So our rented RV has two waste water tanks: one gray, one black. Water that goes into the sink and the shower ends up in the gray tank. Anything that goes into the toilet ends up in the black tank. All of it eventually ends up in a hole in a ground. The owner (or renter, in our case) of the RV gets the esteemed honor of putting it there.
As I mentioned yesterday, there’s a panel inside the RV covered with switches and little lights that allows you to control and monitor features of the vehicle. This morning, after eating a bowl of oatmeal and drinking a large mug of coffee, I retreated to the RV’s luxurious 3’x3′ bathroom and pooped. I’ll spare you the details, save for the part about how I ended up with one leg in the shower, with toilet paper in one hand and a can of air freshener in the other. And when I was all done, believe me, try as that little vent fan could, I sure wished I was not in that tiny hot poop closet.
When I walked out of the bathroom, a new light was blinking on the wall. The black tank was now full.
For the most part we’ve only been doing “number ones” in the RV while saving “number twos” for rest stops, restaurants, and bath houses. I have no idea how big the black tank on this RV is, but … this is all science I just don’t know. I don’t know how much waste comes out of people on average and how big the tank in this RV is to hold it — math was never really my strong suit — but at the end of the day, you don’t need to know any of that.
When the light comes on it’s time to empty the tanks, and that’s all you need to know.
Every RV campground (I’m assuming?) has a place where visitors can dump their tanks. If you were hoping for a high-tech solution here, you will be disappointed. Dumping your tanks involves connecting one end of a big black hose to the RV and sticking the other end down into a hole — far enough that it won’t pop back out, but not far enough to touch “anything” that we all know is down in that hole. Once you are absolutely sure the hose is properly connected, you pull the black handle first, followed by the gray handle. The black handle dumps all the poo poo and pee pee out of the black tank into the hole in the ground. The gray handle dumps all the sink and shower water through the same hose, ostensibly also flushing out anything that was left in the hose. There’s no motorized suction thing performing any of this magic — it’s just you, a (thank God not transparent) hose, and good ol’ gravity.
Oh yeah… and, your nose. The black hose may be liquid-tight, but it sure isn’t odor-tight, I can tell you that. Plus, the other end is literally plunged down into a hole full of other hombres’ caca. There’s no seal around that end at all. I’m sure with a flashlight you could see things that could never be unseen down there.
Aaaaaand… that was pretty much it! With the tanks empty we drove the RV back around to our parking spot, hooked back up to power and water, and set out in the rental car to explore Santa Fe!
(Also, Santa Fe business owners, if you saw us using the restroom in every restaurant and museum we visited yesterday, now you know why.)