We made it through our two-week California adventure, which included a week in a rental RV. People keep asking if it was fun. Most of the time, yes. But it’s not my kind of vacation. Any vacation where I’m still stuck doing the cooking and cleaning and we’re paying extra for the privilegde of doing our own cooking and cleaning is not my idea of a vacation. It’s a trip. My kind of vacation is where I go to a yoga class on a large terrace overlooking a warm ocean, then down to the pool next to said ocean where I sit under the shade of an open cabana, read a good book, never get my swimsuit wet, and someone brings me my new favorite drink, a cucumber cooler. Key to all of that is that I am warm, not chilly, not wearing three layers at the beach and tilting at the wind at the beginning of July. Sorry northern-to-central-coastal California, I like what you’ve got to see and do but I’m not a big fan of your weather patterns.
After fun, people ask about RV waste tanks, and emptying them specifically. First, I learned, they are called the “gray water” and “black water” tanks; I’ll let you intuitive folks puzzle out what was in each tank. DB was in charge of this procedure, as per the logical extension of the “poopy diaper clause” in our ketubah: if he was home when the poopy diaper happened, he changed it. I had to change plenty of them in his absence. He didn’t mind then, and he was a really good sport about emptying the tanks. Except…
Except that the first time the tanks needed to be emptied was the day we were leaving Sierra National Forest and driving to Monterey/Carmel, about a three hour trip. Don’t we want to empty the tanks at the provided central (aptly named) dump station before we leave, asked the wife hopefully. No, we’ll empty it when we get there, I want to get on the road, said the husband eagerly.
After merely a half hour on the road, those of us in the back of the RV started squinching up our noses and looking around. Uh, oh. The full tanks were sloshing around and you know how you feel when you gotta go and there’s no restroom around? That’s how the rig felt. Burpy and farty and cranky. What, I don’t smell anything, said the driver innocently. Sitting shotgun became a heavy rotation spot, and the windows were opened and much whining was heard until we got to Monterey. After seeing the aquarium and having a late lunch, we had to get back in the rig to get to our campsite. That’s when DB started apologizing profusely, because he finally smelled it too.
Luckily, once the tanks were cleared and the doors and windows opened, the smell vanished. But our newbie lesson was learned and we never went more than 24 hours after that without draining the tanks.