Nice sunrise near Organyà, Spain.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Montblanc, Spain.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading south west in Spain towards Gibraltar.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

First time emptying the tanks...

Everybody knows that the least fun part of the motorhome lifestyle is emptying the holding tanks. Well over here in Europe, it's even less fun! First of all, no campgrounds or aires (we explained yesterday what an aire is) have sewer hookups. And the motorhomes all have cassette style of toilets. So there is no "black" holding tank. Simply a small cassette that removes from the bottom of the toilet via an outside compartment.

We do have a "grey" water holding tank. It's actually larger than I expected, and it's located under the frame at the rear of the motorhome.

Yesterday as we headed out, we used the free dump station at the aire.

The toilet cassette is located inside this compartment. 
You simply press a little lever, and the cassette slides right out.

First time I've done this, and I don't want to mess up!

But, it's pretty easy really. You simply remove the round yellow screw cap, swing the valve open, hold it up to the sewer dump hole, and let it drain while pressing the small yellow button to allow air in.

You'll notice that the tank isn't very big. This means we can't go more than 4 to 5 days without finding somewhere to empty it. Fortunately, there are lots of aires. And in  pinch, you could empty the cassette directly into a toilet.

You lift up that black cover, and that's where you dump it. 
Then push the button and rinse the tank.

The grey water drain is at the front of the pad for some reason, but the pad is all sloped correctly so that when you drain your tank at the rear, it all goes down anyhow.

Pulling the grey water drain valve.

We filled up the fresh water tank (also larger than I expected), and headed out. We had decided to drive all the way down to Ubeda in one go. A little longer than we normally like to drive in a day, but there's a cold front coming in and we want to be heading somewhere warmer. Even today, the high expected in Ubeda is only 7C (45F), but at least the sun is shining.

A nice drive, but not much really worth stopping for.

Scenery along the way.

About half way, we started seeing olive trees. 
Thousands upon thousands of them.

This region of Spain produces about 10% of the worlds supply of olive oil. We couldn't believe how many olive trees there were. They just went on forever. 

Olive trees covering the hillsides.

We pulled into this village for lunch, but couldn't find anywhere to park!

Lots of tractors pulling these trailers full of olives.

More olive trees.

We arrived in Ubeda, and as we were heading to the aire, we drove by a huge Carrefour superstore. This is a big Walmart style French chain store. So we pulled in to do a big shop. Ruth has pretty much got figured out our cupboard and fridge space, so we knew how much we could buy.

We also bought a new inverter. Just a small 150 watt one. Louis isn't really set up for the type of boondocking we like to do, so we wanted to set things up a little better. I'll go into more detail tomorrow.

The inverter was €29 (all prices on the shelf include all taxes...jut the way it should be!) and the rest of the groceries and some booze came to €78 ($113 CAD, $86 USD). We think that food is a bit more expensive here compared to the U.S. or Canada, but the much cheaper booze prices more than make up for it. 

Yesterday's drive, 233 kms (145 miles).

Ruth made a nice grilled turkey breast and veggies and potato meal for dinner. We've been in Spain for almost two full weeks and we haven't eaten out yet!

Played a few games of cribbage and did some reading last night. Doing just fine!

Fantastic lightning deal on one of those magnetic screen doors...check it out...


  1. Sounds like you're doing quite well! That toilet cassette system looks to be identical to the one we had in our Coleman pop-up prior to the motorhome. If I remember correctly, there's a fresh water supply for flushing the cassette as well?

    1. Yes, we are doing just fine. Learning how to adapt is the key! :-)

  2. Yup. My theory is, if the booze and beer are cheap, folks won't mind paying up to 19% vat. AND, I really liked the idea that the tax is included in the displayed price. If you want to study the receipt after the fact to work it all out, then fine. I still mutter under my breath about a certain politician who thought it would be such a good idea to introduce our hated GST. The name got changed, but it's still the same.
    Happy Motoring!

    1. I don't understand why Canada doesn't just include the tax in the final price, once you get your bill you will see the breakdown, that is good enough for us.

      Yes, the booze is a reasonably good deal and if we are careful we can find some good deals on certain food products. We have noticed that beef tends to be expensive, even ground beef!

  3. It looks like you are in Andalusia now. Never been there but have heard it's lovely. Rondo for one. Isn't that Malaga area pretty built up?

    1. Yes, we are in the Andalusia region and are really enjoying it, too bad it is so chilly north of the coast though because we are finding too many interesting places to see. Yes, Malaga is pretty built up, hopefully we will be staying a little bit north of there.

  4. We had a similar Black Tank Cartridge on a StarCraft Camper fifteen years ago. Like you said, worst case dump it in a toilet.
    Like the Tax in the Price.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. That is the nice thing about these cassette toilets, you aren't totally stuck having to find a proper dump station like back home.

  5. That is a great system for sewage in a smaller rv, think it works pretty slick. A small inverter is a must for us as well as the one in the coach.

    1. Yes, it is a good system for smaller units or for units that travel to places that "normal" dumping isn't common place.

      The new inverter is working out great for us.

  6. Hope the weather warms up for you! Looking forward to more adventure stories!

    1. As we head further south and closer to the coast, things are starting to warm up, only going down to 2C tonight! :-)

  7. I'm in love with far what you've shown is fantastic. Are the people friendly? Tioga George thinks Mexico is the friendliest country he's been in. I love to drive through agricultural areas especially if they sell on road side to buy fresh produce. In California I bought pecan nuts at $1 a pound, fresh fruit and veggies and even went to tour almond/chocolate factory where they make chocolate covered hersey samples too :-)

    1. We are loving Spain too! We haven't had a lot of interaction with the locals yet but what we have had has been very friendly. I don't think we have visited a country yet, that can compare to the friendliness of Mexico, though!

      We haven't seen many fresh fruit stands along the roadside here in Spain, although there has been some for olive oil!

  8. Replies
    1. Thank you Connie and Barry, we are loving the countryside here, it is very picturesque.

  9. Hi, from Idaho stop in from Living Rich On Cheap. I'm surprise it takes that much to drain the grey water or anything else from a motor home.
    If you have time stop in for a cup of coffee and stay safe.

    1. Hi there Dora, thanks for stopping by! Not quite sure what you mean by your comment I'm surprise it takes that much to drain the grey water or anything else from a motor home. It doesn't really take too much effort but when it is all new to you and different from what you are used to, it does take a little longer the first time. It is a bit of a learning curve. :-)

  10. Well that was interesting!! The Oliver folks are now offering a compost toilet as an upgrade. We hadn't read enough/ know enough about them to order one but it sounds like it would be beneficial to boondocking. Not exactly what you all have but just made me think of it.

    Safe travels!!

    1. If you are going to be doing a lot of boondocking then we think the composting toilet might just be the way to go. We have thought about installing one in our motorhome back in Canada but they are so expensive! We might still do just that for the convenience especially when we are traveling in Mexico where there aren't as many campgrounds around and because we love getting off the beaten path where the campgrounds are normally located.


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