So we're moving forward with modifications and changes to this big 'ol bus, and on the list was the installation of a macerator pump.

**Weak stomachs should skip the next 2 paragraphs, as we are about to talk dirty**

Part of business in an RV is taking care of the business, after you take care of business. In layman's terms, someone has to empty the holding tank after you poop. There are 2 holding tanks: Gray Water (shower, sink drains here), and Black Water (toilet drains here). The gray water is no big deal. It's so watered down with handwashing runoff that it looks clear coming out. The black water is a different story. The standard method of emptying the holding tanks is to first locate an RV dump. They are located at RV parks, some highway rest areas and some communities even have an RV dump available if you look for them. You pay the dump fee (anywhere between free and $20 per dump) and pull alongside the ground level dump hole. Then you connect a your own 3" flexible, non collapsible hose to the outlet of the holding tanks on the RV (they come together after each tank valve), insert the other end of the hose into the dump hole, and open the valve. Black tank first, gray tank second. Gravity causes the waste water to run out of the tanks and into the sewer connection. By running the gray water second, it flushes the black water and it's remnants OUT of the flexible hose that you will put back on your RV and carry along for the next dump session. Simple enough, right? What if you don't have easy access to an RV dump, or you are irritated at the thought of paying $20 to dump your business?
Enter, The Macerator.

The macerator is a big bad poop fighting machine that saves us the trouble of finding an RV dump, to dump. Although we can still use the RV dump, we now have the option of pulling within 100 feet of any toilet and efficiently leaving our sewer in the toilet! That's right folks, the macerator sucks the contects of the holding tank into it's tough steel jaws, chews up anything it encounters into 1/8" bits, then pumps it furiously into a hose that you simply hold in the water of the toilet and everything disappears cleanly and quietly. Black first, then gray, and the pump stays nice and clean for use at our convenience. WOW! You'd probably pay lots of money for the convenience of the macerator, eh? You would have to, since they list at $530 for the portable pump setup- unless you read this entry and ask for the parts list to put together your own portable macerator setup for under $250 (email me and I'll send you the parts list that I came up with).

The black PVC plastic at the lower right is where the black/gray waste water connect, and empty under the compartment floor, outside. The orange hose is the flexible connection to the macerator pump, located at the top left. The effluent exits the pump via 12" of clear hose into the RED hose, which then heads over to the toilet for it's final destination.

Now, we're happily parked in the driveway at home, still working on projects, and not really using the toilet much, but we could! Since we don't have to drive around to find an RV dump in case the black water hits the 75 gallon capacity.

It's a 2 person job, #1 connecting and operating the valves and switches to make sure the pump doesn't jam up- and #2 guaranteeing that the hose does not come out of the toilet while pumping. Meila is a good helper. She took this job on without complaints, and communicated via radio with me so she knew when the pump was coming on. You can't see it here, but she did have a small fresh flower that she was holding by her nose to mask the stink, which accompanies this job assignment... and she didn't complain once.

Note: the image that shows the macerator permanently installed on the wall in the top photo was at an early stage of this process. I have removed the pump from it's permanent location so it can be laid on the ground, at the same level of the orange hose so that when we're done pumping, we can disconnect the hose, allow all of the waste to be pumped out completely, and store the pump for it's next performance. Yes, there are caps for the hose and it's pretty sanitary.