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20 Dump Station Horror Stories

Get ready for some of the most outrageous truck camper stories ever to grace the fine electrons of Truck Camper Magazine.  Move over Dracula.  Forget about it Frankenstein.  We’re talking dump station disasters in 3D.  Thank you to everyone who was brave enough to share their dump station stories.  We gagged a little, and laughed a lot.  Happy Halloween everybody!

“Gordon, our truck camper uses a Thetford cassette toilet so we don’t have the dreaded black water tank and hose.  But we do have to dump the cassette.  Once we discovered the anti-glug valve all has been well.  We had a couple of minor cleanups as we were learning the technique.  I still try to do the dump at times when others are not watching, for obvious reasons. 

One concerning black tank experience was yesterday, and it was someone else’s problem.  We were following a travel trailer on a four lane highway.  My son was driving and I was in the back seat.  I noticed he washed the windshield twice, and that got my attention.  The trailer in front of us was emitting something from the left rear corner.  We immediately passed and, sure enough, the cover was off their sewer drain. 

Nice seeing you both at Overland Expo!” – Bob Regain, 1988 Unimog U-1300, 1970 Alaskan Camper

Editor: Good thing you weren’t in a convertible Bob!

“We just bought our first camper, so we haven’t made any special dump station memories, yet.  The funniest dump station scene ever must be in the movie RV with Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels.  If one of your readers can even come close, I’ll be amazed.

As for the scariest movie I’ve seen, that would be Event Horizon.” – Doug C. Fraser, 2015 GMC Sierra, 2014 Arctic Fox 1140

“When you are a workamper, and your lot is within view of the dump station, you have lots to tell!” – Mike Gormley, 2004 Ram 3500, 2013 Lance 1050S

“We were on our way home from our first cross-country trip in our relatively new camper.  We were in Wyoming in mid-October and got caught in a snow storm and the temperature plummeted to below twenty degrees.  We stopped at a truck stop to dump the tanks the morning after the snow.

I hooked up the hose (or thought I had), but when I released the valve for the black tank, all the nastiness came gushing
out spraying my shoes and legs.  Then the effluent ran about half-way down the gutter and then froze.  I tried washing the stuff away, but everything just froze into a gross stream of ice.

I had no choice but to explain what happened and then tucked my tail between my legs and vowed to never let that happen again.

The scariest movie I’ve ever seen is Alien.” – Larry Routt, 2005 Ford F-350, 2004 Lance 820

“I am a newbie.  I have only had a truck camper since this April.  I only have a grey water tank plus a porti-potty.

For the first trip, I stayed the third night in a northern city campground, and planned to visit an elderly relative the next day.  The manager was extremely helpful, kind, and funny.

The next morning my sink didn’t drain properly so I realized the grey tank must be full.  I dressed up for the visit, packed everything, and headed to the dump station.  The dump was beside the washroom/laundry complex.  The owner plus three roofers were on the roof of the building.  Yes, I felt stage fright.  I do hate witnesses when I am inexperienced.

Due to the location of the dump, and the roofing materials on the ground, and mostly due to my not-yet-developed truck backing-up skills, I could not get as close nor as lined up as I would have wished.  I might have tried backing up again but looked up and all four men had stopped work and were standing on the ledge of the roof peering down on me like vultures in a tree.

Stage fright slowed my brain to the equivalent IQ of a mushroom as I attached the hose and stretched it to tightly over to the hole.  Located below the duct, the valve lever was quite hard to open.  I pulled the lever and, with an explosion, the hose blew off.  All of the grey water hit me in the lap zone and poured onto the ground.

Apparently I began to moan, “Oh! Oh! OHHHH!” and tried to push the lever back in.  The manager quickly descended the ladder cursing and fell.  Then he rushed over to me and turned off the lever.  It was too late and entire grey tank was empty.  He comforted me by saying it was only grey water and he had seen worse. 

I was demoralized and standing there soaking wet, knowing I had no other dressy clothes to wear and knowing I would have to re-lift the pop-up to get clean clothes. 

I still had an audience of three roofers peering on me. Suddenly one of them sniffed the air and said, “You had pineapple!  I love pineapple!” 

I started to laugh and, thank goodness, so did the manager and the three roofers lent more hilarity by bouncing up and down and imitating me with loud ‘Oh! OHHHs” which of course attracted all sorts of other campers to stare at me reeking and wet. 

For the record, I did not consume nor use any pineapple!” – Michele McLeod, Ford 150 HD, 2002 Northstar TC800

“We were in the first few days of our 5,500 hundred mile 47 day journey this past summer.  We had visited a friend in central Illinois and, since we were in the rural corn belt, we did not have a clue where we could dump our holding tanks.

We have a search engine (RVDUMPS) that shows us some dump stations and it gave us the coordinates of one in Cambridge, Illinois operated by the City of Cambridge.  We found it on a back street exactly where our GPS said it would be located.

Being so experienced, I had let my guard down and failed to do something very basic to all experienced campers.  I had left the black gate valve open!  I casually took the drain cap off and all heck broke loose.  I’m in my mid-seventies and I did not know I could still dance, but I danced like Fred Astaire.

Thankfully, I got none on me and there was a high pressure hose available to wash it all down the drain.  No one was around to see the disaster so we have only told you all about this.  Please keep it secret just between you and me.

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