posted this on another forum.. I think it's a good read!
We have a small RV dump station in our town built by the municipality near a boat launch. Every day I walk my dog by the river and go past the RV dump. So... not too long ago I was amazed to see a couple in a brand new trailer dumping onto the ground rather than into the dump opening and yelling at each other at the top of their lungs.
The dump is well designed and has well sloped sides leading to the 'hole' but they had covered the hole with a screen. Why?
Turns out that one of them had dropped a dental bridge into the toilet (never, ever multitask in the morning) and they figured it would flush out at the dump station. I got to watch the entire hilarious project.
First they dumped and watched the screen for the bridge. This didn't go very well. The mesh diameter was pretty small and kept clogging. It was the screen from one of their windows. Sweeping it with their brand new collapsible broom helped keep it clear.
Screen replacement parts: $5.00
Broom: $ 8.95
After dumping the entire (very full) tank and finding no bridge, they decided that the device must have settled to the bottom of the black tank and not been evacuated. So... they got our their water hose and a water thief and hooked up to the dump station water stub to fill their black tank via the toilet.
New (unpolluted) hose: $15.00
New water thief: $4.00
Once they had hooked all this up, they apparently shoved the hose into the toilet, keeping the valve open and turned on the water. Then they pulled the dump valve again. No teeth.
After some (loud) discussion they decided that the teeth must be stuck or jammed and that they needed to agitate the tank to dislodge them. At this point 2 more rigs have pulled up to dump and are waiting in line. One is towing a boat with a sunburned and somewhat drunk crew. The fisherfolk are getting out cans of cold refreshment and one has a lawn chair. Another one has a plan....
How to agitate a black tank (while it's still attached to trailer) method 1: Get 4 cans of beer and some buddies. Refill tank with water. Open cans of beer and position buddies on each corner of trailer. On que, rock trailer back and forth. Position one person in bathroom with toilet valve open to listen for sloshing. Do not drop beer. When good sloshing sounds can be heard in tank, pull the dump valve and wait for teeth.
Unfortunately, the teeth didn't appear and by this time the helpers were thirsty again. The owner with no lower teeth offered them more refreshments. They were thrilled because he had high end beer (they were drinking the cheap stuff).
4 bottles of Redhook: $6.00
3 more rigs are now in line at the dump station and one woman (with 2 teens) has a camera out. Her kid has a cellphone held up high in the video capture position.
How to agitate a black tank method 2: Add water and then start tow vehicle up. Make sure the water is really flowing and tank is full to get a good dump. Go forward and back in rapid succession to really get things stirred up. So.....
They leave the hose filling the toilet attached and station one person in front of trailer to keep an eye on the hitch. Another will be the driver and several more will stand and watch for teeth. The wind has picked up and the screen is on the verge of blowing away. One person holds it down with foot. Wife will pull dump handle.
The driver decides to set the emergency brake and then does the forward/back thing. The engine starts, the water is flowing, the spotters are ready, wife is in place, and the forward/back thing starts. You can smell the transmission and hear the clunks and he shifts back and forth. The crowd is cheering and offering advice. Then the dump handle is pulled. Whoosh! Lots of water - no teeth. The foot holding the screen gets soaked and the owner of the foot steps back, sticking foot into open dump hole, twisting ankle and crying out in pain. The proceedings stop and the crowd gathers around the fallen helper to offer aid (and a beer). After a time water begins to run out the trailer door.
Another Redhook: $1.50
Remember the hose stuck in the toilet? It had dislodged during the forward/reverse process and was filling the trailer, flopping around and covering the walls.
Trailer rehab: $1000.00
The volunteer who had been watching the hitch runs inside to trap the hose. A couple of minutes later he comes out and says hey buddy - is this what you're looking for? He is holding teeth and new fresh beer. "I found 'em in the fridge"
One more Redhook: $1.50