What happens when you tear off the black tank valve? Yuck!

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The Honky Tonk Poos!

By Liz Wilcox

This is an excerpt from the book “Tales From the Black Tank: A Collection of Hilariously Crappy RV Stories.”


“Be there at 6 a.m. sharp.” That’s what he told me. I was shooting a new music video in San Juan Capistrano the next day and the producer wanted to get an early start on it. I woke up at 5:45 a.m. I splashed water on my face, combed my hair and threw on my best outfit. I fired up the motorhome at 5:50, proud of myself for being on schedule. I was about 6 miles from the nature park where we were set to meet. Ahh, the perks of RV life, right?

As I put the pedal to the metal, I started going over what would happen that day. Lost deep in thought, I missed the park entrance. No sweat, just gotta pull a turnaround. It’s only a 5-point turn in my motorhome. I can do it!  I got turned around and drove into the park. The clock read 6:00. Success.

“Nice to meet you,” the producer said as I stepped out of my coach. That’s when I noticed something was wrong. He did too. “What’s that smell?” he said. “I don’t know” I said. But I did know. It was unmistakable.

They began to set up for the shoot and I started to walk around my rig looking for why my rig smelled like doo-doo. When I got to the rear of the rig I noticed the flushing system was… gone. Yep. The valve and handles to both the grey and black tank were completely gone. I stood there shocked as I watched the two large tubes just hanging there pouring their, um,  “contents” on the ground at an astonishing rate.

What happens when you tear off the black tank valve? Yuck!
Mario Carboni, The Honky-Tonk Rebel. With permission. (Click image to enlarge.)

I realized I must have backed over a rock or discarded tire tread when I made my turn in the road. Yikes!

I fumbled through an excuse to the film crew and jumped inside my motorhome. I sped to the front of the park where I had seen the dump station. I had no clue how to try to dump without a valve or hose but I improvised, tipping the pipe towards the septic hole. As you can imagine, this did not work well. It resulted in a huge, sloppy, disgusting mess. All the while, I was trying to hide this poo-pacolypse from the gate guard who kept looking over at me, a man in a very nice showy Western outfit, dumping frantically!

When I thought everything was out and I had wasted enough time, I started driving back to the shoot. I looked in my rearview mirror and noticed just how wrong I was. There was a trail of toilet paper and black water following me. What the heck am I supposed to do now?!

By now, the film crew was getting anxious. I was mortified. So I did what any rational adult would do. I called my dad. Quickly and not-so-calmly, I explained the situation to him and asked if he could help me locate someone to repair it. He must have sensed the severity of the situation, because about 30 minutes later a tech arrived. He did not seem pleased, but proceeded to repair the broken pipes and missing valve anyway.

What people will do for money, amirite?

As for me, my time was spent shooting a scene and then running back to the motorhome to check on the repair. It became increasingly clear how displeased the repairman was as he continuously made comments like, “I wonder if I could be getting sick.” But who could blame him? His complaints were only met with more sewage splashing out at him. When the ground was completely covered, I graciously moved the rig forward so he could work in a new, clean spot.

The handyman finished and requested $860. It was all I had, but then I thought, “Hey, this guy literally had his face in my ‘contents’ all morning” and ponied up the dough.

If you’re interested in reading more funny RV stories like this one, check out the book right here!

And don’t miss The Virtual Campground website for RVing tips, tricks, interviews, humor and more.

##RVT900

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Thomas Becher

How much time passed from the time she knocked the valves off till it quit spewing. She describes a long time. Mine full would empty in minutes. Something doesn’t sound right. It happens,but ?

Vanessa Simmons

Just wondering why you would travel with your black and grey water tanks so full? A few gallons in the black tank to keep things loose, a few gallons in the fresh for emergency use. My guess is this was when he was new to RVing …did he learn anything from this incident?