RV Tips

The Dreaded Black Tank

Let’s talk about poop.

On second thought, let’s not talk about poop. Nobody wants to discuss it, it’s gross, but necessary. We all do it. Some more than others, some less. Sometimes those that do it less wish they could do it more. LOL!

I’m somewhat of a germ-o-phobe. There are several bottles of germ-x throughout our camper. Sometimes germ-x isn’t enough and I use soap. Public restrooms are NOT my thing, but I knew with this adventure came….well…adventure. So if I’m going to use the public restroom at a campground, I watch for the cleaning crew and go in after they’re done. That’s sort of cheating but it helps me adjust.

I probably did more research about the black tank than any other topic on RV’ing. Am I going to need a full on chemical warfare suit when I dump the tank? How thick do the rubber gloves need to be? Should they come all the way to my shoulders or is elbow length ok? Remember the scene in the movie RV when Robin Williams dumps the black tank? Poo spews everywhere, it’s a mess. This had me somewhat paranoid.

This is probably THE BEST video on YouTube on how to dump your black tank.

Not all RVs/Campers are the same. Ours doesn’t have a hookup for a hose to fill the black tank from outside. So we drag a hose inside after the initial dumping of the black tank, fill it up, and dump it again. Afterwards, we do a sniff test and if it passes, we open the gray tank to flush the hose. My method differs in that I dump the gray tank first for about three seconds. I check all of the connections. If I don’t see any leaks, then I proceed with the black tank.

While we’re camping with full hookups, we leave the gray tank open and only close it a couple of days before we’re due to dump the black tank.

We dump our black tank about every 10 days.

Once I got over the fear of dumping the black tank, I no longer use the campground bath houses. I poop in the privacy of my own camper without the fear of dumping the black tank.

The process is so simple and clean that I don’t even wear gloves. My hands have never touched poop. It’s not gross. But I do wash up afterwards…trust me. : )

By Brian Gilbert

Prior to August 28th, 2012 we had never spent the night in a camper or RV. Now we're full timers and have never looked back. If you've ever dreamed of doing the RV thing, do it. It's much easier than I ever imagined. The only thing I regret so far is not doing it sooner.