When you are practicing social distancing and sheltering in place there are no excuses to put off those minor projects.  I have been carrying around a new black tank value for months having the intention to replace the one because the handle had broken.  It always looks so easy on YouTube.  Flush the tank using a Camco RV Flexible Swivel Stik, Calgon and lots of freshwater.  Under the category of TMI, I don’t do #2 in the trailer.  I use public toilets in campgrounds for the big stuff.  So my black tank is pretty clean, as black tanks go.

Camco RV Flexible Swivel Stik is a wonder!  It has a rotating value that sprays water everywhere cleaning the tank thoroughly.  Add the Calgon and a bit of Dawn dishwashing liquid and your black water tank is really clean, as black tanks go. 

Remove four bolts, pull the old out and insert the new.  I watched several YouTube videos prior to doing this job.  Looks easy enough.  The location of the value is at the back end under the trailer (no pun intended).  No matter how many wrenches I have, I never have the correct size – inches or meters.  DAMN!

I had a 5/16 socket wrench, but not the corresponding wrench to hold the nut in place while removing the bolt head.  It was the little round end of a wrench I needed, (my friend Dave informs me that is called the “box end”.  But it is round, not square. Who knew?)  Of course, I had a crescent wrench, but it was tough to hold the nut in place while lying on my back under the trailer.  A sight to behold. 

I got the bolts out, pulled the old value – no problem.  When I went to insert the new value I couldn’t pull the pipes apart at the same time sliding the new value into place.  YouTube didn’t show that – DAMN!  It is always something.

When you are stuck in an RV Resort where everyone is social distancing how are you going to find someone – “a man” to help you?  Enter Bob.  Fortunately, I had met Bob a couple of evenings before, we shared some wine and conversation, 6 feet apart. 

So, earlier when I was lying on my back under the trailer cursing under my breath, Bob had driven by,  

Bob: “What are you doing?” 

Alison: “What does it look like I am doing, replacing a value”.  

Bob: “I am going to the beach”.

Alison: “Have a nice time”.

Luckily that evening after Bob returned from the beach I went over to ask if he would help:

Bob: “Tell me it isn’t the shit value”.

Alison: “Of course it is the shit value, but there is no shit”.

Project completed, with help from Bob.  It is just so DAMN frustrating that I couldn’t do it myself.  Especially, in the time of social distancing.  Bob headed for upstate New York this morning.  I hope I won’t need any more help with my projects.

Stay safe and healthy!


  1. Amazing you are doing the repairs yourself. You will know that Airstream inside and out (ha) for future reference the round end of the wrench is called the box end. Stay safe and healthy

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