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Emptying Holding Tanks . . . . .


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I searched and did not find any posts regarding the process of emptying the waste storage tanks.  I've been watching the Oliver videos, especially those pertaining to delivery day.  The video, "Flushing the Grey and Black Tanks" is confusing and possibly erroneous. 

The procedure we used, with previous RVs, is to connect one end of the drain hose to the sewer outlet (the Oliver's being located in the bumper), the other to the dump station drain. We have always followed the SOP of opening the black valve to drain the black tank, followed by opening the grey valve to drain the grey; the grey water will thus help clean out the drain hose as well as giving an additional rinse to the black tank.  I'm assuming this is how the Oliver works as well.

One confusing item in the Oliver video is the labeling of the tank valves.  Logically, the rearmost valve would be for the black tank, the foremost to the grey.  At least that is how they were situated on our 3 previous RV's - a trailer, a 5th-wheel, and a small motorhome.  The valves on the Oliver are labeled, left to right, "Black" and "Grey" putting the grey in the rearmost position.  OK, I can live with that, simply read the labels. 

Next confusion:  During the video demonstration, the narration says, "To evacuate waste and grey water, simply pull the handles out.  We recommend draining the black tank first, then the grey tank.  The cleaner water from the grey tank will assist in flushing excess waste trapped in the drain hose.  Once draining is complete, push both handles in"  However, the video shows both valves closed.  Then only the grey valve is opened.  Did they leave out the step of opening the black valve first?  Shouldn't the black valve be open when the grey valve is opened?  Or do they drain through separate ports?  I thought the grey water flush travels through the black tank and evacuates through the same drain port. 

This certainly doesn't go along with the accompanying video, @ 56 seconds to 1min 11 sec, where it shows both valves closed, opening grey valve, closing grey valve.  Never are both valves open, nor do they ever show the black valve being open.  The video must be confusing so someone who has never dumped RV tanks.  

Please confirm the correct process of: connect one end of the drain hose to Oliver sewer outlet in the bumper, the other to the dump station drain; open black valve; once black tank is drained, open grey valve; when grey tank has drained, close both valves.  Disconnect the drain hose (before driving off!!!) and return to bumper storage.  Also, are the valves correctly labeled in the video - grey tank to the rear, black tank fore.  I suppose that makes sense, to logically move from left to right.

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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I haven‘t watched the video, will try to later.  Some comments:  once you hook up your hose to the connection in the bumper there is no need to unhook it when done.  Just cap the hose and stow it in the bumper.  Next dump you just pull it out, attach whatever you use to go into the ground drain (I use a 90 degree clear attachment) stick it in the hole and dump.

The black water gate is under the back dinette seat.  The gray water gate is under the street side bed, a good distance downstream from the black water gate.  Gray water joins the black pipe under the bed.  The cable for the black gate is quite long, the cable for the gray is much shorter.  As you look at the handles, black is on the left, gray is on the right.  I close the black before pulling the gray.

After I drain the black tank, I usually do two rinse cycles, filling the black to about 80% or so and then dumping.  On the second the water is clear.  Then I do gray.  Your gray water will rinse the pipe downstream from the gray gate but not the section upstream to the black gate.

It’s a pretty simple operation really.  I don’t think it is much different that other RV’s, except that the hose can stay connected.  I get lots of comments on that, folks wish their RV allowed them to keep the hose connected, saving steps of unhooking, capping both ends, then putting the hose into whatever storage solution they have.  Mike

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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2 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

I haven‘t watched the video, will try to later.  Some comments:  once you hook up your hose to the connection in the bumper there is no need to unhook it when done.  Just cap the hose and stow it in the bumper.  Next dump you just pull it out, attach whatever you use to go into the ground drain (I use a 90 degree clear attachment) stick it in the hole and dump.

The black water gate is under the back dinette seat.  The gray water gate is under the street side bed, a good distance downstream from the black water gate.  Gray water joins the black pipe under the bed.  The cable for the black gate is quite long, the cable for the gray is much shorter.  As you look at the handles, black is on the left, gray is on the right.  I close the black before pulling the gray.

After I drain the black tank, I usually do two rinse cycles, filling the black to about 80% or so and then dumping.  On the second the water is clear.  Then I do gray.  Your gray water will rinse the pipe downstream from the gray gate but not the section upstream to the black gate.

It’s a pretty simple operation really.  I don’t think it is much different that other RV’s, except that the hose can stay connected.  I get lots of comments on that, folks wish their RV allowed them to keep the hose connected, saving steps of unhooking, capping both ends, then putting the hose into whatever storage solution they have.  Mike

Thanks for the info.  This is different from our last RV where the black gate was downstream from the grey.  You could actually empty your grey tank into the black tank if necessary, though we never tried this.  Am I correct to assume you can drain the grey tank without draining the black first?  

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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23 minutes ago, mossemi said:

Adding to Mike's response.  This picture is from the 2017 owners manual.

Mossey

F6ECE2CE-462C-4C16-90A0-E91D0A07EEBB.thumb.png.1409815c3f835caf959567c4ff49cd2a.png

Thanks for sharing this.  This layout is much different than our previous RV's where the grey tank drained in to the black tank before exiting the sewer outlet.  On our Leisure Travel Van the black tank was rear/street side, the grey tank mid/street side.  Because if was not directly above the black tank, the toilet was a marine type macerator toilet.  

I assume the "no fuss flush" detail G is where you hook up a hose to flush the black tank.  The diagram makes it appear that connection is near the black tank at the front of the trailer.  Is that where you access it or is it actually in the utility center at the rear of the trailer?

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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2 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

I haven‘t watched the video, will try to later.  Some comments:  once you hook up your hose to the connection in the bumper there is no need to unhook it when done.  Just cap the hose and stow it in the bumper.  Next dump you just pull it out, attach whatever you use to go into the ground drain (I use a 90 degree clear attachment) stick it in the hole and dump.

Does the Oliver come with the 90 deg fitting for the sewer hose or do we have to provide one?  

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

Does the Oliver come with the 90 deg fitting for the sewer hose or do we have to provide one?  

It’s been a few years, but it seems that they did.  Most hose kits come with one and I think what was provided was an opaque 90 degree fitting.  I got a Valterra Dominator hose and it came with a clear 90 degree fitting.  What Oliver provided us was perfectly functional and I still have it for back up.  I like the Valterra because when you scrunch it up it stays scrunched up, much easier to store.  When you un-scrunch it to the length you need it stays that length.  Mike

Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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The grey valve should always be closed when opening the black valve, otherwise when you use the black water rinse feature, if you choose to do so, you can get some fecal stuff backed up into the grey tank. Not good. I personally feel bad about interconnecting the two systems at all, black waste should always remain fully separated from grey. But with Oliver’s two into one discharge design, they have to meet at the very end, in front of the outlet tube. Just try to keep them separated upstream from that.

If you are going to flush the black tank complete that before touching the grey handle.

My hull 218 did not come with a 90 degree adapter.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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50 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

The grey valve should always be closed when opening the black valve,

Agree with that. We always close the black, before opening the grey.

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1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

The grey valve should always be closed when opening the black valve, otherwise when you use the black water rinse feature, if you choose to do so, you can get some fecal stuff backed up into the grey tank. Not good. I personally feel bad about interconnecting the two systems at all, black waste should always remain fully separated from grey. But with Oliver’s two into one discharge design, they have to meet at the very end, in front of the outlet tube. Just try to keep them separated upstream from that.

If you are going to flush the black tank complete that before touching the grey handle.

My hull 218 did not come with a 90 degree adapter.

John Davies

Spokane WA

So you open the black valve with grey valve closed to empty black tank; close black valve then open grey valve to dump grey tank.  When that is done, close grey valve.  When we are camping for a few days, we usually wait until we are home to give the black tank a good flush.  If on the road for longer, we flush the black when dumping and others aren't waiting in line.  

This process will take some getting used to since the holding tanks are configured differently than we are used to.

Thanks 😁

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Change out the Valterra handles for stainless steel knobs. The Valterra handles were scratching the edge of the recessed box. And remove the stickers. Black forward, grey aft. Just like the tanks. 

62B01BD7-CE60-4532-BBCB-6AE7D4AC234C.thumb.jpeg.1b1fb4913a87a5d731b31fc8b03a7855.jpeg

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Bill and Martha

2018 LEII Hull 313

2019 Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax with a custom Turboencabulator modification 

 

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

Agree with that. We always close the black, before opening the grey.

We've done this in every rv, not just the Oliver.  At the least, it "cleans" the drain hose/stinky slinky.

With the union of grey and black to one pipe in the Oliver, it avoids unfortunate backup from black to grey. And possible odors .

Edited by SeaDawg

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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4 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

I assume the "no fuss flush" detail G is where you hook up a hose to flush the black tank.  The diagram makes it appear that connection is near the black tank at the front of the trailer.  Is that where you access it or is it actually in the utility center at the rear of the trailer?

The black tank flush hose connection is located in the area of the forward dinette seat at the bottom of the hull.
Mossey

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15 hours ago, mossemi said:

The black tank flush hose connection is located in the area of the forward dinette seat at the bottom of the hull.
Mossey

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Thanks!!  Makes sense that it would be near the black tank.  I'm getting used to the idea that the plumbing is different with front bathroom.  Having the bathroom in the front allows for a bigger room, while keeping the rest of the cabin open and spacious.  I don't understand why more trailers don't have this configuration - maybe cost?

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Another question regarding emptying tanks: I realize it is important that the front of the trailer be a bit higher than the rear. This can be done by using the tongue jack.  Is there another way, to avoid having to unhitch the trailer?  Or does this situation happen often enough to worry about it?

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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45 minutes ago, Susan Huff said:

Another question regarding emptying tanks: I realize it is important that the front of the trailer be a bit higher than the rear. This can be done by using the tongue jack.  Is there another way, to avoid having to unhitch the trailer?  Or does this situation happen often enough to worry about it?

I have raised the trailer without unhitching if it’s not too far off.  I have also unhitched from the ball but kept the Andersen attached.  When done, just lower back down, close the hitch and done.  I also use blocks under the jack to limit the distance the jack has to move to just a couple of inches.

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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5 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

I have raised the trailer without unhitching if it’s not too far off.  I have also unhitched from the ball but kept the Andersen attached.  When done, just lower back down, close the hitch and done.  I also use blocks under the jack to limit the distance the jack has to move to just a couple of inches.

Thanks . . . .  the trick of putting a block under the jack is great. . . . . I wouldn't have thought of that.

Do you just carry blocks of wood for jack pads?  We don't have specific jack pads.  Would Leggo leveling blocks work or do they need to have a flat surface?  We have plenty of wood from our sawmill ☺️

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin Hull# 699 - delivery December 7, 2020

2013 F350 3.2l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Let me see?  Wood blocks are basically free and the legos cost money.  That's a hard choice in that either will do the job.

I always carry three 6x6 wood blocks that are about 11 inches long.  These blocks just fit under the rear jacks on a fairly level surface and when used on their sides they are (obviously) just under 6 inches long thus giving an alternative for when that gap is under the 11 inches.

Bill

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19 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

This process will take some getting used to since the holding tanks are configured differently than we are used to.

The holding tanks seem, to me, to be configured the same way that most of the industry is. The one labeled black is for the black tank, and the one labled gray is for the gray tank. Whether it is on the left or right matters not. The one thing that one should never do is get complacent around any dump station. As Jud Clampet said that is no place to see "bubbling crude", but probably it has happened there.. It is not the place to be adding fresh water to your tanks, or have any fresh water hoses laying around. A lot of those faucets do NOT have backflow preventors on them either.  I have seen some untrained volunteers doing some strange things around there, so be careful and keep your eyes open. Also have seen a camper have her bare foot child standing on the dump drain, as she was rinsed off with the black tank rinse hose. Hopefully the " chunks" on the drain came off the child...

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9 minutes ago, Mainiac said:

Also have seen a camper have her bare foot child standing on the dump drain, as she was rinsed off with the black tank rinse hose. Hopefully the " chunks" on the drain came off the child...

That definitely falls into the category of TMI.😮

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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1 hour ago, Susan Huff said:

Thanks . . . .  the trick of putting a block under the jack is great. . . . . I wouldn't have thought of that.

Do you just carry blocks of wood for jack pads?  We don't have specific jack pads.  Would Leggo leveling blocks work or do they need to have a flat surface?  We have plenty of wood from our sawmill ☺️

Like Bill, I made my own blocks.  Mine are stacked pieces of pressure treated 2X6’s.  I drilled a couple of holes through them and added yellow nylon rope for handles.  I usually put one or more legos under them to raise them even more.  Here’s a picture:

 

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Mike and Carol | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram Rebel 4X4 5.7L Hemi

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Some dump stations make everything easy. Others, make it hard.

Probably important to remember that every dump doesn't need to be "perfect."

If you leave a gallon or two in either tank, it's not a crime.

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19 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

If you leave a gallon or two in either tank, it's not a crime

Actually leaving a gallon or two might be helpful. As the unit goes down the road the rolling splashing  liquid might help dislodge any solids. What we use for an additive (Eco-Save) actually recommends not adding until waste is present. It is a bio-digester. The cherry perfume leaves a pleasant aroma, as opposed to the alternative.

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24 minutes ago, Mainiac said:

leaving a gallon or two might be helpful. As the unit goes down the road the rolling splashing  liquid might help dislodge any solids. What we use for an additive (Eco-Save) actually recommends not adding until waste is present. It is a bio-digester. The cherry perfume leaves a pleasant aroma, as opposed to the alternative.

Yes. And then, you're not adding freshwater, just to activate the bio digester. 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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More importantly,  only dump the black with plenty of liquid, and fairly full. You don't want to create a "poop pyramid" by leaving the black valve open at full hookup sites, or dumping with only a quarter or half full tank. 

I know most of us know this. Adding for new campers. 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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