By Russ and Tiña De Maris
One of the first things a new RVer learns is how to dump the holding tanks. That’s a subject that’s been discussed at great length, but here’s a related question: Do you wear gloves when dumping tanks or do you ‘bare hand’ it?
Many RVers don’t wear gloves because, they say, it’s just too much bother and they can’t see much advantage to it. The reasoning usually runs, “The stuff stays in the hose, so what’s the big deal?” In a perfect world it’s a good line of reasoning. But since we’re not living in a perfect world, the ‘stuff’ doesn’t always cooperate and stay in the hose. Pinhole leaks can occur and a misaligned bayonet fitting can pop off, unloading an unholy amount of stuff. File that under, “Been there, done that.”
“So you get a little doo-doo on your hands, just wash it off,” is the next comment. Good idea, a thorough washing with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Meantime, make sure none of it gets off elsewhere and ends up in your mouth or nose. And hope in the meantime that you have no minor breaks in your skin. What can happen with a bit of misplaced sewage bacteria? Here’s the short list:
- Gastroenteritis, characterized by cramping stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting;
- Hepatitis, characterized by inflammation of the liver, and jaundice;
- Infection of skin or eyes.
Not sure of any RVer who’d like to have a bout of any of those manifestations. In our rig a pair of heavy neoprene gloves is the order of the day when handling tank dumping duty. Washing up even when using the gloves is a good idea, and an outside “shower” unit that many RVs are equipped with is just great for it.
Why not throw-away gloves? They typically tear easily and if one of the support wires in your sewage hose gets loose (not an uncommon event) it’ll easily rupture your “safety” net.