In Motorhome Magazine: Keep It Clean!

Keep It Clean article in MotorHome Magazine July 2014

Article by Emily & Mark Fagan
Motorhome Magazine July 2014

The July, 2014, issue of Motorhome Magazine is featuring our article about RV sanitation systems and RV dump station procedures called, “Keep It Clean!”

This article first appeared in Trailer Life Magazine, and the good folks at Good Sam Club liked it so much they decided to customize it a little for their MotorHome readers and publish it in that magazine as well.

RV sanitation system maintenance and dump station procedures are necessary evils that are part of the fabulous RV lifestyle, and this article strives to present the more important pointers and tips we have learned along the way.

As full-time boondockers, we visit the RV dump every seven to ten days in our travels. However, for those RVers who rarely visit RV dump stations (preferring RV park sewer and water hookups instead), these tips and procedures are equally applicable.

I could probably write several chapters of a book on the whole topic of RV plumbing and holding tank and toilet maintenance, so a few things were left out of the article, including RV holding tank treatment products and the rising enthusiasm among some RVers for composting toilets.

To fill the gap, I wrote extensively about both of these topics in my post Dirty Little Secrets from the RV Dump.

MotorHome Magazine is an excellent magazine not just for owners of Class A’s, B’s and C’s, but for owners of trailers too, as we are all in the same boat — er, rolling home! Each month they cover not only technical tips and in-depth technical articles like this one, but also inspiring destination feature stories as well.

I am really excited that our article was selected for publication in this popular magazine. It is available on many newsstands and at RV and camping supply stores as well as online.

*** UPDATE and ADDITION !!! ***

A very astute MotorHome Magazine reader, Jim Harris, has brought up an important point about valve positions when using sewer hookups at RV parks and campgrounds.

As stated in my article Keep It Clean, when you have sewer hookups for a period of time, it is advisable to keep the gray tank valve open and the black tank valve closed.  This allows the gray tank to drain completely so that yucky “gray tank smell” doesn’t come up through the kitchen and bathroom sinks as the tank fills.  It also prevents the solids in the black tank from building up and drying out and becoming difficult to dislodge, because all the black tank liquids are kept in the tank with the solids.

However, a day or two prior to leaving, you should close the gray tank valve and let the gray tank fill up with 10 to 20 gallons of gray water.  Just before putting the sewer hose away for travel, empty the black tank and then empty the gray tank.  By doing this, when the gray tank empties, it will flush any remnants of black water that might be sitting in the RV’s flush pipe or sewer hose as a result of emptying the black tank.  Rinse out the ends of the sewer hose, and stow it with confidence that it is about as clean on the inside as it can be.

If you are traveling a lot and doing a series of one or two night stays with sewer hookups, keep both tanks closed and empty them in this same manner prior to leaving each morning.

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