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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tankmin can make your boondocking chores pleasant

By Russ and Tina De Maris
Boondocking can take you to some of the most scenic areas of the country. But boondocking has its drawbacks -- once you're out of water or have full waste tanks you may have to hitch up the rig and pull it back to "civilization" to handle your needs. It can be a downright pain in the backside.

Enter Tankmin, the portable RV tank system that lets you pump out your holding tanks, and pump up your freshwater tank -- all without moving the RV.

The heart of the Tankmin system are BPA-free plastic tanks that ride in the bed of your towing pickup. Cleverly designed, the tanks could be easily mistaken for a streamlined truck bed toolbox. The Tankmin 360 system combines a 70 gallon fresh water tank and a 68 gallon wastewater tank. A set of hoses and a control panel make it all come together. Here's how it works:

Pull your trailer into camp and unhitch. Now take Tankmin's portable waste pump out of its carrying case and hitch it up to your rig's waste valve. Snap an electrical connector and a 25' waste hose to the pump so all is ready and waiting. When your rig's waste tanks are full, hook the other end of the waste hose and electrical wire to the Tankmin system in the pickup bed. Open the waste valve on your RV, press a button, and Tankmin does the rest, pumping out your holding tanks, and automatically shutting itself off when (and if) you fill up the Tankmin tank.

Now simply drive your pickup to a dump station, remove an "under truck" mounted drop hose and lead it to the dump station port, and quickly empty out your truck tank. If your RV needs fresh water, full up the other portion of the Tankmin system--the freshwater tank--and tote it back to your rig where gravity (or a freshwater pump if you install one) will quickly fill your RV freshwater tank.

This system definitely beats the old "55 gallon drum with an RV waste valve" monstrosity that we used when boondocking the Arizona desert. Neat, clean, and efficient, it could be just what you're looking for.

The Tankmin 360 system sells for $1199, while the 180 system, which is the sewage system without the freshwater tank, runs $998. However, Tankmin is running a giveaway contest. Upload your picture of the prettiest boondocking spot (as they say, "You know, no sewer hookup or water hookup, but it is BEAUTIFUL") to the Tankmin contest website, and a winner (chosen by random drawing at the Quartzsite RV Show in January) will walk away with a Tankmin 360 system. See the contest page for full details.


  1. that's an awfully expensive method of carrying too much weight (should total well over 1200#), but I'm sure they'll sell a few

  2. It should not weigh as much as roadcam thinks. The waste tank and the fresh water tank would not likely be full at the same time, so would only add about 600 pounds.

  3. Hmmm... did I miss something here? The weight when towing is only the weight of the tanks. When not towing, the extra weight should be no problem.

  4. Used, clean tanks are available in my area for around $10-$20, can't imagine paying that much to do the same job.

  5. The way I see it, only one tank at a time is full. When you empty the waste,
    you then pick up freshwater and return it to your camper. You are never towing your rv at the same time.
    That's the best thing,you get to leave the rv and family to relax. It sounds like it makes a dirty job alot cleaner too.

  6. Interesting idea, lousy price! Alot of folks will go for it, particulary rich folks not very handy or resourceful -- more boondockers to clutter the deserts.

    I'd go for the "cheap", used gal tanks (maybe two? to handle the 120 gal it would take for my combined black & grey tanks); since we already have built-in macerator (which pushes out the black/grey waste), we just need a second 50gal fresh water bladder to completely refill the RV.

  7. This sound like a good idea but the question i think that every one is missing is not the weght of the tank when full but it is the smell i think you would here this alot (bob you have nice truck but god what is that smell) i see there is a vent so the smell has to go some whare i do not no about all of you but i would not like to come out to my truck after eatting at Sizzler and smelling that tank cuses it will alway smell bad.

  8. I am sorry some do not see the value in this product. There is a vent that you close with one finger when you are finished pumping. The tank is completely sealed with no seams to leak or smell at all. It's not like an RV tank whereas gasses come up through your sink drain. I see there are people who like their expensive toys and solar and generators, but when it comes to a cleaner un polluting and safe way to dump your waste,a little black water splashed on the pants or the ground aint no big deal. But for the others ,it will be a life saver.

  9. Is there's way to clean out the waste tank, and how long does it take to empty with 1inch hose?