WARNING! The following post deals with unpleasant descriptions that for the squeamish may bring to mind certain members of Congress, but are actually not as bad as that.
If you want to be a nomadic nudist who travels around in a RV, you’re eventually going to have to deal with some shit. Literally. Even if you don’t want to be a nomad or a nudist, but still want to travel in a motorhome, this article still applies.
For example, you might choose to travel in a motorhome because you are a freelance circus clown going from town to town, following your seltzer-water fueled dreams. Or perhaps you caved to pressure when planning a family vacation. You said, “Hey kids! Let’s go to Disney World this summer!” but your children replied “Aw, no! We want to ride around in a motorhome visiting national historic sites. Please! Please!”
Either way, you’re going to have to deal with shit. I’m talking about the grey and black water tanks in your RV. As the word “tanks” implies, this are containers that will eventually fill up and need to be emptied. How do they fill up, you ask?
RV black and grey water tanks 101.
The grey water tank is where all the dirty water goes from washing dishes, showering, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, scrubbing your eyeballs, etc. Entrances to the grey water tank can be found in the kitchen sink, vanity sink(s) and shower stall.
The black water tank is for poop and pee. Number one and number two. Tinkling and tonka dumping. The toilet is the only entrance to the black water tank. Let me repeat that: The toilet is the only place you should be putting stuff that belongs in the black water tank.
(You can run your RV however you like, but if you pee in the shower or hang your butt over the kitchen sink, stay the hell away from our motorhome. )
So if you use running water, or expel bodily waste, those tanks will eventually fill up and you will need to dump them. Most RVs come with sensors that let you know the level of the tank as it fills. This sensors work for about 17 minutes after buying your RV, then show the tanks constantly full. But don’t worry. You’ll eventually develop a sense for when the tanks are getting full. It’s called the sense of smell.
How to dump your RV tanks.
Outside of your RV you’ll find two valves connected to a pipe end. One valve empties the black water tank, and the other valve empties the grey. You connect a special RV sewer hose to that pipe end and then to the sewer inlet valve on the ground in the RV park or at the dump station.
Empty the black water tank first. Pull the valve and let her rip! If you connected the hose properly, all should be good. If not, you’ll discover that it’s not actually “black water” but brown. Very brown. I know this from personal experience.
About the third time I ever dumped our tanks in our first motorhome, I didn’t properly connect the hose. Brown (not black) liquid shot out onto my feet, splashing up my legs and spreading across the ground like a chocolate-colored nightmare. I quickly shut the valve and dropped the loudest F-bomb ever shouted in U.S. history. The only positive was that I was naked because we were at a nudist resort, and I didn’t have to burn my clothes.
After you’ve dumped the holding tanks.
Once the black tank empties, shut the valve and open the grey tank valve. When that tanks empties, shut the valve and you’re done. You run the grey water last because it rinses out all that nasty from the hose.
Now, go back inside your RV, add 1-2 gallons of water to your black water tank and some tank deodorizer. Don’t dump your black water again until it’s almost full, and never leave the black water valve open while using the toilet. For delightful reasons why, Google “poop pyramid.”
Now I have to stop writing because I’ve made myself ill.