Table of Contents Show
- What Is an RV Black Tank?
- What Is a Poopsie While RVing?
- What Happens in the Viral Video?
- How Did This RVer Spill His Black Tank All Over Himself?
- What to Do If You Spill Your Black Tank
- Tips to Avoid Black Tank Spills
- Avoid a Mess When Dumping Your Black Tanks
Emptying the black tanks is a task that ignites a sense of fear in many RVers. As one RVer recently experienced, you can end up with a mess on your hands when things go wrong.
It’s possible to laugh at the situation when it’s not you in the video. However, if you use your RV for long enough, there’s a chance you’ll be on the receiving end of the black tank.
Today, we’re sharing this RVers story and will provide helpful tips for avoiding a spill while emptying your black tanks. Let’s get started!
What Is an RV Black Tank?
A black tank is a storage tank holding any solids or liquids you flush down the toilet. This becomes a mixture of toilet paper, water, and human waste.
The size of the black tank will vary depending on the RV. However, if you plan to use the restroom in your rig, you must empty these tanks after each trip. You don’t want waste and other gunk sitting in your tanks between uses.
What Is a Poopsie While RVing?
A ‘poopsie’ occurs when an RVer makes a mistake while emptying their black tank.
The result is typically the contents of the black tank spilling onto the ground at the dump station. In addition, there’s a possibility that a drop or two will get onto the RVer.
It’s not a pleasant experience to be on the receiving end of a black tank spill. In addition, it’s unpleasant to be within smelling distance of the dump station when one occurs. You and your fellow campers may need to plug your noses until the odor passes.
Unfortunately, new and experienced RVers aren’t immune from these blunders. It’s possible to distract yourself during the process, skip a step, or fail to secure your hoses correctly.
Most people learn their lesson after the first occurrence and vow never to make the same mistake again.
In this viral video, Gary Tucker from Midlife Mile Marker is on the receiving end of the poopsie.
He’s going through the normal process of hooking up his RV to the dump station. He prepares to remove the sewer cap on his drain pipe, and that’s when he discovers that he’s made a significant mistake.
Immediately upon removing the sewer cap, the contents of Gary’s black tank shoot out of the drain pipe. The waste covers the ground and Gary.
Unfortunately, while his rubber gloves may have protected his hands, they offered little protection for the rest of his body. He had to clean up his mess and take the walk of shame to the shower house.
How Did This RVer Spill His Black Tank All Over Himself?
Gary’s mistake occurred long before he pulled up to this dump station. The error occurred the last time he dumped his tanks.
Once he finished dumping his tanks, he likely started packing up his gear and placed the sewer cap onto the drain pipe.
While this may be the typical process for any RVer, Gary’s mistake was that he forgot to close the black tank dump valve. This resulted in the drain pipe filling with anything he flushed down the toilet.
The sewer cap was the only thing preventing it from spilling onto the ground.
Once Mr. Tucker removed the sewer cap, the contents shot out of the drain pipe, and he quickly realized his mistake. It’s safe to say that Tucker will be more careful during the dumping process in the future.
What to Do If You Spill Your Black Tank
These mistakes are easy to make and aren’t uncommon. Gary is not the first, and he won’t be the last. However, Gary set an excellent example for others by doing the right thing and cleaning up the mess he created.
If you experience this event, follow Gary’s lead. You want to shut the valve as quickly as possible to avoid making a larger mess than necessary.
Once you do, fix whatever is causing the issue and finish dumping your tanks. Once you’ve dumped your tanks, grab the water hose and clean up the area as much as possible.
You should never leave a dump station worse than you found it. Unfortunately, the smell will likely linger, and if anyone is waiting in line, they may not be your biggest fan.
However, mistakes happen, and there’s nothing you can do about them once they occur. Just do whatever you can to avoid the issue in the future.
Tips to Avoid Black Tank Spills
There are several things you can do to avoid black tank spills. If you follow these tips, you’ll significantly reduce the chances of experiencing a poopsie.
Let’s take a look!
Take Your Time
It’s best to take your time. You’re far more likely to make a mistake or skip a step when you’re in a hurry. Take your time and ensure you complete each step thoroughly and correctly. You don’t want to make a mistake while dumping your tanks.
You may be in a hurry when dumping your tanks, especially if you’re leaving on a Sunday afternoon. This is one of the dump station’s busiest times of the week, as many weekenders need to empty their tanks on their way home.
However, they’ll likely appreciate you taking your time and not making a mess at the dump station.
Keep in Mind: Make sure to read Don’t Break These Unspoken RV Dump Station Rules before your next camping trip.
It would be best if you did all you could to eliminate distractions when dumping your tanks.
Distractions can cause you to skip necessary steps or make mistakes. Whether it’s your phone or other individuals at the dump station, give your full attention to the task.
The dump station often turns into the campground’s water cooler. We say this because people often feel pressured to converse with one another while dumping their tanks.
However, these conversations might distract you, and you could make mistakes.
If someone wants to chat, let them know you’re happy to talk with them once you hook up your RV or finish your tasks.
Neither of you wants to make a mistake while dumping your tanks. This gentle reminder can save both of you from having a mess on your hands.
Always Check Your Dump Valves
One of the most significant reasons people experience poopsies is that they do not check their dump valves.
The only way to avoid this mistake is to check your dump valves before dumping your tanks. Luckily, it only takes a second or two to ensure you’ve closed your dump valves and they’re ready to go.
This mistake is easy to commit because no liquids will flow from the drain pipe, just like when you close the valves. However, the second you flush a toilet, the fluids will travel into the black tank and out of the drain valve.
If the sewer cap is on, the drain pipe will fill with the liquids, and they’ll wait for you to remove the sewer cap the next time you dump your tanks.
Beginner’s Tip: If you’ve never used a dump station before, you can read up on How to Use an RV Dump Station before tackling the job!
Open Your Gray Water First to Test Connections
Gray water typically contains food particles and soapy water, but it is much less gross than black water.
As a result, running your gray water for a few seconds is an excellent way to test your connections. It isn’t ideal to spill gray water onto the ground, but it is far better than black water.
Once you hook everything up, let your gray water run for 10 to 15 seconds and inspect the various connections.
You’ll quickly notice if there are any issues, and you can address them. You can then wholly dump your black and gray water tanks.
Inspect Your Equipment Regularly
Unfortunately, equipment doesn’t last forever. Regularly inspect your hoses, attachments, and other components.
To save on weight, manufacturers typically use plastic pieces for these systems, which can become brittle and break over time.
If you have equipment on its last leg, you don’t want it to throw in the towel in the middle of you dumping your tanks. It’s better that you have an idea and plan accordingly.
Let this serve as a reminder to ensure you store and take care of your dump station equipment to help it last as long as possible.
Avoid a Mess When Dumping Your Black Tanks
Like Gary, we hope that you learn from his dump station experience. The last thing you want to do is cover yourself and the ground in raw sewage.
Trust us; it’s not a fun experience and one you want to avoid at all costs. However, if you follow the tips we’ve shared today, you might minimize any disaster risks at the dump station.
Have you seen Gary’s viral video?
Keep Reading: Before you commit to RVing full-time, you need to know the worst things about full-time RVing!