Post 81: Making Life Easier on LTVA BLM Land

La Posa, Tyson Wash

In one of our previous posts, we described Tyson Wash Long Term Visitors Area (LTVA).

We had done almost a years research on LTVA’s, even then we were a bit overwhelmed when we arrived there.

As we approach 2018, campers are arriving by the dozens everyday. It was very interesting to see the different rigs that showed up. From true vintage campers, to tents, vans,  travel trailers, 5th wheels, motor homes, homemade units and the elite motor homes. Despite the difference, almost everyone was there to escape the harsh northern winters.

Lessons Learned

OK, now to the point of the post. As we had mentioned in Post 79: Quartzsite AZ and LTVA, there is only ONE dumping station in  La Posa, South Camping Area, which is about a 2 to 3 mile drive for us (at 15 MPH). But, this ONE dumping station has 2 spots for units to dump at, at the same time. Or you may use the Blue Boy Only spot before you arrive at the dumping station. After you dump, there are 4 fresh water station. Two on either side of the road with 2 taps per station.

This means 4 camp grounds of several thousand acres of campers. One area to dump and get fresh water or they have to go and pay at other locations.

Fresh Water

A few background points; we have two large dogs and us, two humans. The amount of fresh water we go through is amazing.  It is so dry here and the days are still pretty warm and the sun is intense. Our fresh water tank is 65 gallons. We are careful when we shower to use as little water as possible. But, we go through fresh water quicker than we are accustomed to.  We found that we have to replenish our fresh water tank every two or three days. Adding about about 15 gallons at a time. The process was drive to the fresh water outlets, fill three  five gallon jugs. Drive back and pour them into our tank using a funnel standing on a stool. This got old pretty quick lol.

As we were filling our up our fresh water jugs, we talked to a few folks who were filling up 55 Gallon barrels. We found out that the local hardware store (Herbs True Value Hardware) sold these barrels for between $55 and $80 depending on the fittings needed. We decided this was the way to go and purchased one. We are using gravity to transfer the water from the barrel to the RV, after a bit of trial and error, the gravity method is working fine for us.

Now to the dirty part of the post lol…

Grey and Black Water!

There is a strict rule on camping BLM land (and Crown Land in Canada), no emptying of grey water (shower, kitchen sink, bathroom sink) water anywhere other than the dumping stations. The main reason for this is that the grey water flows through same outlet pipes as the black (sewer) water. It goes without saying, that Black water (toilet) can only be emptied at dumping stations.

Although we had to top up our fresh water tank every two days or so, our grey water tank would have to be emptied every 7 days or so and our black water about every 14 days. When you combine getting fresh water every two days, dumping the grey every 7 days and the black water every 14 days, we were spending a lot of time driving back and forth at 15 MPH to the fresh water/dumping stations. The drive itself was not that bad, but for the grey and black water trips, we had to break camp, secure the inside of the trailer, bring the slideouts in, hook up the truck and trailer and then make the trip. Not hard work, just seemed to us that we were wasting a lot of valuable time.

Looking at alternative!

After talking to a some helpful folks and doing some research, we knew there were many options to help make this a better experience. There were units called ‘Blue Boys‘ which are heavy plastic containers. Blue Boys are usually on wheels that  have a handle that hooks over your hitch on your tow vehicle. The process is; you position the Blue Boy near your holding tank outlet, connect the sewer hose and fill up the Blue Boy with the bad stuff. You then connect your Blue Boy to your tow vehicle and take it to the dumping station and reverse the procedure.

After some research, we found that there are a few drawbacks to Blue Boys; their capacity is anywhere from 10 gallons to 35 gallons (maybe even more). So, if you are like us, we have about 55 gallons of grey and black water we need to remove. That is a couple of trips a week to take care of the water, which in itself is not so bad. The bigger problem is the roads we have to travel to the dump station. The roads are gravel and have quite a few large rocks and we are pretty sure the Blue Boy would bottom out. We have heard horror stories about the Blue Boys losing their wheels and/or being punctured due to the rocks. The result is you leave a trail of umm, poop, for miles. Blue Boys vary in price, depending on the size and the quality of the wheels. Anywhere from $100 to $285.

Other options!

The other option was another 55 gallon container fitted with the necessary sewer hookups.

The macerator pumps the liquid into the top hole and then at the dumping station you hook the sewer host to the bottom fitting and ampty the tank.

In addition to 55 gallon container, you will need a Macerator waste pump.

The Macerator ‘grinds’ solids into tiny Particle then pumps the liquid through a garden hose up to the 55 gallon container.

Think of this pump as a kitchen blender that hooks to your sewer connections on the RV. Connect a garden hose to the output side of the pump and then turn it on. The Macerator grinds up all the solid pieces in your holding tanks and pumps it out through the garden hose into the 55 gallon container. There is a 2″ clear hose that lets you view whats going on and also lets you know when the tanks are empty.

In our case we have a pickup truck, so we place the 55 gallon container in the bed of the truck, secure it with straps and proceed to fill it. Once full, we take it the the dumping station and empty it.

So, between the fresh water barrel and the grey/black water barrel, we never have to move the trailer to fill/dump the tanks. Success!

 

 

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