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Old 05-06-2003, 11:20 PM   #1
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Dump station follies

We attended the Region 8 rally last week in Columbia Mo. at the county fair grounds. There were 100+ units there and all of us departing made the mad dash for the two hole dump station during a break in the torential rain and storms that were hitting the state on Sunday.

Both dump stations were occupied so I lined up behind a small vintage unit on the right. The station on the left was occupied by a Cutter motorhome. The owner of the Cutter was extending his levelers up and down quickly and the motor home looked like one of those low riders you see in L.A. where the kids jump their cars at the traffic lights. Apparently his black water tank was full and when he opened the valve nothing came out. He ended up giving up after 15 minutes of effort.

The guy in the vintage in front of me connects his hose to the vertical fitting and pulls the tank valve lever. Instantly as the hose fills it comes off the fitting. He attempts to pick up the hose and hold it up to the fitting as the sewage pours over his hands. He gets it shut off, looks at it for a few minutes and calls his wife.
She gets out and he holds the hose up to the fitting, she opens the valve and they finish the dump.

Unfortunately there is no water hose at the dump water faucet to help rinse the debris. He lifts the faucet valve with his contaminated hands and rinses his dump hose (allowing what ever was left in the hose to dump everywhere but in the sewer. He then rinses his hands and arms and moves on. Thankfully most of the waste did get into the sewer and I thankfully slip on a set of disposable plastic gloves that my wife supplied for just these situations.

Jack
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Old 05-06-2003, 11:43 PM   #2
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Yuck

Jack

Smart thinking on your wife's part.

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Old 05-07-2003, 06:08 AM   #3
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I was at Flying J getting gas and LP when a bus driver parks and wanders over looking at the dump station. He was upset that Flying J installed concrete poles around the dump station. Inquiring farther I asked, what side is the dump pipes on? He said the right side. I asked, your sewer hose won't reach? He replied:

Oh, I don't use a hose, I just swing the back over it and pull the lever. Since the sewer pipe is down in that concrete square, everything goes down the pipe.

Now I know what IDIOT is making a mess at the dump station and why Flying J smartly put up the concrete barriers!
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:37 AM   #4
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This is the part I am least looking forward to learning about. Is there anything tricky to it, or was the guy who made the huge mess just unlucky to have his hose pop out? Should he have been holding it in while someone else pulled the valve? Sounds like rubber gloves are going on my shopping list.

My trailer is empty now so I ran a bunch of water into the toilet and pulled the valve so I would know how it worked (we're on our own acreage, so that little bit of foul water wouldn't bother anyone - much less mess than the time the septic guy powerwashed our septic pump on the lawn- yuk) but I'm still nervous about the first time we take it camping and we have to use a dump station (only one week away now)!
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:47 AM   #5
 
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One of my favorite story is when Mike dropped the hose in the dump hole.

I was not going to leave it there. My civil duty - it was blocking the opening..... and

.... the fact that it was brand new & expensive.

It took me over 5 minutes of fishing with tree sticks. but I got it out.
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Old 05-07-2003, 10:55 AM   #6
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Unhappy Unexpected 'guest'

I'm not sure where I read it but, the story goes...

The lady of the house was having guest over for a 'Garden Lawn Dinner' party and, just before the guest were to arrive...She went out to pull the valve on their A/S so that the guest could use it if needed be..
As it was reported, a raccon had chewed holes all over their hose.
You can the rest...
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:37 AM   #7
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Stephanie,

A bad dumping experience is high on my list of fears! If you use that fear to your advantage, you should not have any trouble. Take your time and be careful. Make sure all the fittings are on tight. Since you dump the black water (toilet) and then the gray (wash water), the hose is usually fairly clean.

I typically run a bunch of water into the black and gray to help the process. It's always better to dump a mostly full tank.

I have a large stash of disposal gloves.

I usually hold the universal fitting down to the pipe just to be sure! ACTION CURES FEAR!
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Old 05-07-2003, 11:41 AM   #8
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I used to have only one Thetford coupler. I would switch it between the Blue Tank and sewer hose at state parks. Well, the first time I tried it, I did not tighten the hose clamp enough. You can guess what happened when I pulled the dump valve.
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Old 05-07-2003, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stefrobrts
This is the part I am least looking forward to learning about. Is there anything tricky to it, or was the guy who made the huge mess just unlucky to have his hose pop out?
Your hose is secured to a plastic fitting (coupler) which connects to the outlet on the trailer. The dump hose is secured to the coupler by a hose clamp similiar to ones used on automobile radiator water hoses. Those clamps can get loose and in his case once the sewage hit the hose, the weight of the water and other stuff pulled the hose from its coupler. The coupler is securily attached to the outlet on the trailer by a twist type of lock. Now if you don't twist properly when you connect you can blow the coupler off once the water hits. I've seen this happen also.

This is just one of those maintenance items that you need to occasionally check. He learned the hard way.

Jack
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Old 05-07-2003, 01:01 PM   #10
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One other thought. For the 18 years I have owned different brands of travel trailers, all of which were configured with the black water handle being closest to the bumper. The grey was the one closest to the axle. My Safari is reverse of that which I assume is the same for all A/S units.

I know I have to make a concentrated effort to watch which handle I pull. Be careful here if you have had a SOB in the past.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 05-07-2003, 01:14 PM   #11
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<<This is the part I am least looking forward to learning about.>>


I found this site on another Airstream thread. I went out and bought it straightaway. It was expensive but extremely well made and it appears that it will likely last for many years.

http://www.sewersolution.com/index.htm

Do a search here to see what others said about it.

Good Luck

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Old 05-07-2003, 01:37 PM   #12
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When I was in the Army, we dug catholes. Nothin like bein in nature!

When we were in populated areas, we'd just stop and use restrooms. The locals never seemed to mind the invasion.

I know, I know, can't do that all the time. I figure I'll teach my kids how to empty if they wanna go out in RV's.

Glove Club sells latex gloves at $2.95 per box of 100 gloves (50 pair). In dentistry, we need alot of them.
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Old 05-07-2003, 01:42 PM   #13
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Question Connection size?

Dr Harold Becker
Thanks for that insight and link. It just may be the answer to the problem. It's true, no one likes to use those old 3' slinky hose~!

My only concern is one of the fitting used to connect the drain valve.
If I may, several years ago when I first picked up my unit, it was decided early on to replace the old hose with a new one..Little did I realize then, not all fittings for drain valves out there are the same size. The one used on the SOB's are smaller in diameter.
It seems that A/S uses one that is so far removed the norm. It's just ever so slightly larger`!

You said you bought one and, I take it that, you are using it on a A/S trailer?
I'll be sure to check back for your answer on that point before I order one.

BTW, Were you ever at MGH in Boston? My oldest son was involved in a horrific auto accident in the late 80's and, the surgeon's name then was Dr Becker as well.
I could never thank that Dr. enough for saving our son's life.
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Old 05-07-2003, 03:08 PM   #14
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Wow, that sewage device sounds pretty neat. One thing I'm wondering about is that I don't have a grey water tank, so I bought a blue tote to use with the trailer. This first rally we're going to has 'full hookups', so I assume that means I just hookup the slinky hose to the trailer and to the dump hole on the site, and let the grey water run right into it. I won't even need the blue tote this time, as I understand it. However, since I don't have a grey water tank, when it's time to go I pull the black water valve, and then what, run some more water into the toilet to help flush it all out from above?

I wonder if that sewer solution can be left hooked up without water running to it to drain grey water for those of us who don't have grey water tanks?

Never spent so much time thinking about sewage :-)
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Old 05-07-2003, 03:19 PM   #15
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Steph: a word of caution on the "Sewer solution". I bought one, and yeah, it works. BUT....your trailer (like mine) only has 1 holding tank for the black water...no grey water tank. (unless someone has modified it). The grey water pipe(s) from the sinks and shower just by-pass the black tank, and enter the dump pipe below the black tank valve. if anything restricts the flow of poop when you pull that handle, even for a second, sewage could backup the gray lines and into the shower. (this happened to me a couple of times). a wad of TP came out the pipe and got stuck in the sewer-solution's connector. The high-speed jet did eventually pulverize it and send it on its way down the hose, just like they say it will....after about a half-second. that was enough time to send a dose of poopy-water into my shower pan. not pleasant.
not to bash the Sewer solution; I think its a neat idea. AND I had the same backup situation occur once when I was using the standard 3" stinky-slinky pipe (though not quite as bad). I didn't have a straight-line to the sewer hookup. the slinky was sitting on the ground, and went slightly uphill to the campsites sewer inlet. again, only a slight bit of back pressure that was created when the poop whooshed down hill quickly, then slowed as it started to go uphill caused a "surprise" in the shower.

Ultimately, I'd like to add a grey tank to my trailer and re-do the plumbing. at the very least, I'd want to cut the shower drain pipe, and install a valve to keep backups from happening. A shower drain plug has been suggested to me before in regards to this matter, but that would only keep stuff from getting all the way into the shower pan; it would still make it into the trap, and still "stink up the joint", so to speak.

anyway, be carefull, no matter what setup you use, and make sure its always a completely down-hill run to the dump. What they say in the military about "poop running downhill"...its true, most of the time. What I've found is that if there isn't any place for it to go but up, it WILL go up.
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Old 05-07-2003, 04:57 PM   #16
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Sounds like good advice. The PO also warned us to keep the shower drain plug in while moving, because sometimes the motion of the trailer will cause a backup into the shower pan. I forgot about it when we hauled it home, and sure enough when we got it in the driveway there was some nasty brown stuff in the bottom of the shower - yuk! Probably didn't help that before we left he had turned on the water pump and run a little water into the sink to show it worked, with the dump valve cap on, so there was water in the pipes while under way. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.
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Old 05-07-2003, 05:05 PM   #17
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How about pulling up to the dump station before heading out, unscrewing the lid then setting up your hose only to find out that the dump station tank is full after emptying only half of your black water. Yuck!
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Old 05-07-2003, 05:41 PM   #18
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B]53FlyingCloud[/B]

Well, if truth be told, I'm an interloper, an A/S wannabe. Unfortunately, I own SOB but not by first choice. As the bumper sticker says "My next TT is an Airstream"

I can't comment directly on the size of the outlet on your A/S except that it was on an A/S forum discussion that I picked up the info on the Sewer Solution in the first place.
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Old 05-07-2003, 07:02 PM   #19
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Sewer solution

I just picked up the Sewer Solution hoses last week. We're going to go camping tomorrow to San Clemente State beach, so we will have a chance to try it out. I bought the extension hose as well, just to be sure.
My 1971 has an added on grey tank with it's own 1.5in valve, which then feeds to the 3in main dump hookup, so all the grey water flows to the tank first before hitting the dump connector. This would avoid the backup problem with the sewer solution so long that the grey tank valve is closed.
I will post and let you know how it worked on my trailer next week.
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Old 05-07-2003, 08:25 PM   #20
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YUCK! NASTY!

I carry a set of rubber gloves in the rear bumper kind of like the nice ones people use in the kitchen.

I was kind of bummed that I didn't get the flush out kit for the black tank, but I found that the system I have works well.

I fill my fresh water tank with some good ol Lake Michigan (triple filtered) and both empty holding tanks. If it is just a weekend trip and the black tank is low, I just blow out the remaining fresh water tank to minimize the weight and take the trailer home. Next to my driveway, I have a PVC poke through and I bought an extened hose and dump right at home.

I also have a water hose in the same area, so I can flush out the tank by filling from the inside and getting it all out.

Eric
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