Stretching Your Tanks in the Boonies – Dumping and more…
We can all only hold so much before it’s gotta come out the other end. Known broadly as “the conservation of stuffin-it-in law” it applies to insects, animals, humans and RVs. As we’ve been slowly, but surely moving towards more dry-camping opportunities (= places without any external hook-ups) both for the benefits in cost and wider access to the wild outdoors the “what-goes-in-must-come-out” theorem has become more pertinent to our existence. Thankfully this RV is not named “the beast” for nothing and as you’ll see there’s way of cheating the system which allows you to go beyond the limits of your tanks even out in the boonies.
The Basic Equation: Starting with the basics our monster has 100 gallon fresh water tank (the “in” side of the equation) which is used for cooking, washing and drinking. That runs into 2 outlet tanks, a 60 gallon grey tank (kitchen and shower run-off) and a 40 gallon black tank (toilet run-off). These are the starting boundaries for our dry-camping limits and most RV’ers will have an equation something like this with 3 tanks of varying sizes. So far, we’ve been easily able to last 2 weeks on this and could probably stretch more, depending on how cat-like our bathing gets. Our grey tank tends to fill up first.
Dumping: Once any one of the tanks is full it’s gotta come out. You just can’t pour the stuff into nature, so the thing to do is to take the RV to a dump station where it can relieve itself in a dignified manner. Finding a spot is actually quite easy. Most developed (private) campgrounds will let you come in and dump for a fee (usually around $10 or so). Also some rest-stops and gas stations have dump stations. This website is the best resource we’ve seen for finding your spot: Sanidumps.com – List of dump stations all around the US http://www.sanidumps.com/sanidumps_usamerica.php
Cheating the Tanks: Going beyond this little set-up is where we get to the cheats and a lot of full-timers who stay longer-term in the boonies will use these:
1/ External water tanks – there’s collapsible and solid external water tanks that allow you to drive your tow car and fill up water which you then bring back to the RV. So, you can fill-up fresh water without moving the RV.
2/ “Blue-boy” – This little blue plastic tank is a cool cheat for the dump side. You basically run the grey or black from the RV into the blue-boy and then bring that to your dump station rather than moving the big beast itself. More on blue-boy’s here: http://www.rvboondockingnews.com/2008/12/care-and-feeding-of-your-boy.html
So, physics lesson done for the day, may you well and get truly out there and may the dumping force be with you.