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How Our TPMS System Saved Us From A Worse Situation

Out In The Middle Of No Where In Texas

Out In The Middle Of No Where In Texas

When you find yourself driving to Big Bend National Park in far west Texas, you drive along some very desolate roads. You may not see another soul for miles. 

This is not where you want to find yourself with a problem. And recently when we were driving down some of these roads, we found ourselves in such a situation. 

You see, we were just driving along, admiring the scenery and isolation when all of a sudden our EEZTire TPMS started beeping at us. David was driving at the time and he noted that our rear passenger tire on our tow vehicle was steadily loosing pressure. Of course we were in the middle of no where without another soul around and we were on a 2 lane highway with little options to pull off. But the lucky part…we were in a construction zone. Lucky? 

Yup…you read that right. We were in a construction zone in the middle of no where. However, as luck would have it, because of said construction zone, they had widened the highway with an extra driving lane, as they had one of the normally used driving lanes closed off with cones for them to work on. 

Seeing we were also driving on a Sunday, it made the roads more desolate, however, it also made the construction zone a perfect place to pull over as no one was working at that time. So yes, we pulled over, through the cones (which thank goodness were spaced far enough apart for us to squeeze through) and onto a construction area. Which, looking back on the situation, we have no idea what they were actually doing to the road. It wasn’t freshly paved and it didn’t really have any signs of being worked on recently, other than the cones. Oh well….I shouldn’t take it for granted since it really was a perfect place to pull off safely, out of traffic, if their was any. 

Yup...Tire Going Flat

Yup…Tire Going Flat

David Trying The Green Slime To Plug Hole In Tire

David Trying The Green Slime To Plug Hole In Tire

David Adding Air To Tire

David Adding Air To Tire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what to do next? Well, after examination of the rear passenger tire on our Jeep, David determined that we had picked up a nail or something, in the construction zone of course, and it made a nice big hole in the tire. So air was rapidly escaping. 

A tire patch kit would come in handy right about now. 

Alas, we did not have one. We thought we were prepared for everything. We had a spare if need be but David wanted to try to seal it first. So we did have some Green Slime for car tires. 

The theory is, you take the cap off your tire and add the Slime inside the tire. Then air up and drive so the Slime oozes (technical term here) around on the inside of the tire. The way it works is when air hits the Slime, it hardens. So when you roll the tire, in theory, as the air wants to get out of the tire at the hole, air hits the Slime as it tries to get out and thus sealing the hole. Umm….you heard me say, in theory right? Well, We think our hole was just too big for the Slime to seal it properly. So most of it oozed out of the tire, through the hole. Live and learn. (If it had worked, you want to be sure to get the tire to a repair shop as Slime is not meant as a full repair.)

So plan two. David took a piece of rag with Slime on it and shoved it into the hole, plugging it in a sense. All we needed to do was limp to the next town, which was only a few miles up the road. Well, once we got some air into the tire and saw that it was holding pressure, that seemed to work long enough for us to get to the next town. That town was Valentine, Texas. Now Valentine, TX, as of the 2000 census, has a population of 187 people. And of course, this being Sunday, everything is shut down for the day and there is not another person in site. So we pull over into a parking area while David tries to patch the tire again. You see, at this point, we determined that we could not just change our tire too easily as the lug nuts were on there really tightly. 

Slime Brand Tire Patch Kit we used. (Different from the liquid)

 

 

As David was working on the second plug, low and behold, a Good Samaritan (GS) who lived in Valentine came along and asked if we needed help. David jokingly said, well, if you had a patch kit that would help a lot. The next few words the gentleman said were a mystery as his west Texas accent was undecipherable to us upstate New Yorkers. He then took off in his truck and we pondered what he had said while trying to work on plugging the hole. About 20 minutes later, the GS came back and low and behold…he had a tire patch kit! Exactly what we needed! After talking to him a little bit more, we discovered he did not have a patch kit but his neighbor did. So he drove off to his neighbors house to retrieve it. 

Tire Patched And Ready To Roll

Tire Patched And Ready To Roll

 

 

 

 

 

So after just a couple plugs, which took all of less than 10 minutes, we were back on the road with a fully functioning tire. Thanks to the GS that stopped to help out strangers in his small town. I’m sorry to say, we do not remember his, nor his wife’s name. We offered to buy the patch kit from his neighbor as we did use it and they would not take anything for it. They just wanted us to pay it forward. So nice and very much appreciated. The perfect solution to our problem. 

And before you say it, yes, we do have CoachNet Roadside Service. I actually was on the phone with them, in Valentine, TX, as the GS pulled up with the patch kit.

NOTICE: We just got off the phone with Costco where we purchased the tires last Sept 2016. We wanted to set a time to come in and have the tire checked and repaired properly if needed. We were told because we did a patch on the road, the tire warranty provided by Costco may be VOID. OUCH! So, while we will still carry a kit, we may think about it next time depending on where we are. We never would have thought that fixing a tire with a tire repair patch would void your warranty and we will find out for sure when we see them next week.

So back to the title of this post…How the TPMS system saved us from a worse situation. Well, that is totally true. If we did not have a TPMS system, air would have steadily leaked out of the tire without our knowledge until it was completely flat. We would have ended up dragging our Jeep down the road, on the rim and shredding the tire and then starting rim damage. It is way too easy to drag these tow vehicles down the road with the torque that is behind these giant diesel pushers. Sad to say, we have seen it happen. So a TPMS system will alert you to a leak or a high temp on your tire or what have you, before it becomes a bigger problem down the road. 

Here is our blog post and video on why it’s important to have a TPMS system. 

And the lesson that we learned was, no matter how seasoned an RVer that you are (we’ve been traveling since 2008), there is always something to learn. We learned that we were not as prepared as we thought/hoped we were. We need to carry a patch kit no matter where we are and let’s face it, they’re cheap enough to always have one. Also be sure you carry a small air compressor to put air back in the tire. (In this case, seeing we had the coach, we used the air system from the coach.) Leave both the patch kit and compressor in the tow car so you have it. After all, you never know when something may take place be it when the car is being towed, or you are driving it.. But rest assured, it is there for when you do need it. But ALWAYS, ALWAYS, be sure you have a good TPMS system!!!  We use the EEZTire TPMS from EEZ RV Products

 

Professional RV Wash and Waxing

Our Tiffin Allegro Bus at Sunset

Ok, ok, we get asked some of the same questions all the time. These questions we are kind of proud to be asked.  Questions such as…”How do you keep your coach looking like it does.”, “Is that new?”, “What do you use for wax?”, and “How do you wash your coach?” So in the past we had made a video on how we wash the coach and that can be found on this page, however there is a secret to how we keep the coach looking so nice that goes beyond washing it. That is, we have it professionally waxed at least once if not twice a year. 

Now not all washers and waxing companies are created equal and we surely have had our issues with some right down to not using the proper items to clean the coach. So it is important to know some things and what to watch for when having your coach or RV detailed. The first rule is when you find someone that does it right, keep them! Go back to the area at least once a year as good help is very hard to find, but when you do, you know it. So that is why we have only two people that work on our coach other than us. That is Andrew of A.N.S. Detailing and Dustin of Tiffin Motorhomes. 

A.N.S. Detailing

Andrew has been doing this for some time and is not only the owner of the company, but has personally trained his excellent employees to do the work as he would, and more importantly, as it should be done. As a coach owner himself, he more understands the needs and what needs to be done. (IMHO) They do not just wash and wax coaches and RV’s from Prevost on down, but also exotic  cars some of which cost more than a coach. He also works directly with the Meguiar’s company even training with them as well as training for them. So all in all, you can see why we trust him to work on our home. He can be found in the Fountain Hills area of Arizona during the winter and Spearfish, SD area in the summer. 

Dustin Working on Coach (Camera shy)

Dustin works for Tiffin Motorhomes as a painter in the service department. He has worked not only in the build plant doing paint work, but really shines when he works by himself or with a teammate under his guidance. Seeing we had special work done paint wise on our coach, Dustin is the one I ask for and choose to only work with, as he understands the needs of this particular coach. So along with that, he is the only other one that is able to wax it when work has been done. I trust his work as he takes pride in making something look factory new again. He is polite, funny, and just seems to care. Not that others are not the same for we have worked with various people at Tiffin of course, but in the case of paint…he is my go to guy.

Washing using the right brushes for the right areas.

So, back to washing and waxing. Of course we made a video on it which talks about the items to use, how to use them, and what to look out for when having your coach or RV washed and waxed. But in a nutshell, Only Lambswool for washing with poll head or Lambswool Mitt on the paint areas, use Boars Hair Brush Head (which is actually soft and not cheep!) for items like the roof, slide toppers, and slide topper casings, more or less anything that does not have paint. And the most important item….Deionized Water for rinsing!!! The use of Deionized Water allows for your coach or RV to dry almost spot free thus not needing you to dry it, which can actually make for fine “spider” scratches. Some of you may know, we carry with us CR Spotless Water Deionizer unit to use when we rinse. HINT…Based on where you may be, try NOT to wash your coach if it is windy and there is dust in the air as that will just collect in the water drops and make for spots. As far as what to use for soap. If you do not use a foam canon (you will see one in the video) then using baby shampoo and 1/4 cup vinegar does wonders. Just remember, it is the suds that clean…So you want a lot of suds. 

Our Current Wax of Choice.

For the waxing we use Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax which is applied via a random orbital buffer. I carry with me a Black & Decker WP900 unit. The wax is then removed by hand using very soft micro fiber cloths like the AmazonBasic Microfiber Cleaning Cloths which I buy in 25 packs.  Why so many? Well that is another tip…when removing wax be sure to adjust the cloth often and even change cloths or you will not only be removing wax, but also have the chance at leaving wax build up from the wax coming back off the cloth. 

So that’s our secret, we use a professional when it comes to the waxing of our coach.  Of course before you can wax it, you need to wash it and let it dry.  I surely could wax it ourselves, after all, we do wash it. But overall, well, I hate waxing so I hire it out, but only to someone I can trust and would do it like I would.

UPDATE: Our friends at CR Spotless once again liked our writeup and has offered our readers 10% off there purchase!  Use Coupon Code OOB15 (it is good to go for all water systems, wands, replacement hardware but is not applicable to sale items or the resin exchange.)

RV Windshield Repair For $10.00!

Rain-X Windshield Repair Kit

You read the title right…RV Windshield Repair for $10.00! (Prices vary) No, I am not kidding and it is not all that hard. In fact with the Rain-X Windshield Rain Kit that you can get from Amazon, you will be prepared to stop a rock chip and small spider crack from spreading to the point the windshield needs to be replaced. 

Not a lot of people seem to know about these kits. In fact when I was making the below video, we had 4 people stop and ask what I was doing. When I told them, each of them replied they did not know such a thing was available.

Sure you can call a windshield repair guy to come take care of it. But what if you are not in a area that they will be able to get to you any time soon. You run the chance of that currently small rock hit becoming a full size windshield crack that now requires the windshield to be replaced.

It happened to us. We had a rock hit and called to get it repaired. They could not get to us that day and by the next morning due to the cold, we work up to that rock hit now being a full size crack. We then needed the entire windshield replaced. See blog post here.

Chip that turned into full crack.

 

So having a chip repair kit on-board could make all the difference and it really is not all that hard to use. However, there is one thing you really need to know. Once you use the kit, if it does not turn out well, a chip repair guy can not then come in and fix it. This is because the resin that is used would now be blocking the path for his resin to get into the crack. I will say however, I have personally repaired this current windshield four times now and a one other time it was done by a professional. All four of my repairs actually came out better then his. (Maybe I am just lucky.)

So, without going on and on, we made a video talking about the kit and showing an actual repair we did on our windshield. The things we do for our readers.  It was quite hard chipping the glass just right in order to make the video for you. (Kidding!!!!!!)  

Crack Before

Crack After!

Kit Used Click Here: Rain-X Windshield Rain Kit

Electronic Black and Gray Dump Valves!

Electronic Dump Valves installed!

Electronic Dump Valves installed!

Ok, yes, you read that right. Electric Gray and Black Dump valves. No I am not kidding. No I have not lost my mind. (Well, then again, that depends on whom you may ask.) We installed electric dump valves and wished we had done it sooner.

I know you are thinking all kinds of things from “This guy has too much time on his hands” or “Who the heck would do that!” to “Ok, now he has really lost it.” Some of you might even have thought it all the way through and said…”I would never! What if the dump tube was knocked out of place?!?!?”

Yup, I was also in that same boat. Or should I say coach? I had thought the same things for sure, even the last one for sure! But then I thought back and asked myself, have I ever found the hose disconnected when I went out to dump? Thinking back, I can think of maybe one time…ok…maybe two.  But that was only after we had work done on the coach like it was being washed. Also, we can look out the window when it comes time to dump to see if anything is amiss. 

So why did we do it? Simple. We keep our gray tank closed all the time so we can get the big “FLUSH” when we open the value and all the suction pulls things out. Because of this, we would be going outside every other day or so to dump the gray tank. We figured, heck, we can see the levels, we can see the hose, why not just dump from the inside and not have to go out in the rain or the cold? Seeing we also have a seasonal site, where no one is ever over by the hose area, we are pretty sure it will always be in place. Even more so as we are using a positive seal of a rubber donut.

Drain Master Pro System

Drain Master Pro System

So in any case, we installed the Drain Master Pro-Series System with two keypads. You may remember the name as we installed the BEST waste hose system we have ever found, the Waster Master Cam Lock Drain Hose that we did a full post on with a video. Like the hose system, it is more expensive than other valve products that you may find. (I found two others in research.) However these have a 5 year warranty which means they are really built well.  

The system could not have been easier to put in. You remove your current valves and insert the new ones. It is just like putting in replacement manual valves. So it is easy, but of course it smells. In our case, for power we tapped into the water hose power reel power supply. It was right there and even had twist caps for the connection, so it was as easy as untwisting the cap, add the wire, and twist the cap back on. Same for the ground wire. So the outside install was really no issue and took me about one hour. The hardest part was cutting the metal to put in the switches. Thank goodness for the Dremel tool. 

Then we needed to run the wires to the inside, after all, that was the entire point. The good news in our part was that the wires for the thermostats, etc that are in the wall, went right down into the wet bay area. So it was just a matter of putting a fish tape down the hole, grabbing it and attaching the wires to it and pulling it back. The switch control wires then just plug into the switch plate and the valves. (Each valve can accept two switches.) We put the inside switches up higher so you could not bump them and they are also right above where we see our tank reading, thus making it very convenient. 

I also took the time to install a power switch. I did this, for I found the switches to be very sensitive to the press and I wanted to be sure that when we travel, I could turn off the power to the system. So when I put away the hose, or put it out, I just turn on or off the switch. 

Also, if/when we sell the coach, we can take the system with us by just swapping out the valves with standard valves again. Sure there will be two holes from the switches, but that is not our issue at that point and we could just cover it with duct tape. This really is one of those things that we wish we had done sooner, as funny as that may sound. And remember, I DID consider the hose being knocked out issue, I concluded it had not been an issue in the past and seeing we look out the window to verify, we feel fine about it.  The only real issue is if the parks sewer tube gets blocked, but that is where the positive seal of the rubber donut can help. Also, I do go out and do a tank rinse from time to time as I do not have a controller for that. ;)

And you know, seeing we have CoachProxy the dumping is now automated! Yup! You read that right. I no longer need to dump the tanks! You see, CoachProxy sends out a text alert when say the gray tank is at 75%. Well seeing that Brenda gets the text also, she then walks over to the switch and dumps the tank.  See, fully automated. After all, I said “I” no longer need to…not that someone did not need to. :) (Love you Babe.)

Click Images for Larger View.

Old dump valves.

Old dump valves.

Wires come from inside coach.

Wires come from inside coach.

Wires run to the inside of the coach

Wires run to the inside of the coach

Cutting out the mount point inside.

Cutting out the mount point inside.

Installed dump valves

Installed dump valves

Electronic Dump Valves installed!

Electronic Dump Valves installed!

Dump Switches with Power Switch

Dump Switches with Power Switch

Inside Finished Install.

Inside Finished Install.

BTW… Here is a short video by RV Travel interviewing Doug Swarts of Drain Master on why it is important to keep the gray tanks closed.

Motorhome Engine Compartment Fire Suppression System

coachfire1As you may know, but if you do not here you go, one of the larger causes of coach fires is the engine. You would think in this day and age that engines would not be such an issue. After all, our cars are not just starting on fire out of nowhere for the most part. But for some reason, looking over photos and videos on-line of coach and bus fires, it sure does seem that the fires start in the rear engine compartment.

The biggest cause of this is the high-pressure fuel lines that can rupture or leak and then you have fuel coming out at a high rate of speed that can come out as a vapor. If that hits the heat of the exhaust system that could be currently purging the emissions system, poof! Fire erupts and in an RV or coach WILL spread VERY quickly.

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Foam Fire Suppression System

So we have done a few fire tips here in the past like Adding Smoke Detectors to the Cargo Bay, Suggest using FOAM extinguishers, and sadly, an RV fire that where we helped save a dog. So with all that in mind, I have wanted for a long time to add a automatic foam fire suppression system to the coach. Why now? Well we did just have a high pressure relief value go bad (no leak thankfully) and that got us thinking of the high pressure fuel line leak we DID have with our old coach. Engine lights lit up that there was an issue. So we pulled over and was shocked to discover the entire engine covered in fuel to the point that even the tow car was wet with fuel past the windshield! So again… why now? Well, because I was reminded of it from our friends Jim and Beverly.

What had stopped me in the past was I was told that there was not enough room in the compartment to put in a system as it could go off based on the engine heat, seeing that there is not a lot of room. (Yeah, no kidding that there is no room,) In fact, when we first got this coach we did have it looked at by a guy in the RV industry that sells these systems. He had the installer he uses come over and take a look when we were at the FMCA Indio Rally. He said it would be very hard to do.

Well, after it was put back into my mind I thought… Hummm… What’s so hard? After some research into the various systems, I was NOT concerned over them going off due to engine heat, as the heads need to reach 286 degrees to deploy. 286 degrees is A LOT of heat to the point where you really would need a flame to make that happen in an area that has moving air. So, in other words, an actual fire in the compartment.

So I set out to make an easy install of it so that others could also do it if they wanted. Now understand, this is how I did in for our 2014 Tiffin Allegro Bus 45LP. However if you own a 2013 or newer Phaeton or Allegro Bus, there is a good chance the mounting would be the same. There is also a good chance that it would be an easy install for other coaches as well.

Now I say easy.  Buy that I mean, I in no way wanted to mount the heads in a way that would require me to remove the engine hatch to get to it and then work upside down dropping things along the way. So I needed a plan, a simple plan and so I came up with one after looking it over.

12" C Channel with angle bracket for mounting.

12″ C Channel with angle bracket for mounting.

I have NO IDEA why someone has not come up with this idea before. If they had, I surely have not seen it and even the installer, who does these all the time, did not even think of it. That being, a simple aluminum C channel or angle to make a mount that could hold the head and fasten into the back end of the coach. Based on how the coach rear engine compartment is laid out, I only needed the supports to be about 10 or 11 inches long.  As such, not a lot of “lever” force to worry about. And the heads are very light. Very.  So again, we are not talking about a lot of weight.

 

So here you have it. With some parts from a Lowes or Home Depot, you too can install a fire suppression system for that “just in case” moment that may never happen but you would be glad you had one if it ever did.

First we needed to mount the tank and on the Allegro Bus it has the PERFECT spot.

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Mark fasten point

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Properly Secure!

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Ready for canister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then setup the foam canister with the needed line connections.

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Connections Installed

Get to mounting it. This can be tricky.

Get to mounting it.

Mounted Canister ready!

Mounted Canister ready!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now with the 286-degree heads attached to the mounting bracket you made, it is as easy as connecting the lines to the heads, and sliding it back into place. Once you check and recheck the position, mount it to the back wall.

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Passenger side 1/2 way down engine showing mount.

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Passenger side 1/2 way down engine.

Driver Side

Driver Side 1/2 way down engine.

Full mounted and hooked up!!!

Full mounted and hooked up!!!

There are also smaller systems but for these larger coach engines, you surely want the 4 liter dual head. There are smaller ones for like the generator and even one for the battery compartment that uses Halon.

Now remember, mileage will greatly very as to how you may install one if you so choose for your coach. This is in no way a how to that will cover every coach. It is meant as a way to show you a way you maybe could mount the heads that would surely make it much easier to install if you can use a slide back bracket.

Now have we gone overboard doing this? I would have to think that some of you will say “Yup you have!”. So sure, this might be over the top to install such a system. But considering we did have a cracked high pressure fuel line that could have ended badly, and then on this coach a high pressure relief valve fail, to us $500 is something that makes us feel better. And the way that I installed it, it would be easy to remove and put into another coach when/if that time comes.

So do with this information, as you will. It was not meant to scare you. It was meant to show you that such systems do exist. And get this…you can purchase it off Amazon!

Amazon:

Fire Fight Products – SS300-R4-Double Head 4 Liter Foam (For Engine area)

Fire Fight Products – SS30-90-CAG 90 1lbs Halon – (For Battery compartment)

I did a quick video talking about it…

Black and Gray Tanks and Waste Master Install

Our Wet Bay in our 45LP Allegro Bus

Our Wet Bay in our 45LP Allegro Bus – Before Upgrade

Well, it is now time to talk about a dirty subject…Gray and Black Tanks! “Oh what joy!” Yea, I know! I am super excited about it also. (hummmm….)

Now many people asked about this and this usually means they are new to RVing and just do not really know. We have all been at that point of not knowing how this should be done and seeing we get asked at least three times a month, well, we are over due at making a post and a video that we can point people to. But this also gave me a great chance to put in a new sewer hose system that uses a totally different fitting that does not leak, with a MUCH more industrial hose that would take a lot to hurt it. It’s called the Waste Master. Waste Master was designed and tested for years by Drain Master and then it was sold to LCI as they had a much larger distribution network. (Thus the like names) However the Drain Master company is still involved. (Ok, that was more than you needed to know, but thought I would mention it as you may find it on either site and the names are, well, the same but different.)

So, black and gray tanks. I will make this quick and easy as their really is not much to understanding the use of the tanks. (Ok, after writing the blog post it was not a quick post after all. Who knew their was so much to write on the topic?) Now I KNOW that people WILL HAVE AN OPINION on this. But this is how WE do it and the logic as to why we do it the way we do. And after all, we are the ones being asked. :) But of course, please feel free to comment and help others.

The “Black” tank is used to store your digestive waste. This comes from the thought that the waste is much darker in color. I guess it could have been called the “brown” tank seeing the “Gray” tank is used to store used water such as sinks and showers and as such the way it actually looks is gray when it comes out.  But oh well that is the way it is. (Guessing that maybe early on the tanks themselves were actually black and gray in color and so it stuck. Today they are usually the same color…black.)

RULE: Dump black tank first and then the gray tank right after it so it will flush out the tube. So what this also means is that if you are one to leave the gray tank open all the time…BE SURE to close the gray tank so you can build up liquid in it of at least 30% before you dump the black tank. You NEED to flush out the tube after you dump the black tank. So, when black gets to about 50%, close the gray tank and by the time you are needing to dump the black, you will have enough gray water for the tube flush out.

BLACK TANK – Leave this CLOSED all the time until it is time to empty it. “But Dave, I have full hookups and so I am connected to a sewer.” Well great! But leave it closed! “But why Dave?” Well, your “solid” waste has no way of being able to flow out of the tank without being pulled out by all the liquid waste and flush water that is allowed to build up when you have it closed. So if you leave the tank open, your solid waste would just go “Plunk” down into the tank and would just stay there while the flush water and “#1” would just run out. (That is until the outgoing opening gets plugged from to much solid build up then you are in for some bad times.) So leaving it closed allows for all the flush water and “#1” to build up and up and up. You dump the tank when it gets to be above 70% (Give or take.)  This way you would have built up enough liquids that when you open the tank it would create a “whoosh” and a suction effect that would then pull the solids out with it.

Then if your RV has a tank rinse, you turn that on when the meter gets down to about 20% left and let it run some. This will help to knock things down the walls and also help to push some of the solids towards the opening. After a few minutes I then close the black tank and let the rinse run some to put some liquid into the tank to start it off.  Again, I do not want solids to just go “plunk” into the tank and stick there. Having liquid already in the tank will help with it not sticking so it can be pulled out.

GRAY TANK – Ok, this is the touchy one. I think we can all agree that the black tank stays closed until needed to dump for the reason stated. But the Gray Tank can go either way…open or closed when hooked up to a sewer line. So what is one to do?  Well, like the black tank, the gray tank can also have solids in it from rinsing plates etc.  But what is worse, the grease or oils that can and do go down the drain no matter how you may try not to. They can and will build up on the side walls and even the bottom of the tank making a “mucky paste” of ick!

Icky muck build up from Gary Tank!

Icky muck build up from Gary Tank! (Click to see larger Image if you dare.)

To prove this in the video you will see that I added a clear drain extension and left the gray tank OPEN for a month. You will see that over time an oil and grease sludge built up on the side of the clear tube that the gray tank was on. So what this means is if you leave the tank open all the time, you WILL get a build up in your tank as these will stick to the sides and grow in thickness. If however you leave it closed, then just like the black tank, you will then be able to have a lot of it pulled out when dumped at about 70% (give or take) as most will be floating on top of the water and thus be pulled out.

Now that is not to say that you can not leave the gray tank open, and a lot of people do. But that does mean you should be using something like Happy Campers Holding Tank Treatment to help treat the tank to dissolve it the best you can. We do this when we travel by having at least 50% in the gray tank and adding Happy Campers to it when we travel. As we drive it will slosh around and when we arrive, we will then dump the tank, thus clearing it out the best we can. We do try to wait at least 8 hours (say 4 hours of driving and then another 4 hours. Or better yet, letting it sit overnight after the drive and then dumping in the morning. (Gray tank only…If doing it on the black tank, dump right away as it will all be mixed up thus not having time to skink to the bottom.)

So…Do we leave ours open or closed? Well, that changes for us. If we know we will be doing laundry all day we will open the tank and thus we will not have a quick build up of gray water.  However, for the most part, we keep the gray closed and open as needed. Yes, of course you then tend to need to dump the tank more often then just when the black is full. This is one reason in the future I will be adding electronic dump valves so we can do it right from our bathroom. :)

“So Dave, why now make this post?”  That is because I just got a new hose system that needed to be installed and thought I would do it all at the same time.  Tank talk and tube talk.

RhinoFlex

RhinoFlex – IMHO

You see, I have grown frustrated with the darn hoses because the one I used to use, the RhinoFlex by Camco, has gotten really bad in manufacturing IMHO. I went through two of them in three months because the hoses would split at the spine. In the past I had used them for years without issue. Then we bought the new coach and I wanted a nice new hose. Well it seems that they changed the plastic or something and I had two bad experiences due to cracks. So then I looked for another solution and I found the gray Viper hose by Valterra that was looking to be great! Well not so fast. While I like it a lot better than the RhinoFlex, I did end up getting a hole in it that I needed to seal with Emergency Tape and I did not like the fact it would not stay in place as the rubbery tube will not stay coiled when used. As such, even if you are 5 feet from the sewer, all of the 20 feet of hose will be out and uncoiled.

waste-master

Waste Master

I then came across the Waste Master hose system. After being stung to many times, I was fearful of the price as I hated to spend more only to have more expensive issues. Also, it was different. And by that, I mean that it does not use the bayonet locks that are on almost all RV’s, it uses a CAM lock system. Unlike the bayonet locks that seem to be used ONLY in the RV industry for liquid. CAM locks are used across the world as a secure, leak free, easy to use hose linkage system. Ever see a fuel tanker truck hooking up to unload fuel to a gas station tank? If so, you had seen CAM locks in use. They are used industry wide from fire trucks to tankers and even fueling jets. So why is it that the RV industry choose long ago to use a bayonet flitting vs a proven positive locking system for dumping waste? NO CLUE! I can only guess to make after market products that are only used for RV’s, thus being able to make more income.  HOWEVER, they still could have used a system that THE ENTIRE WORLD uses just as easy and still made their own hoses etc.

waste-master-hose

 

So…After researching and actually talking to the guy that came up with the CAM lock hose system for RV use, I was willing to modify our coach to use CAM locks and thus allowing me to use an industrial, patented, drainage hose!  (Do you know how hard it is to patent a hose? Lets just say it is as hard as one would think, a hose is a hose is a hose. Nope.)

Cutting off tab with hacksaw blade.

Cutting off tab with hacksaw blade.

But when I say modify the coach it may sound worse than it is. It actually takes under 10 minutes to do and can be done by anyone. (Well, almost.  I asked Brenda to and she said no.) It just involved cutting off the four tabs that the bayonet uses on the bottom of the “Y” pipe and then glueing on the new CAM fitting to the end of the “Y” pipe.  POOF!  New industrial fitting that uses a hose that seems to really be something that would take a lot, and I mean A LOT, to hurt. Also when you have it in place where you want it…It says in place. It will not uncoil like the gray hose did.

I did mentioned the higher price of the system. However what I did not mention is I did spend more in three months on replacement hoses than the system costed me. So, in theory, this should be the last hose system I should ever have to buy.  Also, when we change coaches some day, I will simply buy a new “Y” pipe and replace the one I put the CAM fitting on thus allowing me to take my totally awesome new waste drainage system with me. (Well, as totally awesome as sewer waste goes.)

TIP: If you choose to also go with the Waste Master system, be sure to get the “Back to Bayonet Adaptor” also. Why? Say you are dry camping somewhere and they offer pump out service, then they will likely come with a bayonet fitting to attached to your RV. (Because that is what they would expect you would have of course.)  So you then can pop in the adaptor and have the correct fitting so you can then dump. You can also get a 20 foot extension hose for those times when you just can’t reach.

New CAM Lock Fitting Installed!!!

New CAM Lock Fitting Installed!!!

 

After using this new system for a short time I will already go on record to say, I truly think that this is the best waste draining system hands down! From the correct type fitting, IMHO, to the totally great industrial hose, right on down to the “business” end having a shut off.

Attn RV Industry: Please be so kind to switch to a proven system that just works and does not leak. And by that I mean going to a CAM lock fitting that is simple to use, does not bind up, and does not leak.

 

 

 

So I made a video.  (Of course) In the video I talk about the the tank usage, then go on to talk about hoses which gets me to the Waste Master, and then I do the install of the Waste Master and dump our tanks. Seeing the entire thing is 35 minutes long, in the beginning of the video I tell the starting time of each section. As such, you can jump to the part that interests you.  Enjoy our waste.