Barb and I are new to RV-ing. I had no clue to the septic dump procedure. The last thing I wanted was to show up at a dump site and, through my own ignorance, make a spectacle of myself like Robin Williams’ character, Bob Munro, in the movie, RV (2006). YouTube refers to it as the RV – Poop Scene. If you haven’t seen it or would like to review a three-minute clip of what not to do when disposing of your RV black water, then click here=> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHgRmR024BE
In a man and woman household, some tasks seem to naturally fall to one partner or the other. For instance, Barb doesn’t change the adjustments on my chainsaw and I don’t rearrange her kitchen even though she helps me with firewood and I help her with cooking. When it comes to RV maintenance, she’s in charge of inside stuff and I take care of the outside issues. I would not even think of suggesting that she dump the waste tank, at least, not if I’m around to do it. So, if you will excuse the pun, I will plunge on.
Wanting to avoid a crappy mess catastrophe like the one in the movie, I read the brief explanation in our travel trailer’s owner’s manual but the information was vague. YouTube is a great source of how-to information but even there, one must filter through the less than expert instruction. I found several vids really like a vid called “Dump Station Adventures” under YouTube tag, Long Long Honeymoon. The vid is titled, “For Beginners – Top 10 Tips for Surviving the RV DUMP STATION.” If you would like to see it, click here => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5jMhd6ntGo.
The vid is well-presented by Sean and Kristy Michael. They call their series the Loloho Show. Tip #1 is Don’t Rush and so I never hurry at the dump station even if there is a huge line behind us of impatient, full of crap, RV-ers. Due to the thought of what can result from making a hurried mistake, my slowness can only be rivaled by DMV.
Tip #2 is Wear Gloves. I figured this one already. Being a mild germophobe, I had purchased a pair of thick rubber gloves. As I grew accustomed to the process and using our own hoses and the ‘stinky slinky’ at locations with full hook-ups, I found that a pair of regular work gloves sufficed for my needs—my hands/gloves never get wet. Our equipment is clean and dry but when using a dump station’s unfamiliar equipment, I use my stout rubber gloves and they never come inside. After all, how many people use those public sewer hoses? How good are the seals and how cautious are the other users to avoid leaks and pay attention to cleanliness?
Tip #3 is to be sure your hose connection is sealed tight and correct. I double check this and I’d like to think that most RV-ers do this as well. If one end isn’t sealed… well, watch RV. You can watch Sean and Kristy’s video for the other seven tips so I can keep this short and finish my story.
Barb and I recently worked a gun show in Kingman, Arizona to advertise our Alaskan gun shipping services. We took our time returning to our family in Yuma and spent a night in Parker at the Blue Water Casino at which there were at least a hundred RVs enjoying the free parking lot camping. It’s not really free unless you win at gambling but it is a good trade off. As it turned out, Barb won enough to pay for dinner so we had fun. However, there were no hookups nor was there a sewer hookup at the Kingman Fairgrounds where the gun show was held. Our septic and grey water tanks were full by the time we got to Quartzsite. We thought it prudent to stop at The RV Pit Stop, which you can guess is a dump station.
Thousands of RVs winter in Quartzsite. There are some paid spaces but there are several desert areas designated for free no-hookup camping. The RV Pit Stop is on the north side of town on Highway 95. They had several dump stations and a steady line of RVs pouring in and out. By the crowd, one would think they had displayed a ‘Free Beer’ sign.
They first directed us to a station that had the dump pipe higher than our drain. This of course could not work and I was not about to try any improvisation with such sensitive material. I drove back around and got into another line, this time with a lower dump. Things went quickly and soon it was time for the fifth-wheel ahead of us to take his turn.
Still RV novices, Barb and I watched what we assumed would be an expert if not an adept journeyman at mobile feces disposal. The middle-aged gentleman seemed to know his business but we were shocked, to say the least, when, with a self-confident no nonsense manner, he grabbed the station’s worn, dirty, and nasty looking sewer hose with his bare hands. He connected it to his dump pipe and opened the valve. We could hardly believe our eyes. All of our sources on this subject advised wearing gloves, which I would have done anyway even without urging.
As the eau de turds washed down the hose, the man frequently touched his face and nose and occasionally wiped his hands on his shirt. He could not hear our exclamations of, “Ooh,” “Oh no,” “Ick,” and “That’s freaking nasty.” A light breeze carrying the effluvium of the facility only compounded our distress but when the man put his fingers in his mouth, we gaged. I can’t say why he would do such a thing. His tank emptied and since there was no flushing hose, he had to carry buckets of water to dump down his toilet. This completed, he went on his way and it as our turn but I used gloves and hand sanitizer afterwards.