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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pain At The Dump

Before you get excited and think that once again I'm walking around in shoes that squish like I did here, you can rest easy.  Not this time.

However, this begs a question:  What do solar panels and dump stations have in common?  Bear with me and I'll give you the answer.

We departed Ol' not-so-sunny Virginia Friday night after Marti escaped from her office.  My Dad had already arrived, he and I had the Journey loaded and ready to rocket down the highway.  As soon as Marti rolled in the driveway, she hustled to pack some clothes and away we went.

Because of the late hour, 7:45 PM, we decided to try and get a few miles under our belts before we called it a night.  It worked out well, we drove a little over 100 miles and took Walmart up on their welcome mat and Wallydocked (like boondock, except you're at "Wallyworld", aka Walmart.  This is also a derivative term like Moochdock, hanging out for free at a friend's or relative's driveway).

Morning dawned bright and sunny and after a bagel breakfast, off we headed.

 We would have left earlier, but I couldn't find my sunglasses, it's been so long since I needed them, they got buried on the dashboard.

We made some pretty good time, racking up 550 miles before the day was done.  My favorite co-pilot ran the road for a bit to give me (and my butt) a break from driving.

 Of course we had to eat a good meal or two, dinner was at Cracker Barrel, and we enjoyed it.

When we're doing long travel days, we usually try and grab a good meal out, instead of trying to cook in the Journey, and boy was it good!

The end of the day found us overnighting at Flying J, and as I was feeding the Journey, I found this interesting device which leads back to the original question:  What do solar panels and dump stations have in common?


It is a solar powered dump station.  Huh?

If you recall, recently Flying J started to charge $10 to use their dump station.  A person would have to go inside, pay the cashier the $10 and then dump their tanks.  Evidently there were some cheats that didn't think that they had to pay and would dump-n-run.

Flying J bean counters, never to miss out on a penny, came up with this idea:

An electrically powered dump station valve, powered by the sun.  The instructions are on the stand next to the valve, which tells you how to unlock it.

Yes, another interesting device brought to us by uncaring and negligent RVers who wore out the Flying J welcome by messing up their dump stations.  Oh well, if you are a Flying J Real Value card member, you can dump for only $5.

Next stop, Branson, Missouri.

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. 550 miles! my butt would not allow for that either.

  2. Way too many miles for us. Have yet to see one of the solar powered dumps. We don't use Flying J very often but if it works for them they will be showing up all over the lace.

  3. WOW I've never known anyone who did 550 miles in a day. You two are celebrities!!

    So how noisy were the two parking lots???

  4. have a safe trip..550 miles?!..good for you guys!..hope you have some fun in Missouri!!

  5. Hmmmm Solar Poop... who'da thunk it?


    Karen and Steveio
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  6. Well, we've done a few 550 mile days and they really aren't fun. However, the reward is that you get where you're going faster. So, what happens if the Flying J is located in a place where they don't get much sun? Do you get a free dump?

  7. We think anything over 300 miles is too much so you have to know how we feel about 550!

    Unfortunately, too many rude and selfish people take away some of the good things in life from us...

  8. A solar powered my mind wanders now.

    And 550 miles in a day?!?!?! Did your bagel have peanut butter on it...cuz that's just NUTS! :)

    Marti looking like the captain she was born to be sitting in the driver's seat!

  9. p.s. Yes, I realize a peanut is actually a legume :) I guess I should have said "almond butter" or some such nonsense.

  10. Hmm, interesting. What happens if it's dark out!?

    Glad you are getting away with your Dad. Have fun in Branson!

  11. Rocket down the highway ... here in No VA ... you must be dreaming :-))))) As luck would have it, the rain ended mid-day Saturday and the weekend had plenty of sunshine and blue skies around here. Long driving days are only worth it when there is a reward at the end of the day .... you're closer to where you wanna be and you had a good dinner ... sounds like good rewards to me.

  12. GREAT post an photos ~ dad is so cute!!! Now as for Flying J ~ they are always trying to sueeze out the last dime from us aren't they. FUN read!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  13. great read..humm solar dump station...very inventive...we've pulled the odd 11 hour day and I say odd because its not something I'd look forward to frequently (466 miles)...with a few stops in between for rest and stretch...but it does get us there faster..:) be safe and enjoy..

  14. Whew! Glad it wasn't another squishy shoes story. ;-)

    Hope you have nice sunny skies in Branson!

  15. Good for them. People should pay when a service is offered. Enjoy Branson.

  16. I thought we did good today at 270 miles to get us out of the three day black hole we were in. I hope never see over 400 a day.

  17. We are just a short 5 weeks away from hitting our next Cracker Barrel likely somewhere in Michigan . We love Cracker Barrels but the only time we ever get to them is either on our way to or from the Southwest, Last one was in March south of Chicago somewhere. Hope you left some food for us..............:)

  18. I can't even imagine 550 miles in one day - that's just crazy! Love the solar powered dump station. You better have the hose ready before you enter the code. It's a test in reading and following directions.