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Old 05-09-2016, 08:24 PM   #1
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Smoky Mountains National Park

Has anyone stayed at any of the campgrounds in the park? We will be staying at Elkmont campground at the end of May. Was wondering if there is any way to dispose of waste water w/o having to drive to the only dump station around which is miles away.

Thanks for any info.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:48 AM   #2
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We've stayed at Elkmont - how long is your stay? If you practice some water conservation I imagine you could make your tanks last for several days. If you are talking dish water, they will have some method for tent campers - you can do the same. ST
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:43 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Loggenrock. I must admit we are only staying 5 days. It is the gray water I was wondering about. With conserving on doing dishes, oh darn and QUICK showers we should be able to make it. I would rather not have to travel those mountain roads with two fully loaded tanks if I don't have to though. Do you happen to know if they have some kind of sink we can dump gray water in or some kind of drain in the ground or bathroom floor?

Thanks again...........Tom
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:46 AM   #4
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Don't think so - only a few miles to the dump place. There is also a trail there, as I remember, that will allow dogs on it. Only a couple in the park that will.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:36 AM   #5
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Hey guys .....another question about "dry camping". We will be bringing our small Honda generator to use at the campsite. What do I do about protecting the generator if we need/want to use it and it is raining? I've seen those little tent-like covers for them but they are quite pricey for what you get. Any suggestions??
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:47 AM   #6
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RE: Conserving gray water tank space....use paper plates as much as you can; wipe out vegetable-cooking pots and frying pans with a damp paper towel and re-use them. It usually takes some running of water to get the shower water the right temperature. Collect that water in a water jug. It's good water so when dish time comes heat it on the stove and use it to wash the dishes in a dishpan. When finished washing, empty the dishpan in the toilet or save it for a 'major' flush. Black tanks seem to always have extra space when ready to dump and the more water you have in there they better cleanout you'll get.

If you see an outside kitchen sink at the campground (some national parks have these), please do not dump your gray water in it. That is used for other campers to do their dishes and they wouldn't appreciate your residue water possibly contaminating the sink.

A separate story: we volunteered in a very popular national park in the west. We were parked next to the outside kitchen sink. During our stay we saw two terrible occurrences. someone emptied his porta-potty in it and another night a guy was completely undressed taking his bath in it. Would you want to wash your dishes in it? Both were evicted from the park and the sink was highly sanitized. There are signs stating to be used for dishwashing only but some folks can't seem to read and don't think this applies to them.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:56 AM   #7
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Black tanks fill slower so here a couple tricks. Use a basin in your sink when washing dishes. Dump your dish water down the toilet. Use a container to catch water in your shower, dump it down the black tank. Use the campgroiubd showers
Any type of shelter will work for your Honda. Ron often just set our collapsible outdoor metal table over it then cover that with an out door table cloth. Of course with open sides for ventilation
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:02 PM   #8
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Oh....that is gros!! Thanks for the story, I think we will just conserve the best we can and empty both tanks at the dump station.
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:35 PM   #9
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If you can get the waste water in a bucket, seems like you could dump it at one of the campground bathrooms unless it's not allowed.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:26 PM   #10
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TSM, you will be there at a great time to see the synchronous fireflies. I went last year and it was awesome! Make sure you have some red film to go over your flashlight and enjoy. Here's a link for more info

http://www.recreation.gov/showPage.d...O&parkId=72413
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Old 05-11-2016, 07:50 AM   #11
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The fireflies is exactly why we are going....seeing them is on our "bucket list". For the past few years we have tried to buy the trolley pass to go from Sugarland visitor center to Elkmont but they sell out within two minutes!! I even called a national park official about it and they said was "well, your computer must not be fast enough." This will be our first dry camping experience thus the questions.
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