Fran and I have been RVing for over 19 years now. Most of that time as full timers. We’ve stayed in many RV parks and campgrounds and other places. In all those years I’ve never had a need for a macerator pump. That changed a few months ago.
In mid November 2012 we we’re parked at Lake Minden, a Thousand Trails park about 20 miles south of our hometown of Yuba City. Our plan was to alternate between Lake Minden and Lake of the Springs, another nearby Thousand Trails park, through the Holidays then head south to Arizona.
That changed when we got a call from #4 son Drew. He told his Mom that he wanted us to park in his driveway for the holidays. He said he was committed to do whatever it took to make us comfortable there. He has a big driveway so we drove into town to talk about the logistics of where we would park and how we would get hookups.
We did some basic measuring and decided there was plenty of room at the back of their driveway to park our house.
Water wasn’t a problem, there was a faucet nearby. We determined that, with the help of his Brother Kurt, Drew could install a new 30 amp circuit with an RV receptacle box. We would need a 50 foot RV extension power cord to reach the RV and the power cord would have to run across the driveway. That meant we would have to protect it from car traffic. Some 2x4s fastened together with a space between for the cord would solve that problem.
Which left us with the problem of no practical way of dumping the holding tanks. There was no suitable access to the main sewer line. It was at least 150 feet away. We discussed using a toter tank and Drew said he would be willing to do the toter shuttle whenever we needed it done. But I knew he had no concept of how often the process would need done and what a hassle it would be. Also if we needed an ‘emergency’ dump he may not be available.
The solution seemed to be a macerator pump. The Flojet Portable RV Waste Pump only required a 3/4 inch garden hose and, according to specifications, had the ability to pump the waste up to 50 feet. Not needing to dump into a large sewer line meant we could use a drain clean out but we didn’t have one. Drew said he could plumb an extension off the drain line of the laundry room through the outside wall. The 3/4inch ‘sewer hose’ would cross the driveway with the power cord. Only problem was we needed about 60 feet of hose to reach the RV.
With a bit of hope and a reasonable plan I ordered a FloJet and purchased a 75 foot hose with the thought that if the pump couldn’t handle the whole length we would cut it to the length we needed and see if that would work.
Of course the macerator pump having a 12 volt electric motor meant it needed a 12 volt power source. I chose to run a line under the RV directly from the batteries (30 amp fuse at the battery). I purchased a 50 foot 12 gauge extension cord, cut the ends off and fished the cord from the batteries back to the sewer dump valves. I used the wiring kit that came with the macerator pump but used a different plan for the installation that better fit my needs.
I’m happy to report the macerator pump worked just fine even with the full 75 foot hose.
I kept the macerator connected all the time we were there which allowed us to dump the tanks whenever we wanted with the same convenience of a standard RV sewer connection.
You gotta know that pumping through a 3/4 inch hose isn’t going to be as fast as dumping the tanks through a 3 inch hose directly into sewer pipe but I was expecting it to be slower than it is. I can dump a 45 gallon tank in about 5 minutes although I have not timed it exactly. That is fast enough for me even when dumping all three tanks. I’m not in a big hurry.
We developed a routine where I dump the gray tank evert two to three days and the two black tanks every other time I dump the gray tank. On this schedule we didn’t have to be especially conservative with water usage.
We stayed At Drew & Jennifer’s through the holidays to the end of January when we headed for Arizona. After a couple months in AZ we spent about a month in So Cal at #1 son Mark’s home.
We’ve been staying at Mark’s for years and even though the sewer connection wasn’t all that close I managed with an 35 foot length of 3-inch sewer hose. Even though it worked it was never satisfactory. This last visit was different since I used the macerator pump. What a difference it was too. I wish now I would have bought a macerator years ago just to use at Mark’s house.
So, here it is mid-May 2013. We are back in Yuba City, again parked in Drew & Jennifer’s driveway. I’ve had time to really put the FloJet to the test and it is still working great.
It’s nice being neighbors with our son, daughter-in-law and the grandkids. You can’t really get to know them until you spend time with them. Time you just can’t find if you’re camped 20 miles out from town. The macerator pump and some ingenuity made it possible.
Empty holding tanks with the press of a switch!
Eliminates bending, reaching and straining to open the waste valve on your RV. Attach the hose and press the switch to drain your tank. An LED indicator shows when valve is open, to avoid accidental leaks and spills.
Easily attaches to your manual valve. Draws less than 2.5 amps of 12-volt power during operation. Opens and closes in about 2 seconds. Manual override if power fails. Fully sealed motor. Made of aluminum, stainless steel and ABS plastic, so it will not rust or corrode. Includes switch with LED indicator and label for mounting near valve. Barker 3″ Auto Drain RV Waste Valve