The RV Proctologists relate an RV sewer nightmare


By Chuck Woodbury
Anyone who has traveled with an RV for a few years either has a sewer-related horror story to tell, or who has heard one from another RVer.

Mine is when I plugged into what I thought was a waste disposal drain, only to find it wasn’t after I pulled my black tank handle. Lucky for me I caught my mistake right away with minimal damage (and embarrassment).

Doug Swartz of, once told me a story about a woman who found a rat in one of her holding tanks. Now, that’s truly bizarre!

Here’s what prompted this post. A fellow named Steve Korsvall posted this on our Facebook group RV Horror Stories. Yikes, this is a horror story for sure. He wrote:

“Can you imagine what we see in our line of work? We are called the RV Proctologists of Quartzsite, Arizona.

“A RV park manager called us and told us you got to get out here ASAP. A lady hasn’t emptied her black tank since her husband died the year before. And poop is starting to pour out the storage doors. Yes it was an ugly site.

“Well we found out the top of the tank exploded and filled the storage area and pushed the doors open. So we shoveled everything out and removed everything including the tank and her toilet

“We installed a new Delta household toilet tied in the vent to the new 3 inch discharge pipe directly to the discharge pipe under the fifth wheel. Happy widow and happy manager.”

OKAY, YOUR TURN. Tell us your RV sewer horror story. Don’t be shy.

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1 year ago

My wife and I were in a nice RV park near Houston. The only way to clean a black tank effectively is fill it with water and flush it 3 or 4 times. (Iknow you are not supposed to fill the tank with the valve closed) The in tank tornado sprayer does not work well enough evidenced by the crap that keeps comming out. One time i forgot my timer and blew up the tank. My wife found out our friends next to us did the same. They traded their 6 month old Montana in on a new RV without telling anyone. Right after that friends on the other side of us blew their black tank also. I wonder how many used RVs have blown black tanks. Luckily warranty covered our repair. I set my timer religiously.

Janette Herrin
7 months ago
Reply to  Rod

Why is one not supposed to fill the black tank with the valve closed? What do you use the timer for? TIA

Pamela Hill
1 year ago

While sitting on the throne I felt a vague not normal sucking sensation. Finished and flushed immediately realizing something was terribly wrong. Went outside to see what’s up to find the entire contents of the black tank emptied onto our site. The park was completely full. I was so happy a crowd did not gather to observe the festivities! Luckily we were able to get repairs done very quickly by a nearby RV repair. The black tank hose fell right off the bottom of the tank. As it was late in the day people were out grilling. Just as the two men finished the smelly job one of them said “somebody’s cooking chicken”. Couldn’t believe he could smell anything except “the job” LMAO

1 year ago

So many questions about this woman who didn’t empty her tank. One big one is how was she able to continue using the toilet without it backing up inside the rig? Did she never go outside? Was she not able to smell? So many more but I’ll leave it there.

Vanessa Simmons
1 year ago

Hook up the sewer hose, pull the gray water valve, let a little out and close it. Make sure there are no leaks. NOW pull the black valve.

Easier to clean up gray water than black water.

Charles Finn
1 year ago

My wife and I had just bought our new 2019 Keystone and decided to take it camping. When we arrived, it was raining hard so I didn’t worry about the sewer. We were getting ready to leave the park so I needed to dump. I got everything ready and removed the end cap. Either the dealer or the manufacturer didn’t close either valve. When the end cap was removed everything came out and onto me. I jumped, but not in time. My wife wouldn’t let me in the camper with those clothes on.

1 year ago

My grandson (9 yrs old) used the toilet in the RV. He apparently had been saving up for this moment and now the projectile would not go down when he depressed the foot pedal. I explained to him, “sometimes you have to float the boat before it will travel down into the tunnel.” I had him depress the pedal slightly so water entered the toilet but not down into the holding tank. When he had enough water to float the boat I told him to quickly push the pedal to the floor. Problem solved.

Karen Pattist
1 year ago

I was solo-driving our Class A out west. Suddenly, one of my inside ‘dualies’ let go, and the belts completely destroyed the black water tank. When I stopped, there was a stream of sewage on the road. A policeman happened to be following me, and saw the blowout. He stopped, and as we both walked to the back of the RV, he took one good sniff, decided that there was nothing he could do – and left me standing there! I limped to a tire place, but didn’t find sewage repair until the next day.

Nancy S Logan
1 year ago

While work camping at different resorts, I often interact with “newbies”. If they seem open to advice I always give them a couple of tips on waste disposal. The first is to ALWAYS double check that the hoses are really connected, because that was my personal (flood the area with sewage) sewer story. Then I tell them to empty the black before the gray. Fortunately these are mistakes you usually only make once.

1 year ago

While camping in a park with two others (both relatives), it came time to pull up stakes and one brother-in-law hooked everything up correctly (he thought) but when he pulled the black tank handle, the end popped out of the ground connection and whip-sawed, in snake like fashion, spraying the side of the other in-laws RV. It was quite a mess before he could get the ‘snake’ under control. Why he didn’t close the handle I’ll never know, but he sure was funny chasing after that hose.

1 year ago

After a long day traveling to our camp site. I Started to hook up the fresh water I got distracted by a neighbor and hooked the Hose to the black tank flusher instead. Turned on the water and went for a cup of coffee. Heard a big bang. When I investigated I found that the black tank had expanded and spread the rails that it was sitting on and fell out the bottom of the 5th wheel taking the sewer pipes with with it. Poo was flying out the vent pipe on top and covered the roof. Big Mess.

Hoss Smith
1 year ago

I can personally attest to the importance of NOT becoming distracted when flushing ones holding tank. Not only is that an expensive mistake to make it is quite aroma apparent. So far I have only done this … twice … so far … and yes I know how not to do that but when totally distracted….

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

Having spent time in Quartzsite, we’re familiar with the “RV Proctologists” (not because we needed their service, but because we’ve seen their truck around). This story has me not even WANTING to produce a visual in my mind. Nuff said . . .

1 year ago

All I can say to this story is a BIG, Absolute YUCK! But I have to ask, No disrespect to this woman, Did she Not know you have to empty and clean out your Black Tank? Perhaps not? Her late husband, probably did all that nasty stuff or possibly had someone else do it for them!

There is no measure of imagination to how that must have smelled! WOW!

Nancy S Logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeff

My Mom was a full-timer for 20 years and I have “camped” for almost that long, however, many have not. My ex lived in our camper after our split. After several weeks he called to complain about the odor in his rig. I asked him if he had dumped and he said “What do you mean?”. He somehow never thought about where all the “waste” was going. Not stupid, just ignorant of vital information.