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Tips on draining holding tanks???


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The biggest "con" we have found in our Elite II is that it is difficult to fully drain the waste tanks.  Aside from jacking up the front of the trailer, are there any other tips for getting the black/grey tanks truly empty?  Some dump stations have a ramp to facilitate gravity dumping, but most we have found do not.

Our previous RV had a sewer macerator that pumped the tanks out rather than relying on gravity, so we didn't have to worry about how the RV was situated when dumping.  I wonder if Oliver has considered a macerator as a solution to this problem.  Is there any reason a pump wouldn't work in an Ollie?  Has anyone investigated this as a possible mod?  Could it be installed inside the rear bumper?

I believe most boats use a pump system for emptying tanks, but probably the pump is on the dockside, rather than on board. 

 

 

 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

1UP-USA Heavy-duty bike rack

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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We had a macerator. Actually,  two. And Paul rebuilt the first one, once or twice. 

They're great, til they're not. But, easy for us to add on, if you want one.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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1 hour ago, Ray and Susan Huff said:

The biggest "con" we have found in our Elite II is that it is difficult to fully drain the waste tanks.  Aside from jacking up the front of the trailer, are there any other tips for getting the black/grey tanks truly empty?  Some dump stations have a ramp to facilitate gravity dumping, but most we have found do not.

Our previous RV had a sewer macerator that pumped the tanks out rather than relying on gravity, so we didn't have to worry about how the RV was situated when dumping.  I wonder if Oliver has considered a macerator as a solution to this problem.  Is there any reason a pump wouldn't work in an Ollie?  Has anyone investigated this as a possible mod?  Could it be installed inside the rear bumper?

I believe most boats use a pump system for emptying tanks, but probably the pump is on the dockside, rather than on board. 

 

 

 

Are you saying that the inside display is always showing a percentage in the tanks and does not read zero?  They gray tank does drain slow, but ours does get to zero.  The black is fast and easy, dump, fill/dump, fill/dump and the dump water is clear and the gauge reads zero.  Elevating the front a bit does help.  Have you checked the operation of your gates?  Maybe they aren’t opening all the way?

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I think raising the front is a must; not excessively but just a bit higher. Then, second most important item for us is a clear elbow in the line so we can do the dump/flush/dump sequence until the water is clear.  For daily treatment, we use some calgon  and borax in the tanks.  Finally, it does take patience to make sure everything is drained. After the first couple of times, we have had no issues

David and Vicky | Burns, TN | 2020 LEII #686 | 2017 Ford F-250 4x4 6.2L
 

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2 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

Are you saying that the inside display is always showing a percentage in the tanks and does not read zero?  They gray tank does drain slow, but ours does get to zero.  The black is fast and easy, dump, fill/dump, fill/dump and the dump water is clear and the gauge reads zero.  Elevating the front a bit does help.  Have you checked the operation of your gates?  Maybe they aren’t opening all the way?

How does one check if the dump valves are opening all the way?

The grey display is usually around 15%.  Maybe we aren't patient enough.  Do you empty the black then the grey? 

Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

1UP-USA Heavy-duty bike rack

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

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Empty the black tank first, then the gray. This will allow the gray water to somewhat clean the hose after the black water has gone through it.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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We have not had any issues with emptying either of the tanks. As others have mentioned Ollie nose up and always black first and then gray for the soapy rinse. I don’t see a problem and really like the simplicity of the tank discharge design. 

Edited by Patriot

2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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I’m not sure the sensors on the tanks are all that accurate.. or consistent for that matter. Usually our gray tank will get to zero, but sometimes it reads 6%... even though it’s empty. Next time yours is “stuck” on 15%, raise the front of the camper.. see if more water comes out.. if not, 15% is actually zero. 
Try lowering the front end as well.. as counter intuitive as that may sound, it may help “burp” the system....  

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Mark & Deb..2020 Elite II..Dearie..Hull #685..2016 Tundra

 

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9 hours ago, Ray and Susan Huff said:

How does one check if the dump valves are opening all the way?

The grey display is usually around 15%.  Maybe we aren't patient enough.  Do you empty the black then the grey? 

Check under the dinette seat closest to the bathroom for the black valve.  The gray is under the bed near the pantry.  Just watch the gate when it is opened to see if it fully opens.

Yes, we always dump the black before the gray.  I do a couple of rinses until I get clear water flowing out.  Then do the gray.  While the gray is draining I’m unhooking the black flush hose and putting things away.  We usually get down to zero in both tanks.

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I always consider the digital readout for the tank levels to be more of a suggestion than an absolute value.  The gray and fresh water tanks are very long and flat, so any slight out-of-level with the trailer, front to back or side to side, will change the reading a lot, since the sensor is mounted in one corner of the tank.  And the sensors are affected by water hardness, soap residue, toilet paper debris, and in the case of the black tank, other "nasty stuff" that can affect the sensor and cause it to read inaccurately.     Follow the above recommendations of raising the tongue of the trailer a bit, empty the black tank first, then the gray.   And it helps if you install a clear elbow or connector section on drain hose so you can see when the flow stops.

I added these between each section of the drain hose. 


Camco Sewer Hose Adapter - Attaches to RV Outlet Connection , Extends connection for Easier Hookup- Transparent Adapter Allows You to View When Tank is Cleared - 3.5" (39562) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016V2JMBS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_NNAP7JSFTAYMD3C1KDVR?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Edited by FrankC
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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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2 hours ago, FrankC said:

 And the sensors are affected by water hardness, soap residue, toilet paper debris, and in the case of the black tank, other "nasty stuff" that can coat the sensor and cause it to read inaccurately.    

The Ollie sensors are not internal. They can possibly be affected by gunk inside, but the sensors themselves certainly do not have that issue.

For those of you who still use the black tank, if you think your sensor is acting flaky, dump a bag of ice cubes, not crushed ice, down the toilet when the tank is half full, immediately before you start towing. They will crash around inside, loosing all the deposits so they will go out the drain the next time. If you use the tank flush feature, this should not be necessary, maybe, perhaps. 

Do any of you also use a hand flush wand, from the top of the tank? Yuck. ☹️

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"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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44 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

The Ollie sensors are not internal. The can possibly be affected by gunk inside, but the sensors themselves certainly do not have that issue.

Thanks for the clarification John.   I should have read the manual more carefully.   Yeah, the sensors scan through the wall of the tank.  So they would only be affected by something clinging to the inside of the tank wall.    The manual politely calls it "sludge" buildup on the tank wall that will affect the sensor reading.  

Edited by FrankC

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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If you chose to use the "ice cubes in the black tank" for cleaning purposes, you should probably watch THIS VIDEO first.  You can fast forward to about 5:14 where the results of the test and/or recommendations are made for how to get the best results.

Bill

edit - Here is another VIDEO that discusses another long term potential issue with the black tank and another possible solution.

Edited by topgun2
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Camco Sewer Hose Adapter - Attaches to RV Outlet Connection , Extends connection for Easier Hookup- Transparent Adapter Allows You to View When Tank is Cleared - 3.5" (39562) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016V2JMBS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_NNAP7JSFTAYMD3C1KDVR?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I have seen in other forum threads a suggestion to have a elbow at the end of the hose at the dump site, whihc sounds like a great idea.

Has anyone found a clear elbow similiar to the Camco Sewer Hose Adapter to use (noted above) so you only have one special fitting?

2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4

 

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25 minutes ago, dewdev said:

Camco Sewer Hose Adapter - Attaches to RV Outlet Connection , Extends connection for Easier Hookup- Transparent Adapter Allows You to View When Tank is Cleared - 3.5" (39562) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016V2JMBS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_NNAP7JSFTAYMD3C1KDVR?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I have seen in other forum threads a suggestion to have a elbow at the end of the hose at the dump site, whihc sounds like a great idea.

Has anyone found a clear elbow similiar to the Camco Sewer Hose Adapter to use (noted above) so you only have one special fitting?

I have an extension like what is mentioned above.  I find it takes too much space in the bumper area and since we never disconnect our hose from the trailer it doesn’t make sense for us.  I do have a clear elbow that came with my Valterra hose that works well.  I have a backup Rhinoflex hose that attaches to the Valterra, they seem to use the universal connections.

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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2 hours ago, topgun2 said:

If you chose to use the "ice cubes in the black tank" for cleaning purposes, you should probably watch THIS VIDEO first.  You can fast forward to about 5:14 where the results of the test and/or recommendations are made for how to get the best results.

Bill

edit - Here is another VIDEO that discusses another long term potential issue with the black tank and another possible solution.

I prefer shaken ice cubes in my tank...not stirred!! 🤣 

Edited by Patriot
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2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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3 hours ago, topgun2 said:

If you chose to use the "ice cubes in the black tank" for cleaning purposes, you should probably watch THIS VIDEO first.  You can fast forward to about 5:14 where the results of the test and/or recommendations are made for how to get the best results.

LOL, I did not mention that you should wait long enough for everything to come back up to room temperature. On a hot day four hours would be enough. I kinda thought that was obvious. But maybe not..l..

John Davies

Spokane WA

"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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Rookie mistake and learning opportunity that hate to admit!!! 

The first time we dumped our tanks the gray tank reading was reading 15%.  I was not too surprised having read this forum.  So we jacked up the front of the trailer using the front jack.  This got our reading to 0.  We put away all of the hoses, removed my rubber gloves did a very quick, not very thorough walk around and got in the truck to leave.  We even commented how smooth the whole process went!! 

The truck started forward and I heard  terrible scrapping and grinding sound.  Of course there were campers now behind us to use the dump station.  I got out of the truck and we quickly realized I forgot to lower the Jack.  We got some advice from other campers but the bottom line was the jack shaft was bent beyond repair.  We ended up cutting the shaft off with a saw.  My wife contacted the Jack manufacturer directly and they express shipped a new Jack to our next campground.  Fortunately, I didn't damage the frame or fiberglass. The Jack arrived 2 days later.  Removing the old jack and installing the new one was pretty straight forward. But the whole thing was embarrassing and a PIA.  The trailer had to remain hooked up to the truck was installed so this did cost us some time site seeing in Savannah.  

The good news is I have the motor from the original Jack that has almost no use!!! I have a spare if needed..

So lesson learned!!!!  I share this along with the embarrassment in hope this helps someone else avoid the same mistake.  We were in a rural area and mobile techs get very slow and not in a hurry to help us out. Good idea to bring tools if you don't!

Now if at a dump station I will live with a 15% full tank for travel and after unhooking at a full service site raise the trailer when we are unhooked!!!!!

Dump away!!!!

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Ouch!  Sorry to hear about the jack accident.   We all have, or will, make a mistake like that at some point.  Glad you were able to get it repaired.  I have a very lengthy printed checklist of things to do before departing a campsite, but every so often I get over-confident and think “oh, I can skip the printed checklist and do it from memory”.   And when I do that I almost always forget at least one critical item.    

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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FWIW - I don't use the blank tank - composter - and it has always read 10%. One does need to consider front to back elevation when dumping - sometimes I have had to use the front jack to achieve the needed incline - though I am only dumping dirty H2O. I have adopted the  - walk around EVERY time I stop visual check - just to make sure I haven't done something stupid and it is ok to proceed. Leaving the steps down - is a repeat offense. Closing the bathroom door comes in second.

52 minutes ago, Mattnan said:

Rookie mistake and learning opportunity that hate to admit!!! 

 

We all make them - some more expensive than others. I am still looking for my tire monitor - the one I put away so I would not damage it or lose it while Ollie is in winter slumber!!!! 

RB

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

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Ditto on the steps down, and/or bathroom door not closed/latched mistakes. 

Edited by FrankC
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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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1 hour ago, FrankC said:

Ditto on the steps down, and/or bathroom door not closed/latched mistakes. 

And don't forget the grey tank valve in the bathroom . . . . if not closed (in), you will arrive at your next destination with a full shower pan.

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Ray and Susan Huff

Elite II Twin "Pearl" - Hull#699; delivered December 7, 2020

2013 F350 6.7l diesel Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

1UP-USA Heavy-duty bike rack

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed (sold)

AZARCAIDNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAsm.jpg

 

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