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I'm not really sure where to put this but this seems to be the best place. My wife and I will be giving up our house soon and going full time for awhile. We still have jobs so we're not going to be hitting the open road. The 5er will be parked on my parents' property. I'll be running a 50 amp line to plug in and water isn't an issue. As for black water, they have a septic tank and there is a clean out right next to the pad where the trailer will be parked.
I guess what I'm looking for are suggestions on things to do and NOT do while we're there. Do I leave the black water line hooked up and just open the valves when I need to dump? What do I do to make sure that the brand new batteries (the current ones are bad so I'll be replacing them soon) stay good?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, feel free to ask me anything if I need to specify something in order to get better answers.
Cherie (and Chris) / Our blog: Technomadia.comFull time since 2006 as Gen-X 'technomads' (technology enabled nomads)
RV: 1961 GM 4106 Bus
Toad: 2009 MINI Cooper
The others are giving you good advice. Jo and I are in a similar situation in that we are stationary (for a few years to come) in Oklahoma City. I'm not sure where in Northern California you are, but here in OKC we have to worry about freezing water.
For our sewer, I wanted a PVC solution instead of a stinky-slinky because it will fully drain instead of having water collect in the little valleys of the slinky hose. We went with a product called EZE-Kleen, but one can buy some sewer fittings at an RV dealer and PVC pipe and an adapter or two from a hardware store and hook up a more permanent system.
You will definitely want to close the valves on the black tank until it is time to actually dump the tank. (I learned that lesson the hard way.) Also, don't trust the tank gauges, but look down into the commode bowl drain when flushing it and you might be able to see how close you are getting to full.
Our coach has a black tank flush system and I put in a clear plastic sewer section so that I could actually see what the material in the sewer pipe looks like. When flushing the black tank, I can easily tell when the water is more clear.
I even try to keep at least some water in the grey tank so that should some "stuff" get into the grey tank from the kitchen sink that it will have an opportunity to soften up from being immersed in water.
Terry and Jo2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB32008 Ford F450 2010 Ford F150 as Tag-along or Scout Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:Our photos on PhotobucketIgnoring the Barking Dogs - Terry's Blog
Thanks Terry. I did see that on your blog. I was wondering whether I needed the EZE Kleen system or if I could just use plumbing from Home Depot. Sounds like a combination of Camping World and Home Depot should do the trick.
I'm near Sacramento so we do get some freezing temperatures but not too extreme.
On a separate but related note, what are the drawbacks of putting in a regular residential toilet? Any issues when I start using it for camping again?
Technomadia wrote:Issues with using a residential toilet will be higher water usage and having water in the tank/bowl that can slosh around (and perhaps even out onto your floors) while in motion. - Cherie
Issues with using a residential toilet will be higher water usage and having water in the tank/bowl that can slosh around (and perhaps even out onto your floors) while in motion. - Cherie
Those were the two issues that I came up with as well. As for higher water usage, it wouldn't really be an issue on full hookups. The sloshing is an issue that I haven't solved yet.
The only issue with the higher water usage with a residential commode is that your black tank will fill faster. Also, when I flush our RV commode, I can look down into the tank and as the water hits the "pool" below, it gives me an idea of how full the tank is getting.
I do NOT trust the indicator lights for the levels in the tank. One "backup" of the black tank would probably see you removing that residential commode in a hurry. Stinky stuff inside the coach or in the underbelly is not a nice thought.
Just a thought.
Laurie & George Owen
www.owensontheroad.blogspot.com 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 Dually 2012 Keystone Montana 3700RL
RVing probably not a reality any more.It was a good time while it lasted.
2008 Monaco Diplomat pushed by 2007 Jeep @ Marysville, California
-- USAF Retired -- Full-timing since December 2007 - Part-Timing since July 2011http://travelingrvweather.blogspot.com/
To find your 12volt issue you need a clamp-on multi-meter ($100 or so), two people, and some kind of two-way radio/cell phone to talk to each other. You might also need a flashlight or two since you can't use your normal lights. Find the setting on the clamp-on meter for DC amps and clamp it to the battery cable so you are seeing the amp draw. I would test it by putting on some lights to make sure the amp reading goes up when they are turned on and down when they are turned off. Now one person watches the meter, a notebook and pen/pencil would be nice to write down values, and the other is at the fuse box, maybe with another notebook and pen/pencil to keep track of which fuse was pulled in order. Turn off everything you can and pull each fuse and see if the amps go down and by how much. You are looking for surprises. If you find a surprise you can explore further and might need professional help.
Bill Joyce, 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 Chevy EquinoxJournal at http://www.sacnoth.comFull-timing since July 2003