Responsible dumping - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-30-2008, 07:40 PM   #1
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Name: Per
Trailer: 2000 Burro 17 ft Widebody towed by Touareg TDI
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In preparation for a 6-week trip I would like to know if this scenario is acceptable: I have a 6-gallon, hand carried waste-water tank, without wheels, which I would like to use as a last resort way of getting rid of black and grey water. We have quite often been in places where there are no dump stations that we could find.

This tank, besides the normal large diameter sewer connection, has garden hose connnections on both the bottom and the top of the largest flat dimension side (top, when lying down).

At home I use a Flo-Jet mascerator, complete with convenient wiring, to do the job, and on the road I am thinking of using it to pump the "stuff" into this container and dump it in the outhouses (as many times as necessary).

I have a very short length of garden hose with the correct connections, so the hose could go from one end to the other in a closed loop when carrying it to the loo. When dumping I would just put the thing upright, unscrew the top connector and guide it into the toilet. Neat and clean, and by the time "stuff" has gone through the mascerator it will go right through the hose without a problem.

My question, after that disagreeable description, is: since I presume that tenters and tent trailer porta-potties get dumped this way all the time, what is there to prevent me from doing this? It comes from a trailer, but once I carry this container to the loo what's the difference?

This question is for those who have work-camped, hosted, or otherwise been in the situations where they had to enforce rules. Am I OK with this?

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Old 07-30-2008, 07:45 PM   #2
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British Columbia
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I have done that many times. No one ever said anything to me. If you make a mess, just clean it up.

Retired Underground Coal Miner.
Served in Canadian Army (1PPCLI)
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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It would really depend on the campground and what the system is set up to take -- Dumping a gallon or two from a porta potty is different than dumping a holding tank along with the water used to move it all along. Big difference in capacity between a couple of vault toilets in a 'dry' CG and a CG with a sewer plant.

That may be self-limiting, however, because the places with limited capacity are less likely to have the flush water hookup you would need.

Personally, I get around this by using the CG toilets whenever possible and generating as little gray water as possible. Again, it's all in your camping style and how closely one is trying to emulate bringing one's home into the forest...
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:01 PM   #4
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
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Always ask the host. They know their system better than anyone.

As a part time host that cleans the toilets frequently, I can tell you that in the Forest Service campground with vault toilets I am in allows this in small quantities, such as small tote tanks and porta potti tanks. Just please don't spill on floor or seat!

We would very much frown on you dumping your entire tank this way however. The vault toilets are NOT little dump stations. Use this method to give you a little space until you get to a proper dump station, but not AS a dump station.

It is not common for tenters to have porta pottis, the majority use the vault for relief. The small percentage of those that dump their porta pottis do not do much to make a dent in the vault holding capacity.

The majority of the larger FS campgrounds have upgraded to Vault Toilets, or SSTs (Sweet smelling toilets) and they are effectively one large holding tank similar to your trailer.

The issue with dumping lots of fluids in them is that water (No matter what color) does not leach down. It remains as a liquid in the vault... just like it does in your trailer tank. This dilutes the chemicals in the vault, (Your chemicals are not the same type) and increases the volume of liquid waste in the vault... thus making for more frequent, and very expensive pump outs.

Even when it is required for health and safety reasons, using the hose to clean the toilet area is done sparingly to avoid excess water draining into the vault. (It goes right under the base of the toilet where a regular toilet would have a seal) The majority of cleaning is done with strong disinfectants and disposable towels. No mass liquids are used.

Grey water dumping is a controversial issue. In the dry area I am in, it's a love hate relationship. Tenters are required to take their water back to the campsite and are left with no choice but to dump small qtys on the nearest bush. This has minimal impact and seems unavoidable. As long as it is small qtys and well dispersed (IE, they are not constantly using the same spot) we turn a head to it. Leaching does it's job. There are other reasons NOT to do this, such as bear and other critter attraction, but it does not appear to be a huge risk. We have had no reports of bears digging in a grey water dump area.

We do not allow RVs to run a hose out of their drain and dump un checked during their stay. It leaves MORE grey in one area than a tenter ever could do and there is an impact on the spot it lands on constantly.

Once again, dumping grey into the vault has the same impact on the system as dumping black.. please don't do it in huge qtys.

Might I suggest you save your grey to douse out your fire pit when you go to bed every nite and when you leave? Grey has no effect on the pit and it is a very good use for it.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:32 AM   #5
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Name: Per
Trailer: 2000 Burro 17 ft Widebody towed by Touareg TDI
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Useful comments here. When recalliing our past experiences this process would only be used when we are in situations where I can't find
a dump station or we'd have to haul the trailer out to dump.

I can foresee dumping the blackwater tank this way, but limited or no greywater. As Gina points out, the volume of water matters, so I'd mimic the portapotti process and limit it to one 6-gallon dump. Often the FS campgrounds have greywater dumping receptacles which I would be able to use. Other times the host has OKed dumping it in the bushes. I would not assume that the rules are the same for all FS campgrounds since the "conditions on the ground" may differ greatly.

Overall it looks like my emergency plan will work. Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:24 PM   #6
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Many municipal sewage plants allow trailer dumping into the plant, so don't over look that. Problem is they are usually designed to have a truck pump into plant, rather than a gravity dump, but Per's flush system should overcome that.

I know that the BulgeMobile folks like the flush systems to pump out at home into city system.

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