Anybody who's ever hassled with RV dump station chores can relate to Jim and Elizabeth Wartzok's situation after a week in an RV park.
The couple, who now live in Eagle Point, had returned to the West Coast after a time in Wisconsin, and they were living out of their RV. Inevitably, it became time to drain the poop chute.
Jim Wartzok can be reached at 541-324-1734 for those interested in learning more about his draining system for recreational vehicles.
Jim Wartzok at first tried to get the uncooperative sewer hose into position by himself. He soon tired of wrestling with it and enlisted his wife in the indelicate project.
"I remember so well trying to help him with that stupid hose," Elizabeth Wartzok says. "I think that's the day Jim invented this thing."
This "thing" is the Lizcon RV disposal system. It's a telescoping, solid-wall system that Jim Wartzok believes is the better mousetrap of the world of RV sewage disposal.
It consists of a heavy plastic connector, two 90-degree elbows, two swivel assemblies and a telescoping plastic discharge tube, all machined to fit together with a system of seals, sleeves and bearings. It's designed to ride in a compartment if one's available or underneath an RV and be simply swung out and inserted into a sewer port at a dump station. When the tank is drained, you close the valves and swing it back into place.
"Even if you have to connect and disconnect the telescoping section," Wartzok says — and many RVers won't have to — "it's a lot easier than fighting that hose."
The traditional system typically requires uncapping a blade valve, laying out the hose, connecting the hose to the RV's valve, straightening the hose (sometimes easier said than done), inserting the hose end into the sewer port, then reversing the entire process once the RV is drained. And then there's cleaning the hose, and finally, washing up.
"That's not user-friendly," Wartzok says.
And that's not to mention the abrasions drain hoses can accumulate over time, and the resulting leaks.
"It's so simple," Wartzok says of his system. "There's nothing to connect and disconnect. And you don't have to touch anything."
As he points out, if you have two 90-degree elbows on swivels, you can reach any point B from any point A. The rigid, telescoping extension comes in 2-, 3- and 4-foot lengths, which extend to 8, 12 and 16 feet, respectively.
Wartzok is a 30-year RV veteran who retired several years ago from running a sheet metal fabricating and welding shop in San Jose, Calif. He says he worked on perfecting the drain for five or six years. He expects it to retail for about $169.
He says he's invested $200,000 of both his own and investors' money in market research, design and production. He has a provisional patent and says reception has been good at RV shows and from dealers.
Barker Manufacturing, a Battle Creek, Mich., RV parts and accessories manufacturer with national distribution, is set to handle manufacturing and distribution.
"I think it's a pretty good device," says Barker's Dan Budrow, who would coordinate sales. "We believe in it."
Budrow says it makes sense especially for higher-end parks with on-site dump stations where people don't want to see hoses all over the place.
"We'll see," Budrow says. "It's gotta get in catalogs."
As this report went to press, Wartzog says that Barker told him they weren't funding the project this spring, but may proceed with it later this year.
Wartzok says he has other companies that are interested, but he'd like to see Barker do it.
Bill Varble is a freelance writer living in Medford. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.