Walmart Parking Lot Abuse Leaves 1 Dead & Officer Shot

The Cottonwood, Arizona, Walmart parking lot was the scene of a weekend fight that left one suspect dead and an officer shot, according to information provided by Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials and several witnesses.

(Photo courtesy Arizona Department of Public Safety)
(Photo courtesy Arizona Department of Public Safety)

Cottonwood Police Department received a call about a Walmart employee who had been assaulted by one of the suspects just before midnight.

Eight officers were also assaulted in the Walmart parking lot Saturday night (March 21, 2015) in a fight that left one suspect dead, another wounded, and seven in custody, according to officials.

The fight happened after the Cottonwood Police Department received a call at 11:52 p.m. from the Cottonwood Walmart reporting that a suspect shoved a female employee in a store bathroom.

When officers arrived, the suspects were in the parking lot and attacked the officers.

Several years ago SmartCentres, which owns the Kamloops, British Columbia shopping centre, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks. (Credit: bcnews.ca)
Several years ago SmartCentres, which owns the Kamloops, British Columbia shopping centre, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks. (Credit: bcnews.ca)

One suspect was shot and killed during the fight, another was shot in the abdomen, and a total of seven others were taken into custody, DPS said.

The suspects are from the same family, according to DPS spokesman Bart Graves. The seven in custody, five adult males, a woman, and a female juvenile, refused to provide their names, Graves said.

The suspects were booked as John and Jane Does on suspicion of aggravated assault, attempted homicide, obstruction of justice, and a separate assault charge related to the Walmart loss-prevention officer, who suffered a broken arm, Graves said.

All suspects involved were members of the same family who were driving a Suburban SUV with Idaho license plates and had been camping for at least four days in the parking lot according to one report.

The man who was shot and killed in the incident had spent the last few days of his life playing a guitar at a side exit to the store, asking for money, a witness said.

One officer was shot in the leg and the other seven were left with cuts and bruises.

“We do believe that there was a struggle for an officer’s weapon, there is an ongoing investigation on that,” Graves said.

The officer that was shot in the leg is 31 years old and has been with Cottonwood police for 10 years, the release said. He was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center for surgery and is expected to make a full recovery.

DPS and local police cleared the scene just after noon Sunday. Dozens of cars circled around the area where the shooting occurred near the back end of the parking lot.

Store management met with Cottonwood Police yesterday (March 24, 2015), to figure out how to keep people from camping overnight at the store.

Details of the meeting are unavailable.

Unfortunately, some campers take advantage of Walmart’s generosity and call the parking lot home for days.

Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: mybirdie.ca)
Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: mybirdie.ca)

Overnight Parking Etiquette

Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined together to support your right to park on private businesses’ parking lots overnight under the following code of conduct. The code pertains to establishments that permit “dry camping” on their lots. Dry camping means camping without the use of external hookups for electricity, water supply, or waste disposal.

Industry-Sanctioned Code of Conduct (RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy)

Stay one night only!

Obtain permission from a qualified individual.

Obey posted regulations.

No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills outside your RV.

Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).

Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.

Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.

Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.

If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night, or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. It’s the right thing to do!

Worth Pondering…

GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD, and PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!

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North Dakota Walmart Evicts RVs

The Walmart in Williston, North Dakota, is saying “enough is enough.”

Williston Walmart evicts RVs. (Source: kmot.com)

After months of allowing oil workers to park their recreational vehicles in the parking lot, the big box store started getting tough this week. The store posted notices Monday (February 6) that any campers not gone within 24 hours would be towed and impounded at the owners’ expense.

The bright yellow notices said the camping was causing safety, noise, litter, and property problems and would no longer be tolerated.

According to Walmart spokeswoman, Kayla Whaling, some RVs were towed Tuesday morning, the Williston Herald reported.

Whaling said the store sympathizes with the workers, who are facing a housing shortage, but said the situation reached a turning point based on complaints from the community.

“It’s just not appropriate for people to be living in our parking lot. We want to be good neighbors during challenging times,” she said. On the other hand, Walmart needs to provide safe, clean, and comfortable shopping for its customers and environment for its own employees, she said.

Whaling added that the store was teaming up with the Williston Police Department to get the vehicles removed and impounded.

Signs like this one were posted at the Williston Walmart on Monday. (Source: bismarcktribune.com)

Oil workers were allowed to use the lot due to a local housing shortage, but complaints from the community led to the eviction.

Dozens and sometimes more campers filled the lot for weeks or months before moving on, even though there were no water or sewer hookups. Some were living four or more to a small trailer without heat or electricity.

Women expressed fear of walking through the parking lot with the men living there and others said they simply quit shopping at the store because of the situation.

The Walmart parking lot in Williston, and the many people that have lived there during the past three years, have been featured in the New York Times, CNN, YouTube, NBC, and countless other regional, national and even international media organizations.

The parking lot has been called a “mecca” for job seekers and Williston’s “pioneer square,” and has become notorious by longtime locals and newcomers alike, the Williston Herald reported.

For many who have come to Williston seeking a new job and a new life during the past few years, it is one of the first places they go—with an RV in tow.

No more.

A section of the parking lot used to look like a trailer park. Every long-term trailer has been removed.

The parking lot has been the site of a continuing conflict of trailer owners moving in, being ticketed, and ordered off by law enforcement, sometimes moving out, and others moving in a constant ebb and flow.

The Williston Walmart has not allowed trailers to park overnight for some time. During the past year, store officials have routinely called police to come and ticket and tell those in the RVs to leave.

By the next day, however, a new group arrives, and the process begins anew.

At least, it used to.

This January 26 photo shows the Williston Walmart parking lot (Source: bismarcktribune.com)

Walmart has also hired a parking lot security guard, who was patrolling the lot Wednesday in a small SUV. The security guard wouldn’t answer any questions about his job or the removal of the trailers, but his presence seemed to coincide with the lack of campers, reported the Williston Herald.

“All I can tell you is I can’t say anything and you’ll have to talk to a manager,” he said.

Last year, the store installed height-restriction barriers on the entrances to the parking lot to prevent semitrailers from parking there. Until then, the store had been troubled with dozens of oil trucks and other 18-wheelers using the parking lot nearly every day.

Walmart has a reputation for allowing people on the move to pull off the highway for an overnight stay. In Williston, where housing is tight because of the booming energy fields, those overnights in some cases are turning into however long people can get away with staying there until they’re told to move along.

Related

Worth Pondering…
Every exit is an entry somewhere else.
—Tom Stoppard

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B.C. Walmart Says No to RVs

They are usually known as a welcoming sight for RVers in need of a place to stop for the night or a few days before continuing on with their journey.

SmartCentres, which owns the Kamloops, British Columbia shopping centre, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks. (Credit: bcnews.ca)

Besides being a big-box retail store, Walmart parking lots across North America have generally been hospitable to the traveling camper.

But, anyone hoping to stay in the Kamloops, British Columbia, Walmart parking lot for an extended period of time can expect to be turned away, reports Kamloops This Week.

This past summer the company SmartCentres, which owns the shopping center, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers that overnight parking for RVs or trucks is not permitted.

Sandra Kaiser, vice-president of corporate affairs for SmartCentres, told KTW the no-overnight rules were always in place, but not enforced stringently until recently.

She said the measure is not meant to crack down on someone staying a few hours or even a night, but is intended to address RV owners staying for days and weeks.

“More and more campers were coming and staying for longer periods of time, to the point where we were losing parking spaces that we have to provide to our tenants,” Kaiser said, adding the company had received complaints from tenants in the shopping center.

She noted overnight stays made it difficult for maintenance crews to clean up the lot.

Kaiser said maintenance crews are politely reminding campers they can’t park in the lot long term.

Walmart manager Tim Labermeyer said he’s heard from some customers who expected to park at the store overnight.

However, he pointed out many of the Walmart lots that allow overnight parking are owned by the retail giant.

Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: rvonthego.blogspot.com)

The Kamloops Walmart leases the property so, in this case, it is not a decision made by the store.

“We have to abide by their (SmartCentres) rules,” Labermeyer said.

He suggested Thompson Rivers University students using the lot during store hours for free parking was a bigger issue than RV parking.

The Kamloops location isn’t alone in banning overnight stays, as a growing number of Walmarts in the U.S. are starting to turn away RVs.

For a list of Walmarts where overnight parking is prohibited, click here.

Ask the local IGA store in Hinton, Alberta, how to treat visitors. That IGA invites RVers to camp overnight free on their parking lot and places large signs along the highway to make sure RVers know they are welcome.

Overnight Parking Etiquette

Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined together to support your right to park on private businesses’ parking lots overnight under the following code of conduct. The code pertains to establishments that permit “dry camping” on their lots. Dry camping means camping without the use of external hookups for electricity, water supply, or waste disposal.

Industry-Sanctioned Code of Conduct (RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy)

Staying in a Walmart parking lot. (Credit: mybirdie.ca)

Stay one night only!

Obtain permission from a qualified individual.

Obey posted regulations.

No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills outside your RV.

Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).

Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.

Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.

Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.

If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night, or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. It’s the right thing to do!

Most of the complaints lodged regarding RV parking on business parking lots have to do with aesthetics and perceived abuse of the privilege. There are a variety of competing interests that were balanced to arrive at this industry-sanctioned code of conduct. As you can see, this Code of Conduct is nothing more than an RVers’ “Good Neighbor” policy.

Not following the code has serious consequences and is detrimental to the rights of all RVers. Already, some municipalities have passed ordinances to prohibit parking on private business property overnight.

The above Code of Conduct is also available in PDF format from the Walmart Atlas website.

You’re encouraged to print this letter and share it with others to promote these etiquette standards.

Worth Pondering…

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

—Anon

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Selecting a Campground/Campsite Checklist

Our needs and requirements in a campground/RV park vary depending on length of stay. If overnighting few, if any, amenities are required though we desire to have a minimum of 30-amp electric service and water. The longer we plan to stay at a campground, the pickier we become.

Selecting a Campground Checklist

  1. This Western Horizon membership campground in Casa Grande, Arizona meets our long-term and short term needs with both pull-through and back-in sites and all the desired amenities. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

    Do I have a positive feeling about the RV Park?

  2. Is the office staff approachable, friendly, and helpful?
  3. Does the campground participate in any discount programs?
  4. As a general rule are sites spacious enough to accommodate any size RV?
  5. Are most sites level?
  6. Will the noise level be acceptable? Noise from nearby interstate? Rowdy campers? Generators? Does the park have quiet hours?
  7. Cell phone coverage?
  8. Is there cable TV? Additional fee? Availability of channels? Available at all sites?
  9. Proximity to Wal-Mart and other grocery chains?
  10. Availability of Wi-Fi and location of towers? Is there an additional fee or required log-in password?
  11. Availability and cleanliness of restroom and shower facilities? Additional fee for showers?
  12. The newly improved campground at Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona will accommodate RVs of all sizes. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

    Where are the restrooms? Some people want to be near the restrooms and/or showers. Others may want to be far away. If it makes a difference to you, make sure you take that into consideration

  13. Pet-friendliness? Limitations on size of dog and breeds?
  14. Where is the sun? And what is its path, relative to how the site is oriented? You may want to avoid a site where the sun will be beating down on your patio area during the late afternoon or evening when you are more likely to be sitting out and enjoying the outdoors.
  15. Look at the traffic pattern within the campground. If you don’t want a lot of cars or foot traffic going past your site, then plan accordingly. Or, if you are an activities person, you may want to try for a spot close to the workshops and auditorium.
  16. Where is the signal? If having satellite TV is important to you, then look for an unobstructed view of the southern sky. Remember that the tradeoff of no trees may mean no shade.
  17. Is there sufficient space? Ideally, you will have a site large enough for your RV and toad/tow vehicle.

Tip: Never stay at an RV park that charges ten dollars and is run by a man with more tattoos than teeth.

Pick Your Spot

The “perfect” campsite is likely to vary from person to person. Think about what you want to do as well as what those in your group want to do and choose accordingly. Although there may be some variations of what you are looking for, you may want to take some of the factors mentioned below into consideration, when choosing the “perfect campsite”.

Selecting a Campsite Checklist

  1. Camping at Thousand Trails Lynchburg Preserve, Virginia. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

    Do I have a preference for a pull-through or back-in site?

  2. What are your electric requirements? 20, 30, or 50-amp service?
  3. Is the breaker box in reasonable condition and does the polarity check out?
  4. Do you require a sewer site?
  5. Is the site long enough?
  6. Is the site wide enough?
  7. Is the site relatively level?
  8. Is the site in a high-traffic area? Near a dumpster? Dump station?
  9. Are there low-hanging branches?
  10. Will I be able to extend all slides?
  11. Will I be able to extend the awning?
  12. Will I be able to open all bins?
  13. Will I be able to obtain a TV satellite signal?
  14. Do I want the afternoon or morning sun?
  15. Where are the utilities located?
  16. Where is the closest Wi-Fi tower?

Note: This is the last of a two-part series on Selecting an RV Park/Campground

Part 1: Tips for Choosing RV Parks/Campgrounds

Worth Pondering…

The only man who makes no mistake is the man who does nothing.

—Theodore Roosevelt

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Five Things You Need to Know Today: September 2

Since I like things to come in fives (and tens), here are five things YOU need to know TODAY!

1. Verde River Days, Cottonwood, Arizona (September 24)

Let's Go RVing to the Verde Valley, Arizona. Yes, the sunsets are gorgeous! © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The activities during Verde River Days at Dead Horse Ranch State Park promote preservation and care of the environment by showcasing informative exhibits on the Verde’s riparian habitat. Some of the day’s events include environmental exhibits, hands-on-activities, fishing, canoeing, and live entertainment. The Verde River Days celebration begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday (September 24) and brings together 40-plus nature-based exhibits, sandcastle building, a menagerie of live animals, non-stop activities from canoe rides (with or without assistance), to nature hikes, as well as continuous entertainment and local food vendors. Guests of all ages are welcome to fish in the lagoon! The campground at Dead Horse Ranch State Park will accommodate RVs of all lengths.

2. Overnight RV Parking

If stopping at a Wal-Mart, Flying J, or other retail business spot, ALWAYS obtain permission first from the manager of the business.

Most Wal-marts do allow RVs to park overnight, but there are hundreds that don’t. Those who do allow it often want to direct RVs to park in a particular area of the parking lot. The same goes for other businesses who generally invite RVers to park overnight. Even if there are marked “long vehicle” spaces in the lot, as there are at many Cracker Barrels and Flying J’s, those business are there for the use of customers during business hours. They may or may not be available for overnight parking, and you don’t know for sure until you ask.

Let's Go RVing to the Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Some of the chains that sometimes allow overnight RV parking are Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Lowe’s, and Menard’s. Once again, before parking overnight at these stores or any other business parking lot, be sure you go into the store to ask permission. Some RVers prefer to telephone ahead for permission, so that they can make other arrangements on those occasions when the store says no. But the overriding principle, when parking overnight on someone else’s property, is that we need their invitation and their permission to do so.

ALWAYS park with your door facing the cameras and toward the active areas—not fac­ing the outside edge of the parking lot. DO NOT park with your passenger door facing the grassy areas around the perimeter. Don’t abuse the privilege of using Wal-Mart. Our guideline is that you should never stay longer than 12 hours. We first ask for permission. Be discreet—no awnings, lawn chairs, BBQs, etc. If you want to ‘camp’ go to a campground.

Following is the policy statement taken verbatim from the Wal-Mart Web site…

“Can I park my RV at a Wal-Mart store? While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Wal-Mart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.”

3. Carry a portable weather radio

Let's Go RVing to Goliad, Texas. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When traveling through unfamiliar areas, travelers are often amazed by unique landscapes, cultural highlights, and local fare, but they are also often surprised to discover that the weather varies greatly depending upon what region they are visiting. Be aware of what is possible through pre-trip research. Be prepared for potential weather issues (tornado, snow, hurricane, flood, etc.) And carry emergency weather notification devices such as portable weather radio and weather applications for smart phones.

4. Regularly Check Tire Air Pressure

Tires that are underinflated can cause the rubber and radial cords to burn up more quickly due to the increased pressure and friction on the road. Underinflated tires can also decrease fuel efficient because the increased friction between the tires and the road surface means you burn more fuel for the same distance traveled.

On the other hand, RV tires that are overinflated have less contact with the road surface. This is dangerous since it will affect your braking capacity and road handling and, thereby, increasing your chances of getting into an accident. Overinflated RV tires are more prone to impact damage and puncture by debris lying on the road surface.

Both Michelin and Good Year maintain an excellent chart to assist you in determine the correct air pressure based on your RV weight.

5. 10 second tip—How to clean up a broken egg

When you have a broken egg it is a pain to clean up and an extra special pain when it breaks in the RV refrigerator. Just pour salt on the broken egg and mix it until it becomes a paste that you can easily clean up with a SINGLE paper towel.

Have a great Labor Day weekend and travel safe!

Worth Pondering…

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.

—Neil Armstrong

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Owning an RV Just Got Harder

Where and when should you be able to park your recreational vehicle at your own home? In your own yard? Along the city street in front of your house?

Arizona is a popular all-season getaway for RVers. Pictured above Alamo Lake State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In Burbank, California, owning an RV just got a lot harder.

Burbank, California: Owning an oversized vehicle in Burbank just got a lot harder. The City Council adopted a plan that would force drivers of non-commercial vehicles longer than 22 feet or taller than eight feet—which would include most recreational vehicles, trucks with campers or trailers, even raised pickups—to get a daily $5 permit for parking on residential streets or face a $55 citation.

Even those with a permit will be prohibited from parking within 80 feet of any intersection in a residential neighborhood under the new rules.

The ordinance has been almost six years in the making, said traffic engineer Ken Johnson, and began as an effort to address complaints of people living in recreational vehicles and parking them on residential streets—a practice prohibited by state and city law.

Daily permits will be issued for only three consecutive days, but vehicle owners can apply for 96 “permit days” each calendar year.

(Source: Burbank Leader, May 13, 2011)

Brunswick, Ohio: The building and building code committee has drafted legislation amending the city’s ordinance on the parking and storage of recreational vehicles.

The draft legislation will include a definition of every type of recreational vehicle, and will allow driveway parking for vehicles less than 20 feet in length.

The ordinance currently says that vehicles in excess of 30 feet can’t be on the property at all. The new legislation would increase that to 40 feet.

Utah Highway 12 is one of America's most scenic routes. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Other changes to the ordinance include requiring that RVs be parked at least 20 feet from the property right-of-way and as close to the garage as possible, with nothing parked behind or between the RV and the structure.

The new ordinance would require that the RVs be operable, licensed, and owned by the homeowner; have no broken parts, windows or panels; and that the vehicles not be stored on property not owned by the RV owner or used for any purpose other than standard RV activities.

(Brunswick Sun Times/Cleveland.com, May 30, 2011)

St. Albert, Alberta: The city of St. Albert, Alberta, will look to tighten up its bylaws to restrict the use of store parking lots for overnight camping and selling used vehicles.

Mayor Nolan Crouse thinks parking lots like Wal-Mart’s are being transformed into campsites and defacto used car lots.

Most Wal-Mart stores in North America allow overnight parking, according to research conducted by city administration. In some cases, individual stores or municipalities have banned overnight parking. The city hasn’t received any complaints about parking at the St. Albert Wal-Mart, said a background report.

City administration has until Feb. 28, 2012, to bring forward a recommendation.

(Source: St. Albert Gazette)

Sioux City, Iowa: Sioux City is considering when and where residents can park their recreational vehicles. The reason the issue even came up is because of Paul Gorski’s RV. Gorski received a citation this winter for having his motorhome in the driveway. He wanted to keep it at his home, and checked with the city to see how he could do that legally, which led to him appeal his citation.

For great mountain scenery tour the Cherohala Scenic Byway in North Carolina. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Planning and Zoning Commission is considering a number of options: including exemptions for people who have no access to their backyard.

Right now RV’s and other similar vehicles can only be parked in the front yard of a home during a time of what the city ordinance defined as “normal use.”

But just what is normal use and where can you park your RV?  That’s the question that has RV owners, and some of their neighbors up in arms.

(Source: KCAUTV)

Park City, Illinois: The council decided that recreational vehicles, camper trailers, and motorhomes may be parked on a paved driveway or garage in a residential district at any time of year provided they are appropriately screened by fencing or landscaping from the street or from neighbors. The vehicle fee for recreational vehicles will be $30 annually. (Source: Chicago Tribune: May 11, 2011)

Worth Pondering…
In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.

—Robert Frost

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Most Distasteful RVing Task?

Unquestionably the most distasteful job in RVing is emptying the rig’s gray and black holding tanks. Not something with a lot of glory, but a necessary thing.

Sani-Con System holding tank emptying system with macerating pumps. (Credit: thetford.com)

Thetford Corporation has developed the Thetford’s Sani-Con System that they claim is “easier than pumping gas.” While this may be a slight exaggeration, Sani-Con could well be the cleanest, most sanitary and convenient way to empty your RV holding tank.

“Finally a way to empty your holding tanks that everyone in the family will find easy to use. It’s incredibly simple for any owner or family member to use.”

Rather than relying on gravity, Thetford’s Sani-Con System utilizing a heavy-duty transfer and macerating pump, the unit works much like a household garbage disposal. It grinds and liquefies black water waste, then pumps it through an extra heavy duty one-inch-diameter discharge hose.

The powerful macerating pump can pump waste up a hilly terrain or into an elevated sewer dump station. There’s no longer a need for a constant slope or cumbersome hose supports. That means less handling and an easier method to empty the tanks.

The one-inch-diameter discharge hose stretches up to 21 feet, than retracts more than 80 percent to a convenient seven feet for ease of storage.

At the end of the hose is an easy-to-use threaded nozzle that is designed to fit securely (lock) into a variety of dump station inlets, keeping you clean and ending the need for additional adaptors.

Sewer gloves? Really, how unsanitary can you be?!? Carry a box of disposable plastic gloves. It sure beats using your bare hands for this job! (Credit: thetford.com)

The nozzle has a screw on cap that really keeps the entire operation easy and clean. The cap prevents drips and spills during storage, making the unit more sanitary and less odorous than the old style three-inch-diameter sewer hoses.

Thetford’s Sani-Con System is available in both the “ready to dump when you are” permanently installed (hard wired to the coach) model and portable Twist-On and Tank Buddy model.

To use the system:

  • Connect the macerating pump (Twist-On and Tank Buddy only)
  • Extend and insert the nozzle into the dump station
  • Open the black water slide valve
  • Turn on the Sani-Con pump
  • When the black water tank is empty, turn off the pump, close the black water slide valve, open the grey water slide valve, and turn the pump back on
  • When the gray water tank is empty, turn off the pump, close the gray water slide valve, put the screw on cap onto the nozzle and return the nozzle and hose to storage

Before driving, add several gallons of water to the black tank. The sloshing action of driving to the next campground helps to clean the waste tanks.

For additional information, visit thetford.com.

Finding a Dump Station

RV owners periodically find themselves needing to locate an RV dump station.

This may be a result of dry camping with no sewer service or dump station available, spending the night at Wal-Mart or a truck stop or the weekend at a public recreation area without dumping facilities, or trying to get on the road quickly without taking the time to use the campground dump station.

The internet has been a great place to find listings of dump stations and there are several sites, but like much information on the net, many such lists become outdated, are incomplete, or lack relevant information.

If you need to locate a dump station while on the road, the following article may be of assistance:

How to Locate a Dump Station?

Worth Pondering…
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.

—G.K. Chesterton

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How to Locate a Dump Station?

RV owners periodically find themselves needing to locate an RV dump station.

Credit: Sanidumps.com

This may be a result of dry camping with no sewer service or dump station available, spending the night at Wal-Mart or a truck stop or the weekend at a public recreation area without dumping facilities, or trying to get on the road quickly without taking the time to use the campground dump station.

Also affected are RVers that work on the road, tailgate at college and pro football games, NASCA races, agricultural fairs and exhibitions, dog shows, and other local and national events.

Finding an RV dump station along your route, near your destination, or in your home town can be a major challenge.

Thousands of RV dump stations are located around the world, but how do you and other RVers know where they are located? In fact, do you know the location of recreational vehicle dump stations in your own local area?

Dump stations are often found at highway rest areas, gas/service stations, truck stops, state/provincial/national parks and other recreation areas, visitor centers, fairgrounds, and wastewater treatment facilities.

However, not all these locations maintain a dump station.

Numerous dump stations across the continent have closed or are closing due to abuse and vandalism, maintenance and service issues, or budget cuts, while others are not big rig friendly. Many now charge a dumping fee, sometimes exceeding $30.

Credit: Sanidumps.com

For the RVers who stay at RV parks and campgrounds with full hook ups this is rarely an issue. Others travel the same route and over time have found dump stations that they regularly frequent, thus searching for one is not normally an issue—until one closes down and then it’s time to panic.

How then, do you go about finding a dump station along your journey when your “RV has to go?”

The internet has been a great place to find listings of dump stations and there are several sites, but like much information on the net, many such lists become outdated, are incomplete, or lack relevant information. I’ve checked out numerous sites and have found most to be lacking.

The most comprehensive directory available to assist RVers to locate RV dump station locations appears to be Sanidumps.com.

I’ve found Sanidumps.com to be a comprehensive directory that helps RVers find RV dump station locations to empty or dump their gray water and black holding tanks, When RVs have to go…™

The type of recreational vehicle dump stations you find on Sanidumps.com includes private, public, RV park, non-park, municipal, state, provincial, truck stop, rest stop, campground, camping resort, commercial, pay, donation, and free.

The site does more than a thousand updates each month thanks to over 250,000 users that help to keep the content accurate and current.

Credit: Sanidumps.com

Searching is as simple as clicking on the Country, State, or Province and the city or nearest city or town. The system provides you with comprehensive information that lists all the nearby dump stations, direction, GPS coordinates, seasonality (open and close), potable water availability, fees (if applicable), and if it’s big rig friendly.

For those that need to locate dump stations while on the road and do not have internet connection, an eBook is available to download to your computer.

An android app has recently completed beta testing and is also available.

Recreational Vehicle Dumping Etiquette

  • Don’t put anything other than the contents of your holding tanks into the dump station
  • Do not dump directly onto the disposal station’s apron!
  • If you make a mess or spill, be courteous and clean up after yourself!
  • Don’t leave other garbage in the area
  • Don’t put your used rubber gloves down the sewer; they are NOT biodegradable
  • Don’t leave it for the next person!

The above Dumping Etiquette is courtesy Sanidumps.com.

Worth Pondering…
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.

—G.K. Chesterton

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