Monday, 4 June 2012

Day Three of a Camper Holiday! - Oh! Crap

Our Apollo camper motor-home is quite a comfortable vehicle with many creature comforts. It's fitted with a fridge (which doesn't work), a sink, stove, microwave oven, reverse cycle air conditioner, shower, and a toilet.
Yes: a toilet.
A toilet in a motor vehicle means only one thing after a few days.


The grey hose is draining our grey water tank,
and the green is filling our freshwater tank.
Most caravan parks now have a "dump point", and this includes our current home: Dubbo City Caravan Park.

Be warned: don't attempt to read this post during, or immediately following a meal.

This was the first time I have ever assisted a vehicle to take a dump. I started with the easy bits - draining the grey water (from the sink & shower), and taking on fresh water.

Thinking about my infection control training, I made sure I put away our fresh and grey water hoses before I started dealing with the sewage cassette.

Glad that I had the foresight to bring a handful of rubber gloves with me, I opened the hatch to find an odd plastic box and 1.5" pipe ends.
The outside hatch has been opened,
revealing the workings of the toilet.

I gingerly disengaged the latch, and pulled out the box. I said a few words of thanks for remembering my gloves as a few small brown drops trickled on to my right hand.

Carefully lifting the cassette with both hands, I moved it to the brickwork surrounding the dump point.

Hosing out the cassette.
I don't know whose water bottle that is.
The cassette was a well designed contraption - it had wheels at the back, and resembled one of those pull-along vacuum cleaners. The inlet was fitted with two valves which automatically engaged as I pulled the box out of the motor-home. The outlet was a short length of pipe fitted with a screw cap. Handily, the pipe can be rotated for easier emptying.

I found that tipping onto a grate was a little bit of a challenge, and I was in danger of being splashed, so I switched to using the above-ground pipe end, and found that it worked rather better.

Once the cassette was back in its hatch, and a chemical toilet-lolly flushed into the unit, the process was complete. In all it took about twenty minutes - I figure that's not bad for a first time dumper.

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