It’s a dirty job, but it has to be done.

The dirty job that I am referring to is dumping the holding tanks of your camper, especially the black tank. It is one of those things that has to be done if you are going to camp in a RV. Of course if you have a lot of money, you could bring your personal valet with you and have him/her do it. Alternatively, perhaps you can convince your wife that it is one of the household jobs that she signed on to do when you married her. Ouch! I felt that slap. Well, maybe not! Someone has to do it and it is usually the Supreme Commander of the camper who ends up with the dirty job.

Not having camped in an RV before our first camper, I wasn’t really aware of the need to do something with the waste that is collected during a camping trip. I guess I figured that it just went somewhere like it does in the house. Therefore it was a bit of a surprise to me to realize that I had to dump the waste every several days while camping. However, having been a boy scout, I figured that I could deal with it. The brief education that we got when going over our first camper didn’t sink in as to the finer points of dumping the tanks. It takes a little old fashion experience and listening to others who have gone before you to get those finer points of a good dump (pun intended).

Dumping the tanks isn’t quite like Robin Williams experience in the movie “RV”. I doubt that any of us have ever had the erupting sewerage that he had during his first attempt to dump the black tank. However, I know that some funny things have probably happened to folks during the dumping process. On our first trip in our 5th wheel it was about the third day out that my wife asked if it might be time to dump the tanks. We were getting ready for bed when this thought that the tanks might need to be dumped occurred to her. I checked the gauge and it was full so I went out for the first dump. My sewer hose wasn’t staying in the hole in the ground because I had not yet purchased one of the elbow connectors that goes into the septic tank fitting in the ground. I called for my wife to come out and assist me. When she came out , dressed in her night gown, I told her to hold the hose and keep it in the septic tank fitting while I pulled the lever. As the sewerage flowed out she asked, “what are those lumps I feel in the hose”? “Well considering that I am dumping the sewerage, what do you think those lumps might be?” was my reply. “That’s gross!”, she said. “Well this isn’t the Holiday Inn”, I said. I’ve never been able to get her help since.

I did witness an event that came fairly close to Robin Williams erupting sewer event. While in Creede, Colorado at Mountain Views  RV Park I watched a couple of guys as they discussed the need for a coupling to put two hose lengths together in order to reach the septic tank fitting in the ground. I couldn’t hear the conversation but they had managed to put the coupling together and one guy went to pull the dump lever.  Something must have happened because he went back and apparently closed the valve and then came back to the coupling.  When he picked up the hose to inspect the coupling, the coupling came loose and the sewerage in the hose splashed he and his visitor.  I got a good chuckle at their expense.

With all of the above trivia aside, there are good methods of taking care of the necessary chore of dumping the waste tanks in the camper.  There is a very good article on the website that deals with the proper techniques for dumping.  It is written by the voice of experience, Warren Petkovsek.  Warren has been camping for many years and has a lot of good experience to share with fellow campers.  Be sure and check out the article.



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