The biggest downfall to RV boondocking is having to tear down camp to go empty our motorhome’s or camper’s sewage holding tanks. But what if we told you that we’ve figured out how to empty our RV black tank without even moving our fifth wheel? See how we do it without losing our boondocking site!
How to Empty Your Black Tank Without Moving Your RV
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. How do we empty our fifth wheel’s black tank without having to pack everything up to head to the dump station.
Between the two of us, we could stretch our holding tanks for about ten days before it’s time to empty to empty our black tank. So, we came up with a solution!
Emptying our RV black tank at a campground or RV park
When our fifth wheel is hooked up to a campground sewer connection, we can tell when it’s time to empty the black tank. It’s when our toilet burps when we flush. We just go outside to our RV’s utility panel, pull the lever and let ‘er rip! All of our crap and gray water goes through our RV sewer hose into the yucky hole in the ground. And then we’re done with it until the next burp.
However, when we are at a campground that doesn’t have a sewer hookup, we simply empty our black tank into our portable sewage tote. Then we drag it to the campground’s dump station.
Our fifth wheel stays put. We don’t even have to interrupt our camping experience by breaking camp. We’d just walk it over dragging it behind us. Or, hook it onto our truck bumper trailer ball hitch and pull it the short distance to the campground dump station. Sounds easy peasy, right?
Well, that’s SO not the case when we’re boondocking or camping off the grid.
What happens when we have to empty our black tank when we’re boondocking?
But, when our RV toilet starts to burp again, we grumble. Because it’s time to pack all of our camping gear, hook up the fifth wheel and find a dump station.
And, since we don’t leave our camping gear, fear of someone helping themselves, we just hope another camper wouldn’t take our spot. Or, we have to spend time looking for another primo spot to park our fifth wheel.
Our Black Tank Sewage Disposal Solution
With the help from our son, Dana, who is an adventure motorcycle rider and outdoorsman, we learned about a cool option.
He told us about a heavy duty pulley system that big game hunters hook into their 2″ receiver on their pickup trucks. Hunters use them to lift their big game up into the their pickup truck beds without straining a muscle or breaking their back.
Dana mentioned that adventure motorcycle riders have also caught onto this. But, instead of lifting big game animals, they use this pulley system to lift their motorcycles up into their truck beds.
Our son said “if this works for hunters and ADV riders, then it should work to lift your crap tank (portable sewage tank) too”.
I think he’s on something!
Our sewage tank holds 25 gallons. Which when full, it weighs in about 208 pounds. That’s way too much for us to lift up into our truck bed to go empty at the dump station.
So, we ordered one of these pulley systems to see if was the answer to our boondocking black tank dilemma.
How it works
About the Rack Jack Pulley System
The Rack Jack 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 fool-proof that anyone 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, it’s wise not to fill the tote as full to stay within the Rack Jack’s specified weight limits.
We’ve absolutely love not having to pull in the slides and hitch up our fifth wheel just to go empty our black tank. This solution allows us to stay off the grid longer. We won’t lose our boondocking site. And, we don’t have to drag our fifth wheel just to go find a dump station. It’s definitely an incredible tool that is worth it’s weight in gold.
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 recommend reading all instructional information by the manufacturer for proper and safe use. We were not compensated to write this product review.
We some negative comments of why we didn’t seek other measures or solutions ‘instead’ of using the Rack Jack (i.e. macerator, composting toilet).
We do what works for US and our situation. While yes, we ‘could’ go with other options, those are/were not viable solutions for US.
We didn’t want to have another piece of machinery to keep maintenance up with or clean each time we’d use it. And, we didn’t want to alter our black tank sewage system in our RV by getting a composting toilet.
This worked for US and that’s all that matters.
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