Owning a camper is a humbling experience. By humbling, I mean there are a lot of gross things you have to deal with when you don’t have regular plumbing and sewers. Our first extended trip in the camper came with many firsts. One of those firsts definitely should not have been testing out the toilet.
Note to new camper owners: Always test your camper toilet BEFORE leaving home.
Our Aliner has what is called a “cassette toilet.” It’s different from a standard RV toilet because instead of the waste going into a big tank, it goes into what looks like a plastic roller-suitcase-thing and that is removed from the side and dumped in a campground sewer or flushed down a regular toilet. This also means the tank is smaller and it has a valve cover that closes when not in use so it doesn’t splash around.
Fast forward to our first trip and being in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Our campsite had full hookups and sewer, but didn’t have a communal building with toilets like most RV parks.
Immediately after setting up, I had to pee. What better time to test out a new-to-me toilet? Without even thinking about the consequences, I went to the bathroom and hit the flush button. “Flush water” came into the bowl but nothing drained.
My first thought: “good thing it wasn’t poop!”
My second thought: “why didn’t I test this once in the last 5 months of owning this thing??”
I went outside to where the cassette tank is located to see what what going on. I started wiggling the tank and sure enough, the pee started draining, just not into the tank. 😱 I yelled to Kayla to shut the valve on the toilet. 😩
After 30 minutes, an entire roll of paper towels, and half a container of Clorox wipes, I determined that the valve that opens and closes on the tank was stuck. I got it unstuck and put everything back together. The toilet flushed and all was good in the world! I washed my hands for about 10 minutes straight and then cracked a beer and relaxed.
I am positive this won’t be the last toilet-related problem I have, but you know what? It’s still better than going to work every day! 😏