If you enjoy boondocking or living off the grid but are stumped by how to empty your RV holding tanks without moving your fifth wheel, travel trailer or towable camper, you’ll want to check out our solution!
While we’ve figured out how to replenish our water without moving our fifth wheel when we’re boondocking, there’s still one looming stinkin’ issue that makes us have to pack everything up to head back to civilization. We need to empty our RV holding tanks.
We could stretch our black tank to last about ten days until having to empty. However, it takes about half that time to fill our gray tank because of showers, dishwashing, etc. So, we came up with a solution!
How to Empty Your Holding Tanks Without Moving Your RV
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Managing our RV holding tanks at a campground or RV park
When our fifth wheel is hooked up to a campground sewer connection and our toilet starts to burp, we just pull the ole lever outside and let ‘er rip! All of our RV holding tank contents (crap and gray water) go right down through our RV sewer hose into the yucky hole in the ground and we’re done with it.
That said, when we are at a campground that doesn’t have a sewer hookup, we’d hook up our portable sewage tote to our sewer hose and empty our holding tanks accordingly. Because it was of a smaller capacity than our RV holding tanks, it would take a few trips to the dump station at the campground. And because the dump station was somewhat close to our campsite, we’d just walk it over or hook it onto our truck bumper trailer ball hitch carefully pulling it to the dump station.
Managing our RV holding tanks while boondocking
In doing so, we also loathed the idea of coming back to our favorite boondocking site only to find someone else there. And we certainly don’t feel comfortable leaving all of our outdoor camping gear as our luck would have it that someone would help themselves to our stuff.
So, instead of getting the whole ship underway just to empty our tanks, we figured out how to get that dang portable sewage tote up into the RV without either of us breaking our backs or hurting ourselves. The portable sewage tote holds about 25 gallons.
First, a SCIENCE lesson…
Now, if you’re a mathematical geo-bio-jigawatt scientist, you’d know that at 62° fahrenheit, a liquid gallon weighs around 8.3 pounds which when added up, our 25 gallon honey wagon weighs in at about 208 gallons.
However, did you know that the weight of a gallon can fluctuate as will the temperature because the density of the water can change accordingly?! If you want to measure the energy, you need to measure the temperature as they are connected. When the energy increases, the temperature also increases. Add those two together and you’ll find that the weight increases as well aka ‘density’.
It’s always about WEIGHT when owning an RV
Three heads are better than one!
How it works…
About the Pulley System
The pulley system is a hitch mounted hoist that swivels a full 360 degrees that allowed us to load our RV portable sewage tank with a simple 3-piece attachment and easy installation.
Since the manufacturers design the boom/winch piece as one unit, there is no cable threading or alignment of holes or pins. There is a bracket and slot design that is amazingly fool-proof that virtually any RVer and truck owner could assemble.
It features machine pulleys to produce a high quality product that will not bind or jam. They even provide a hook for attaching our straps that cradle the sewage tank. The total weight of this pulley system is 42 pounds, so keep that in mind when it comes time to buying your portable sewage tote. Or, if you already have a much larger one, you won’t want to fill it as full in keeping with it’s specified weight limits.
We’ve absolutely love not having to pull in the slides and hitch up our fifth wheel just to take her to empty our RV holding tanks. This solution allows us to stay off the grid longer. We also incur less stress trying to find a dump station for our big rig fifth wheel.
So, if you boondock for long periods of time, here’s the perfect solution of how to get rid of your crap without moving your RV!
We came in to edit this post with this note because we received a lot of negative responses of why we didn’t seek other measures or solutions ‘instead’ of this one (i.e. macerator, composting toilet). We do what works for US. While yes, we ‘could’ go with other options, those are/were not viable solutions for US for the time being. If something works for you and your situation, we’re happy you’ve found your solution. We all do things a little differently and unless they are deemed unsafe to others or ourselves, we should all be left to our own decisions respectfully. Thank you.
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