Saturday, June 10, 2023


RV Daily Tips Newsletter Issue 879

Issue 879 • April 9, 2018
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RVing Tip of the Day

Screaming meemies: Black water backflow!
By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Dear Go-Go Gurus:
My husband is a neat-freak. He can’t stand to think about the stuff that lives in our motorhome holding tanks, and thinks that he needs to flush the tanks clean as a whistle every time we get home from an RV trip. I say he’s nuts. How can I get him into therapy? —Bea Leegered
Dear Bea:
You could try wiring up his Walkman headset to the 50-amp campground outlet for a little electroshock therapy, but then again, 20-years-to-life is a long time to be away from your motorhome.
Seriously, lots of RVers like having a “Mr. Clean Approved” holding tank, but there is one thing that should be considered before you stick your garden hose anywhere you wouldn’t want to stick your lips: backflow.
Backflow happens when a fresh water system gets “cross connected” with a source of bad water – or other contaminant. For us as RVers, it’s as simple as a garden hose left in contact with contaminated water, hooked up to the hose bib. Under the right conditions, that water can come back UP the hose, into the hose bib, and into the fresh water lines of the house.
What are the “right conditions” that favor backflow? Let’s say you’re flushing out your holding tank. You have one of those neat “Hydro Flush” systems that let you hook a garden hose to your holding tank at the same time you have a dump hose hooked up. In the middle of your dump and flush operation, the local fire department cruises through your neighborhood, testing fire hydrants. They pull the caps off a nearby hydrant, crack the valve wide open, and blast water every which way. Unfortunately, this happens at the same time you’re flushing your tank, and the sudden draw down in water pressure allows your black water to pulse backwards up the garden hose and right into your house. The same thing could happen if your private water well pump system went on the blink when you’re flushing a tank.
Click here to order

What’s to prevent this from happening? If hubby would buy a commercial tank cleaning system device, chances are the outfit would include a simple backflow preventer to be installed between your hose bib and the garden hose. If a sudden loss of pressure were to set up a “perfect storm” for a backflow, the device would step in and stop the backward flow of fluids, protecting your household drinking water. But, oddly, not everyone sees the value of a backflow preventer. Maybe they consider it a nuisance and simply ignore it.
Ignore backflow at your peril. A mouthful of bacteria-laden water can more than ruin your whole day. But black water isn’t the only issue. Consider the harmful effects of pesticides (from using a garden hose sprayer), or automotive antifreeze (from flushing the radiator on the old bus). Backflow preventers are cheap, easy to use, and available at pretty much any hardware store. Use them and rest easier.

Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.

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Have an extra water heater drain plug on hand – just in case
Water heater got a plastic drain plug? For some strange reason, plastic and heat don’t always get along. Keeping a spare drain plug in your parts kit may save you a lot of frustration.

Take care of your shore power connector!
With electricity expert, Mike Sokol
Don’t let the male end of your shore power cordset get beat up in storage. A damaged shore power connector can overheat, lose the ground, or even drop the neutral bus with dire consequences. In the pro-sound world, our cable ends can cost thousands of dollars, and a broken connector can cause an entire show to shut down. We call these special cable ends “pigtails” and use a “pigbag” to protect them during storage and transport. You can do the same thing for your own shore power cables with a pigbag from Whirlwind. Get your own pigbag here. 

Better organization for a small RV refrigerator
Small RV refrigerator? Use a sharp kitchen knife to slice your “dozen egg box” lengthwise down the middle. Now you have two smaller “half dozen” boxes that fit into smaller areas of the reefer.

Should RV parks offer “No campfire” zones?

Waterless trap for your RV plumbing system
Make foul smelling odors a thing of the past!
Already used by major RV manufacturers, the revolutionary HepvO waterless trap is a fantastic alternative to a conventional ‘P’ trap and it won’t fail due to evaporation, movement, freezing or leakage. Its unique membrane prevents foul air from the grey water tank entering your RV and its in-line design helps create extra storage space! Learn more


We’ve mentioned it before, but we want to make sure you’ve joined our group and you’re [hopefully] joining us for our rally in May! Join our group and talk to us! Meet up with us! A social media site for RVers, we think it’s pretty cool.

NYPL Digital Collections
History buff? So are we. The New York Public Library offers 737,467 (and counting) digital items from its collections. Explore everything from old maps and photographs, to sheet music, to letters, to old posters. 

I originally bought BarkBox for my dog’s birthday (OK, yes, she’s spoiled) and then stuck with it. Each month you and your pup will receive a box (they’ll send it right to your campsite!) filled with toys, treats and gadgets for Fido to enjoy. Can’t go wrong with making your pup happy, right? 

Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from

fire extinguisherFire Extinguishing Aerosol, Two-pack
The First Alert Tundra Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray is easier to use and discharges 4 times longer than traditional fire extinguishers. With an aerosol nozzle and portable size, it’s suited for the kitchen, car, garage, boat or RV. The formula wipes away with a damp cloth & is biodegradable. Learn more or order.


Should you rotate your RV tires?
RV tire expert Roger Marble explains when you should rotate the tires on your RV. Some RVs require it more than others. Roger explains.

See all of our videos on our YouTube Channel.


Help your RV fridge cool down faster
Want to speed up the cooling process when you first turn on your RV refrigerator? If you have room in the sticks-and-bricks freezer, toss in two or three gallon milk jugs filled not quite to the top with water. When starting the RV fridge, stuff these “cold ones” in the warm refrigerator and it’ll cool faster. Put a rag underneath each to catch condensation.
Store the little-but-essential pieces of paper in one place
Papers, receipts, business cards swimming around in your rig? Find yourself a manila envelope, put the little bits inside, then stand the envelope up on end at the end of a handy cabinet.
Do you have a tip? Send it to diane (at) .

Full-timers: Need an RV Home Base?
Then you need Americas Mailbox!You’ll enjoy great tax advantages with your South Dakota “residency,” like no state income tax and low insurance rates (second lowest in the USA says the Insurance Information Institute). Many plans are available. View the video where RV Travel editor Chuck Woodbury talks with Americas Mailbox owner Don Humes. Or click here to learn more or enroll.

Join us: On RVillageFacebookTwitterYouTube.


On a rural road a state trooper pulled a farmer over and said, “Sir, did you know that your wife fell out of your truck several miles back?” “Thank God!” said the farmer. “I thought I had gone deaf.”

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RV Daily Tips Staff
Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Staff writer: Emily Woodbury. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Deanna Tolliver, Mike Sokol, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising coordinator: Gail Meyring.

ADVERTISE on and/or in this newsletter. Contact Gail Meyring at Gail(at) .

Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or this newsletter.

Mail us at 9792 Edmonds Way, #265, Edmonds, WA 98020.

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Tony King
5 years ago

You didn’t answer the question on if black tanks need to be clean as a whistle. I know my own answer and how I do it.

5 years ago

I agree with RV Grandma. Neither of us get enough SS to have to file taxes .

5 years ago

Don’t have to do taxes anymore – not enough income on SS.

Black tank question: agree, you never really answered it.

5 years ago

Instead of buy the $40 protector for your shore power coat go to Amazon or local hardware store and buy a $10 adapter.

Mike Sokol
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom

We also use Crown Royal bags for cable ends. But the WW Pigbag is more official looking.

5 years ago

Ref Tips of the day, I think that the point was missed in explaination. The reader was asking about her husband’s OCD in cleaning the black water tank. Although the backflow problem is a concern. The reader was asking if it was necessary in getting the black tank spotless just short of climbing in with a hazmat suit and a brush. Just my thoughts.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
5 years ago

I have been using Turbo Tax for the past 8 years. It takes me longer to gather the information than it does to go through the program to insert the information. You can either have Turbo Tax go step-by-step or you can pick and choose what areas to input your information. Pretty simple and a no-brainer.

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

I just thought it was an interesting question. “Inquiring minds want to know”.

Bill T.
5 years ago

Hi Chuck, not sure what preparing my income tax has to do with RV’ing? I think your survey questions are starting to stray away from their original intent.

5 years ago
Reply to  Bill T.

It shows me that RV’ers are prone to be better off than the average Joe, since they can afford professional help with their complex tax situations.

5 years ago
Reply to  Monty

Better Off??
There are many places that Professional help is FREE for Seniors.

5 years ago
Reply to  Jack

Those seniors probably do not own an RV.

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