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Old 06-10-2006, 02:35 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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Red face 1st Dump & North Country Warning!!

In brief: BW dump flex hose was assembled on 98 F hot sunny day - but the 55 water provided at Minnesota dump shrank plastics enough the hose just dropped off - The luckiest fellow in Minnesota is posting this story today!


A little back ground information: I purchased my 1973 '27 Overlander knowing PO was selling it w/ BW tank unclean - inches thick of tar complete w/ mold feathers with a few more identifiable deposits. The reek of formaldehyde was overpowering and I came close to walking away with that as deal killer. Drove straight home since I had no tools and didn't know if the plumbing was complete, etc. Very embarassing, y'all are the first I've admitted this to, shhh!

First thing when home - added water to drain traps, then put 20" box fan in window for positive pressure and w/ bathroom window open. I added a bottle of enzyme supplement horse-pills I've had around for years to the BW tank. Mashed about 60 of them up and dissolved in hot water w/ a couple of cups of sugar for wee-beasties & tanked it. Then stripped out carpet and cleaned for a couple of days - then went 2+ weeks with fan running while I had other things to attend to.

No leaks - I disinfected the grey lines (no GW tank) and tested the BW valve w/ momentary opening-closing, system looked good to try and purge the garbage from system. Odor was now a mix of formaldehyde and rotten papaya.

Got the AS ready on a 95 F sunny afternoon, meticulously checking clamps and cam-locks on 20' 4-inch flex line the PO had left. I removed bathroom screen and got my own garden hose ready and zoomed off to a county park w/ all-day $10 dump station pass & once there used a homemade side-jet blaster w/ curvey hose to scour year-old petrified tar sands and black hills from BW tank.

After 4th surge flush the white nylon tank bottom was visible (whew) and the corners inspected clean using a mirror-on-a-stick to view, so I then rinsed out of sink drains and bleached system, all in all using more water then the BW tank surges and a lot of clorox. Back outside, after wrestling the solids through the flex hose and a final rinse we shut the water off and paused to let it finish draining...

The DW and I were nearly dancing with glee the BW tank was CLEAN when... I looked down at hose to cam-lock clamp in time to see it settle a bit, wiggle and drop clean off! No water flowing, no one touching trailer or hose.. It just relaxed and dropped off! Since I was watching it when it happened, only a pint of clear clorox water was spilled before I could lift hose back onto fitting!!

Our ground water here in Minnesota can be 52-56 COLD which causes plastics to contract AND even allow a wrench tightened stainless steel hose clamp to slip around. My dump-station tool kit now has a 5/16" nut driver which WILL be used to check and recheck hose fittings the next several uses. I can not begin to imagine the nightmare that could've happened, or the reaction of motorhomes in line waiting to use the station...

Anyhow, thats my Alibi and I'm sticking to it


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Old 06-10-2006, 03:19 PM   #2
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
BACK WOODS , Minnesota
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Have you seen RV yet?? Similar situation.

There is no "I" in the word "team," but there are four in "Platitude Quoting Idiot!"


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Old 06-10-2006, 03:37 PM   #3
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1975 27' Overlander
Twin Cities , Minnesota
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Sounds like a rather maloderous task is well done.
Meanwhile, I'm just about to hit the road for Aitkin. Delayed my weekend till today so will probably stay up till Monday.
Got grass to mow and fish to catch. And I'm sure my AS misses me.
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Old 06-10-2006, 03:50 PM   #4
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College Town USA , Virginia
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Well done and a good read as well. Happy trails!
In dog years, I'm dead!
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Old 12-19-2006, 06:49 PM   #5
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1993 36' Land Yacht
Willis , Texas
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Another way to clean black tank, and sensors, is to put 1/2 cup NON-antibacterial Dawn in tank, followed by 2 or 3 bags of ice, drive to your destination and dump. You will be surprised at what the Dawn and ice will loosen up, and your sensors should work better, too!
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:09 PM   #6
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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It's almost comical because we've all either had this happen, seen it happen or come up to a dump station where it's already happened.

Maybe we should contact that guy from Dirty Jobs!
Computers manufactured by companies such as IBM, Compaq and millions of others are by far the most popular with about 70 million machines in use worldwide. Macintosh fans note that cockroaches are far more numerous than humans and that numbers alone do not denote a higher life form. -NY Times 11/91
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Old 12-19-2006, 08:44 PM   #7
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Cooperhawk beat me to it...I was gonna ask if this was Robin Williams posting??!!
- Jim
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Old 12-20-2006, 12:27 AM   #8
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Milwaukee , Wisconsin
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OK, North country story. We do winter camping and one day returning with a full load from a park with no dump facilities I stopped at the local Flying J. The temps were hovering around the zeros and the winds were a balmy 40 to 45. I quickly, in record time, got out my hose and hooked it up, opened both valves and ran inside the Flying J. After a few minutes I ran back out to notice that the tank had still not finished dumping. I ran back inside. I waited a few more minutes at least until I was warm again and ran back out to see that the tank was still draining. I made this trip several times until I realized that I forgot to take off the cap at the end of the hose. The tanks drained in a minute or so without the cap.
Chaplain Kent
1994 30' Excella 1000, Chummy III- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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Old 12-21-2006, 08:20 AM   #9
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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Robin Williams has printing presses running 24/7 minting him beau-coup dollars, Wabbiteer runs 24/7 and gets pressed over a few dollars.

Robin Williams has good assistants of assistants who have the sense not to even consider an 1973 Airstream, whereas Wabbiteer doesn't have the good sense to consider NOT getting the Airstream.

Robin Williams did not care to post (yet) in "North Country Warning", at least that this scraggly lop eared rabbit knows of...

--> Chaplain Kent; I was anxious that you were going to describe a 12 foot long solid block of drain tube - way to go on not lingering too long indoors!


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