March '20

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76 • RV PRO • March 2020 rv-pro.com RV O R I G I N A L E Q U I P M E N T RV manufacturers and dealers hoping to attract a new generation of customers might be well-served to pay attention to what is on inventor Jon Calvin's mind. Using a series of remote-controlled mechanical parts, Calvin, of Highland Village, Texas, has devised Autodocked, a system that can connect to an RV's black and gray tanks and allow the RVer to con- nect to a dumping station, open the valves of the tank, empty the tanks and then put the whole contraption away without ever laying a finger on anything except the remote controls. The technical details will take a little explaining, but the working steps go some- thing along these lines: • The RVer pulls up to the dump station and, using a remote control, maneuvers a mechanical arm that extends up to 10 feet until the Look Mom, No Hands! By Travis O. Pryor Inventor Jon Calvin assembles his Autodocked hands-free RV black and gray tank emptying system at RV PRO's headquarters in Broomfield, Colo. PHOTOS BY TRAVIS O. PRYOR Invention clears the way for emptying an RV's black and gray tanks without having to touch the hose. sewer hose connection is inserted into the dump station. • Once everything is lined up, the RVer pushes a button, opening a valve that connects to the black tank and gravity does the rest. • Once the black tank is empty, a button is pushed closing that valve and opening a valve that connects to the gray tank. The cleaner – but used – water from the gray tank rushes through, emptying out the tank and simultaneously cleaning out the hose from anything left from the black tank. • A few more buttons pushed results in the hose retracting and the mechanical arm swinging back into place beneath the RV.

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