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A business that empties tanks


RVEd
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Hi, 

In this post I'm going to say RV, but what I really mean is "5th wheel". 

I'm looking at buying an RV to live in and it will stay in the same campground for several years at a time.  I do not have a truck.  I'll have the RV delivered to its rented spot. Now comes the problem: the tanks need to be emptied. It's just me, so I'm thinking the tanks will only need emptied once a month. It would be nice if a business could empty the tanks while I'm at work. I don't know if they could just do it at the RV's rented spot, or if they would have to use their truck to take it somewhere. It would need to be an actual company with insurance, not some guy who wants extra cash. Does this exist? I'm in Albuquerque. 

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Welcome to the Escapees Forum!

I don't have a specific recommendation, but I suggest contacting a porta-potty rental company.  They have tanker trucks that make regular visits to service the outhouses at construction sites, etc. and it would be fairly simple to add your RV to the list.  Just make sure they don't connect the suction hose directly to your RV's sewer outlet or you can wind up with a collapsed tank.  It sounds a little gross, but the proper procedure is to let the tank drain into a bucket or other container, then the truck suctions the waste from there.

It sounds like the campground doesn't have a sewer pipe at each site.  Does it have a central sewage dump station? If so, you could get a "blue boy" portable sewage tank and use it to transport your waste from the trailer to the dump station.  There are several variations available, ranging from wheeled tanks that you can gravity fill and tow behind your car (at a slow speed!) to others you can put in your car's trunk and use a pump to get the "stuff" in and out.

Expecting your RV's tanks to last a month before they need to be emptied may be a bit optimistic, but that's something you'll only know once you start using the RV (yes, trailers are RVs, too).  Don't try to economize on adding water to the toilet tank, you need plenty in there to dissolve the solids so they'll easily flow out.  Don't add enough water and you'll wind up with a tank full of a solid mass that's very hard to get out.

Edited by Lou Schneider
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Oh yeah, if you will be living at a place that long, a full hookup park is a must or at least a park that offers a honey wagon service where they come around an empty you once or twice a week. We are at a park right now where they don't have sewer at each site because they are right on the river, but they come around twice a week to empty our tanks. I'm glad we have that, but it's certainly not as nice as being able to empty your grey tank when you need to when you realize your shower is filling up with water.

FYI, we have a 39 gal grey for the shower & bathroom sink (another 39 for the kitchen sink), but anyway between my wife and I we fill up that one 39 gal tank from the shower in about 3-4 days if we don't conserve. I'm sure for boondocking we colud make it last a lot longer, but I was suprised it filled so fast. Our black tank easily lasts a week along with the kitchen galley tank. 

BTW, if you have full hookups, it's best not to leave your tanks open, especially your black tank open. On the black tank, you will let all the liquid out and end up leaving the solids behind. You need lots of water in the black tank for it to work properly so it's actually best to only empty it when it's at least 1/2 -3/4 full. The grey tank is arguable since it's only waste water. I prefer to leave ours closed just so we don't get flies or sewer smells up through our grey tank.  Some people will leave theirs open. 

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Another thing. You will want a water pressure regulator on your city water intake (I prefer the ones with a guage) along with a water filter and you will want a surge protector / EMS unit. The EMS units are better because they protect against low voltage and other things and not just surges or high voltage. We have the progressive industries one 50ptx for 50amp and it's already been doing a great job at our current park. 

Edited by BlueLghtning
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Welcome to the Escapee forums. We will do our best to help you.

9 hours ago, RVEd said:

Now comes the problem: the tanks need to be emptied. It's just me, so I'm thinking the tanks will only need emptied once a month.

I have never heard of any RV built with waste tanks that are large enough to last for a month, even for one person. But your question also makes me suspect that you do not realize that nearly all RV parks that rent spaces by the month have electricity, water, and sewer connections to all of those monthly sites. In such a situation, you still need to empty the black tank at least, since it usually doesn't work well to just leave that dump valve open, but emptying it is just a matter of pulling the valve open, waiting a few minutes, dump a few toilet bowls of water into the tank to rinse, close that valve and then dump a couple of toilet bowls of water again. If you leave the sewer hose from the RV connected to the sewer connection all of the time, as nearly everyone does, the process will take no more than 5 minutes. There is no need to move the RV at all to empty the tanks. 

May I ask what kind of RV experience or knowledge you have? Have you actually spent any time in one? If you have not then you might be wise to rent one for a week or so first since there are many things about living in an RV that is quite different from living in a house or apartment. In addition, you will need to find a park that will allow you to stay as long as you wish since even parks with monthly rentals often have time limits for visitors due to zoning and other restrictions. I suspect that a mobile home park might better suit your needs. 

 

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Thank you all for all this information. I bought a used 2017 Avenger 28RKS, 34 ft. I'm really happy with this purchase.  I have a car, but I think I will end up having to trade it for a truck. Not yet, though, since the RV being delivered. Still need to find a place to park it. I'll call all of the campgrounds around here and survey them. 

I have not slept in an RV through the night. I worked at an RV place just cleaning the RVs, so I spent a lot of time in them. I did sleep a few times, but only on the job and never for long. I've wanted to do this for years and really look forward to RV life. 

Thanks for the tips on things to buy. It's really great having a few people to discuss this with. I am thrilled that I bought one. 

 

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Once you get into an RV park, do not hesitate to walk around the park and greet those you meet as RV folks are mostly outgoing people who are happy to help another RVer. Your dealer should be willing to teach you the basics and to show you how to dump the waste tanks and even how to connect the sewer hose to the tank and the connection on the ground. Just let us know when you need answers and we will help. 

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