My RV Black Tank Adventure Mishap! Part 1

It was on a recent trip to Texas, after a long day on the road when we got to our destination that my problems began with the Black Tank in my 5th Wheel. We reached the RV park where we usually stay, Late in the afternoon. I got the 5th wheel leveled and hooked up to the power. Then I hooked up the water and turned it on. I got distracted and saw a friend that I had met at the same RV Park the year before. I went over to talk to my friend who was about 3 spaces from my site. My wife was sitting in a lounge chair on the opposite side of the fifth wheel talking on the cell phone. while I went to see my friend. I was gone for maybe 15 minutes, and when I returned my wife said we have a problem. She said something happened under the Trailer and I shut the water off. Well by now you can probably guess what happened. I looked under the trailer and there was the black tank laying on the ground and with the trailer belly split open.The tank was hanging by the pipe that went up into the toilet on one end. The sewer pipe was broken, but the valve which was closed and on the side of the tank was intact and not broken. The front gray tank line and valve was broken and some gray water had leaked out. Fortunatly the gray tank had been empty. The black tank was full. my wife walked with me around to where the water connection is and asked why do you have the hose hooked to the black tank flusher. I was embarrased and did not want to tell her I hooked the water hose to the wrong inlet. I told her I was going to flush the tank and forgot to open the sewer valve. I don’t think she believed me, But being the good wife she is, She said nothing.

The city water inlet and the black tank flusher inlet are only about 9 inches apart on the side of my Jayco designer with the flush inlet a little above the city water inlet. Bad bad Location and poor design as far as I am concerned. I know it was a stupid mistake on my part, but it is easy to do if you are tired and in a hurry or get distracted, The Flusher Inlet is only marked by a tiny placard and hard to see. both inlets look the same with the same color caps and, the flusher inlet is closest to the rear of the 5th wheel so when dragging the water hose from the rear of the trailer the flusher inlet is the first one encountered. Thats the one I hooked the water hose to.

I later determined what happened. The black tank filled with water and backed up in the vent pipe. the toilet valve was sealed so that none of the sewage came up into the toilet. The vent pipe being to small would not let the sewage and running water escape fast enough on top of the roof. The tank started to Bulge and push against the floor spreading the rails that the tank rests on and slitting open the rubber belly of the 5th wheel letting the tank drop down. My wife said she heard a big woosh and heard water so ran around the trailer and shut the water off.

It took a week to get the tank emptied and back up into place, sewer lines repaired and clean the outside of the 5th wheel. But that is another story in part 2


Author: Mel

I am a Retired PC Tech. My Wife and I love to travel in our Keystone Cougar 5th Wheel Trailer. I am a avid RVer and like to camp and travel. I am a commercial Pilot. I like to read and like country and western Music.

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