View from our sixth floor apartment patio in Pogradec, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Pogradec, Albania .

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Gjyrokaster, Albania on October 6th.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Have a look at these European RVs

We relaxed for the morning, but then around noon we got Max packed up and ready to go. We had a 2:30pm appointment for him at the service department, but wanted to pick up a few grocery items before we left.

Of course part of the process of getting ready to go includes the emptying of our toilet casette. The European system is quite different from the North American system.

In North America, most motorhomes have a grey tank and a black tank. The grey tank is waste water from washing dishes and taking showers... the black tank is toilet waste. The tanks are normally quite large, and with our old motorhome Sherman we could go over two weeks without having to empty them. And then when you empty them, it is as simple as hooking up a hose to the tank, with the other end going into a dump station in the ground. You pull a valve, and it's essentially a pretty easy system.

Here in Europe, it's quite different. Max has a waste water (grey) tank, but no black tank. The toilet has a removable cassette, and it's relatively small. I think it holds about 20 liters (5 gallons) and we might be able to go five days without having to empty it. Fortunately there are a lot of free places to do that.

You open the access door from the outside of the vehicle.

I have now removed the cassette.

It has wheels to roll it over to the dump site.

You open the spout on the cassette and simply pour the contents down the drain. 
Then you press that round button on the dump station and it flushes everything away.

This is one instance where I like the North American system better. However there is one benefit to the European way, in that if you were stuck you could feasibly empty the contents into any available toilet. This is kind of frowned upon at public bathrooms because most people aren't careful enough and if you're not careful it's easy to make a mess.

This is Max's electrical cords.
The extension is 25 meters (82 feet) long.

We went and picked up some groceries and got a refill card for our cell phone. We are going into Netherlands and while our SIM card will work there uninterrupted, we won't be able to buy refill cards there and we don't know exactly how long we'll be there before returning to Germany.

Then we drove from Dulmen to the nearby town of Hiddingsel where the main operation of our dealer is located.

Scenery along the way.

At the dealer, we found a parking spot and had some lunch. Then I walked over to the repair bay where I had been told to meet the head technician David. He was waiting for me, and we walked back to Max where Ruth and I went over our small list of repairs.

I also questioned David about the best way to install an inverter. The main reason for wanting AC power from the batteries is to plug in our laptops. He suggested he could install a 12VDC outlet under our seats where we could plug in a small inverter and it would be out of the way. 

The only other things we would ever use an inverter for would be an electric toaster and an electric hairdryer. More often than not, the hairdryer would only be used for defrosting the freezer. So we decided that considering the extra expense to get an inverter large enough to handle those appliances we would simply do without.

He directed us to an outdoor waiting area they have set up during Covid, and he drove Max back to his work bay.

Ruth, in the outdoor waiting area.
We kept our masks on because there were quite a few people around.

Ruth did some laptop work while I went and looked at the different RVs for sale. It's a large operation, in fact I read that it could be the largest RV dealer in Germany. This is their website link...

Vans are more popular than motorhomes. 
They don't do travel trailers.

This is a neat little unit.

Go anywhere. 
One of their used vehicles for sale.

Yikes. Too big for us!

We actually liked this one.
But he is €78,000 compared to Max at €54,000.

A lot of them were open, so we looked inside five or six of them. Compared to Max, we still think we made the right choice for our needs. In fact, nothing else even came close.

There are some with some really neat features though... have a look at this bathroom...

Bathroom toilet and sink.

Bathroom shower.

The photo angle in both pictures is the same. But the entire right side wall in the top photo swivels to the left to reveal the shower. Really neat!

David worked on Max for about an hour and a half and fixed all of his minor problems except for the missing decorative curtain which we were not surprised they had to order. We will get that when we return, likely in early October.

And he installed the new 12VDC outlet for our inverter. No charge!

By this time it was after 4:30pm, so we asked him if they had a place we could park for the night. Sure enough, they have about 8 sites for their customers to overnight... with electric, no charge. So we stayed the night.

After supper, we went for a walk around the town. Hiddingsel is only about 1,800 people, and it's a really pretty little place.

War Memorial. Over 119 Hiddingsel residents lost their lives during both World Wars.

This old distillery is now a hotel.

Cigarette machine.
Run out of smokes? Open 24 hours, 365 days.
We thought this was funny because it was on a residential street.

Really pretty cemetery.

With some really different graves.

It's a really well looked after town.

With so many walking and cycling paths.

It's a beautiful sunny day so far this morning, and we are hitting the road. Everything is taken care of here, and we are off for five or six weeks of touring. Early August we are still planning to return to Canada, but we'll see what happens.

We are headed today to Netherlands, only 60 kms to the border. There, we are going to one of the largest camping gear supply stores in Europe. We need our inverter, 2 outdoor chairs, and an outdoor table.

Great deal on the popular and highly rated Shark Ion Robot Vacuum

And in Canada...


  1. How will you get the missing curtain if it arrives in October but you (possibly) leave in august ?

    Thanks for a great informative post.

    1. We will be leaving for Canada hopefully at the beginning of August but returning to Germany at the end of September or beginning of October and Max will most likely be stored at the dealer's while we are away.

  2. How much are cigarettes from that machine? I understand they are running close to $20 a pack in Canada now, whew. Why bother eh?

    1. They were €7 ($10.30 CAD, $8.35 USD) per pack. I don't know how anybody in Canada can afford to smoke. Or drink, for that matter!

  3. So far, the towns that you have visited all look so neat and tidy!

    1. Yes, so far they have been and they have been such pretty towns and villages.

  4. Love the look of all the Euro RVs! So much innovation there. Kevin, I was surprised to see you handling the cassette toilet operation without gloves on. We kept a box of disposable latex gloves in one of our exterior RV compartments for all "dumping" related activities. Plus a large pump bottle of hand sanitizer!

    1. I simply wash my hands afterwards.

    2. Just be careful what you touch before you get to a sink. Sorry, but I am a bit of a germaphobe!

    3. Plus, if you are careful, you don't get any "crap" on you because the way the cassettes are designed, so Kevin is very careful!

  5. To each his own. Some wear gloves, goggles, shoe covers, and more. It's not a hazmat site, it's your own poop. We don't do that when we change a baby's diaper. I hook up the hose, let it drain and then wash my hands. Think about the guys who do that for a living. As for rv choices, I like the van type, stealth looking.

    1. Lol, I just said the same thing to Kevin about changing baby's diapers, and I used cloth diapers on our kids so they needed rinsing first if they were soiled!

      The vans were definitely the popular choice but there was only one van that both Kevin and I liked and would even consider buying if we had to and it was a fair bit more expensive than what Max was.

  6. 2 things:

    Those cigarette machines are standard in most German towns and have been around since forever.

    As a note of caution, do not forget to buy the deodorizing "balls" for the cassette toilet. If you do, the stink can become overwhelming!

    1. No doubt they have, it is just funny to see when you see cigarettes sales being a lot more concealed for sale in most other countries to try to curb the sale of them to minors and others just because of the health concerns that come with them.

      We have toilet tank liquid that was given to us by the dealer. They had added it the first time but we haven't used it since, if the smell gets bad then we will definitely use it. Having said that we never used it when we traveled in the little campervan we used in Spain back in 2017 for two months, mind you it was much cooler then as we were traveling in January and February.

  7. Re: the cassette, that's definitely the Sh***ts....And I'm with LBMexico...I'm not making you or myself a cheezeburger without cleaning my hands...
    115* temps over here this week...Ouch!

    1. Kevin agrees, the North American way of emptying the black tank is much more civilized but once you get used to using the cassettes it's not all that bad, you just can't go long before they need emptying.

      Yikes, 115° is HOT! We hope you have air conditioning or at least lots of shade and some good fans.


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