Ok, so we have all read a few horrible black tank stories right? If you’re like me (and most men) you never think it will happen to you. I have a system; check the hose, make sure the connection is tight, check to ensure the sewer hose is secured to the ground (using nearby rocks if available) and more. It has never failed me. I’ve become so comfortable, that I’ve even dumped in my pj’s!

Well, today was my day to find out that it can happen to anyone, even me! 
Since we are traveling with my mother in law, one of the duties she isn’t quite comfortable with is dumping the tanks. We typically stay at campgrounds where we have full hookups so she certainly doesn’t have any experience at a dump station and neither did I. I decided to tackle it for her and gain the experience myself. I can’t begin to describe to you the smile of relief that covered her face. I scored big son in law points on this one! 

Smartly, I took a quick walk over to the dump station to check it out. It was pretty basic but not very sanitary to my untrained eye. I made a mental note to make sure I put gloves on before I touched anything. 

I drove her 36ft RV over to the dump station and maneuvered it into the dumping zone. Did I mention that this is not my RV and I don’t maintain the hoses? Keep that in mind. 

Back to dumping. 

I grabbed these purple gloves and looked for her sewer hoses. I got a clear connection piece so I could see what was flowing through the hose. 

Everything was hooked up and I even found a small rock to place on top to secure the ground connection. I checked the tank levels and decided to dump the black and grey instead of just the grey tank. I thought I’d score even more brownie points with my mother in law!

So, I pulled the black tank and her RV seemed to have a 1-2 second delay before the flow began. Presto! Everything worked perfectly or did it? About 10 seconds into dumping, the top of the sewer connection decided it wanted its freedom and separated from the clear section. Raw sewage spewed out! I reacted as fast as I could and slammed the valve closed. Crisis over. No! Remember that little delay? Sewage flowed for another 1-2 seconds before the flow stopped. Thank goodness nothing splashed directly on me. There I was standing in a puddle of smelly black water shaking my head. 

This is one of those moments you could cry, laugh or chalk it up to the RV learning curve. I was so thankful it happened to me and not my wife or mother in law. It might have pushed my mother in law over the edge and she would never touch her tanks again. The smell was so bad that I was glad I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. 

I used her entire spray bottle of Lysol to clean up the bay and the ground. I reconnected the hoses, double and triple checked that they were on tight and then dumped the remaining black and grey tanks with no further trouble. 

As I drove her RV back to her site, I laughed out loud. I truly feel fortunate because it could have been so much worse. I’ve learned a valuable lesson: When helping someone with their RV tanks, double and even triple check everything before you dump. 

I’ve proudly earned my Black tank badge

Note : There are no pictures of the actual mess. Standing in a pool of sewage wearing gloves I wasn’t about to reach for my cell to snap a picture. Can you imagine if I had dropped my iPhone in that? Take my word for it, your better off not seeing it anyway. 

My time finally came, and it will happen to you too!
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10 thoughts on “My time finally came, and it will happen to you too!

  • July 22, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Don’t you just love that feeling that immediately washes over you, the adrenaline starts pumping and you silently scream, “NOOOOOOO!”
    Your family missed one of the greatest moments of RVing! They would still be laughing!

    • July 22, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      If my wife and Lord thank you, my mother in law had that happen to them it might, no would damper their excitement go RVing. A man has to do the dirty jobs… I was able to laugh it off, but I learned my lesson…

  • July 23, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    I had my first black tank mishap over Memorial Day weekend. I thought my poor husband was going to throw up!

  • July 25, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    The first thing you need to pack for an RV trip, or for us full-time RV’ng, is to pack your sense of humor.

  • August 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Keith this is Lawrence. We met in the tent at the Newmar Rally at the Tampa show.A quick tip,ALWAYS dump some of the grey tank first.This lines the hoses so the bad stuff exits the hose easily,and in the event of a loose connection,it is better to have shower water rather than that other stuff all over Your feet.Let me know about the 2017 Soulful Rally.

    • August 2, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      I will keep you posted on a 2017 Soulful RV Family reunion. We are still planning on trying to put it together!

      • August 8, 2016 at 11:31 am

        Thanks.and safe travels to You and Tia

  • August 8, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Keith my name is Bill. I like to share with you all the African-American RV organizations. Below are listed their websites.

    naarva.com this is the national website
    naarvaeast.com this is the Eastern region – of the national
    ltcampers.com this is my local chapter
    usrvclub.com this is another chapter of the national that I camp with.

    • August 8, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Thanks for the info. We have heard of NAARVA and actually attended the Gulf shores Ala regional rally there. It was great seeing so many African American RVers! What we didn’t see was younger families like ourselves. In fact please read the blog i did on the rally for Go RVing blogs http://blog.gorving.com/2016/05/naarva-rally/
      Thanks again and look forward to seeing you out on the road!

  • August 10, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Keith,
    That had to be awful but at least it did splash you. My brother decided to start RVing after his big brother and camp trip number one for him, ended with his hose coming off the RV while he was standing right next to it. (He couldn’t wait for me to show him what to do..) Anyway, Once I got to the dump station he was ready to get rid of his RV. That was three years ago, and he is still RVing.
    Ever since his accident, We both take great care when dumping.. I would love to learn more about the soulful family reunion, it would be great to see others who are minority decent camping since I was unable to make it to NAARVA’s rally. Hopefully time will permit us to go next time.

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