RV Black Tank Fail

Our 2015 Entegra Aspire has been relatively trouble free. That said, recently we came across a failure of our black tank system that resulted in us not only being unable to properly dump our tanks but also unable to close our black tank valve properly leaving us stranded until we fixed the issues.

It all started when we went to go dump our tanks as usual. We were luckily staying at a campground, not using a dump station so that gave us a workspace to investigate the issue. The issue started where I (Erik) went to dump and saw that the flow of waste (sorry, but its part of life for RV’ers!) was not flowing properly. Since we don’t have any kids, and use our macerating toilet pretty much exclusively we knew the changes were pretty slim that we had something in the tank that wasn’t suppose to be there (hello missing barbie doll? Kids and toilets are a funny topic i’m sure all of you parents out there can comment on!).

To compound the issue, our black tank valve wouldn’t close, so that pretty much told me that either the valve itself broke half open, or something was obstructing the valve from working properly.

After a few hours of trying to flush the tank with the obstruction present (my worst fears generally involve an open black tank valve with no sewer hose attached… yea you probably get the mental picture of what could happen there…) we got the tank fairly clean so I could do some investigating…

With my trusty coat hanger by my side i cautiously removed the sewer hose and began probing up into the valve. There was definitely something blocking the valve, it was black, round and not suppose to be there.

Like a dummy i went to grab it and pushed it back into the black tank. Oh no! Now i’m never going to find it and it will undoubtably rear its head again at the WORST possible time in the future!

OK, on to plan B… I closed the valve (with the obstruction pushed back into the tank it would now close again), filled the tank up with water and tried to do a flush of the system with 20+ gallons of water to try and push the obstruction out!

3 tries and success! The obstruction passed through the gate and landed in our clear elbow in the sewer hose where i could get to it! The video shows things a bit more clearly but i’m sure you get the picture.

So what was it? It was a piece of wood remnants from when the coach was built at Entegra. At some point during the build process, probably around when they were installing the toilets, a worker kicked the wood piece into the black tank.. Its possible it happened when cutting the hole for the toilet to connect to the black tank? Who knows, all we know is that it was an oversight during the build process that was missed during quality control.

Overall we have been extremely happy with our coach, this is the first major oversight we’ve found in it’s manufacture. Thinks happen, we understand, we were just glad we figured it out.

Stay tuned (subscribe here) for our video which is coming soon on our complete thoughts on Entegra Coach after living full time in ours for over 1 year.

See you on the road!



  1. BoxinTheCompass Says: July 25, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Hi Erik and Kala,

    Saw the Going RV show, congrats!

    Not that your not busy, but you will have to do a posting on the show taping and experience! Also more RV tech and Kala cooking episodes!
    Cant wait to see you guys out there on the road!

    Preston aka Boxin´

    • Hey Preston, yea definitely will share our experience filming, was tons of fun! Fun fact, if you watch the end of the show were we are drinking a glass of wine “celebrating” we are actually stuck in the mud! It had rained the night before and we took the advice of the producer to go into a campground we didn’t think was meant for a 48,000 pound rig. Needless to say we had about a 5 hour ordeal getting pulled out! Besides that we actually had a blast, the crew was great and we’ve staying in touch, great people! We’ll share more soon!

  2. Jim Sullivan Says: July 21, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Hey I saw you guys on Going RV last night. Was a great show and you two get along so well and were a lot of fun to watch. How long did it take for you to get used to driving that bus?

    • It took a while. I felt comfortable driving it in about 2 weeks but to be totally honest I didn’t start to completely forget we were driving it (meaning 100% comfortable) for about 6 months. When your house, office, car and motorcycle are on the line it’s a stressful ordeal, at least if you’re like me… paranoid about making mistakes that could put Kala & I in trouble. Nowadays we spend more time helping other folks learn than worrying about our own driving which is a refreshing change from when we first got started. Word of advice to anyone just starting out… probably not a good idea to start with a 45 footer. Thanks for checking in!

  3. Jim Sullivan Says: July 9, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I don’t own an RV yet but will hopefully be a class a owner within a year. I agree with you about the disposable vs reusable gloves however the reusable gloves are somewhat stronger. I just recently retired as a police officer and whenever I had to deal with bodily fluids I always “double-gloved” so if there was something that ripped the glove hopefully it would only rip the outer pair. It’s only inevitable that at some time there will be contact between the effluent and your hands so it is very important to protect yourself.

    • Jim, welcome to the RV club (or soon to be!). Thats great information. We use the blue diamond gloves from the auto parts store and for the most part i would say they are tough as necessary for working with a black tank hookup/disconnect. I frequently use them on when working on the jeep and am amazed at how strong they are compared to a standard non-textured latex glove. That said, safety first, i think a good pair of re-usables is awesome, i’m just too lazy to properly wash them and would be worried they would start to grow legs and walk away!. Looking forward to seeing you on the road within a year, hopefully we’ll touch base out there!

  4. Tom & Jodi Little Says: July 8, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Good thing you were able to trouble shoot the problem and find it. We are living with our Aniston washer hooked up possibly backwards. Everything we wash is in hot water! Like you we’re happy with our Monaco Dynasty (2015), but little things from the factory do seem to rear their heads. Scheduled to be back at factory repair mid August!

    • oh, no! reverse hookup no good! We’ll glad its “sort of” a minor issue. Cant wait to see you guys and checkout the coach. We are back on the road in October!

  5. Paul Green Says: July 8, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Erik, I don’t think this is all that uncommon. I’ve seen numerous reports of construction debris in blank and grey tanks. The most common story I’ve seen involves the “hole” that is cutout in the black tank for attaching the dump plumbing. They cut the opening with a 3″ hole saw and the cutout part is left behind in the tank accidentally.

    You would think that they would never allow that to happen but I’m guessing on the line things move quickly – too quickly – and missteps happen.

    • Thanks Paul, yes i agree! I hope that was the only think in there, there are certainly a lot of layers in the floor so i’ve got my fingers crossed that this was the only thing in there that shouldn’t have been! Thanks for checking in and see you on the road!

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