Help me pick a campsite!

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miscrap

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Posts
18
Need some advice and opinions.
I've had a Dutchmen travel trailer parked at an RV park in Wisconsin for several years. My wife, kids and I used it on weekends, and a week or 2 vacation every summer. My wife passed away 4 years ago, and the kids are now grown, so now it's just me. I retired a couple years ago, and the trailer makes a great summer cabin for fishing and relaxing. I use it 60-75 days a year, from May through October.
Recently an opportunity arose to move to another campground. It's substantially cheaper, has far fewer rules, etc. I can have my choice of several sites. One is right on a small river that leads into a very nice lake. It's a beautiful site! The campground owners said I could keep a canoe and kayak on the shoreline. The shore is sandy, I'd have my own small private beach. The other sites are 50-100 yards from the river. They're nice and roomy, and I would have access to the river, but would have to carry down the kayak and canoe. The BIG difference is that while all the sites have electric and water, the river site is not on the septic system, while the other sites are. My current location is on septic, so I've never had to use and dump portable tanks. The owners showed me where the dump is. It's just a pipe in the ground with a metal cover with a handle. It would be about 400 feet from the river site. As I understand it, I would just hook up the tank to the hitchball on my truck, drag it over and dump. Never had to do this, so not sure of the difficulty and inconvenience. Would I need 2 portable tanks, one for gray water and one for the toilet? Do I wait for the trailer tanks to fill, then empty them into the portable tanks, or keep the portable tanks connected and dump right into them? Do I need to get tanks larger than the built in tanks? I don't know the difference in the costs of the sites, but they're all cheaper than I'm paying now, so cost is not an issue. As my kids are now having families of their own they've started to express an interest in coming up north and using the camper once or twice a year, so I also have to consider how difficult it would be for someone with no experience.
So what do you all think? River site with no septic, or off water site with septic?
Sorry for all the questions. I'm hoping to give the owners at the new campground an answer in the next couple weeks, so trying to get my ducks in a row. Thanks for any and all advice and recommendations!
 

jackiemac

Site Team
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Feb 22, 2016
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6,575
Location
Scotland
Hi. One question I would ask is if the river sites ever flood.

I think lots of folks use the portable tanks but as we have not  I can't help with that. I presume you just fill and dump as many times as necessary then flush clean. Others will be along with answers.

Sorry to hear about your wife. I'm sure she is still close in your heart.
 

kdbgoat

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Apr 16, 2014
Posts
6,313
I'm kinda curious. You've been parked several years and never dumped the black tank? To me that means your black tank valve has stayed open the whole time. If so, it's a miracle that you don't have a serious poo pyramid.
 

ClickHill

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Joined
May 13, 2016
Posts
269
Location
Beaverdam, VA
We do use a portable tank when we are at a site that doesn't have septic but we only the portable tank for gray water.  We have never used the portable tank for black water.  If it were me I would choose a site that has septic versus one that doesn't if it is for use for more than 4 or 5 days.
 

grashley

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Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,586
Location
Western Kentucky
My concern for the river site, as Jackie said, is flooding.  That could be a deal killer.  The lack of sewer hookup would also be an issue.

I would go for the site with full hookups and the best view.

Also, note Goat's comment:  Do you leave the black tank valve open?  If so, you are creating a serious Poo Pile!!  Please ask how to get rid of it before it clogs up completely!
 

miscrap

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Posts
18
kdbgoat said:
I'm kinda curious. You've been parked several years and never dumped the black tank? To me that means your black tank valve has stayed open the whole time. If so, it's a miracle that you don't have a serious poo pyramid.

No, I keep the black tank closed. About once a week I open the valve and all the goodies go down the solid PVC pipe into the septic drain. Then before I head back home I drain it, then refill it a couple times with clean water and drain it again. No clogs, no poo piles. You could eat out of it. JUST KIDDING!!!
As for flooding, the trailer site is on an incline probably 10 feet above the water level and 50 feet from the water's edge. This is just a small river, maybe 30 feet across and 3 feet deep. Great for canoeing and picturesque as hell. No chance of flooding. It would be a gorgeous place to park my trailer, but it sounds like it wouldn't be worth the trouble. I appreciate the replies.
 

grashley

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Joined
May 7, 2015
Posts
6,586
Location
Western Kentucky
Glad to hear no flooding issues and good black tank management!

To answer your original tote questions, no, only one is needed.  No need to separate black and gray water.  It does go down the same drain at the dump station.

No need to keep the drain connected to the tote (less chance of overfill) and no need to fill holding tanks before emptying. (except black tank)
Tote tank size is up to you.  If you have a 25 gal tote and 80 gal of water to dump, it will take 4 trips.  Fill the tote, dump, repeat.  Dump black first so the gray can rinse the system out for you.  Definitely get a "towable" type!
 
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