many products that people attest to that will help them stay clean. Not wanting the same fate for my gauges, I took a lesson from my brass tumbler and dishwasher when making my own drop-in concoction that has worked flawlessly. First, the lesson from my brass tumbler. I reload metallic cartridges, so they must be cleaned. I tumbled them in walnut hulls for many years, which I thought cleans them pretty well. I switched to tumbling brass in stainless steel pins, a bit of dish detergent, and water. This cleans the brass much better than walnut hulls, but there is still a film that dulls the brass. I wanted shiny brass! A friend of mine told me to get a surfactant, like Lemi Shine, put a bit in and try again. WOW did that brass come out shiny! Second, my dishwasher, a brand new machine that started to smell after a couple weeks of use, because of a film built up on the inside. Again, I noticed there is a "Spot Free" reservoir, which I have never filled. Just maybe a surfactant would do the same thing for the inside of my dishwasher? I bought liquid Jet-Dry and gave it a whirl. Again, WOW the inside looked like it was brand new and the smell was gone forever.

Now to our Airstream grey and black tanks. I drop in three items every time I dump the tanks. 1 dishwasher tablet, 1 Walex RV tank deodorizer tablet, and 1 teaspoon of Lemi Shine surfactant. If we are just sitting, there is no agitation, but I add everything anyway. We try to travel with up to 50% in the waste tanks. The additives slosh around and leave a squeaky clean tank. This combination seems to work like a champ, a flashlight inspection of what I can see shows no film buildup anywhere and we hardly ever notice a smell. My $.02
 

spasm3

Member
Interesting. I've never had a problem with the grey tank. I've always accepted that the black tank sensor will never work right. I just take a look through the toilet on long trips.

I really think the less you do to clean black tanks the less trouble you have. Like you, I don't empty it after a weekend trip. Maybe after 2 trips. After I dump my black tank I immediately put in a gallon of water, a ordoloss pack, and an oz of dish soap.
I never leave my black tank completely empty or dry.
No need for any flushing wands or flushing aids at all.
I never check the black tank sensor on my current trailer, I'm not on the habit of using it, so I don't know if it works or not.
 

Wayne

Administrator
Staff member
Thread starter
Try getting some granular or liquid surfactant and see if it makes a difference. My experience is that the surfactant makes a huge difference in the cleaning power of detergent. It also surprises me that dishwasher detergent needs additional surfactants to be more effective, but they do.
 

dnewton3

Moderator
Staff member
My grey water tank sensor still works OK.

The black-water tank never goes below 1/3 because of permanent debris on it, I assume. I ignore the black water sensor because, frankly, it's not that hard to open the toilet valve and look right down into the holding tank; my toilet sits directly over the tank. For the first two years, we did our usual "business" in the toilet ... (both #1 and #2). Then I decided that unless we're boondocking (rare for us), we'd just use the RV for #1 only, and #2 happens in the RV campground bathrooms. So I don't really get worried about any significant build up in the tank anyway.

My freshwater sensors seem to work OK, for now at least.
 

spasm3

Member
My grey water tank sensor still works OK.

The black-water tank never goes below 1/3 because of permanent debris on it, I assume. I ignore the black water sensor because, frankly, it's not that hard to open the toilet valve and look right down into the holding tank; my toilet sits directly over the tank. For the first two years, we did our usual "business" in the toilet ... (both #1 and #2). Then I decided that unless we're boondocking (rare for us), we'd just use the RV for #1 only, and #2 happens in the RV campground bathrooms. So I don't really get worried about any significant build up in the tank anyway.

My freshwater sensors seem to work OK, for now at least.
We use our bathroom for 1 and 2. I think the more you worry about it , the more problems you have. I always keep water in the tank. After emptying it, i add 2 bowls full of water, the treatment of choice and and oz of dish soap. I've had 3 travel trailers. Did this with all three. Use it for #2 without fear!

Keep the black tank valve closed until you leave. Some times we will camp for 2 weekends without emptying the tank. The road motion keeps any toilet paper teepees from forming under the toilet.

We camp at some COE ( Army Core of Engineers) campgrounds, they generally don't have sewer hookups. Rather than get in the sunday dump station line, we just drive on. On say our third weekend trip, we hit the dump station on the way IN to the campground . That way we are never in line at the dump station. Tank gets a good sloshing and never a problem, no need for flushing wands or anything.
 
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