Wednesday, August 21, 2013
ANATOMY OF A TRIP Part 7
TRIP DAY 5 Saturday (Last Day and The Trip Home):
It was hot and very humid this morning. We started to prepare to dump the waste tanks – black and grey. The monitor was showing the black tank full but it has been showing full on the monitor panel since the day we arrived and started using the toilet. The black tank had a gallon of water in it before we started the trip. The grey tank had just started showing 2/3 full on the monitor panel. Our grey tank monitor is pretty close to accurate. The black tank is way off and generally shows 2/3 or full. It is important to have at least 2/3 of the black tank full before dumping and I use the shower hose to put water down the toilet to be sure the tank is at 2/3. The tank was actually near full as it only took one gallon of water before the water rose up from the tank and into the pipe which is visible with a flashlight pointed down into the toilet with the flap open. We were now ready to go outside and dump the tanks. Meryl is the one who holds the hose into the sewer opening as I cannot bend down to do that. She took a pair of vinyl gloves with her. We keep a box of gloves in the Roadtrek just for this purpose.
We were also going to refill the front fresh water tank so that we would have water if we needed during this last day and for the trip home. There is no sense in having a bathroom that travels with you if there is no water to use it. Meryl took a small spray bottle that we keep inside and filled it with half bleach and half water. This is really a very small spray bottle – it maybe holds two ounces total. The bleach and water is to spray on the water spigot on our campground site to sanitize it before we connect our fresh water hose to it.
We left the A/C on inside – we were still hooked up to shore power as we were going to need some relief from the heat when we were finished. Outside Meryl pulled the macerator hose out of the compartment fully to get ready to dump. She opened the sewer cap which was just sitting in the pipe that was coming up from the ground and she pulled the black handle out. I pushed the button under the driver’s seat from the open driver’s door. Note – when the seat is not swiveled facing forward forward and is still in lounge position, there is a lot of grease under there so don’t touch the base of the seat swivel or you will get black grease on your hands as I did. (The grease is supposed to be there to keep the seat turning smoothly.) The black tank emptied quickly. There is no evidence of any solid waste that comes out or toilet paper. Everything that comes out had turned to liquid which is the job of the waste chemical. (Not so pleasant to think about but the system really does work as it is supposed to – and we do not hesitate to put toilet paper down into the tank – we shall talk about that idea at another time.) When the liquid that is flowing starts to sputter and little liquid is coming out you have reached the time to stop and then we pushed the black tank valve handle back in and pulled the grey handle out. Back to the button and the water ran clear with some evidence of the soap that we had been using when washing. Both tanks were empty in less than ten minutes – maybe even less, I did not time it.
We went over to the campground restrooms to wash so that we were clean to fill the front fresh water tank. This could have been done first but for some reason it is just easier to dump the tanks and then get to this after. The water spigot got sprayed with the bleach mixture and we then connected a four foot hose and a ten foot hose with our water filter in between. As I had noted in the preparation for the trip, by turning the water spigot on just an 1/8 of a turn, the water will flow enough to fill the tank through the doors but not so fast that it causes any back up or air bubbles. The water tank filled with no problem.
I pulled my banner stand out of the ground and that and the banner was put away on the floor of the rear under-bed storage compartment through the rear doors. The next step is usually to pick up the leveling markers but as they were stolen that did not need to happen. I also made a visual check that the roof antenna was down.It had been up the night before and I put it down before going to bed.
It was nice and cool inside the Roadtrek. I put four ounces of tank chemical into the toilet, followed that with one cap of Calgon and two caps of detergent and a gallon of water. (A gallon of water is approximately the level of the toilet’s ledge where the water comes out.) All of these additives are kept in the storage in the third seat. While it was opened we noticed that it was wet at the bottom. The measuring cup that I use to measure mineral oil for tank seal lube had dripped out of the plastic bag i was wrapped in. Evidently, I had not wiped it down enough – perhaps I had and the intense heat inside has cause residual oil to run off. That got mopped up and that measuring cup is now stored in a ziplock bag.
We then started to go through the departure checklist and a visual inspection of the campsite just to make sure that everything that should be inside was inside and coming home with us. All was ready to go, but before we drove off, we went to the campground store with the burnt out light bulb to see if they had a replacement. There was a section with different types of RV bulbs but none looked like this. The woman at the counter said that the bulb we had was a “special’ bulb. Well, the Roadtrek is special so naturally it would have a special bulb… Needless to say, they did not have the bulb or any "special" bulbs. I asked if there was an RV accessories shop in Lancaster. There were two general RV service centers but not near by. She gave us the names and addresses for both but looking at where they were located we decided that we would not spend the last day of our vacation trip driving to one to replace a light bulb. What we still had no bulb number and could only show the burnt out bulb in hope that someone would recognize it to sell us a replacement, so we could not even call ahead to find out if either had the bulb.
We left the campground to spend a, last for now, pleasant day. Our last day in this area is generally going back to the places we enjoy most (that are open on that day) and just leisurely spend the day, have dinner, and then drive home. By leaving late and traveling home at night, we avoid traffic and have a full day for fun.
END OF PART 7. PART 8 NEXT WEEK.