Everyone’s eager to help. Until the crap starts flying. Why I welcome your interest, but please take a few steps back.

I get it. You’re interested in the whole tank cleaning idea. After all, how can I claim to get your RV’s tank sensors working in 95% of the cases when everything you’ve tried doesn’t seem to work? And how the heck do I get our cleaning equipment up into the tank AND let the “stuff” come out at the same time?

I’ve cleaned thousands of holding tanks and if there’s one thing II can predict, it’s that the owner will be curious and even offer to help (sometimes). At the very least, I get plenty of folks leaning over our shoulder and helping to shift around sewer hoses.

But, while your intentions are good — and appreciated, please stop. Here’s why.

I work quickly

Cleaning your RV’s holding tanks is a lot of work. At rallies, I’ve got a lot of RVs scheduled in a very tight timeframe. So when a problem comes up, it can delay all of the other cleanings after yours. And if those owners are waiting for me to go to lunch or dinner, take a factory tour, or take part in a seminar or other activity, being late can really be inconvenient.

So let me work at the pace I anticipate. It’s not that I don’t appreciate your offer to help, but I know what has to be done when, and in what steps. There’s a very exact process, believe it or not, and interrupting that can cause some pretty big problems. Or messes….

I work alone

The best way to describe this point is to tell a story. A very, very terrible story. One that I learned an important lesson from.

It was the last day of a rally and an owner came by our booth where my wife was working, talking to attendees. He had a clog or something in his tank. It just wasn’t draining properly. Or something. So she scheduled him in our last spot on the last day.

I got set up at the RV. I was prepared. Or so I thought.

I tried to empty the tanks (pulling the gate pulls), but not a lot came out. That happens sometimes — older RVs have gate valves that can stick and this can cause solids to stay behind, building up a clog behind the gate.

I got everything all hooked up. Being an older RV, I had to use some extra connections to make the “run” out of the holding tank valve to the sewer hose work right. I guided my equipment up into the black tank and started cleaning. Hmm. Odd that very little was coming out. Usually the pressure from our equipment can break things up.

I switched tactics and used a much larger hose and spray nozzle. I ramped up the pressure to maximum. There was no way this clog was going to beat me. Still, nothing.

And then the RV owner stepped in.

As I was checking the fittings of the sewer hoses, he decides he’s going to help and yanked open BOTH holding tank gate valve pulls. Apparently, both tanks were full of well, you know what they were full of. And the resulting pressure knocked all of the hoses right off of the main sewer connection. 100 gallons came straight at me as I panicked to get the sewer hose back connected.

Well, let’s just stop here.

In the end, we got things fixed. The tanks were clean. The clog was eliminated. I probably could have charged the customer a million dollars based on the look on his face as he saw me covered in, well, you know what it is. But the important lesson here is thanks for the offer, but let us do our job. In the end, we’ll all be happier.

But I have a question

No problem. In fact, we start out every cleaning by taking 10 minutes to ask you some questions about your holding tanks and your “typical” process:

• Are you experiencing any specific problems (misreading sensors, slow-draining tanks, you think you have a clog, etc.)?
• How often do you dump your tanks and what’s your process for doing that?
• Do you do things like leaving your gray tank’s valve open all the time?
• Tell me how you wash your dishes (do you scape off first?).

Then, with these answers, I’ll explain what I will be doing. I’ll walk through the whole process from start to finish. And if you have questions, please feel free to ask them.

When I’m working — if you’re watching — I welcome your questions too. But please understand there are stopping points that I need to get to in order to give you a complete answer. Otherwise, I may forget a step or not check on something critical. And that too can be as much a problem as you “helping.”

At the end, I’ll answer any questions you have and go over what I think you need to be doing moving forward. I actually allocate time in the process of cleaning for this, so feel free to ask anything you can think of.

Sometimes I say, the cost to perform our service is one price. And then, the cost with your advice is a bit more. And then, the cost with your help is a lot more than that! Step back and let me do the job you are paying me to do. Questions are fine and I’ve heard them all. I just don’t need a helper, as much as you think what you are doing is harmless.