This blog pretty much goes hand in hand with my last blog titled “Boondocking and Dry Camping Solutions here.
A real money saver and effortless dumping! Dry camping has become such a breeze for me with the purchase and use of the macerator pump as I simply pump my tanks into my two blue boy totes. I have a 22 and 15 gallon type giving me a total of 37 gallons I can dump each trip to a dump station. Of course the benefit of this is you never have to hitch up go to a dump station, return and re-setup the trailer, and so easy. My problem was when at the dump station I would have to get up into the bed of the truck and lift the heavy totes up to dump them. With my bad wrist this was becoming a chore. I had decided to invest the money ($250 or more) to buy a 32 gallon tote with the dump valve on it so all I had to do is hook the hose to it, pull the valve and done! Rinsing with the same method this also eliminates you having to tow the totes through a campground to the dump station as well and especially if the dump station was off site and a mile or two away. After speaking to a Rob, owner of Morro Bay RV and Marine he suggested I just put the valves in my 2 totes instead of spending all that money on a new tote. $45 worth of parts and a little time saved me about $200 or more! Some people ask why my totes are in the back of my truck in the first place. Hey to me it’s all about making life on the road as easy as possible. Here’s a pic of my 22 gallon tote before I started with the parts I needed……
The first thing you need to do is establish where you want the valve. You must then drill a hole in the tank for the heavy rubber seal to be inserted. This can be done with a hole saw. I used a 3″ saw, but found I had to enlarge the hole some with a sharp type knife to accommodate the seal. You want the hole low as possible in order to be able to drain most of the totes contents yet it has to be high enough to accommodate the valve when the tote is sitting level on the ground or in bed of pickup..
Once the hole is drilled and the edges cleaned up the heavy rubber seal is inserted into the hole. Take note in the pic below which end (short end) goes into the tank. You have to worm the seal in per say as you see the slit in the middle of the seal is where the tank wall goes. Once I got the heavy seal in place I peeled it back along the edges all the way around putting in a large bead of silicone to seal it well wiping any excess from around the edge. Don’t be afraid to use plenty of silicone on this.
The next step was to insert the smooth flange that the valve will attach to into the seal you inserted into the tank. I suggest putting some silicone around the smooth part that goes in as well as the inside of the rubber seal to help as it’s a tight fit and must go all the way into the seal and be flush. I then let this set overnight to give the silicone time to dry and set up. You do NOT want any leaks!
Now it’s time to bolt the knife valve assembly onto the flange you inserted into to seal in the tank. This is very simple and self explanatory. On the outside of the valve is the plastic part that that your sewer hose attaches to for dumping. Just like on your RV. It all bolts together very easily. 4 bolts with nuts accomplishes this easy task.
Once everything is together you should fill the tank with fresh water and let it set for an hour or so to insure there are no leaks, I doubt if you follow my instructions about the silicone above you will have any, but if so simply drain the tank and use silicone or similar compound where necessary to take care of any leak. Other than letting the initial part setting over night to allow the silicone to dry and set up the whole project takes around an hour or so. Because the sides of most these totes are slightly rounded compared to the ones manufactured with the valves (in a flat spot) the valve will have a slightly outward and downward setting which is just fine. The end result is a couple hundred dollar savings in buying a tote with one of these valves already installed, easy effortless dumping and no need to tow the tote behind your truck or vehicle. Sure makes my life much simpler! Pretty cool even if the nearest dump station is a mile or two or even further way. This setup will also work for you motor homers as well as long as your toad is capable of carrying the totes loaded and can dump from them.
Check out Firedude’s eBooks and adventures on CD here!
The best RV management software out! Use the best! It even makes it fun!
Thanks for the note! Always good to hear from ya! Glad the project turned out for you. As far as the job, I finally semi retired 😉
HC… I’m not sure what the “grommet” is you’re referring to? All the items in the project were obtained from and RV parts store and designed for a specific use such as the project listed above … Good luck with your extended fuel tank! sure is a nice addition let me tell ya! 🙂
H C Juengst
I assume that the grommet you used was for a 3″ LED taillight?
I really enjoy your hints, I’m fixing up the extended fuel for my twin 2000’s
Thanks for your “how to” on this Tony. I bought your e-book a couple of months ago and the tote mod was the first project I did. Came out great and works even better. Thanks again. Hope your “job” is secure with all the cost cutting going on down there!
I store mine in the very rear of the bed of my truck when traveling. I have a “V” tailgate and they clear just fine when hitching up etc. One id a 22 gal and the other a 15 gal. (total of 37 gal.) They won’t completely empty your tanks if you wait until they are full, but usually it’s the gray water that gets emptied the most. When I do dump the black tank it all but empties it usually and I chase the hose with a little gray water to clean it out before topping it off.
When I spent 6 weeks due to a family illness dry camping I made about two trips a week by the local dump station on my way to the hospital and everything was fine. Remember this is great as long as you have a dump station within a reasonable drive. In that particular case it was 6 miles, but the 6 or so minute drive was worth it by not having to continually or ever for that matter move the trailer. I spent the entire 6 weeks there and never hitched up once. An occasional trip to the dump was a life saver in time and effort for me!
Very interesting and useful article. My question is ; wher do you store two blue boys in your rig? I’m not sur I have room for them and I have a 36′ fifth wheel.
Also, what capacity are they? My holding tanks are each 70 gallon capacity and fresh water is 73 gallon.
The silicone I used is white.
It has held fine and after 3 years I had to apply a bit more as one tote had a very small leak. The way I applied it was after I set the rubber seal in place I peeled back the rubber seal edges laying in a heavy bead of silicone. It sealed and held fine.
As stated in the blog I cut a 3″ hole with the whole saw which is a bit smaller than the rubber seal. All I did was use a razor knife to trim it a bit to accommodate the seal without compromising the fit. The seal fits and yes exerts a bit of pressure to help seal the fit however as most know if you don’t seal it with something water will find its way out through the smallest cracks etc. This is not something you want to leak for obvious reasons.
The plastic part that goes into the seal is a TIGHT fit (plastic against rubber) however I sealed it as well with the white plumbers silicone. There are several compounds you can use to seal everything, mine was just a matter of choice after speaking to the guy at the RV and Marine shop. I wouldn’t want any type of grease or anything slippery on the plastic part that goes into the seal. You want a tight and sealed fit. If it goes in easy it will come out easy lol. 🙂 It is like or similar to a “pressed fit” but again I sealed it as well.
It’s my understanding that regular clear silicone and rubber are NOT compatible — they don’t stick to each other. It’s not real clear from the pics but it seems the only surface which actually “seals” is the edge of the hole cut in the tank? Does inserting the plastic piece inside the rubber piece exert outward pressure and make the seal? With nothing compressing the inside rubber against the INside of the tank and nothing compressing the outside rubber against the OUTside of the tank, I don’t see how adding the silicone helps anything.
FWIW, regular faucet lube/grease will let the plastic piece slip inside the rubber boot easier, but what holds it there?
Hopefully someone who has experienced the same thing as you will chime in. I do not leave mine connected being it is exposed to the outdoors and in plain sight as well as not wanting it exposed to the elements since i spend a lot of time on the coast. You might be able to work with an elbow of varying degree in order to accommodate what you want. Anyone else with this issue?
Dan, excellent idea and thanks. As it is now mine drains fine and yes at the end I have to tip it up slightly to get it all drained. thanks for the tip! 🙂
A great ‘how to’ article on putting that dump valve in.
Not knowing exactly how flat the ends of the tote are to match up with the 3″ hole.
I might suggest that if you put the valve on the end of the tote, by the wheels, so that as it drains, it could be tipped up, to make sure all drains easily.
Just a thought.
I bought a macerator pump to install on my 2002 Monaco Diplomat- but there is not quite enough clearance to install it on the sewer dump line, and leave it installed and close the access door.
any suggestions or work arounds that you can recommend?