phone in black tank--will it get worse

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Well-known member
Mar 7, 2005
Well, the way today started I thought it would be a crappy one--bent over the toilet to spray the goods down and the cel phone fell out of my breast pocket and straight down the tube to the black tank.

The good news is that within the hour I had a replacement phone free, but with a fee for getting it activated.

My real worry is, is the phone (a small Samsung) likely to plug the tank outlet?  I can't be the first person to do this, so what's the best approach?

I should say that I filled the tank up full with water (was about one quarter full with the goods when I started) and let it "whoosh" out; saw lots of stuff going by, but I didn't see any phone go by.  Filled the tank up again and dumped, but still no phone.

So, what should I plan on?

TIA for your advice.


I know someone else did that same thing.  He retrieved his thusly.  With a hose he fluched his Black tank as much as possible.  Got a 4"  by 2 ' clear plastic hose.  an extension of sewer line and pieced  the clear near the shut off valve.  Place a bag of Ice Cubes in the commode and filled with water.  Lowered his Jacks and tilted the MH towed the drain as much as it would go.  Opened the  drain in to a 5 gal bucket and emptied it  The 3rd time he saw the phone go thru and retrieved it that way. He's sure got a clean tank now to boot.  Hope that helps. 
Lowered his Jacks and tilted the MH towed the drain as much as it would go.  Opened the  drain in to a 5 gal bucket and emptied it  The 3rd time he saw the phone go thru and retrieved it that way. He's sure got a clean tank now to boot.  Hope that helps. 

Thanks for this, Shayne.  I don't have jacks, so I suppose I'd have to do this some place with hydraulic lifts--like we find in tire stores.

However, what your message suggests is that the phone will likely pass through the tank's exit pathway, and that that may take a little time with conventional dumping followed by back flushing.

So, here's hoping that the phone will pass through--reminds me of when your kid swallows something and the doc says, don't worry he'll pass it (it's usually the boy that does something like that), just keep checking the poop before he flushes.


In the absence of a jack, you can put planks under the other side wheels, or park on the side of a not-too-steep hill (You want to make sure you don't roll the rig on it's side, that would be worse)

Odds are the phone will flush out, may have flushed out already
Really tough part is getting it clean.  Simple Green, good rinse, dry in the sun. 

Then again, reception might be a little sh er crappy form now on.

You know, this has to be one of the most amusing threads I've seen here in a long..... To date.

And a good portion of what makes it funny is the fact that it can happen to most any of us,  Most all of us have likely put cell phones or other "stuff" in our shirt pockets and bent over and had it fall out,,, Usually on the ground, but not always... My daughter has dropped her phone in the flusher more than once (Thankfully not in an RV with the valve open, and NOT while it was flushing)

I seem to recall doing it myself

Ah, "Ther but for the grace of gravety go we"
Thank you all for making our day.  This is the funniest thread we've ever read.  ;D I can't stop laughing at the visions.

ArdraF and JerryF
Today as the guys were shoppping for t-shirts, suddenly the requirement for a t-shirt with a breast pocket changed.  We could all picture the contents of such a pocket falling into the commode.  I'm so sorry but I can't keep from laughing.  I'm so glad it is not me! 

As the guy at the centre of this thread, I have to tell you I do see the funny side of this thread.

Is there a framily award that I win for this boo-boo?

I'll keep you posted and let you know if and when I see the Samsung go by.  I just hope the stuff keeps flowing for it will be a real p**s-off if it stops flowing and I have a difficult plug to remove.  I think at that point I'll ask the techies to drop the tank and tackle the problem from the other end.

Keep on laughing and remember you've either done this or you've yet to do it ;D.


LOL Doug, yes we do have a special award - called the HFWPOH award. (HFWPOH = Hit Forehead With Palm Of Hand). I believe Ron Ruward is our official award presenter (he also prints the certificates).

LOL.  Thanks for giving all of us our best laugh for the day.  It does remind me of the time that I had a brand new pair of expensive sun-glasses hanging at the neck of a T-shirt and bent over to flush a public toilet and in a split second they were gone :( :(  They weren't even paid for yet!!!
Tom said:
LOL Doug, yes we do have a special award - called the HFWPOH award. (HFWPOH = Hit Forehead With Palm Of Hand). I believe Ron Ruward is our official award presenter (he also prints the certificates).

I don't recall who came up with the award or who was the first to receive it.  I believe it is somebody else that prints them up.  Maybe Fred Thomas.  In any case this could be a good candidate for that award.

Lorna  ?That reminds me of the guy and was in a 2 hole public Johnny and said to his Buddy.  Do you have a $20  Buddy Yep  Give it here.  Why ?  I want to wad it up and throw it down the Johnny.  Why would you do that?  Well there's a quarter down there and you don't think I'd be silly enough to go down there for a quarter do you?    Alas the trials and tribulations.

I believe it was Fred who came first came up with the idea for the award, but the last one I saw handed out I thought you'd printed.
Hi Doug,
As funny as this is, It may be a blessing in disguise. If the phone stays in the tank it will slosh around and help break up "sticky stuff" on the bottom of the tank. On the other hand it is small enough to fit through the hole easily so probably wont present a problem either way.

Good luck and thanks for the laugh.

Jerry & Arlyne Ray
Well folks, not to drag this story out, but I've got to tell you I've not heard the phone in the black tank ringing, so I guess nobody is trying to make a dirty phone call to me.  Should I say I'm disappointed? ???


In a similar vein, a friend of mine wrote this article a couple of years ago. Enjoy!

Along the Road by Peter Shaffer

Oh, Poo!

Being a ?hip? husband
and a modern-day
man, I chip in and
help with all the chores
around here in our
Fleetwood Discovery
motor home called the BigD. You see,
Sharon does all the driving, and all I
have to do is turn the steering wheel
and push on the accelerator and brake
pedals. Sharon does the cooking and I
clean the dishes; Sharon makes the bed
and I clean the bathroom. You can see
this all works out for the best . . . that is,
until I cleaned the toilet the other day.
For those of you who don?t know
how a  modern day human waste disposal
system works in a  motor coach,
when it?s time to say bye-bye to the
mess in the toilet, one just depresses
the foot pedal and the ball valve opens
allowing gravity to take over and drop
everything as far as the tank below.
Now, the other day it was time to
clean the toilet and make it a fresh
smelling potty. I had just finished using
the toilet bowl cleaner and brush when
I stepped on the flush pedal sending all
the blue cleaning stuff down and into
the black hole. Being a man (for some
strange reason, men do this more than
women), I naturally looked down the
hole to see where all the stuff goes after
the pedal is pressed. It was so cool to
see the cleaning water hit the stew that
was down below. I was just about to release the foot
pedal when something sailed past my
line of sight and torpedoed itself cleanly
into the hole without touching the porcelain
or the plastic valve. The last time
I saw the phantom missile was when it
penetrated the soup causing a ripple
just as a stone does then you toss one in
a smooth lake.

What was it?

What on earth could
it have been?

The toilet bowl brush, a bath towel that was
hanging above the toilet, could that be
the missile? Then it hit me. My glasses!
Where were my glasses?
Oh, poo! Now I know what the
?missile? was. ?Oh poo, oh poo, oh poo?,
I screamed. ?Ding dong ding dong, ding
dong darn it! Sharon!? I yelled. ?Sharon,
do you know where my glasses are??
I hoped and prayed for the right answer.
?The last time I saw them they
were in your shirt pocket,? was her
response. Not the answer I was looking

I was faced with a problem. What
to do about the foreign object that was
now lying at the bottom of the tank
covered by 3 inches of ?blue stuff.?
Although the glasses cleanly sailed into
the tank without hitting a darn thing, I
wouldn?t be so lucky when it came time
to dump the tank. A crosswise pair of
glasses in a 3-inch discharge pipe would
cause a real smelly problem. So now the
task at hand was to figure out how to
retrieve the sunken glasses, especially
since I can?t see, now that my specks are
lying at the bottom of the cesspool.
My engineering brain started to
work in fast mode. There are only three
ways into the sewer tank: toilet, drain,
and the vent. The drain won?t work for
reasons already stated, and the vent is
only a 1?-inch diameter plastic pipe
opening in the roof. The toilet was the
way in, and it would have to be the way

Doctors have a credo that says ?do
no harm.? Engineers also have a credo.
It says ?anything is possible; it just
takes more time and more money.?
Since money always seems to be in
short supply around here, I had to get
creative. What should I use to retrieve
the glasses? Here I was, camping in a
national forest, 50 miles from the
nearest ?man store,? Home Depot. I was
on my own, with no one to help me.

I thought of using my hand to
reach down there and grab them. But
no, my hands are far too large to fit
through the hole and my arms are too
short to reach the bottom. Sharon?s
hands are small enough to fit through
the opening and she could part the
waters, so to speak, and retrieve them.
Yeah, right, fat chance of that ever happening.
Besides, she probably won?t be
finished laughing at me for at least
another hour or two. The awning pull
pole! Yes, that just may do nicely. Three
feet long, manufactured out of a steel
bar the thickness of a pencil, and it has
a 90-degree bend or hook on one end.
Yeah, that will do nicely.

Fishing for a lightweight pair of
glasses with a 3-foot pole in ?poo?-
lutants the consistency of wet concrete
was not as easy as I thought. First, I
had to convince Sharon to hold the
flashlight and shine it down the hole.
Hard to do when you are still giggling.
Then I had to learn the feel of hooking
onto metal and glass verses floaters and
sinkers. Several times I thought I had
them only to find . . . well, something
other than my wire rims.
But the Shaffer ingenuity prevailed.
My spectacles were hooked and
came up out of the hole. I grabbed them
with my hand before they fell back into
the cauldron, and gave a big whoopee!
Sharon, seeing the glasses in my hand
along with streamers that were still
dangling from them, put her hand over
her mouth, turned and ran from the
room in an attempt to keep supper
down. What a wimp.
I am using the glasses as I type this.
Of course I washed them and soaked
them in bleach for an hour or so. The
smell is almost gone from them now. I
use them for reading, but you won?t
catch me chewing on the ear piece for a
long, long time! ?

Peter and Sharon Shaffer live in Kentucky,
and travel extensively throughout
the U.S. Peter is a retired civil
engineer; Sharon is a retired travel
agent and the driving force behind the
man. The Shaffers recently became
first-time grandparents. Pete says,
?Between Sharon and my faithful GPS,
we never take the wrong road...just the
road less traveled.?
Thanks for the story; I did enjoy it.

And truth be told, I think I'm lucker than Peter Shaffer in that I'd be really p***'d off if my glasses had gone poo rather than my phone.



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