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Old 07-07-2004, 08:34 AM   #1
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Been reading of the misery and disappointment of some and the sheer ecstacy of yet others at large rallies and get-togethers of the cult, I have a few questions as I have yet to go to such an event.

I have read of "pump out service"
I got to think this is sewage removal. Right? So how does this work? Do they dump into a blue boy and suck that into a truck? Or do they connect directly to your outlet and suck into a truck? Is there any back flushing included? Is this generally very neet or does a bit of "dripping" usually result? How many rows over can you usually smell the pumper coming? Is it the Airstreamy thing to do to invite the operator in for coffee and cookies?

Also and this is a rather un-delicate subject, but I have wondered.

Is there a generally fecal air to the enviroment at a rally site?
Seems after a few days in the 90+ degree heat there might just be a whiff of... let us say "de scat" in the formally festive fields.
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:43 AM   #2
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Greetings roadeo!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadeo
Been reading of the misery and disappointment of some and the sheer ecstacy of yet others at large rallies and get-togethers of the cult, I have a few questions as I have yet to go to such an event.

I have read of "pump out service"
I got to think this is sewage removal. Right? So how does this work? Do they dump into a blue boy and suck that into a truck? Or do they connect directly to your outlet and suck into a truck? Is there any back flushing included? Is this generally very neet or does a bit of "dripping" usually result? How many rows over can you usually smell the pumper coming? Is it the Airstreamy thing to do to invite the operator in for coffee and cookies?

Also and this is a rather un-delicate subject, but I have wondered.

Is there a generally fecal air to the enviroment at a rally site?
Seems after a few days in the 90+ degree heat there might just be a whiff of... let us say "de scat" in the formally festive fields.
The "pump-out" service offered at large Rallys, as well as by some "destination" campgrounds operate on the same principle as having a home septic tank pumped - - only on a slightly more frequent basis. A vacuum truck with a hose having adapters for the Thetford connector on the coach pulls up behind or near the coach and connects its hose to the terminator of the dump valve - - the valve is opened and the vacuum is started and momentarily the tank is emptied of its contents - - it generally takes less tha two-minutes. At the most recent International, the pumping crew also pumped out our portable blue wash water tanks while they were pumping the black water tank. The only time there is an obvious odor of sewage is during the pump-out process while the vacuum truck is present. I have only encountered two exceptions to this at International Rallys - - in Dayton, the wash water (gray water) collection process broke down in our row and wash water was spilled on the ground until crews were able to install a low-point pumping station - - so we had the distinctive aroma of wash water for between 36 and 48 hours - - the second time was in Lansing due to some oversight of planning, the designated dumping area for portable blue wash water tanks as well as the pumping service turned out to be a storm sewer rather than a sanitary sewer so again we had a slight odor problem for between 36 and 48 hours (it wasn't pervasive, but was noticeable when the wind was from a particular direction).

The pumping crews are quite professional, and there has never been any spillage of which I have been aware. They are also very careful, but a good friend advised me early in my International attendance that it is wise to try to be with your coach during pumping operation if the balck tank isn't well vented (typically some earlier Vintage units) - - this was the case with my '64 Overlander at my first International - - to avoid having the tank collapse with pumping due to its inadequate venting, it was necessary to hold the toilet valve open to allow air into the tank as it was being pumped (the problem was remedied upon my return home by my Airstream dealer). The pumping crew moves quickly and generally doesn't take any breaks as they work through a section.

Kevin
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