RV Tip: Water, Water Everywhere

By:  Kelly Barnett

27th Mar, 17


(Nestled into our site in Elizabethtown)

You'll want to flush your tanks (fresh, gray AND black) occasionally to keep them semi-clean. Since you can't really get inside and scrub them…flushing is the next best thing. However, when you do perform that RV maintenance task you'll want to pay attention and not let yourself get distracted. Why, you ask? Well, let me just tell you why. 

Not long after we picked up our Heartland Landmark we met friends in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, for a long weekend of camping. After arriving at the campground, we'd gotten nestled into our site and were both doing our set up chores – Michael outside and me inside. 

Normally Michael's routine consists of connecting the water, sewer and power, setting up the satellite dish and then any little things that might come up.

However, this time he chose to multi-task. (Not necessarily a good idea). He decided to flush the fresh water tank while working on his set up chores.

Meanwhile, I was inside performing my set up duties – putting slides out, taking things out of their traveling spots and putting them in their day-to-day homes, etc.

As I went into bathroom to take out the soap dispensers and toothbrush holders, I stepped into what felt like a lake. The entire bathroom floor was covered in about an inch of water and water was flowing out of the toilet.

I panicked and yelled for Michael, and he must have been able to tell by the tone of my yell that something BIG was up because he was by my side in NO time. 

When he saw water everywhere, a light bulb must have gone on because he went running outside and around to the back of the RV. What did he find? He found water coming off the roof of the coach! He quickly turned off the garden hose that was flushing the black water tank (as well as the entire house!) 

While trying to kill two birds with one stone Michael kind of forgot about the black water tank being flushed. The black water tank ended up filling up and then with nowhere else for the water to go it went up the plumbing and into the toilet to find a way out; it also found its way up the sewer vent pipe and out the vent on the roof…causing a nice little waterfall effect.  

The force of the water flow even popped the toilet off its mounting on the floor of the bathroom. Michael ended up having to reset the toilet because all the screws were pulled out of the floor. 

Water found its way into the basement too.  We ended up having to empty out the basement, sop up all the water that we could and then let it air out before we could put everything back in the basement. 

What a mess. "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink"…that's all I could think as we cleaned up the water and put out fans to help dry up any excess.

What a way to start our camping weekend with friends, eh? Despite the rough start, the weekend turned out great, and we had fun exploring the area (Ft. Knox, whiskey distilleries, Louisville Slugger Museum, Lincoln's birthplace and boyhood home, riverboat cruise) with our friends.

After our near disaster a little bourbon tasting was in order!

Once again…we have since learned from our mistakes. Michael now sets a timer on his phone to remind him to check on the tanks as they're flushing.

Morale:  Multitasking is good sometimes…but not necessarily when you really have to keep an eye on something.

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Kelly Barnett

Kelly Barnett


RV There Yet Chronicles

My husband, Michael, and I have been living fulltime in our 2011 Landmark Key Largo since April of 2011 and LOVE every minute of it. 

When Michael retired from the US Army in October of 2012 (after 29 years of service) we hit the road and haven’t looked back. 

We usually work in the south Texas oilfields in the winter and spend time with our two sons and their families in the summer. We travel and sight-see as much and often as possible.