By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers
For what seemed like a mile, hoses crisscrossed the sod of Trumbo Point Navy RV Park, which borders on the craaazy town of Key West, Florida. On one side of Trumbo is the year-round resort town of Key West; on the other are the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Is this a base where you wish you were assigned?
As we casually toured the park, we finally got up the nerve to display our naivety by asking what all those hoses were doing disrupting perfectly good lawn. “They’re for our macerators,” we were told. Not wanting to sound like newbies (which we were), I said, “Oh, of course.”
Enough of this suspense (if you’re still reading). We soon learned that a macerator is the alternative to using a 3-inch hose to get rid of wastewater in the grey and black water tanks. A macerator is an impeller motor that attaches to the outflow to grind up solids, allowing a freshwater flow to force it through a hose to a septic tank or wastewater line.
Now you know the “WHAT;” time for the “WHY.” At Trumbo, where active duty and retired military families live in RVs, it makes sense. They don’t have to move their rigs every four to six days to empty tanks – they just press a button and the Ugh goes away.
At our tiny cabin in the mountains, our travel trailer is our guesthouse, which works great, because our guests (mainly family) can wake up when they want, fix coffee and walk down the hill to the cabin when their eyes are focused.
Up until this week (pre-macerator), what using the RV as a retreat home has meant for me is the choice of letting the black tank fill and lie dormant until we travel again, OR, AND I HATE THIS, I empty the black water into a bucket and lug it down the hill to the septic tank. If that sounds like something grotesque, believe me, …
Yesterday I macerated … and it only took me six hours to get it working. There was an electrical snag between instruction No. 4 and 5 that drove me nuts. But I knew it was electrical, and I knew there was only one deviation from the instruction sheet that it could be. Eventually, problem solved, and I rejoiced when I heard the “WHIRRRR” of the impeller motor and the sound of water cascading down 125 feet of ¾-inch hose into the septic tank.
Now for some photos, none of which show the anguish in my eyes over the time it took from Instruction No. 1 to No. 7:
From the “Never-Bored RVers,” We’ll see you on down the road.
© All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved