Tips For Tanks

First Time RVers
For this update, we are going to start with information for the First time RVer. First, lets get prepared with needed items: Disposable gloves, and a quality 3” drain hose. A white hose for your fresh water connection and a colored hose for your rinser & other needs. It’s worth the expense to have a clear see through drain hose adapter to see when your drain and rinse water is clean.

1. You are now ready to hook up your hoses and treat your black tank. First, it’s a good idea to pre-charge the tank with a few gallons of water with your rinser if you have one. Otherwise, you can do it when adding the treatment. This extra water will wet the bottom of the tank so the waste can spread out and start to break down instead of being exposed to the air.

2. Directions for Treatment: Fill your toilet with approximately 1 gallon (full bowl) of water, then sprinkle & stir one scoop of Happy Campers and IMMEDIATELY flush. For hot climates and tanks over 40 gallons, repeat the above and then add two more gallons of water. IMPORTANT: Never add more than one scoop to approximately 1 gallon of water. Simply adding more water will improve your tank functions.

3. Caution: NEVER leave the black valve open The liquid will drain away leaving you with a solid buildup in your tank that can be a costly repair job. 4. Keep the black tank valve closed until the tank is at least 2/3 full. (Dumping the tank when it is less than 2/3 full will not allow the tank to empty properly). Always drain your black tank first. After dumping is a good time to rinse the tank with the sprayer if your RV has one. If not, you can use a tank wand designed for cleaning and flushing the tank.

5. For Those That Sit: If you end up with an Odor after sitting a long time. The bacterial brigade likes oxygen and after sitting still in the same spot for some time there isn’t enough shaking going on to keep the oxygen distributed though the holding tanks. Result: the bacterial fellows are unhappy, leaving the job half done. It helps to flush more often. Solution if this happens: Fill up the tank, then dump it. Now nearly fill the tank, add at least a half cup of baking soda, and let the whole thing percolate for a couple of days, dump the tank and add Happy Campers per instructions.

6. You don’t need to use RV tissue with Happy Campers. The internet has some tests that will give you some brands that are much nicer to use and work very well in holding tanks. Some that are rated high and reasonably priced are Scott, Quilted Northern and Angel Soft. Not convinced? Take a square of what you want to try or compare, put it in a glass with water and see how long it takes to break up. Tissue should dissolve in 5 minutes.

7. Porti Potti’s & Cassettes: A simple way that works. Take a salt shaker or spice bottle, punch or drill about ten 1/8” holes in the cap. Fill with Happy Campers. When using toilet sprinkle waste and flush. This will work very well. Odor free and liquefies waste. Recirculating Toilets: If needed, contact us for help.


1. You do not need to treat this tank every time you dump, but if your gray tank gets an odor the bad stuff usually grows from the top of the tank down. If this happens, you need to treat it with happy Campers (two or three scoops should do it) . Easiest way to treat the odor is to sprinkle and stir 2 or 3 scoops into a large bucket until well dissolved and pour down kitchen sink. Then finish filling tank and let sit over night. If you are moving right away you can do the same, even better by filling the tank to approximately 2/3 full for agitation while traveling and rinsing it when arriving at your next destination.

2. We recommend you treat the gray tank every third time you dump. For normal treatment, fill sink with approximately one gallon of water. Sprinkle & stir ONE scoop of Happy Campers and immediately drain sink.

3. Grease: If you have a build up of grease in the tank, put 2 to 3oz. of Original Blue Dawn (dish soap) in the tank to solve this problem.

4. NOTE: Never use antibacterial soap or disinfectant cleaners in your tanks because they will stop the action needed to keep your tanks clean and fresh smelling. Also some large dosages of medications can kill the bacteria after they pass though your body.

5. You can leave your gray tank valve open if you wish. Just realize that most RV parks are now designed to vent up and though your roof vent. It is best to close the gray valve in enough time before you plan to dump so you can use the gray water to flush out your drain hose.

Holding Tank Do’s and Don’ts

1. Never put Happy Campers in a toilet or sink without lots of water. With very little water it is powerful enough to become as hard as cement. If you goof and do it, just be patient, add lots of water (hot water works faster) and it will dissolve so you can flush or drain sink. At that point it will always stay fully dissolved in water.

2. Never put anything in the black tank except water, body waste, toilet tissue and treatment. Nothing else.

3. Always add additional water with #2 business. Use moderation when using toilet tissue.

4. Traveling with a few gallons of water in both tanks will help keep them clean.

5. Never use bleach or home remedies. They can severely damage valves, seals and gaskets.

6. Do not mix different brands or types of treatments. This will most likely make both non-effective.

7. Some toilet tissues have chemicals that can imbalance the tanks.

8. Are your vents clear? Its amazing what can build homes in vents.

9. Anyone on board a vegetarian? If so, expect to have some solids seen when dumping. It's called insoluble fiber.

10. If storing your RV long term in a warm enough climate, it is best to leave some water in your tanks. The moisture will prevent hardening of any materials left on the tank walls. If you are in a colder area, we have the solution for you next.

11. Once or twice a year, we get a call from a customer that they now have some odor in their RV. Here is how we fix it. First we have them put 1 oz. of Happy Campers in a small plastic sandwich bag and add 1oz. of water. Hold it in the palm of their hand for 30 seconds, It will get quite warm. We now know the product is fine and there is a bug in the tank that has to be killed. 

12. Sturvites: You may have heard the word. It’s a crystal like rock. In 14 years of selling Happy Campers, we have not heard even one customer complain of sturvites in their tanks. Our motor home is 21 years old, we have had it 11 years. We hired a plumber with a line camera to look inside our black tank and it was clean. No sturvite or crystal.

No we didn’t forget sensors. They get tissue hung on them, they get corroded or have other problems. There are a few things that can help you keep them working:

1. Rinsing your tanks after draining is a big help.

2. Once in a while, drive to your next destination with around a 1/2 tank of liquid for agitation.

3. There are businesses that have a high pressure system that will clean your tanks for around $200.00. This takes about 45 minutes per tank. It’s expensive but they do a very good job of cleaning your tanks. It’s the best chance of your sensors working. We had it done 7 years ago and our sensors are still working.


NOTE: Your fresh water tank. The internet has a lot of information for you. Our insurance company will not let us give you suggestions when you might internally get a product that is not safe. Let it be known that we cannot cover all your questions and problems here. If you don’t find the answers here feel free to email or call us and we will do our best to help you. You can also find a lot of information on the internet about the care of your holding tanks.

People often ask… What is Happy Campers?
There are nine trace elements and two heavy elements that make up a highly concentrated blend of minerals and micronutrients. In layman terms, it is the good bacteria doing away with bad bacteria to eliminate odor and accelerate the natural decomposition of the waste. It has the ability to work longer and stay odor free in over 100° temperatures. All of this and it is still friendly to all holding tank systems!

We hope this has been a help to you. If you have questions that we can help, feel free to contact us.