Right now I’m on a partial hook-up site. In this case it means I have water and electric but no sewer. Fortunately, the dump station and the bath house are very close. I can take all my showers in the bath house so 1 of my 2 gray tanks only gets water from brushing my teeth or washing my hands. The other gray tank is for the galley so that gets more use from washing dishes. And I only use my toilet for middle of the night requirements. At that rate, the black tank should easily last until it’s time for me to move off this site. At that point, I’ll either dump the black tank at the dump station or a full hook-up site.
But what about the gray tanks? Well, the clever folks in the RV industry manufacture a nifty little product commonly known as a Blue Boy tote. They come in various sizes but they all have wheels, handles and openings to let you fill and empty them without making too much of a mess. Besides the weight when they’re full, the other bad part is not being able to visually tell when they’re almost full. That’s important because you have to stop the gray water flowing into the tote before it’s full, otherwise you get a lot of overflow. That’s also the reason that you shouldn’t try using a tote for your black tank. Nobody likes cleaning up a poopy spill.
Today I decided to empty my gray tanks. The process was uneventful. I filled up the first tote and wheeled it over to the dump station. As dump stations go, this one is fairly nice. The actual sewer opening is at the bottom of a concrete, concave surface. There’s no lip on the sewer pipe so any liquid that makes it onto the concave part of the station will flow into the sewer. After positioning the tote near the sewer opening I gradually opened the dump valve on the tote. Gray water began pouring out, down the slope and into the sewer opening. As the tote emptied, I opened the valve further.
About that time I got some company. One fellow RVer walked up beside me and the camp host pulled up in his golf cart. After exchanging pleasantries with the camp host, he took off. The other RVer then went on to tell me that he got reprimanded for dumping a tote exactly the same way I was. In other words, without hooking up a sewer hose first to drain directly into the sewer opening. That was kind of surprising until the next words out of his mouth. He said “You know everybody mixes gray and black water when they’re using the totes”. Really? Not me! All the totes are clearly marked for gray water only. My guess is that he was using the tote for his black tank, the camp host saw that dirty water/mixed solids coming out of the tote and had a little conversation with the gentleman.
For those of you new to using totes, please check with the local host/manager before your first use. It may save some embarrassment later.