Saturday, December 3, 2011

RV, The Movie

A pre-requisite movie for all newbie RV’ers is to watch Robin Williams’ movie – RV. This poor guy certainly gets in some predicaments with his rig, which I think his kids nicknamed "The Big Rolling Turd”. He has an encounter, of the worst kind, while dumping his tanks and I think all Rv’ers would agree, it’s an experience none of us want to go through.

A few days ago, when I was making preparations to leave Mocksville, I was preparing to dump our tanks. Our site was super convenient in that the sewer hook-up was only about 3 feet from the side of the rig. When we first pulled onto the site we weren’t able to find the hook-up and eventually did, under a bunch of dirt. (Hold that thought !) I squatted down next to the compartment, where the black and grey valves are, and pulled on the black valve. As usually happens the force of the “black water” comes roaring (yep, that’s the word that fits) out of the tank and the sewer hose (no matter how short a length it is, turns into a wild beast and starts stretching and expanding all over the place). We have a clear connector where the hose meets the pipe going into the ground so you can see the “progress” of the dump. It should flow fast, but smoothly and then taper down to a trickle. This time, it’s flowing fast but doesn’t seem to slow down…then it starts backing up the sewer hose AND then I discover that we have two holes (about the size of a pencil eraser) in the hose. Then the squirting starts except with TWO holes, it’s shooting in two different directions. While I was trying to dodge the shooting fountains (not nearly as impressive as those synchronized fountains you see at Disneyland but if someone had been watching me, probably as entertaining), I realized I had a major back-up. I made the stupid mistake of grabbing the connector to see if there was a clog or something I could “fix”…DUH !  That created a volcanic flow of brown stuff so I slammed the connector back down but not before it made a mess all over the ground. I quickly decided the proper course of action involved closing the valve. Ok…breathe….It appeared this was going to be a long process….do it in small “batches”. One hand on the valve, one eye on the connector, dodging and weaving the two fountains. It sort of resembled some funky hip hop routine you’d see on “So You Think You Can Dance”. For two seconds, I thought I had the one thousand and second use for duct tape in fixing the two holes but quickly dismissed that idea. Pull the valve…peek at connector…dodge the fountains…close the valve. Repeat….After doing this routine for what seemed like a hundred times, the tank was empty. SIGH ! Not sure what would cause the pipe to be clogged (did someone knock a bunch of dirt into it that plugged it) or did someone stuff something down it intentionally or is it just a super slow running drain. Who knows? Even when I hooked up the garden hose to flush the tank, it wouldn’t take the flow of water without backing up (and we only have 30# of pressure at our site). Pretty nerve wracking and really messy ! Can you imagine what my “dance” would have looked like if our sewer connection had been the typical 10 or 15’ away from the rig ? Oh my !!
I think I’ve been officially “baptized” as an RV’er.


Jim and Bobbie said...

Oh, my goodness, Girlfriend, what an experience. Sorry it don't want to wish that on any one.

Anonymous said...



Gaaawwwwwddddd !

I just read my worst nightmare !! This hasn't happened to me....yet, but I gotta tell ya that everytime I do the tanks I hold my breath when my pull that lever.

Steve and Joan said...

Thanks for the laugh! We had a similar situation while staying at Fort Wilderness in Disney. We reported our "toxic spill" to the office as we were leaving. It's a funny story when we tell it now but not so funny while it was going on!