What happens when you have a site in a campground that does not offer full hook-ups? Maybe they just offer 30-amp or 50-amp service, but no water.
That means water is not coming into the trailer. You must fill the clean water tank prior to parking. Most parks have a place to get water as you pull in. The campground we were visiting, The Harry L. Swartz Campground in The Middle Fork River Forest Preserve in Penfield, Illinois (much more on this peaceful place to come) has water available as you pull in! This water is even potable according to their sign; that is not always the case.
Remember, here at Get Out & Go, there are no stupid questions. I am a total beginner at camping. I have flown a lot however, so potable means safe to drink. If you pull into a park that tells you the water is not potable, you can still wash dishes, shower and flush the toilet. You can purify water by bringing it to a boil over the campfire. The more common, yet less eco-friendly option is bottled water. You could step up your game and get boxed water, or bring refillable jugs that you filled at home. Here is another tidbit of knowledge: a gallon of water weighs 8 lbs. That is something to keep in mind as you are loading your trailer or tow vehicle. It all adds up quickly!
Anyway, let’s get back to the dump station as you exit! Let’s assume that you have filled your clean water tank, stayed the weekend and used the bathroom in your camper instead of running to a campground facility every time nature called. You now have grey water and black water to deal with. You don’t want that sloshing about as you head down the road, so you stop at the dump station.
This one was very clean and very well laid out with plenty of instructions as you can see from the signs. You should follow those instructions step by step, but you might want to add a couple of steps first. Things like: Put on your rubber boots and your gloves – and your hazmat suit – in case of spillage. As you can see, I am still fearful of a disaster involving the black water tank. I will let caution prevail and take my time learning this system.
So once you have outfitted yourself for black tank dumping you can proceed to follow the steps on the sign. They even provide you with another water source to flush your tank if the grey water was not enough. Let’s be frank – is it ever enough? Why not be safe and just run a little more water through there – you can even leave a little bit of the clean water in to slosh around, further cleaning your tanks as you go.
Please, please clean up if you have spillage. I don’t want to deal with my own black water, I surely do not want to deal with yours! If you want to then throw away your gloves or your hazmat suit there is a very nice, large trash receptacle right there!
So there you go, another lesson from a beginner. And a new slogan: Be a dear, don’t leave a trace of your rear.