Wednesday, January 26, 2022


Thor CEO reveals his RV dumping experience gone horribly wrong

The CEO of Thor Industries, Bob Martin, is a real-life RVer, a rarity among his peers. On the December 30th RVing in New England social media talk show, hosts Bob Zagami and John DiPietro talked with Martin about the state of the RV industry and of Thor Industries, including its most recent acquisition of Tiffin Motorhomes.

At one point, the hosts asked Martin about his own RVing experiences. He reeled off a few stories about his years of RVing, including one “horror story” about an RV dumping experience that went horribly wrong.

He was returning from tailgating at a Purdue football game in his first motorhome, a Damon Daybreak, rushing to get to the airport. But first, he needed to dump the RV’s holding tanks.

“I hooked up my sewer and didn’t look close enough, and it [the hose] wasn’t on real tight,” he explained. “I pulled the black gate valve and everything came right at me and it just kept coming.

“And so I had to shut the gate valve, get a different hose that I knew was under the bed, and hose everything down. Yeah, that was quite an experience. It was gross.”

He said ever since that incident he looks closely when dumping his RV. So far so good.


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Bluebird Bob
1 year ago

I’m really…really…glad this happened to the Thor boss. Since his rvs are crap, this story fits very well!

Omer Murray
1 year ago

Something I saw back about 2000, My wife and I were volunteers at Sequoia NP. We were walking near the dump station when a German couple pulled up to dump station in a Cruise America rental. The dump station was configured a bit differently and had a square asphalt 3″ berm about 4′ around the drain. The man got out and opened the drain, no hose and let all spill onto the ground, luckily inside the berm. When he was done, and before anyone could stop him, he took the fresh water hose and forced it up the drain pipe and into the holding tank.

John Griffith
1 year ago

My worst experience with black tank dumping came in the winter. I left the hose hooked up while there, and that night it got below freezing. The next morning, I opened the black valve and the warm contents hit the cold hose and split it at the ground. I shut the valve immediately, but it was too late. Luckily the owner of the park was a nice guy and helped me dig up and dispose of the problem.

1 year ago

I pulled the gate valve on a Lance camper and the whole assembly came off where it was fastened to the black tank by the hose clamp, I didn’t notice it had gotten loose. The tank emptied instantly, luckily the only casualty was my arms.

Pat Shiner
1 year ago

I had recently traded in my fifth wheel for a motorhome and was unfamiliar with the way it would empty compared to my fifth wheel. I hooked the hose up and opened the black chute. The contents came out so fast the hose started flipping around spraying me and the surrounding area with well you know what! Fortunately it was early in the morning so nobody witnessed the mess. I stepped into the doorway stripped off my clothes, went in and washed up, bagged my clothes and grabbed the bleach. I was lucky enough to get everything cleaned up and made a trip to the laundry before anyone knew what happened. I told my friends who were pulled in next to me about the incident and we laughed about it for years after.

1 year ago

Store your water hose outside.

1 year ago

His mistake is pulling the black tank valve first. Always pull the gray tank valve to check for leaks then close it. Then empty the black followed by the gray while leaving the black open. Once the gray flow is basically down to a trickle close the black as the soapy water from the gray will lubricate the gate valve. Then finally close the gray valve.

1 year ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

You can also use the grey tank water to back flush the black tank, if you don’t have access to a water source for flushing the black tank. Only do this when your grey tank is full or near full, to get a good flushing action. First, empty the black tank. Then leave the black tank valve open, & close the gate valve at the exit point where you hook up the waste hose. Then open the grey tank valve which will send a rush of grey water backwards into the black tank. Wait about 15-20 seconds, then close the grey valve. Now open the gate valve at the exit point & the black tank will empty again & usually bring a lot of solids with it from the back flushing. Check your tanks configuration first, to make sure they are both on the same level & that they both feed into the same exit point.

Ron L
1 year ago
Reply to  Fred

This is excellent advice…unfortunately, most rv’s do not have a 3rd valve as did my Tiffin Phaeton. However, I purchase one from Camping World that had the bayonet fittings and I do exactly as you describe above….it works great.