Step-by-Step RV Dumping: Tips that Will Save You a Headache at the Campsite or Station
If you’re new to dumping or your partner usually does the job and you’re planning a solo adventure, we are here to help you avoid embarrassing disasters and to just prevent huge messes and headaches. Dumping is a necessary part of the RV life if you have the luxury of a bathroom in your trailer or motorhome. Learning the right way to do it will prevent you from annoying other campers at the campsite or dump station. Never ever leave a mess or place objects in a dump drain that may cause an obstruction. Dump station abuses of this kind have caused many states to remove dump stations from rest areas. Do your part to prevent them all from disappearing by just being considerate. As long as you follow these handy rules and steps, you should be good to go – in more ways than one!
General Rules to Remember
- Wear rubber gloves and discard them after dumping but do not put them in the hole in the dump station.
- Plan to dump the black water tank before the gray one because the soap from the gray tank will also clean any remaining residue.
- Plan to dump the black water tank after it is 2/3 full, not before or else you’ll have solid waste stuck to your holding tank. If you need to dump before then, fill the tank with water until the it is 2/3 full.
- Make sure black and gray water valves are both closed before you begin. Always leave black water valve closed while hooked up at camp. Otherwise, the liquids will drain and leave solid waste to harden in the tank.
- Never use your fresh water hose for rinsing sewer hoses or to clean a dumping area. Always carry an extra hose, at least 6 feet long, for these tasks.
- If others are waiting, do your tank flush and hose rinse later.
- Do not dump other things besides what’s in your holding tanks in the station’s drain hole.
- When dumping, don’t open any valves until you’re ready to empty out the tank. If you don’t wait, you may literally have a mess on your hands.
- If your RV holding tank sensors tell you it’s full after you’ve emptied, you probably need to clean. Here’s how to clean sensors in easy steps.
Step by Step Dumping Instructions
- When dumping, take off the outlet cap and connect your sewer hose to the outlet of the holding tank.
- Bring the hose to the opening of the dumping area. Insert the sewer hose into the dumping station’s hole. Make sure the hose is in at least 4 inches deep but not more than 6 inches. Keep it in place using the hole’s cover, a brick or any other heavy object. You do not want this popping out!
- Pull open the black water tank valve. After the waste is finished flowing, close the black tank valve.
- Open the gray tank valve and follow the same steps as with the black tank. Just let the water flow until it stops and close the gray tank valve.
- If there is not a wait line at the dump station, flush and rinse your tanks again by filling your tanks until they are 2/3 full. Repeat the emptying process as above until solids left at the bottom of the tank are flushed out.
- Make sure both black and gray water tank valves are closed after you are finished.
- Disconnect sewer hose from tank outlet and place the tank outlet cover back on.
- Empty the sewer hose completely from the end you just disconnected.
- Remove the sewer hose from the dump station hole and rinse the hose off. If possible run water through the hose as well.
- Make sure the dump station is as clean as you found it.
- Add 5 gallons of water to your black tank along with holding tank treatment. Do the same with your gray tank if you use a treatment for that as well.
- Sanitize sewer hose when finished and connect it at both ends before storing it away in your RV.
Tips for Dumping as Cleanly as Possible
- Make sure your gate valve seals are in good shape. If they are worn out, they will allow waste to drip through. Check by uncapping your RV sewer drain. If waste water gets through before you open the valve, you probably need new seals. This isn’t just gross; it can spread diseases to other RVers and may get you booted from a campsite.
- Use an RV sewer hose that has a tight fitting connection. You’ll still want to wear gloves, but there will be less spillover. Ideally, you really only want waste to go in the hole in the dumping station, not the ground surrounding it.
- Move your rig forward to get to the potable water source after you’ve finished dumping. Allow the next person in line to dump. Don’t hold everyone up by making your water hose reach the water source.
- Use bleach wipes to clean off the potable water source before you connect your hose.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer once you’re finished and ready to go.
Other Useful Tips to Remember
- Keep your hoses in separate areas and avoid letting them having contact with each other and other items you’re storing.
- Sanitize all of your hoses and relevant tools in a water and bleach solution for a few hours before you leave home. Do it again when you return home.
- Check hoses before leaving home to make sure you do not have any leaks. Leaks are the worst and the most overlooked problem that can cause huge messes.
- Make sure you have solid Specialty RV Insurance in case anything goes wrong with your rig during an adventure. Call this number to get multiple quotes at the same time: (866) 501-7335.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.