Why I don’t Camp on Federal Holidays

Basically, because everybody’s in a big damn hurry to relax.

That, and using the dump station is amateur hour.  I don’t know which is worse, waiting forty-five minutes for an RV to finish, or pulling up to a pond of freshly dumped scat.

It literally requires a full bio-hazard suit before entering some dump stations.  Not only do I keep nitrile gloves on hand, I’m using shoe baggies, too.  God forbid the EPA wanders into a dump station at the tail-end of a busy holiday weekend.  They’d shut it down faster than you could say “Exxon Valdez”.

Seriously.  Being an a-hole to other campers is essentially a character flaw, and I can’t do anything about that.  But, spewing your fresh excrement all over the dump station can be remedied (unless you’re a coprophile, but we’re not going there), and that’s what I’m going to do right here and now.  Here’s a easy, step-by-step how-to guide on dumping your holding tanks.


Location is everything.  Get your dump tank orifice as close to the actual sewer outlet as possible.  Most dump stations will have the sewer outlet in a recessed culvert, with a perimeter curb that has a cut-out where your dump outlet should be located.  Accidents happen, I realize that.  But, at least if you’re close and pointed in the right direction, you can hose it down!  Otherwise, your foul-smelling richness is all over the damn road, making it impossible for the next camper to dump without tracking thru your discharged fecal waste matter; and all the biological implications that includes.

Secure Connections

Remove your dump hose- and here’s something important that seems to get overlooked.  Make sure your hose isn’t full of HOLES.  That would be a good start for the inevitable government regulation; mandate quality sewer hose construction, guaranteed against puncture or rot for 10 years.  (Ten years is good since nobody keeps their RV’s longer than that unless it’s an Airstream; and proper maintenance isn’t a problem for Airstream owners 😉

Connect the sewer end first, and secure it.  Whether you need to use an elbow and collar to keep it secured in the sewer downpipe, or just use the brass cover to hold the hose into the pipe; it’s important to keep it from dislodging.  That rush of fragrant sludge can pack a wallop, and while satisfying to know you’re taking care of business, so-to-speak, it can jerk the hose end out of the sewer outlet.  If that happens, you’ve got to be nimble, and fully protected, to get the hose back into the sewer connection.

Now, connect the other end of the hose to your RV dump twist-lock connection.  It’s pretty straight-forward whether that connection is positive, or not.

Let ‘er Rip

Now that the hose is fully secured at both ends, (and doesn’t have any holes or tears in it) you can start dumping.  Pull the black tank release, first.  If you’ve got one of those cool clear connectors, you can see when your tank is fully evacuated.  Next, close your black tank valve, then pull the grey tank release.  Doing it in this order lets you clean out your hose- which is important when re-stowing it (especially if there’s no non-potable water hose).

Once your grey tank is empty, close the valve, then wait another bit to ensure everything in the piping has run down.  Now you can disconnect the hose at the RV.  More than likely you’ll still have a little bit of a drip, but because you dumped grey tank last, it should only be some sudsy kitchen or shower dribble.  Keep the hose end elevated.  If there’s a non-potable water hose, you can hold your sewer hose up, and use it to rinse everything down.  If not, just be careful to stand the whole sewer hose upright, making sure all the contents trapped inside run down into the sewer.  Again, because you followed up with grey tank flush, it shouldn’t be raw sewage.

Promptly remove the other end of your sewer hose from the sewer opening, and stow it.  At this point I remove my gloves and shoe baggies, properly dispose, then pull away.   If there’s no snafu’s or torn gloves, it typically takes about 12-14 minutes with (2) full 55 gallon holding tanks.

See You Down the Road!

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