B & R Camper Sales Blog

  • Published on Jan 21, 2019


    Before you RV, you must educate yourself on the RV tank system.  Otherwise, you could end up with a Black Tank DISASTER and that’s not something you want to have while you’re out camping.

    Fresh Water

    This one is simple, it’s where your fresh water is held. From your fresh water tank, it goes where it needs to from your water pump. This is also called “potable” water. Some people choose to continue to refill the fresh water tanks and use it from there even when they’re hooked up to city water.

    Gray Tank

    The gray tank is where your sink and shower water go.

    Black Tank

    You know the children’s book “Everybody Poops”?  Well in an RV, this goes into the Black Tank.

    Here are a few tips about RV Tanks:

    • Tank gauges inside the RV don’t always show an accurate reading. Residue can build up can cause the gauges to read full most of the time. You can tell for sure when the gray tank is full though because water will come up through the shower or another drain. When the black tank is full a bubble will show up when you flush the toilet.
    • How can you tell which lever is for which tank? Use a clear piece on your hose to tell if it’s clear water or brown, then you can mark the lever for future reference. In some RV models you are able to see the pipes leading up to the levers, this helps too. But as long as you have them labeled you should be able to tell the difference.
    • Always wear gloves when handling your hoses and tanks. You are dealing with waste, it’s not only gross to not wear gloves but it’s also unsanitary.
    • Don’t leave the black tank open at a campground because the liquids will drain out and the solids will become a poop pyramid. Let your black tank fill up to 2/3 or so before dumping. You want the weight and gravity to flush everything out properly. You may leave the gray tank open at the campground but make sure you time it so that it’s full when you dump your black tank to flush out the hose.
    • Make sure you use RV or Marine TP.
    • Use a separate water hose for cleaning out your tanks. Fresh water hoses are white, use a different color to make sure you never use the wrong one.
    • Pick up some tank chemicals which gets rid of odor and also breaks down the waste.
    • After you dump your tanks, refill both tanks with just enough water to fill the bottom of the tanks.


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