A Waste-full Adventure
Having been away from full hookups for two weeks, our black holding tank (the one that holds what gets flushed down the toilet) approached full capacity. Not wanting to reenact a scene from the movie “RV,” we got busy exploring our dumping options.
Our last blog mentioned the sweet moochdocking setup we have at my cousin’s farm in southwestern Michigan: “with an electric hookup, access to water when we need it, and even a place to dump our black and gray water holding tanks.”
Weighing the Options
Leaving Tagalong behind, Gulliver escorted us to the designated septic tank cleanout on the farm. We drove the different dirt roads approaching the spot, trying to determine the best way to get Tagalong there and in position for a successful fecal matter dump. My cousin’s son and those in the work camp probably thought we were stalking them.
For one route, we would have had to remove some fallen branches from the road and maneuver slowly and purposefully through a tight area to clear a sedan and the bus used for harvesting watermelons late in the summer.
Another path presented an area where a seasonal thunderstorm had gouged a trench across the road, necessitating creative filling in to get the trailer across.
On still another avenue, an electric wire hung low. We scrounged around the farm to find a tool that would help us calculate the height of the wire: 13 feet, 2 inches. Our trailer stands at 13 feet, 3 inches.
After returning the implement that helped us measure, we drove across another area of the farm, hoping to find a more easily accessible place to dump our tanks. We happened upon a promising, easy-to-get-to location, only to discover plumbing pipes but no drainage hole.
Feeling defeated, we ascended a hill adjacent to where the farm’s handyman busily worked on a construction project. We chatted with him about other possibilities: driving an hour away to a truck stop that had a dump station, finding a sewer cleanout or designated dump station in the area, or navigating to a local campground.
We researched a suggested campground and, yes, it did indeed have a dump station, only charged $10 for using it, and was less than 4 miles away.
A Better Alternative
Because we’ve encountered myriad low-hanging trees in the area, we ventured to the campground sans Tagalong to make sure we could take the coach there without issue.
Finding the campground office vacant and the dump station challenging to access since it required a U-turn (not an easy maneuver with a 42-foot trailer), we pulled up to some campers and Bob got out to chat with them.
Most campers are laid back and friendly, and these were no exception. They told Bob they lived at the campground for months at a time and knew the owner well. They recommended that, rather than using the dump station, we pull into an empty campsite, pay the fee at a deposit box, and dump at the hookups at the site.
We jetted back to the farm to get Tagalong. After packing up everything in and around the coach, closing the four slides, and hooking up to Gulliver, we returned to the campground and pulled into a pull-through site. We successfully hooked up to the sewer and emptied our excrement without incident. Whew!
The next morning, our poop became a family matter. Unaware we had dumped at the local campground, the handyman called my cousin with a recommendation for another way to dump our tanks: paying the company that cleans the farm’s port-a-potties to come to us to empty our tanks.
Not a bad idea. It’s nice to have options, especially since we plan to stay on the farm for one more week or so to be around when another cousin and her husband relocate to the area.
7/10/2020 03:29:13 pm
I love hearing about Guliver's Travels as crappie as they may be at times. Keep in mind, you're living the life most only dream about. Thanks for bringing us along.
7/26/2020 08:48:59 am
Great idea, Kerry. Thanks for sharing. In looking for a possible photo replacement, I realized I need to take more pictures that feature Gulliver. I'll have to work on that.
7/10/2020 03:43:15 pm
Good to hear your adventures. Gives us food-for-thought. Love you guys!
7/12/2020 07:04:56 am
It's a good thing you're adventurous. Thanks for sticking around, looking forward to seeing you guys.
7/12/2020 08:27:20 am
In all the adventure, the issue to unload your carrying waste is following you-lol I am glad you finally were able to take care of that matter. I can imagine the frustration of not being able to.
Betty Ellen Schoen
7/13/2020 08:31:00 am
Who'd a thunk that taking a dump was so difficult? Holy crap. You have all manner of interesting endeavors along the way, and I am glad to live where I don't have to worry about what to do with s__t.
7/31/2020 01:27:25 pm
Hi gang, enjoying the blog. You probably already have figured this out with your holding tanks, but when I was dumping, I learned to start by dumping half of the grey water first. This allowed me to check the connections of the hoses so that if something was a little loose, the spillage wouldn't be too nasty (ask me how I learned this;). Then I dumped the black water tank followed with the rest of the grey water, allowing the grey water tank to help clean the hose of the black tank residue. Then I went back into the coach and partially filled both tanks with water (fresh water rinse) and dumped the tanks again. A little overkill, but never developed any off odors.
8/4/2020 08:24:42 am
Good idea, Dave. Thanks for sharing.
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This is the travel blog of full-time RVers Bob and Lana Gates and our truck, Gulliver, and fifth wheel, Tagalong.