I got an e-mail yesterday from a new RVer who wrote that he is terrified to dump his RV’s black tank for the first time. “It feels like holding a live hand grenade in my hand, waiting for it to explode,” he said. “What if the hose comes loose from where it connects to the end of the tank or the dump station? What if the hose has a leak? What if it explodes?” I think he watched the movie RV one too many times.
I wrote back and told him I’ve held both in my hand many times, and trust me, it’s not the same. Cleaning up after a hand grenade is a lot messier than a sewer hose, believe it or not.
As long the hose is in good condition and you make sure all of your connections are good and tight, relax and pull the handle. And, if by some crazy quirk of fate the worst does happen, you’ll survive. I think there are only two types of RVers, those who have had a dump station mishap, and those who will have a dump station mishap. If you’ve been fortunate so far, wait your turn. It’s coming. All you can do is clean up the mess and get on with your life. Trust me, a year down the road it will make a funny campfire story.
One time I saw a fellow pull up to the dump station at Elkhart Campground in a Class A Fleetwood motorhome. He opened a bay on the side of his rig, and pulled out a pair of chest waders of the type worn by fisherman, and put them on. Next he pulled rubber galoshes on over his shoes and donned one of those paper masks with an elastic band over his nose and mouth, like you see in a hospital operating room. I watched as he then slid on a set of plastic goggles and thick rubber gloves. He looked like he was about to handle plutonium rods or something.
With his survival gear on, his next step was to get out a bottle of some sort of disinfectant, with which he proceeded to spray the plastic cap to the dump station before he unscrewed it. Likewise he sprayed down his sewer hose after pulling it out of a plastic storage bin. All this on a day when the temperature was up around 90 degrees and the humidity wasn’t far behind. I was pretty sure he’d cook himself in all that rubber and plastic before he ever got his sewer hose hooked up. I couldn’t contain myself any longer.
“What in the hell are you doing?” I asked him.
“You have to be careful dumping these things,” he told me. Or at least that’s what I think he said. It’s hard to understand someone when they’re talking through a mask.
“Yeah, e-coli lives in places like this. It can kill you.”
“Oh, you’re dumping,” I replied. “I was waiting for you to pull out a snorkel next. In that getup, I thought maybe you had lost your Rolex and were getting ready to go in after it!”
Some people don’t understand my sense of humor, and this guy was obviously one of them. He muttered something through his mask and went to work. I left before any stray e-coli germs crawled out of the sewer and bit me on my portly posterior.
Thought For The Day – Some things are better left unsaid, but occasionally I slip up and say them anyway.