Thursday, February 20, 2014

Black Tank Flush

We have been pretty satisfied with our SeeLevel II tank monitoring system.  Except when it doesn't work.
Over the last 7 or 8 months we have been getting faulty readings.  I flush the tanks pretty well each time because I am thinking that some residue may be hanging on the inside of the tank.  And it reads "46" when I know it is empty and should read "0".

We have also put used dish water down the toilet at regular intervals in hopes that it may dislodge any remnants of stuff.  Sometimes it works--sometimes it doesn't.
Sometimes we put ice cubes down the toilet before we leave a campground and drive to the next destination.

But the fancy, push-a-button-and-get-the-tank-readings-machine --- isn't working like it is supposed to!

I asked around at Quartzsite and heard about a "Happy Camper" product but didn't know much about that.  Instead, I found the vendor at the RV tent that was selling the "See Level Tank Monitoring Systems" and asked what she recommends.

She asked a few questions and suggested we buy a couple of jars, one for an initial rinse and one for a second rinse a few weeks later.

Then we got our things organized for the clean-out:

I read and re-read the instructions.
Pam got the 5 gallon bucket and poured the cleaning agent into the bucket.
Mean while, I emptied the grey tank and emptied and rinsed the black tank.
Sadly, the black tank still registered 50% full.  (Which is the reason we are doing this exercise.)
While I was doing that, Pam finished filling and stirring the bucket.
Then with a smaller bucket, she put some down every drain:  the kitchen sink,
And the two bathroom sinks and the shower
Then the other half of the 5 gallon bucket went down the toilet.
We did all this before we departed Yuma.  We had a short drive to Gila Bend that day and during those couple of hours, the cleaning agent jostled and sloshed around the tanks.   When we got to our campground and got hooked up.  I emptied all the tanks again.  

Then I checked the readings on the See Level monitor and it read:
Would you look at that!  
But time will tell if it really worked.  So far it has been about two weeks and the gauges seem to be working correctly again and I haven't seen any false readings.  When I empty the tanks, they read 'zero'. 

At this point we are going to claim 'success' and keep watching the readings.  The lady at the booth at Quartzsite said she did her tanks a second time about a month later, but we figure we will save the second jar and not do it again for a while unless we get some faulty readings.

We saw the product for the first time at Quartzsite.  And then we saw it again at a Swap Meet setup in Yuma.  Probably the easiest way to get it is from
I wanted to pass along our results in case your tanks need a good clean out.  Other products may work just as well, but we recommend this product.  

Are there any others out there you would recommend?

That's all for now on the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!!  Until next time...


  1. I've read about some bloggers that put powdered Calgon & Dawn detergent in their tanks periodically to clean out the tank. Was that something you had tried? Glad to know this stuff works. We're picking up our new travel trailer tomorrow & it would be great to avoid clogged sensors altogether! Thanks for this information!

    1. I have heard about that also but have heard mixed results and have not tried it.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to share what looks like a good product. I'm going over to Amazon right now!

    Can't think of any products right off hand that I recommend, but I always post them on my blog when I find good stuff..... Oh yeah....Grip Stiks... They can also be found on Amazon.

  3. Thanks for sharing the info on cleaning tank and sensors. If lights get funky, I listen for toilet burb. Then I use the Geo method with lots of success.
    1 Cup each Calgon Liquid, Blue Dawn Dish Soap, Bleach. I pour all of this in bowl, add a little water, swish it around, then flush. With every dump, I back flush the tank using the built in backflush valve on RV.
    Other thing I do is use lots of water when flushing anything solid.

  4. My neighbor here is having problems with his SeaLevel II. I'm going to give him your blog post. I think John and Kathy Huggins - LivingtheRVDream have been using Happy Camper in their black tank for years.

  5. Hi Guys

    Glad you got that fancy gizo to work correctly again. Are you still at DMAFB? I have been out of country a while and now am checking blogs I read and the weather gizo says weather in Cocoa Beach which is where I just took out the trash and recycles today. I get friends from Alaska tomorrow and then off to the Keys where we were a few weeks ago.
    Always enjoy your blog, keep up the having fun in life.

  6. We've been using Happy Camper each time we dump for about a year now. I think it's the best stuff on the market and it definitely made our Sea Level start working right again! It also eliminates those nasty odors that sometimes crop up in really hot weather. Love the stuff! We buy the economy size thru Amazon.

  7. Ah ha! Something that really works as advertised. I have to get this and use it, my BT indicator has been out of commission for a while now. Nothing I've tried before has solved the problem.

  8. Thanks! We'll try that with our black tank which never reads correctly!

  9. Our black tank indicator has never worked since we got our Hiker...Den just knows we can go about 8 days max..then he drags the "honeywagon" out and everyone in the park hollers "We know where you're going!" lol

  10. My black tank gauge is doing the same thing so I'm happy to know about this product.

  11. We just use the Calgon and let it swish around when driving. Works like a charm. It is the Geo method others have told about. Also, if we have a "sticky" reading while he is using the flush out, I run water down the toilet and it seems to clear it up in no time.

  12. Sounds like your find will help alot of RVers.... Big Dude is a friend of mine --and I was going to tell him about this product--but realize that he has already visited here.

    Have a great weekend.