What’s the absolute worst thing you can imagine happening to your wonderful little nomadic home on wheels? For us, it’s probably returning home to find Mayhem engulfed in flames, but right after that I think seeing liquid feces gushing down the side of our motorhome has got to be at the top of the list.
And that’s exactly what happened while we were in Key West.
First, some context for those of you unfamiliar with RV tanks.
The black tank is the holding space for anything that goes down the toilet: y’know, the icky stuff. The gray tank holds all the water used for dishes, showers, etc. Both of those get dumped using the same outside sewer hose; first you open the valve to dump the black tank, then close it and open the gray water valve (always in that order, so the gray water flushes the sewer hose clean).
We also hook up a sewer hose that routes clean water into the black tank as it’s being dumped, helping to create pressure and fully rinse the entire tank. We turn the water on, open the black tank valve, and after a few minutes everything is dumped and just clean water is flowing through the tank.
So, the disaster.
As we were packing up to leave our ridiculously over-priced and hoity-toity RV Park in Key West, Kali turned on the flush water… but instead of opening the BLACK tank valve to let it all out, he accidentally opened the GRAY tank. Not realizing his error, he left the tank flushing (he thought) and went to find a dumpster to dispose of our accumulated trash.
As he walked back to the RV and saw Mayhem, this was his reaction:
Foul sewer water pouring off the roof of Mayhem, down the sides, and cascading over the ground. Oh. Ehm. Gee. Is this for real?
Poor Kali ran to turn the water off then rushed inside to see if the toilet had overflowed. I was inside lashing things down and cleaning stuff up before we left, and of course I had no idea of the disaster that was taking place directly above my head.
Thankfully the toilet didn’t overflow (geez, could you imagine if it had? Toilet water flooding our tiny little home?!?), but it had to handle the excess liquid somehow. Apparently there’s an air vent on the roof that runs down into the black tank, so everything backed up into that…. thus the waterfall of liquid excrement off the top of the RV.
So we run outside in panic mode, trying to clean this mess up as quickly as possible while simultaneously throwing up a little in our mouths. We managed to rinse most of it into the grass, disperse the solid bits (sooooooo groooooossssss), and clean all of the hoses and cables while smiling at the employees driving by in golf carts and pretending everything was just peachy.
We tried our best to clean off the RV and rinse the roof without bringing too much attention to ourselves, but there was really no way for us to thoroughly rinse the air vent (we tried running water down it from the outside, but a cap on top prevented us from getting any direct pressure in the vent). So we did the best we could, rinsed ourselves off, tucked our tails between our legs, and got the heck out of there.
Now? Our RV reeks of despair and poo, with a little horror occasionally wafting through the vents if the air flows just right.
We need some air freshener, stat.