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How "NOT" To Flush Your Tanks: The Poo Shower Edition


When we first got the camper,  we didn't know anything.  We especially didn't know how our tanks worked.  A couple of days after taking delivery of the camper, we decided to clean the tanks out really well since it was a used camper and we didn't want to smell the egg smelling water anymore and we didn't want to have other peoples poop in the black tanks smelling up our camper.

I watched a few videos and when I decided I was educated enough I set to work.

I started out with the fresh water systems.  I needed to drain the old antifreeze and old stagnant water. I turned on the water pump and opened up all the water faucets.  I didn't realize there was a low point drain that would have made that easier.  once all the old water was out,  I poured some bleach in the fresh tanks to clean them. After they were drained I decided to flush the lines with fresh water.  So I once again opened the faucets up and turned on the shore water.  Within a few minutes the smell was gone.  So I turned off the water at the site and asked my wife to turn off all the faucets.

Now it was time to hook up the sewer lines. Once I had the connections made I looked around for the T-handles and I found them.  Two gray tank handles and only one black tank handle.  I thought that was strange but what do I know about campers.  I pulled the handles and the tanks drained with no fuss.  Next up was the black tank flush hose.  I hooked it up and turned on the shore water.

Then I hear yelling.

My daughter Sophia comes running around the camper saying water is leaking all over in the back bathroom.  I turned off the water and ran around to see what was going on.  It turns out that Kate had not turned off the water and the bathroom flooded.  We closed the faucets and cleaned the mess.  Minor catastrophe averted.

So back I go to turn the shore water back on and tried to flush the black tanks again.  Within a few minutes  I could see the waste getting clearer and clearer.  Hey this was no big deal.  I was worried about nothing...

Then I hear yelling, again, so I run back around to see what was going on now.

My wife then informed me that water was leaking out around the toilet and would pour out the toilet when you press the flush peddle.  Me being a visual person, I convinced Kate to press the peddle again so I could see what was going on.

She did not inform me that when she said the water poured out, what she really meant was that HIGHLY pressurized poo water would come shooting out of the toilet about three feet.  And when she pressed the peddle water sprayed her from the neck down.  poo water.  From the black tank.  On the used camper.  Other. Peoples. Poo.

I did the only logical thing at this point.  I started laughing.  I laughed harder than I ever had. Kate was not amused and let me know with the stare of death. I laughed a little more. I couldn't help myself.

We got Kate showered up and sanitized with liberal amounts oh hand sanitizer. I then started investigating the cause of our unwanted poo fountain. Turns out that our camper has a second valve for the black tank.  Now this valve is nowhere near the others.  It is under the back slide, and it had no handle.  So what we figured out happened is that the flush hose pressurized the back black tank with 50 psi of water, so when Kate pressed the flush lever a 50 psi stream of poo shot up at her.  Kinda like a super soaker of turds.  I apologized profusely for my mistake and for laughing and we called it a day.

But we learned how our tanks worked, and never made that mistake again.

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