Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I guess this blog is more for the people out there who have campers of some sort. Helen and I have been camping since the spring of 1979 and it has give us a great deal of enjoyment. For the most part, Helen takes care of the inside and I take care of the outside. Eventually on every trip, there is a time to dump the waste water tanks, and this is an outside job.

The very first time I had to do this I remember as if it were yesterday. We had camped on Nauset Beach and we thought that the recognized dump site was the Brewster Town Landfill. I was told to back up to the edge of the landfill, hang the hose over the edge and open the valve. It worked, but it was gross, ever so gross. The following weekend we met some beach "regulars" and we found out that the correct place to dump was at the rear of the Brewster State Park. We were even shown how to access the place in the easiest way. The State Park dump was pristine, clean, and with non-potable water to rinse the hoses and potable water to fill the fresh water tank.

Over the years, I have performed the dump process many, many times. Some dumps are better than others, but I never had a problem. That is never until this morning. Before leaving the Bear Creek Campground, it was necessary to empty our nearly full tanks. The process is to dump the black water tank first and use the gray water to clean out the hose. To those who are not into camping, black water is from the toilet and gray water comes from the sinks and shower.

I connected the hose to the fitting on the motorhome and placed the other end in the dump facility. I pulled the knife valve and all was going very well for a few seconds. Then, everything backed up as the campground septic system could not accept the flow from us. Reacting quickly I went to shut the knife valve, but hit the hose connection somehow and the hose came loose. My second attempt at the valve worked and I stopped, but a LOT of...........stuff flows out of the 4 inch pipe in just a second. It very quickly filled the compartment and flowed over into my shoes.

Using the non-potable water hose at the dump, I flushed everything off and tried again. First, I made damn sure that the hose was securely connected, something I will never forget again. Then I opened the black water valve again, but I had to throttle it to avoid overflowing the dump station. Close the black water valve and throttle the gray water valve and soon the job was done. Then I rinsed off everything and put it away. I'm glad that I have that bottle of antibacterial hand cleaner near the compartment and water valve that lets me wash outside.

I never get to see what is being dumped and I never wanted to, but I've wondered if our toilet paper might not break down as we would like. I mean, should we pay what they want for RV toilet paper???? I find that the answer is NO!!! Normal toilet paper appears to brake down just fine.

Two, maybe three more showers in very hot water and I may get clean.

Another error on my part concerns my reservation for a fishing guide tomorrow and my choice of campground. I had the campground first, northeast of Anchorage in Palmer. The guide would meet me in Willow, a little northwest of Anchorage. I could have changed the campground but I figured that I'd rather head toward Valdez and use the Jeep to backtrack a few miles than drive the motorhome to Willow and have to come back through the Anchorage area to get to Valdez.

When we got to Palmer on the Glenn Highway, I was surprised that the mileposts were only around 25 and I thought that the campground was at milepost 109. Hmmmm. I drove further and still didn't see the Grandview Campground. I pulled into a rest area and while Helen walked the dogs, I called the campground. Sho nuf, they were waiting on me. And sho nuf they were at milepost 109. I asked how they had a Palmer address if they were so far away. "It's crazy isn't it" the girl responded. OK, I'm on the hook for one night so I might as well continue. Heck, it's only another 60 some odd miles. So, the bottom line is that the meeting place for me tomorrow is 110 miles away. I had better come home with a salmon. I should. I think I should. I couldn't have two bad days in a row. Could I?


  1. Oh my goodness...what a day! I hope you catch a BIG ONE!!!

    We are checking into Bear Creek tomorrow!! We just missed you!!!!!!!!!!!

    We had the MOST glorious day today. Denali (McKinley) came out and it was awesome!!

  2. Your dump story reminds me of a buddy of mine that was in the submarine service, evidently some of the older WW2 subs had a drill that had to be foloowed to flush the head after use. if not followed to the letter, it could backflush, descibed by him as "Getting back your owm (Sxxt)"
    Not only that but you had a nasty cleanup of the facilities before the next guy could use them. Hope you habe better luck in the future. normally those sew pipes are 3 in. and don't back up unless there is trouble, At the Lake we had some idiot put a soda bottle down the dump pipe and it blocked the thing solid, we had to dig the pipw up and replace it. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.