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.