A Tale of Two Dumps

by Karen

Yes thats right I am going to talk poo!

One of the undesirable but not totally horrific jobs (well not meant to be) is to empty the black and grey tanks (waste and waste water) into a drain. Our black tank holds 147 litres of waste and the grey holds 200 litres, now thats a lot of waste to shift!

The Theory

To empty these tanks you attach a dump hose to the tank and point the other end down the drain. You have two levers, one that opens and releases the waste from the black tank, the other releases the waste water. You always do the black tank first as you can then rinse the inside of the hose with the waste water, leaving a much cleaner hose to put away.

At the moment, we have to both dump the tanks. Partly, this is because the locker door to the tanks doesn’t stay open, so someone has to hold it at all times. But it’s also easier to have an extra pair of gloved hands when you’re learning.

First Dump

The first time we emptied the tanks, we were emptying it down a sewer in the evening, in the dark. We got the dump hose that came with the RV and found it was broken half way down – snapped almost in half. This was not helpful. However, we were not far from the sewer, we could use the good part and still reach the drain.

New Hose and Hose Holder

We connected the hose to the tank and opened the grate to the sewer. With the split end held securely in the sewer by me, George pulled the black tank lever. The pressure was immense and the hose shook! George and I shared an OMG moment as the contents of the black tank powered out of the hose, hit the wall of the drain and bounced (mostly) down the drain. The smell was intense, but it was working!


Then we noticed the split was not the only damage to the hose.

There were other holes.

Why had we not considered this!?!?

Just a few inches from where the hose attached to the RV and maybe an inch from Georges’ foot; a lovely brown liquid dripped and then ran out of the hose creating a lovely puddle on the floor! George had to grab the hose and try to squeeze the hole shut!

Thankfully, due to the high pressure, the black tank was emptied in about 20 seconds. Now we could pull the grey waste lever to wash the hose through. We then used the barely working external shower to clean the road and the hose. What an experience!

After this wonderful experience we ordered a new hose, hose holder and bigger rubber gloves.

Second Dump

After receiving our new hose and hose support, we felt a lot more prepared for our second dump. This would take place on arrival at the Canterbury Camping and Caravanning site at their motorhome service point.

Once we arrived at the site, we got signed in and were shown our pitch and where the motorhome point was. We drove straight down to the point, jumped out and popped our rubber gloves on. George opened the locker and attached the new dump hose, we were really close to the point so did not need the support.

We opened the drain cover and were confronted with an entrance with several channels to a single, small hole. We weren’t entirely sure if we should shove the hose down the hole, or if we should leave it laying in a channel. After a discussion, we decided that as the tank emptied with so much force, we should just lay it in a channel as we worried if we put it in the hole we possibly faced kick back.

Ready… Aim… Fire!

We agreed we were ready and I moved back from the drain as George pulled the lever. Wow! We were not ready for the sight before us, last time it was dark and we did not see the contents! The stinky contents hit the side of the channel, bounced up in the air and back into the drain – we should have put the end closer to the hole! Everything emptied fine and all went down the drain eventually but it coated the end of the hose in waste! We then released the grey tank which rinsed the inside of the hose but the outside still needed cleaning.

Time for the outside shower. George can’t really reach it, as its right under the locker and the shower hose is not all that long. George lifted the dump hose out of the drain and brought it close enough for me to clean. Holding the locker open with one arm I reach in and turn the shower on. I start running the water over the dirty end of the hose and out of the corner of my eye, I saw George was holding the locker open, so I let go of it and bang! I get clonked on the head and knocked off of my feet into… that’s right… the brown puddle! Thankfully the drain was shut and it was only the puddle we had made cleaning the hose but it was still slightly brown.

Lessons Learnt

Let’s just say we learnt a lot from our first two dumps! We have made some modifications to the process, and are learning to communicate better when doing the job. Our third dump was uneventful and went like a dream (George’s note: a dream? Really?). We still need some additional hose, more big gloves and a prop for that door!

Disclaimer – No pictures due to neither incident being funny at the time and why would you want pictures of that?!?!

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