Most Full-Timers are friendly folks and will assist their camping neighbors anyway they can. Sometimes it is something simple, like helping them back-in their rig or helping them put up a stubborn awning. Yet sometimes it can be more involved.

The other day we found ourselves in an all-day situation. The neighbors were frantic – their black water (sewage) tank was full to the neck of their toilet despite having their tank open and directly connected to the sewer.

Their motor home is new and our first thought was a similar problem we had with our new fifth-wheel. A piece of circular plastic from the tank (we assume from where they drilled one of the openings) was wedged at the opening of the tank that releases into the sewer hose. Several attempts at auto-flush and a couple reverse-flushes managed to clear out the plastic piece. We actually retrieved the plastic piece and sent it to Forest River to let them know about the problem we had, in hopes they would check tanks for this prior to installation.

RV sewer hoseIf only that would have been the problem…

Now our neighbors are not only newbie Full-Timers, but also newbies to the world of RVs. We found they had no extra hosing and no other tank accessories that are pretty crucial for Full-Timers. We loaned them all we could and tried all the tricks we know.

Water pressure at this particular campground is a bit low, making flushing your tanks a pain. You have to really let the water run to keep your sewer hose clean of waste.

I’ll spare you all the crappy details, but after several hours the tank was finally emptied. What filled up their black water tank? They were flushing those thick hand wipes down the toilet!

Now we realize that people flush things down the toilet they shouldn’t, but when you have a RV, you really shouldn’t flush anything that is not biodegradable. In fact, you should use RV toilet paper or a thinner toilet paper that will break down. If you aren’t sure if your favorite brand is okay, grab a piece and place it in a bowl of water. See if it breaks down after a little while. If it doesn’t, then it will lay in your tank if you don’t use enough water to flush it out.

The RV neighbors also didn’t know they needed to treat their tanks and didn’t even know they had an auto-flush system. Needless to say, they were flushed (sorry, can’t help myself!) with embarrassment and are going to dig out their owner’s manual to educate themselves on their RV.

So if you are new RVer, you should take the time to find out about your rig. You don’t want to be caught with a full tank! 😉