Ok, first of all, if the title to this one doesn’t scream “brace yourself”, then I don’t know what else to say, except “Brace yourself”. Apparently, the themes running through both Mary’s mind (in Northern California) and my mind (in East Texas) is pretty close to each other: “It ain’t pretty after the show”!
I’m not going to put in any pictures. I won’t do that to you. (plus, Mary stole my camera and still hasn’t given it back yet, so… I couldn’t if I wanted to… which I do.)
I would like to take this moment to say that I feel a tremendous amount of pressure to type correctly on the blog now. We heard from Mary’s mom that there is apparently a home-schooling website of some sort on the other side of this screen that has decided there’s some relevant material for them on our blog. In addition, there seems to be some sort of rating system going on, and we’ve managed to earn some sort of status there. And, all of that just makes me feel the pressure of responsibility for not a) using foul language and b) typing without using my ‘shift’ key (like i prefer).
Now that I’ve protested using proper capitalization, I can continue with the story:
Every blog and website that talks about RV’ing always puts the pretty pictures out. They never put up pictures of the sweaty stuff. The greasy stuff. The unpacking-half-your-rig-to-reach-the-thing-you-buried-because-you-never-need-it-but-now-you-do stuff. The “dirty-look” stuff. The stuff where you have to wear gloves.
That “dirty-look” part just came to me, and it will make a FINE blog next time. There is a lot to talk about there. This time though, I’m just picking one subject. “The stuff where you have to wear gloves”. (or, in Mary’s situation – the horse inspection trash bag! 😆 )
Now, I’m going to talk about things that don’t get talked about a lot. Even amongst RV’ers it seems. And I’m certain non-RV’ers don’t talk about.
I’m talking about the poop fascination. Yes, I’ve said it. The cat’s out of the bag. There is an unspoken fascination with poop in this community that is shockingly not spoken of. It’s like the porn industry: no one admits to using it, and yet somehow it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. (Maybe those homeschoolers can just subscribe to Mary’s posts! 😆 )
so listen, you can’t tell me that there are two and a half aisles at camping world devoted to sewer products, and there’s at least 3/4 of one of those aisles dedicated to “clear” pipes/adapters, but no one’s buying them except me! i’m the only person who is looking how much toilet paper everyone in my camper is going thru. i’m the only person who’s examining the poo to paper ratio! i’m the only person who does the silent fist pump when the water starts to come out clear, stops for 5 minutes, and then releases a whole new deluge of sludge out of a tank that i almost stopped flushing… yet, back at the store, when you hit the check out counter, it’s like asking for a copy of “swank”…. they look at everything except the clear sewer adapters that they’re passing over the upc reader thing.
so, here’s our set up (descriptions only… since i seem to have married a clepto!); we have two 10′ hoses that can be connected to make one 20′ hose. one of those hoses, we keep stashed in the purpose-built rear bumper on the trailer. the other, we shamefully keep in a bucket in the back of the truck. (what can i say… we need better hose storage options) we have a bungie cord hanging conveniently near to the discharge valve, and on the bungie cord hangs most of our little adaptors and gizmos for connecting our trailer to the dump station. credit for the bungie cord/hanging adaptors has to go to doug and andrea. as weird as it sounds guys, every time we dump our tanks, i think of you guys and how much i miss you!
for those that may have never had the pleasure, let me try to explain it. or at least the way we do it. the fitting that the campground provides, whether it’s one central location, or right next to each campsite, is a nationally standard size. (thankfully!) the pipe sticking out of the ground has female threads, and (usually) has a plug screwed into it. when we hook up, we’ll pull the plug, and then install our first adapter. this will crossover from the threaded pipe in the ground, to our flexible hose stored in the bumper. (from here on out, nobody mentions the hose in the bucket again – seriously). so, once the hose is hooked up, we start getting into the interesting stuff. the things that the clerks won’t look at. nobody talks about. they can mysteriously exist and not exist simultaneously! i’m talking about the clear adapters we’ve picked up!
on the hose side, the first clear adapter is a 45° elbow, with a gate valve on the downstream side, and a standard garden hose flushing fitting on the upstream side. everybody ought to be pretty clear which side is upstream and downstream right? i can get into more detail if i need to… the purpose of the garden hose fitting is not to clean out the hose (although it works pretty well for that!), the purpose is to back flush our grey water tank. the port that the garden hose screws into has it’s own isolation valve, also.
which reminds me… if you just “stumbled” here, or aren’t familiar with how RV’s collect their waste water, here’s a quick and simple lesson; there are two kinds of waste water: black and grey. black water is toilet water, grey water is everything except toilet water. some RV’s have two grey water tanks, and one black water tank. we only have one of each, and they’re both about 45 gallons big. and, our toilet doesn’t flush like the one at your house. yours uses A LOT of water to flush. ours uses a little tiny bit of water, and gravity to flush. you can imagine what’s hanging out in a FORTY FIVE GALLON tank by the time it’s full, when you’re just using a little tiny bit of water to flush with!
we’ve talked about the smells before, and what we do about them. that was a long time ago, and i have to say, we’re still doing it the same way, and it still works great!
ok, back to the back flush port. the only reason it’s there, is to flush the grey water tank. the black water tank has it’s own little sprinkler that we can get going to wash the sludge off the walls when we’re dumping.
the next adapter was the first one that we bought to add to what doug and andrea hooked us up with. it’s a six inch -clear- straight pipe. i got the clear pipe because, let’s face it, i’m fascinated!
so, now, here is our modus operandi when we have full hook ups: with everything hooked up, i leave the black water tank valve closed. i leave the clear elbow valve closed. i have the non-drinking water hose hooked to the black water tank sprinkler. i leave the grey water valve open.
there was a time, when we’d leave all grey valves open, so that as we showered, brushed our teeth, rinsed vegetables, or whatever else, the water would drain straight to the sewer. we discovered two things. first, is that we’re pretty sure this was the cause of the drain fly problems we had. and, second was that there was a slime growth going on in the hose that we didn’t find out about until it was moving day. so now, the final valve stays closed, unless we’re actually dumping.
there’s a reason that we let the clear tubes fill with grey water. we’ve found that the design of the tank has a flaw in it. there is a lip (or something) in the tank where sediment will build up. if we close the valve closest to the tank, then for some reason, this sediment stays in the tank (i’ll tell you how i figured that out in a minute). so, we leave that valve open, and let the sediment settle out in the adapters, so when i open the final valve, it washes out. i figured this out because one day (out of boredom) i filled ALL the tanks to do a good flush. (this was before i bought the clear adapter with it’s own valve) when the grey water tank was full, i plugged the drain in the bathtub and filled THAT with water too.
then i dumped the black water tank. flushed it until it was clear (thanks to the clear adapters!). then dumped the grey water tank. when that was done, i had mary pull the stopper on the tub. what came out of the grey water tank was nasty. it was dirtier than the original grey water that came out. that’s when i decided i needed to figure out how to back-flush the grey water tank, too.
so, now instead of filling the tub (tho, i still do sometimes when i’m bored!)… i just dump and flush the black water, then move that hose to the clear back flush adapter, dump the grey, and then re-fill it from outside.
but like i said, i found out that we can avoid a lot of that sediment build up by leaving the grey water tank valve open, and letting it all settle out in the clear adapters.
when i’m happy that everything is flushed, i just close the final valve. the black water valve is already closed before i dump the grey water tank, and i leave the trailer’s grey water valve open.
the only difference between how we dump if we don’t have full hookups, is that when it’s over, i close the grey water valve on the trailer.
hope you enjoyed this post. in a few days, i’ll tell the story of how mary’s been intimidating the elderly to do what she wants!!