Mod #56: Tornado Holding Tank Rinser

Mod #56: Tornado Holding Tank Rinser

Submitted on: 09/28/08

     Category: featured, plumbing
Mod Rating: 12345

(77 ratings)

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Mod Description:

This mod was contributed by ModMyRV member babblescriber.

Ever wake up at 3am in a cold sweat wondering if your holding tanks are clean? Probably not but installing a holding tank rinser will ensure this never happens to you. This mod will give you peace of mind so that the next time you use your toilet or sink after a long storage period, no stinky odors will gag you out of your RV.

Mod Difficulty: 

Installation of the Tornado tank rinser is straightforward but there are a few things to consider. The instructions say to mount the Tornado on the end of the tank opposite the tank outlet about 3/4 up from the bottom of the tank. This may not be possible depending on how your tank is mounted. If this is the case, an alternate location would be on the side of the tank as close to the end of the tank as possible. Also be sure that you have emptied the tank completely before proceeding. otherwise, you’ll have a nice stinky mess on your hands.

Once you locate the position to install the Tornado, clean around the area so that after you drill the mounting hole, the sealant used between the tank and the Tornado will adhere properly. Mark the center of the mounting location with the template provided and with a 1 1/8″ hole saw, carefully drill through the tank taking care to not drop the plastic removed in to the tank. If you do, you may, after installing the Tornado, have to fill the tank completely and flush the tank of the plastic.

Next, apply a bead of silicone sealant around the hole and insert the Tornado in to the hole. Secure the Tornado to the tank using the self-tapping screws provided. Wipe off the excess sealant (if any) for a clean look. Now you get to take a break for about 24 hours so the silicone sealant can cure. This is very important since you don’t want the flange to move at all while drying. Leakage can occur if you try to complete the installation before the sealant has dried.

Now that it’s the next day, you can finish up by connecting the provided hose to the rinser using the provided fitting and hose clamp. Don’t overtighten the clamp as this could cause tearing of the clear hose and possible leakage. Route the plastic hose to a convenient location near the dump valves. Use tie-wraps to secure the hose so it doesn’t hang down. Using the L-bracket provided, secure the water inlet to the frame or flooring. An alternative way to secure the L-bracket is to use a 4″ hose clamp and mount the bracket to the dump valve tube. Installation is now complete.

To operate, simply attach an ordinary garden hose to the the water inlet and turn on the water. You will hear a whirring noise from the tank. This is normal as the Tornado spins under water pressure so that it sprays everywhere inside of the tank. Be sure to check for leaks while the system is in use. At the dump station, allow the the tank to empty for a few seconds before turning on the water supply to the Tornado. This will help the sprayer to get some of the gunk off the top of the tank. Let the rinser run for a minute or so after the tank is empty to ensure complete cleaning. Happy dumping!

TipYou can also fit your gray water tank with a Tornado rinser. Perform the same steps as above and when it comes time to attach the water supply hose to the water inlet, use a “Y” fitting with shutoff valves instead so you can rinse either tank independently, or both at the same time.

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
Tornado Rotary Tank Rinser Kit

General Reference
How to Empty Your RV Holding Tanks
How to Manage Water Usage in Your RV

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20 Comments For This Mod

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  1. Capn Courage

    A tank rinser is one thing that no RV should be without, it is so much easier than dragging a hose into the trailer to use a wand. When I installed my Quickie Flush units I added quick connects to the hose connection, the quick connects make it very simple to connect your hose to the flush units. We are on a seasonal site and my hose and all attachments have the quick connects, it would be real simple to make up a short hose with regular garden hose connection on one end and a quick connect on the other if your using dump stations.


  2. babblescriber

    That’s a great idea! I’m going to modify my installation to use the quick disconnects. Do you have any pictures of your quick disconnects installed? Maybe you could post them in the forum since I can’t see any way to post a picture in a comment. Thanks for the cool tip.

  3. ModMyRV

    If you know the URL to the picture, you can put the link in the comment like this:×190/tornado-tank-rinser-parts-1-330×190.jpg

    Just copy the image link URL and paste it here. When you click on the link, the image will appear in the browser.

  4. Bob Vaughn

    I have wondered if you could connect your rinse hose to your water heater in your home and run hot water thru your tanks would it clean the really stubborn stuff off the walls and the sensors….Especially soap scum in the bathroom and kitchen tanks??

  5. ModMyRV

    You probably could but you would want to ensure that the water supply hose from the rinser inlet is rated for high temperatures. You usually don’t have hot water at the dump station where you normally would use the rinser so cold water is generally used. To be sure, just replace the rinser supply tubing with PEX tubing and you will be good to go.

  6. cccale

    I inspected the underside of our RV today and found that it has pannels covering the entire thing. It appears they’re fastened from the top. Does anyone have some resources on cleanly removing these so I can access the tanks?

  7. ModMyRV

    cccale, a picture is worth a thousand words. Do you have one we can look at? You can post a link here in the comments section if you like. Or visit the forums and post in the “Mods Wanted” section.

  8. tvman44

    I installed the competitor to Tornado. I installed a Quickie flush and really like it. The hardest part of the installation was removing and replacing the belly liner. I also put a quick connect on the end of the hose.

  9. dmzempr

    I installed our tornado back when we first got the Jayco 29A. One small issue was the location. I didn’t have a nice 5 inch flat piece of tank to use. I managed with what they send. Never had a problem. Luv the feature!

  10. Denise in Ark

    This has been a godsend. Since putting in this tank rinser, we have never ONCE had a smell coming from the tank, even when it’s full. We used to battle smell several times each summer.

    Adapting the GEO method just a little bit (we stay in place for 3-6 mos at a time) I now put a box of baking soda in the clean tank with 5 or so gallons of fresh water. I also add about a 1/2 cup of just any dish soap - whatever is in the house. We use a water softener, so the water going in has already been softened.

    No more toxic chemical, .50 per cleaning to use the baking soda (and we’re thinking of buying baking soda in bulk and if we do it will be even cheaper.) Best of all, no more smell. When temps were triple digit in BAkersfield, CA and we empty the tank about once a week when it is full, no smell. YAY!

  11. Travis

    I did that one. Put one in the black and grey tanks. I used a garden hose and good hose clamps instead of the ones in the kit. I also installed a chrome city water connection in the skirt of my TT and bought an adapter from the garden hose end to the back of the city water connection. Its easy to get to now and has a nice look. Well worth the time and money.

  12. eashbaugh

    I did this one because I was having trouble with solids building up below the toilet. I would have to use the wand to push it out of the way and flush the tank. I cleaned the tank thourly I thought before I did the mod. After I installed it, I ran it for a couple of minutes and it broke loose some solids that must have been there for years from a previous owner. I had tried the ice in the tank, spray wand, etc, but this works the best. Definately worth while on the black water tank. I haven’t done it on the gray tank yet. Haven’t had any trouble there.

  13. Andy Baird

    I installed a Tornado tank rinser a couple of years ago, just as described here. It worked fairly well for about a year, but then the flow rate seemed to gradually drop. Finally it stopped working at all–apparently it’s clogged. I use grit filters on my hose fittings, but perhaps some crud got through anyway… or maybe it built up calcification due to the hard water here in the southwest. At any rate, two years later the Tornado rinser is useless, and I’m back to using a Camco HydroFlush fitting to backwash my tank when I dump.

    Someday when I get around to it, I’ll pull off the Tornado fitting and cut off its twirly bit, leaving just a straight nozzle. My feeling is that the Tornado is probably too clever for its own good. If I had it to do over, I’d choose a less expensive rinser with a fixed, straight nozzle that’s less likely to clog or jam.

  14. trommlertak

    This mod is absolutely great. After thinking for several months about putting any sort of hole in my black water tank, I installed the tank tornado in about an hour. (once I’d assembled the tools and bought the silicon seal) The next time I dumped the tanks it as soooo easy to flush the tank it was wonderful. No fuss, no mess of dealing with hoses through the window and wands! just connect the hose and let it whirrrr for a minute or so. I wish I’d done it much sooner!! Next I’ll install quick connects.

  15. garrettkjr

    Fair warning for novice mechanics…I just installed two Tornados in my TT. I could see it being done in an hour on some trailers, but mine was a headache. The drain for my black tank isn’t on the end. It’s on the long side, close to the end. So I put two of them in to make sure everything was pushed toward the corner where the drain is located. The plastic (arctic package) cover is easy enough to get down, but the rigid gas line and sewer lines limited how far it would come down. That left very little space to get to one rinser. The other one (on the short end of the rectangle) is in a spot that’s too tight for a drill, even a right angle drill. I had to use my Dremel with the Flex Shaft attachment to carve out the hole. A right angle attachment for the Dremel is smaller and would have also worked, but I don’t have one.

  16. Larryect

    I should have done this years ago. It has certainly simplified rinsing my tanks.

  17. Wolfwalker

    I performed this mod a few weeks ago and a week ago I used the f’ver. Well drained the tank and was excited to try it out…Well to my disappointment, the fitting the hose is clamped to that you screw into the rinser on the tank leaked like no tomorrow! Ok, whatever I will replace..everything was sounding/working great and then the thing sounded like it just quit and after about 10 minutes of kinking the garden hose, it finally started whirring again…Probably my luck that it was a defective model or something…

  18. wrvond

    A factory rep for Coachmen told me that they have quit installing black tank flushes because of the high volume of warranty claims. Hard water can clog the holes of the spray head, rendering it inoperable. I’m thinking that putting a vinegar filled garden hose attachment (such as used for lawn fertilizer) in line once a year or so should be sufficient to combat this. Another potential issue is freezing. Most people don’t realize that the tube doesn’t drain and needs to be winterized just like the rest of their plumbing. I don’t know if the aftermarket kit has a check valve built in, but even if it does, I really like the idea of a manual valve installed to prevent backflow.

  19. corsairgunner

    i had to install mine really close to the top because of how my tank sits between the frame rails. i installed it upside down with the spacer so it would spread better

  20. curbmaster

    I’m going into my second summer with the Tornado in place and I love it. Thinking about switching out the small diameter connector and running a length of garden hose to make the connection to the tank and use a quick connect on the front side. Does anyone have any experience with this change? Thoughts?

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