Promoting the longevity of portable toilets and handwash units in addition to service vehicles relies heavily upon proper care and maintenance. Here are number of resources to keep your equipment in top condition for years to come.
General Restroom Trailer Maintenance Tips & Videos
Cleaning – The entire trailer can be cleaned with general household cleaners. Tar and grease on the outside of the trailer should be cleaned off using mineral spirits. To clean the tank, use a high pressure sprayer. Spray will not harm tank interior.
Short Term Storage – Properly maintaining the trailer between rentals will increase the life of the trailer and prevent unwanted odors. Before discussing the proper methods of storage, always remember to pump the waste and remove the fresh water from your restroom trailer before transporting.
When the trailer returns from an event clean the inside as you would a bathroom at home, with standard household cleaners, towels and a broom or mop depending on floor condition. Wipe down all surfaces making sure the interior is clean and dry.
It is vitally important to clean and prep your waste tank for storage. For Satellite Suites trailers we recommend flushing the tank with fresh water. There is a 4” port located on the back of the trailer through which a high pressure hose or pressure washer can be inserted to spray out the tank. Because the tank is made from polyethylene, a pressure washer will not harm the inside of the tank. Remember to level the trailer before cleaning the tank to insure proper drainage.
When flushing is complete leave about 1” of fresh water in the tank and add Safe-T-Fresh™ QuickScents™ Bio packets. The packets can be placed in the tank through the toilets. Use one packet per toilet. It is important to use the Bio formula because it is the only deodorizer that will break down solids, the source of tank odor. Safe T Fresh™ QuickScents Bio packets are available from any of your Satellite representatives or by calling 1-877-764-7297.
After cleaning the trailer’s interior and tank, be sure there is water in the toilets and urinals. Water acts as a vapor barrier between the cabin and the tank and will keep any odors out of the cabin. The sinks feature waterless p-traps and do not need water to act as a vapor barrier.
Other steps for proper storage include making sure all doors are locked and sealed to prevent rain, snow, or bugs from entering the trailer. With the Satellite Suites trailer the roof vents can remain open in mild weather to allow fresh air to circulate (Maxx Air covers keep the rain out). Make sure all breakers are turned off and that all steps and handrails have been returned to their locked travel position.
Following these basic steps will ensure a long, low-maintenance life for your restroom trailer.
Towing – When towing the restroom trailer it is required that the waste and fresh water tank be pumped and drained to prevent structural damage or unsafe driving conditions. The stairs and hand rails need to be secured in place as well.
When connecting the trailer to a tow vehicle, attach the safety chains and breakaway cable. Then, connect the 7-Pin electrical cord to the vehicle. Notice that the coupler has an open/close pin system. Put the pin in the “close” position to lock the trailer.
The breakaway cable will activate the trailer’s emergency brakes if it becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle. If needed, the breakaway switch and brakes can be tested at any time to verify the system is functioning properly.
For safety, the break-away cable will activate the trailer’s emergency brakes if it becomes disconnected from the tow vehicle. The break away switch and brakes can be tested at any time to verify the system is functioning properly.
Steps – The fold-down steps on all trailers are designed to expand and retract quickly. To see how simple the steps are to operate, please refer to the video or photos.
Water Hook-Up – Attach a ¾ inch hose to the inlet for filling fresh water tank or accessing city water. A built in regulator maintains the water pressure between 40-60 psi, the optimum amount for operating the trailer’s water system. There is a water pressure gauge in the service area for monitoring the pressure. If the incoming water pressure exceeds 100 psi, reduce the pressure at the original source.
An inline shut-off valve is used for switching from the fresh water tank to city water as needed. An inline shut-off valve is used for switching from the fresh water tank to city water as needed. There is an in-line shut off valve to drain fresh water tank.
Electrical Hook-Up – The electrical system is a simple design. Trailers can be operated with as few as one to two dedicated 20 amp circuits. If there is an arctic package installed, the trailer operates using four dedicated, 20 amp circuits.
There is a 12-volt, Group 24 battery located on the tongue of the trailer that can be used to operate the basic functions of the trailer. Those functions include the interior and exterior lights, and fan. The length of time the battery system will function depends on the number of guest using the trailer. The potential range is approximately 1-12 hours. The 12-volt switch is located in the service area.
Leveling – Leveling the trailers is done by use of telescoping jacks mounted to the back and front of the trailer, depending on the model. To see the full operation of the jacks, please view the video.
As temperatures fall below freezing your Satellite Suites trailer will need to be winterized, unless it is in operation and equipped with the Arctic Package (see accessories). All water must be removed from the trailer or be treated with RV Antifreeze (propylene glycol). RV Antifreeze is environmentally safe and therefore the only antifreeze recommended for winterizing the trailer.
Failing to follow the winterization process instructions below will likely result in costly repairs to the trailer.
There are two methods to winterize your trailer. One method is to use compressed air and a minimal amount of RV Antifreeze. The other method is to pump RV Antifreeze throughout your entire water/plumbing system.
Winterizing with Compressed Air – To use this method you will need an air compressor and air hose with a ¾ inch treaded hose fitting at the end to connect to the water intake valve on the trailer. If your air hose does not have a ¾ inch threaded fitting on the end, remove one from the end of a garden hose and attach it with a hose clamp. An operator should run a small amount of RV antifreeze through his pump(s), since even running dry still leaves some water inside the plumbing and tanks.
To begin winterizing your trailer, drain the trailer’s fresh water tank, water heater and water pump. There is a drain on both the fresh water tank and water heater. NOTE: Some trailers do not have water heaters and therefore, do not need servicing. Next, run the water pump until it is dry.
The system is now ready to be cleared using compressed air. Start by connecting the air compressor to the water intake valve on the side of your trailer. Next, open the Fill Valve on the freshwater tank. Turn on the compressed air and clear the line. Close the Fill Valve when finished.
Next, open the City Fill Valve and turn on the compressed air. With the compressed air on, begin opening each of the toilet and water fixtures in the trailer, beginning with the one furthest away from the air supply and working back towards the air source.
Flush each toilet and urinal until there is only air escaping. Turn off the air compressor when toilets and urinals are clear.
Next, make sure the ball valve on the toilet is closed and add a few ounces of RV Antifreeze. For the urinals, pour in 16 ounces of RV Antifreeze.
The trailer’s water system is now clear and ready for storage.
Winterizing using RV Antifreeze – To winterize using this method you will need an on-board water pump or external 12 volt pump along with a clear antifreeze supply hose.
For trailers with a water heater, use the water heater drain and empty the unit. Now, open the bypass valve. This prevents antifreeze from flowing into the water heater.
The next step is to use the clear hose and connect it to the intake of the water pump. Once complete, put the end of the clear hose into a gallon of RV Antifreeze. Turn on the pump to begin pumping antifreeze into the system.
Starting at the fixture furthest from the water pump, open the fixture and run until only pure antifreeze is visible. Do this for each toilet, sink and urinal.
Also, if you are using an on-board pump to distribute the antifreeze, be sure to open the City Fill Valve and External Shut-Off Valve at the City Water Connection. Run until pure antifreeze is visible.