By Chris Dougherty
Editor’s note: Chris Dougherty is a certified RV technician. Here is a letter he received from a reader while he was serving as RVtravel.com’s technical editor.
I just purchased a 2010 36-foot Forest River Salem FLKB camp trailer. It’s been on the same site since it was purchased new, and the black and gray water tanks have been in the open position. From everything I am reading this a big NO-NO. I have purchased the necessary chemicals, I think, to start treating the tank properly. My question is, will this be enough to drain the tanks? It shows by the indicator lights that it is 2/3 full. Am I in for a big expense to clean it out? The trailer was VERY LIGHTLY used before I purchased it. In the past four years, I would say the previous owner used it perhaps six to ten weekends. —Chris
All is not lost, and it won’t cost you a fortune, hopefully. The key is to flush the tank out completely. I would fill the tank with water after adding at least a double dose of chemical like Odorlos or PurePower Blue. Let it sit for a few days while you’re gone from the coach. Get yourself a Camco Swivel Stik tank rinser and after the tank has emptied use this to flush the tank. Another device which can help if the black tank termination goes straight up into the black tank with no elbows is the Camco dual flush rinser which will shoot a jet up into the tank.
With it being a permanent, seasonal unit, there’s not a lot more you can do to clean the sensors. If this doesn’t work, there are aftermarket sensors with guards that prevent false readings, according to the manufacturer. They are made by Horst Dynamic and our friend Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, has recommended them.