We are a family in search of a simpler life. Life where we can clear out the clutter and enjoy God's wonders by wandering through his creation. Join us as we discover the amazing beauty of the US and living a simple life with our 3 kids and pup in our RV.
Though it’s well beyond Halloween, this story may haunt
Do you cringe at the thought of dealing with the black tank –
the RV waste holding tank?Just collecting
putrid waste day after day, stewing it up into a horrific funk just inches
below your living room floor?Considering the general foulness of this necessary RV component, it’s
critical to ensure you don’t commit any boneheaded errors, or you might find
yourself in a very unpleasant position.Such
was the case when passing through Pennsylvania late this summer.
Sometime in September,
2016:We arrive at our campground –
just an overnight stay with an opportunity to thoroughly clean out the tanks
after staying with friends (and no hookups) for few days.Everything is going along swimmingly (perhaps
a poor choice of words here), up until I go to connect the sewer hose.The hose connects to a 3” PVC that hangs down
from the holding tanks, capped off with a simple two prong cover.I twist off the cover and a rampage of angry
urine and filth roars down the PVC.I
frantically replace the cap, but it’s too late.I’m soaked from the waist down.We
were operating without water hookups for several days, so this is a full
concentrate, smell burning your eyeballs kind of urine.I see my tragic error: the black tank valve handle is fully extended,
fully opening the tank.I close the
valve.I want to find someone to blame,
but I know I must have left it open after flushing it the week prior.*Sigh*At this point I figure there is probably only a bit remaining in the
lower portion of the pipe below the black tank valve, and I might as well just
let these last few drops splash down to the ground with the rest of the sewage
puddle I now stand in.Off goes the cap,
and out rushes gallons of addition
urine, soaking me once again.That PVC
holds a lot more than I expected!
I whimper momentarily, and then feel a sense of relief and
gratefulness that Brynn wasn’t the one hooking up the sewer today, as she does
on occasion.Sleeping on the couch
wouldn’t even begin to describe what I might suffer after something like
that.I gather myself, avoiding a
complete breakdown, and realize I resemble a child’s papier-mâché project.Bits of toilet paper are plastered to my
arms, legs, and sandals.
The next hour can most accurately be described as such:The Ace Ventura - Pet Detective scene where
Jim Carrey cleanses himself in the shower following an unpleasant experience of
his own.He is contorted into ball of
despair, wailing, just hoping the boiling hot water can do something to purify
him.But it’s hopeless.No amount of scrubbing will make him feel
clean, as the memory is burned into his brain.This was my experience in the campground shower that afternoon.
You can understand why it’s been so long before I was able
to write about this experience.There
was some emotional healing that needed to happen first.
A practical tip:Before removing the tank drain cap, check to
make sure all valves are closed.If they
aren’t – don’t freak out!Just get a
large, preferably black heavy duty garbage bag, and open the tank with the bag
fully around the pipe.No spill, no
mess. Easily poured down the sewer pipe when complete.Just the strong smell to deal
with, but that’s a far cry away from what could have been. Ace Ventura. Notice the flames from clothing burning in a trash can.