Empty tanks and solar power

I can’t put it off any longer. 

It’s time to dump the waste tanks.  I put the crew in the PTV so I can concentrate on hitching up.  I secure the interior of the Casita, disconnect the power cord, remove the chocks, lock the door, and put up the step.  Hitching up goes quickly.  When I’m backing up to line up the hitch ball, I look in my side mirror and remember how the side of the PTV should look in relation to the side of the Casita.  It’s becoming practically intuitive.

It’s a cloudy, dreary morning.

I drive down to the dump station at the end of the campground.  Click on the photos if you want to see them better.

If you’ve never done this before, you can see it’s not a big deal.

I don’t know why the lid of the dump hole is usually missing at dump stations.  I use two rocks to wedge the end of the Rhino-flex sewer hose into the hole. 

Once the tanks are empty, I flush the sewer hose with fresh water, and compress it back into the bumper.

 Soon we’re back at our campsite.  

I back the Casita into our site, unhitch and do the hook-ups.  I sweep off the patio mat and rearrange the crew’s pen.  A man walks by and comments, “That’s a really nice trailer!”

Kathy and Bill come over from the neighboring campsite. 

We sit and talk at my campsite while Bridget and Spike look on from their pen.  The afternoon becomes sunny and warm.  Even though it’s Saturday, there are several empty campsites. 

Later while walking the crew, I meet a couple from Nova Scotia.  They’ve been fulltiming for about three years and they love it.

Near the camp host’s campsite there’s a rock with a smiley face on it.

Dogs love to pee on this rock!

I don’t know which came first, the painted face or the doggie pit stop, but Spike and Bridget use it often.

You may think I’ve dropped the idea of going solar.

Not by a long shot!  I’m not going to have the kit installed that I put in a previous post.  I have a secret solar designer — a reader of this blog — who’s been putting together a quality solar system for me.  He researched where I should order the necessary components, all quality products at good prices with substantial warranties.  So I’m going to get “a lot of bang for my buck.”   I placed the orders and now I’m waiting for the items to be received by Chip at Baker’s RV Service here in Truth or Consequences.  I’ll tell you all about the solar plans and show you photos of the installation.

I’ll ask my mystery solar designer if he will let me reveal his name to you.  More about this project in future posts!  Now you know why I’m staying at Elephant Butte . . . The crew and I are going SOLAR!  I’m so excited!



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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22 Responses to Empty tanks and solar power

  1. Chuck says:

    People have given you some really good advise. The Rhino is a great hose system for dumping!
    Will be really interested in solar!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ve been fortunate all along the way from when I was back in Georgia up til now. People have given me advice and helped me make decisions . .. you included, Chuck!

      It makes the living easy.

  2. kayjulia says:

    I had my solar installed a few days ago. I have a small class A only 28′ long small by class A standards. I had my installation done at the Slabs by “The Sun Works”. I documented the process on my blog. I have only had it a few days but I like it a lot already. Since the install the weather hasn’t been perfect for solar, but my batteries are full by noon every day, then I charge my rechargeable tools like the lap top computer, cell phone, dust buster etc and still end the day with full batteries. I am sure you will like yours once you get it up and working. With solar there are more camping opportunities to enjoy !

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kayjulia!

      Congratulations! Yesterday I read your post about getting solar installed. I envy you, that you are now reaping the rewards! Great photos of the installation. Anybody reading this, click on kayjulia’s name and you can see how how her solar was installed.

      Thanks for explaining how well it is working for you . . . now you are really free to roam. It’s a big step . . . The cost may hurt now, but in time that will be forgotten . . . Enjoy!

  3. Reine says:

    With the Wave 3 and Solar you’ll really be ready for a lot of dry camping and your major expenses will be behind you. If you haven’t already, have Chip install a MaxxAire Vent cover also. It will eventually rain and you may want to have the Fantastic fan open when it does.

  4. joolsjaunts says:

    Thanks for posting this! One of The Great Mysteries of Life is the dumping process of an RV, and I admit I am a bit intimidated by all of that; I have a lot to learn about RVs before I make a purchase of one, and I am getting so much great info from your blog and others that I read! Can’t wait to learn more about the solar setup.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Joolsjaunts!

      I posted those photos and description of dumping my tanks for people such as yourself. I was intimidated by it myself not long ago, and I wanted to show that it’s not a big deal at all. It’s no more difficult than loading a dishwasher . . .

      I get a kick out of hearing that my blog is helping somebody . . Thanks for letting me know!

  5. Steve says:

    Oh good I see you got the rhinoflex sewer hose. I love mine!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Steve . ..

      Yeah, all I had to hear was the Casita factory-supplied hose is poor and will eventually leak, and I ordered a Rhino-flex.

      Remember that song that goes “these are a few of my favorite things?” I’d list my new sewer hose.

  6. Bob says:

    Well, Sue …

    Now you’ve shown us how to smile when you are down in the dumps!

    Every day when I open my email, I look to see if you have posted another insightful blog entry.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Bob (aka stude53)

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Nice to know somebody looks for me to show up . . . Now THAT will make me smile when down in the dumps.

    • Jay says:

      Hi Sue,
      Been reading your blog for some time now and enjoy reading it, and wanted to say HI.
      Unless I have missed it I don’t see were you have checked your battery’s water? even tho you are on elect you need to check the battery water every few months.
      The battery is heavy ( 40 to 50 LBS ) so when you have Chip install your solar system have him check your battery for water ( use distilled water ) .

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Welcome, Jay!

        I’ve been worried about my house battery. When I met Old Fat Man a few months ago, he told me to put water in it. I got some distilled water, but I can’t get the battery out of the compartment! OFM tried, too, and could only get it out halfway. (It’s not on a slide-out tray.)

        Thank you for reminding me. I’ll have Chip give it a try, and maybe he can make it so I can get it out, also.

        Glad you are enjoying my blog!

  7. Pat Gabriel says:

    Awesome! When I hit the road someday, I want to be outfitted for solar, but know nothing about it. I was very interested when you first posted the info on your system. I’m looking forward to what your revised system will be. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Mick says:

    Maybe you could be lucky and the Casita battery is the same size as the PTV battery? Then you could replace the old? PTV battery with the Casita battery and get a new AMG battery from O’Reilly’s for the Casita that does not require maintenance. Problem solved??


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s a pretty good idea, Mick. However, the PTV battery is almost new. When I was having all that trouble in Georgia with the PTV not starting, the service people I went to for many years replaced my old battery with a new Interstate battery (didn’t charge me anything!).

      I would follow your advice if the PTV battery were old. I am not confident of my ability to maintain a battery.

      • Jay says:

        RV Sue,
        you can’t use your Casita battery in your PTV because it is a deep cycle battery made for RVs , you need to have a vehicle battery for your PTV ( a battery for cranking ) you could burn your starter out. If your Casita battery becomes to much trouble or goes out than put in a AMG battery,it won’t need to have water added. When ever you get a battery for your Casita it needs to be a deep cycle battery.
        I have a Casita and I can get the battery out with out to much of a problem but some people can’t do it, Casita needs to make it easer for servicing the battery.

  9. Kathe says:

    My RV had solar panels and I used the AGM batteries which were sealed units so did not have to add water. My house is all solar electric and I have to add water to my batteries every two weeks…one way to check the water level in batteries that are hard to get to is with a flashlight and a mirror. If you can unscrew the cap, use the flashlight and mirror to check the level of the distilled water in each cell. They should not be full but should cover the lead plates at a minimum. If you need to add water, use a bottle that allows you to squirt a little water in the cell and then check again. Here is a link to more information.


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