What Is The Standered Septic Tank Size For Motorhome? (Solved)

The size of the tank changes with the size of the RV. However, they’re often more accomodating than most people expect. In a small RV, you can expect at least 15 gallons for the black water and a gray water tank of 30 gallons. A larger RV might easily have tanks as large as 50 gallons each.

  • What is the average size of an RV septic tank? The average size of an RV black water holding tank is anywhere between 15 and 50 gallons. How often you will have to empty your tank will depend on the size and the number of people using the tank.

What size septic tank do I need for a mobile home?

The size of the tank is usually determined by the number of bedrooms in the house and the number of occupants. The more bedrooms and occupants, the bigger the tank. A common size for three bedrooms is a 1,000-gallon tank; this is a minimum, however. Your local county may have different criteria.

How many gallons does a RV black water tank hold?

Capacities for black water tanks range in 5 gallon to 202 gallons, with tank thickness ranges from 0.25 inches (1/4″) to 0.375 inches (3/8″). When installing or performing maintenance, all care, handling, and procedures should be done specifically for wastewater holding tanks.

How big is the black tank in an RV?

Black tanks vary in size anywhere from 15 gallons to 50 gallons. The size of your black tank will determine how long you can use your RV toilet without emptying the tank into a sewer at a campsite or designated dump station.

What is the standard size of septic tank?

Length of septic tank (L) should be taken as 9feet 9 inches or 9.75 feet. Breadth of septic tank (B) should be taken as 6 feet 3 inches or 6.25 feet. The standard height (D) of septic tank should be taken as 5 feet 9 inches or 5.75 feet.

How do I know what size septic tank I need?

The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.

How do I determine the size of my septic tank?

One way to find out the size of your septic tank is through records kept from when the tank was installed. These records could be with the previous owner of your home. Another way to identify the tank size is to talk with the last company that serviced/pumped your tank.

How long can black water stay in RV tank?

How long can you leave waste in a black tank? Our research shows that most camping experts maintain that you can safely leave black water in the tank for up to ten days. Most, however, state that you should empty it out after no more than a week.

What is grey water tank for RV?

RV grey water tanks are designed specifically for the collection, recycling, and reuse of wastewater from sinks and showers in RVs, motorhomes, 5th wheels, trailers, campers, and tiny houses. The tanks are manufactured by Ronco and Dura-Cast.

How long does a 30 gallon black water tank last?

A 30-gallon black water tank can last up to six days. The size of the wastewater tanks (grey and black water) depends on the manufacturer of the caravan and the design of the caravan.

How often do you empty RV septic tank?

By dumping your tank every 3-5 days, you can ensure that you’re using enough water to both hydrate the bacteria and form a water barrier, which will help keep odors in check!

How many gallons of water does a RV shower use?

How much water does an RV shower use? On average, a travel trailer shower will go through about 2-6 gallons of water per shower. This depends on a variety of factors such as length of shower time, the water usage of the shower head, and if you turn off the shower while you lather up.

How do you get rid of the poop pyramid in RV black?

To eliminate a poop pyramid, you need to get water into your black tank. The first thing you should do is close the black tank valve and get as much water into the black tank as possible. If the poop pyramid prohibits you from putting water into the tank, get some tank cleaner to pour down into the sewer drain.

How often does a 1000 gallon septic tank need to be pumped?

For example, a 1,000 gallon septic tank, which is used by two people, should be pumped every 5.9 years. If there are eight people using a 1,000-gallon septic tank, it should be pumped every year.

Septic Tank Size – iRV2 Forums

This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
08-04-2020, 01:36 PM 1
Community ModeratorMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jul 2016Location: Central, ArkansasPosts: 9,126 Septic Tank Size

We are putting in a pad for semi permanent living. The bus has 60 gallon grey and black tanks. Obviously the grey will stay open but the black will be dumping 60 gallons in bulk every couple of weeks. Has anyone installed a septic tank just for the rv pad? If you have what size worked out for you?_2004 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV Cummins ISC 350HP Allison 3000 6 speed2020 Chevy Equinox Premier 2.0t 9 speed AWD

Join the1 RV Forum Today – It’s Totally Free!iRV2.com RV Community -Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you’ll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it’s totally FREE!You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners,see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!
08-04-2020, 02:24 PM 2
Senior MemberJoin Date: Nov 2012Location: bis. ndPosts: 1,118 i was builder for 23 yrs. i built many rural homes. the septic tanks are like 1000 gallon. its the drain field thats important. states have different codes for amount of sq ft for 1 bedroom or 4 bedroom. and depth of pipe kind of pipe like with a sock or just perforated. what kind and how much material per foot of pipe. in ND with our soils you can go up 4 feet deep. i never did that as i think it aerates better at like 30 inches. and never in a place that water collects. on downhill slopes you cant just angle pipe with slope as all the water goes to end it has to be level or stepped_2007 Alfa Gold! model 1008. 400hp Freightliner, IFS!
08-04-2020, 04:48 PM 3
Moderator EmeritusJoin Date: Jan 2000Location: Silver Springs, FL. USAPosts: 24,781 If it is only serving the RV pad, you might get by with 500 gallon tank and a suitable sized drain (leach) field, but I’d go for 1000. I haven’t priced the components lately but there used to be only a small difference in tank costs and everything else is the same anyway. Local codes may dictate the size anyway, but since it’s not a residence you might get away with a DIY, no-permit installation.Be careful with the drain field – it makes or breaks the system and soil type and terrain are crucial factors (see beenthere’s post)._Gary BrinckFormer owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVsHome is in the Ocala Nat’l Forest near Ocala, FL
08-04-2020, 05:19 PM 4
Senior MemberJoin Date: Apr 2016Location: Full TimersPosts: 355 Spd. did not say he was adding a drain field. If not hooked to a field how often are you willing to pay to have it pumped? Are you going to empty the gray into the tank also? Are you thinking of a seperate field for the gray water? If your going to dump black only and pump it then a 350 gal. tank will last over a month. Gray on the ground will work if you have space and no neighbors too ding you. Campground hosts are frequently faced with this dilemna in parks where the only sewer hookups in the park are at the host sites._DaveSheryl Rambeau2011 Itasca Meridian 39′
08-04-2020, 06:13 PM 5
Senior MemberMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jun 2014Posts: 10,471 I would contact the county health/environmental department and talk to them. There may be a minimum size that would work for what you want. My guess a 300 gallon would be enough along with ~100 ft of drainfield but that depends on you perk testing. You will need a drain field unless you plan on pumping, which would be a pain. Depending on the county requirements this could be stone filled trench or composite type.Also, if you decide to add a septic system I caution against using any type of RV Black tank treatment. I might play havoc with the septic tank.I built a new house and had the septic installed in 2017. My wife does dog grooming and I wanted a large enough system to handle that plus the 4 bedrooms, so I opted for a 5 bedroom system which required a 1250 gallon tank and 550 of drain field (110 ft per bedroom). Permit cost $250In my case the health department required a soil study meaning I had to hire a guy to dig a couple holes, look the soil type, and write a report (that I had to correct). The study cost $300.Install was pretty straight forward, cost $6500.I ran the lines to have an RV dump in the parking area that I excavated, I actually added a second one if we have visitors._Jim J 2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD Cummins ISC 350 8.3L2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
08-04-2020, 08:46 PM 6
Senior MemberJoin Date: Apr 2015Location: Rogers, ARPosts: 1,644 My opinion would be that you would need a larger tank, which will require a larger leach field.You are saying a 60 gal dump every two weeks, thinking only a small tank will take care of this.The problem is that a septic system is a “trickle” system. Only a small amount of water normally trickles into the tank on a continuing basis, and trickles out into the leach field the same way. An operating septic tank is normally full of water and as 1/2 gal. trickles in, 1/2 gal trickles out to the leach field where it gradually soaks into the ground. A smaller tank won’t have the capacity to take a 60 gal dump without filling the intake pipe and possibly flowing out your dump cap. If you install a 60 gal capacity intake pipe, to dump into, then it can trickle into, and out of the tank, then you should be good. Septics just aren’t for high flow water volume.Another thing about septics is that they operate on bacteria to digest the solid waste. If you flush disinfects down, that can kill the bacteria and stop the digestive action in the tank. A tank usually requires continuous adding of the bacteria agent._2019 Fleetwood Discovery LXE 40M w/2021 Equinox
08-04-2020, 08:52 PM 7
Community ModeratorMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jul 2016Location: Central, ArkansasPosts: 9,126 I will be adding a leach field and I know about using ridx and not killing the bacteria. The perk tester I called recommended not getting a permit since it is a second septic on property and only for the RV. I don’t have an issue with that as there are no neighbors but I want it to work. I may request a bigger tank just because. I don’t mind getting it pumped. Twice a year is better than once a month though._2004 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV Cummins ISC 350HP Allison 3000 6 speed2020 Chevy Equinox Premier 2.0t 9 speed AWD
08-05-2020, 06:55 AM 8
Senior MemberJoin Date: Jan 2017Location: Nashville, TN areaPosts: 4,578 Tank size determines how long the stuff stays in the tank and gets broken down by bacteria. Field size determines how much effulent can be soaked into the ground.If you use a tank that’s too small you stand a chance of introducing raw sewage into the field lines. If you don’t have enough field lines you can water log the field lines.In most locations septic systems are pretty well regulated and designs are critical. Failing to properly size the system can pollute the local area and ground water with some pretty nasty bacteria. I would suggest you consult the local health department or whoever regulates septic systems in your area.If your main concern is that it works properly that would be the best way to go. Septic permits are usually in the $100 range and you get a lot of design assistance for that price. If you’re trying to sneak something past the regulations then ignore this post.Nobody on here can determine field or tank sizing unless they have some knowledge about your soil makeup._When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.2019 Newmar Canyon Star 3627 on a 2018 F-53 26K chassis w/6 speed transmission2017 Jeep Wrangler JKU with Ready Brute tow system w/Currie Tow PlateTitusville, FL when not on the road
08-05-2020, 07:10 AM 9
Senior MemberJoin Date: Nov 2015Posts: 1,054 Spd, I understand you are ok with just putting it in, I would search for a contractor who’s experienced with septic systems, explain to them your plan and see if they will work around getting a permit. They will know local code.CLIFFORD
08-05-2020, 07:12 AM 10
Senior MemberMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jun 2014Posts: 10,471 Built a new house in the country so no city sewer.Knowing we would have to have a septic system I did research. Most “experts” say that there is no need to use a RidX type product if you use your system correctly. Some of the recommendations I found wereDo not use a garbage disposal disposal to send food waste to the the septic system. It will not break down easily.Limit harsh chemicals, I actually put a bypass in for the two laundry rooms I built knowing my wife uses bleach to disinfect dog stuff.Limit water use, that is why I installed the largest tank I could find, to help offset my wife’s high usage.No RidX or equivalent.If you do things right you won’t have to worry about pumping for +10 years, or longer depending on specific circumstances. So spending a little more now for the proper size system may save you money in the long run._Jim J 2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD Cummins ISC 350 8.3L2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
08-05-2020, 11:51 AM 11
Registered UserMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Mar 2018Location: Blairsville, GAWPB, FLPosts: 3,993 I would tap into the existing house septic system, even if I had to use a macerator to pump to it, if it’s higher up from the RV pad. The grey water could go into a French drain (5-10’ of gravel in a 2’ wide trench) and once a week pump the black to the house septic.In GA (clay soils) you can legally put 10 RVs (no washing machines) on a normal house septic system (1000 gallon tank). If you want separate system for the RV I would use a 275 gallons plastic tote and 3 sections of plastic drain field chambers.
08-06-2020, 05:31 AM 12
Senior MemberJoin Date: Nov 2015Posts: 1,054 IVYLOG, ha! I made up a 2 tote system, been three years now and working great. The design duplicates a cement tank. No washer/dryer on the system.CLIFFORD
08-06-2020, 09:08 AM 13
Registered UserMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Mar 2018Location: Blairsville, GAWPB, FLPosts: 3,993 The Infiltrator plastic chambers are the best thing for drain fields, especially in clay soils. The OP is in AR (soils unknown) and no permit so $250 in materials and a small trackhoe for half a day. problem solved BUT tapping into the house system is the best choice.
08-06-2020, 03:07 PM 14
Moderator EmeritusJoin Date: Jan 2000Location: Silver Springs, FL. USAPosts: 24,781 alank is correct in his warning about overwhelming a too-small tank, though we could debate forever whether “too small” is 300 or 500 or 1000. His warning is the reason I suggested 1000 even though 500 is probably large enough. Just trying to be cautious.For the reason alank cites, it’s better to dump 20-30 gallons more often than 60 gallons every once in awhile.Note that the black tank contents are already partially digested when dumped, so you shouldn’t be putting a bunch of thick solids and paper into the tank all at once. It is, however, enough viscous fluid to add several inches of water to the tank until it drains off. Modern tanks usually have baffles to prevent the nastier stuff from proceeding directly to the drain field exit pipe, though._Gary BrinckFormer owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVsHome is in the Ocala Nat’l Forest near Ocala, FL
Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1(0 members and 1 guests)
Posting Rules
Youmay notpost new threadsYoumay notpost repliesYoumay notpost attachmentsYoumay notedit your posts

BB codeisOn SmiliesareOn code isOnHTML code isOffTrackbacksareOff PingbacksareOff RefbacksareOff

Forum Rules

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dumping Black Tank Into Home Septic Tank kazeej Boondocking 22 01-10-202007:01 AM
Septic System Safe Additives For Blackwater Tank calibrator RV SystemsAppliances 8 02-02-201510:39 PM
Gnats flying out of the septic tank into RV DougWHolt MH-General DiscussionsProblems 7 01-05-201512:51 AM
RVs hooked up to homes Mound Septic, tank+pump system work? xekon Full-Timers 13 07-20-201108:06 AM
Septic Tank issue Doggievet MH-General DiscussionsProblems 15 10-06-200505:36 PM

What Is The Typical RV Holding Tank Size?

Whether you’re planning a road trip or living full-time in your RV, it’s critical to understand the capacity of your camper’s holding tanks. The amount of fresh water you can take for drinking, washing dishes, and showering, as well as the size of the RV’s tanks for gray water and sewage, must be determined before you leave home. Water hookups are available at almost every campground, and some sites even have dump stations where you can empty your gray and black water tanks. However, knowing the capacity of your tanks is still vital so that you can plan your trip correctly, especially if you’re traveling as a family or in a group.

Additionally, you may find yourself in a campsite without electrical or water hookups, and if your fresh water tank is low or empty, you may be need to purchase additional water for drinking and washing up.

It depends depend on the size of your RV how large your holding tanks will be, but on average, your fresh water tank will contain 20 to 100 gallons, your gray water tank will hold around 50 gallons, and your black water tank would store between 18 and 64 gallons.

What Types of Holding Tanks Do RVs Have?

Most recreational vehicles and campers are equipped with three types of tanks:

  • Tanks containing fresh water that feed water to your sinks, shower(s), and, in certain situations, your toilet
  • Water tanks that collect the waste water that drains from your sinks and shower(s) are called gray water tanks. Black water tanks, which are used to hold sewage from your toilet

It’s a good idea to empty your gray and black water tanks before they reach too near to the maximum capacity level. Most RVs are equipped with a sensor that alerts you when the tank is approaching capacity. If your camper does not have a sensor, you’ll need to keep a watch on the gray water tank to ensure that it does not fill up. Later in this piece, I’ll go through how to empty your holding tanks.

How Can I Tell The Capacity of My RV’s Tanks?

Opening your tank storage area and looking inside will normally reveal the volume of each individual tank, although this is not always the case. It’s possible that the tank capacity isn’t visible on the tank itself, but you can discover the sizes in your owner’s handbook instead. Alternatively, you may conduct an internet search using the make, model, and year of your RV to obtain the tank capacity data. It’s common for the manufacturer or seller’s website to provide the capacity of the tanks if you’re purchasing an RV and have questions about tank sizes.

Your fresh water tank’s capacity is always the first item on the screen to appear, followed by the capacity of your gray water tank, and finally the capacity of your black water tank.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, you can transport up to 75 gallons of fresh water, your gray water tank can hold up to 60 gallons, and you must empty your black water sewage tank before it fills up with more than 50 gallons.

What is the Typical Gallon Capacity of an RV’s Holding Tanks?

Generally speaking, bigger recreational vehicles (RVs) will have larger holding tanks, whilst smaller campers would have smaller holding tanks. However, this isn’t always the case, as some large RVs are built to seat fewer people than other models. Due to the fact that Class A RVs are the largest campers available, the holding tanks in these vehicles will be bigger, but Class B RVs and camper vans will have the smallest holding tanks available. Tank capacities also differ depending on the kind of tank used, with fresh water tanks having the most capacity and gray and black water tanks having the least.

Average Size of Fresh Water RV Tanks

Your fresh water holding tank may have a capacity of 20 to 100 gallons, depending on the size and class of your recreational vehicle. Fresh water tanks in Class A recreational vehicles are the largest in capacity, ranging between 72 and 100 gallons. Fifth wheel travel trailers, which are the next size down, often include fresh water tanks that store 50 to 92 gallons of fresh water on board. Class C RVs are available in a variety of sizes, with fresh water tanks ranging from 35 to 60 gallons in capacity.

Class B RVs and camper vans, which are the smallest recreational vehicles, typically contain 16 to 40 gallons of fresh water, if they have plumbing systems at all (some do not).

Average Size of Gray Water RV Tanks

The size of your RV’s gray water tank is frequently determined by the size of your RV’s living space and sleeping capacity. Your gray water tank will have a capacity of around 50 gallons on average across all RV classes and travel trailer types, with Class A and fifth wheel trailers having the most capacity and Class B having the lowest capacity. Gray water tanks in Class A recreational vehicles typically carry between 40 and 65 gallons of water. When it comes to fifth wheel trailers, the range is similar, although some trailers can carry as much as 93 gallons of gray water in the gray water tank.

Travel trailers are also available in a range of sizes, with the gray tanks in smaller trailers holding as little as 28 gallons and the gray tanks in bigger RVs holding as much as 78 gallons in some cases.

Average Size of Black Water RV Tanks

Despite the fact that the black tank in most RVs is smaller than the fresh and gray water tanks, it can fill up more quickly depending on how much you flush, how much toilet paper you use, and how often you use the toilet. Aside from the size and capacity of your RV or camper, you can expect the black tank to carry somewhere between 18 and 64 gallons on average. Fifth wheels typically feature the largest black tanks, which may contain anywhere from 39 to 88 gallons when fully stocked with waste.

In class C motorhomes, which are available in a variety of configurations, the black tanks range in size from 27 to 63 gallon capacity.

Larger travel trailers may have larger black tanks, but in average, the black tank in these campers will store between 28 and 42 gallons of liquid waste each day. In the event that your Class B RV has a black tank (although not all have), it will most likely hold between 10 and 26 gallons of waste.

How Do I Empty My Gray and Black Water Tanks?

The fresh water tank in your camper can normally be filled from the water hookup at your campsite, but emptying the gray and black water tanks in your camper may be a difficult (and occasionally disgusting) part of owning a camper. Many RV parks and campsites will have a dump station that has been certified for this operation, but not all of them will have one. So, if you’ll be needing to empty your tanks at the conclusion of your stay, be sure to check with the campsite ahead of time to ensure they have one available for you.


How to Maintain Your Holding Tanks

Maintaining your gray and black water tanks in good condition is essential for reducing the ickiness of emptying them, as well as keeping smells down and avoiding nasty build-up or blockages in the pipes. Some pointers for keeping your gray and black water holding tanks in the best possible condition are as follows:

  • If you want to optimize the area in your black tank and minimize blockages, you should only use specific RV toilet paper. Preparing your toilet before each trip involves filling it with water from an external source (such as a bucket), adding a dosage of black water tank treatment (such as Aqua-Kem), and flushing it once. By taking military showers and/or utilizing disposable plates and utensils, you may reduce your water use. Allowing your gray water tank to fill at least two-thirds of the way before emptying it can help to avoid buildup and make the cleaning procedure more efficient at removing scum from the tank. Never completely empty your gray water tank since scum will accumulate and generate smells and unclean conditions within the tank and hose
  • Instead, keep the tank half-full.

Steps for Emptying Gray and Black Water Tanks

Whenever possible, empty your black water tank before emptying your gray water tank. This is because gray water is cleaner and may be utilized to rinse up the black water hoses, whereas black water is less clean. Plus, who likes to reserve the most unpleasant and inconvenient work till last? It’s best to get it over with as soon as possible. @thebravewinnie When it comes to emptying your gray and black water tanks, follow these simple steps: There are a variety of signals that your RV’s sensors are indicating that your tanks are growing full and need to be emptied, including the following: 1.

  • In any case, it’s time to empty the tank and start over.
  • @airstream nuts and bolts2.
  • You should then unscrew the holding tank outlet cap and connect the waste hose between your camper and the dump station.
  • 3.Drain your black water tank by opening the valve on the side of the tank.
  • When you’re finished, close the valve on the black tank and repeat the process with the gray water tank valve.
  • Lift the detached end of the hose to discharge any residual water from the hose into the dump hole at the bottom of the hole.

Remove the hose from the dump hole and water off the area surrounding the hole to remove any spillage that may have occurred. Cover the dump hole and put your sewer hose somewhere safe. Treat your black water tank with the appropriate chemicals by contacting Cal RV Specialists.

How to Deal With Clogs in Your RV Holding Tanks

It’s crucial to understand that your gray and black water tanks are not the same as your home’s sewer system in this regard. They can become clogged or fail if you flush or drain the incorrect materials through them, or if they are not properly cared for. In order to prevent particles from entering your RV’s gray water tank, you should attempt to place strainers in the sink(s) and shower drains of your RV. For the sake of preventing blockages in your black water tank, you should always use specific RV toilet paper and never flush sanitary items or wet wipes (even if they are labeled as flushable).

If Your Black Water Tank Gets Clogged…

  1. Always use gloves and protective eyewear to avoid coming into touch with human excrement, which is not only disgusting but may also be harmful to your health. Start by draining your black water tank completely, as this may help to clear the blockage completely. If this is not the case, the blockage might be in your waste pipe (which runs between the toilet and the black water tank)
  2. Otherwise, Pyramid plugs can form in your waste pipe as a result of hardened waste build-up, and they can be difficult to remove. To unclog these blockages, you’ll need to use a toilet snake and a long, flexible auger to probe about within the toilet’s waste pipe until the line seems to be clean. Note: Only use toilet snakes or toilet wands that are specifically made for RV usage, since regular ones may pierce your tank or waste pipe.

If Your Gray Water Tank Gets Clogged…

  1. To flush your pipes and break down any build-up, use a moderate cleaning procedure such as a little dish detergent and hot water. Allow the hot water to run for a while, then empty your gray water tank after you’re finished. Deep-cleaning your gray water system can also be accomplished by circulating a very dilute bleach solution through its pipes and within the tank itself. Consider putting ice to the tank and taking a brief drive to let the ice to’scrub’ the interior of the tank
  2. This will help to prevent corrosion. Gray water treatment chemicals, as well as those for your black water tank, are both accessible, however they are not necessarily required to be used.

The most recent update was made on by

Typical RV Holding Tank Size With 10 Examples

You have arrived to the following page: In this section, you’ll find information about typical RV holding tank sizes, as well as a list of 10 examples. Even if you tried, it’s impossible to fathom traveling in an RV without sufficient holding tanks. Just as an RV without beds is ineffective, its bathroom and kitchen will be ineffective if the holding tanks are not present. A typical recreational vehicle is comprised of two types of storage tanks:

  • One type of holding tank holds freshwater
  • Other types of holding tanks contain wastewater.

Those who are familiar with the use of these tanks may be interested in understanding the answer to the question, “What is the normal RV holding tank size?” For individuals who are just getting started with their interest in these recreational vehicles, don’t jump on to the following part. So, what is the typical size of a recreational vehicle’s holding tank? A holding tank will typically contain between 25 and 100 gallons of liquid. It is estimated that a class A RV will hold around 80 Gallons, a class C will hold approximately 30 Gallons, and a class C will hold approximately 70 Gallons.

Types of RV Holding Tanks

Before I go into the specifics of RV holding tank sizes, it’s important to remember that there are three different types of holding systems. Let us have a look at these systems and their intended uses:

Gray Water Tank

When you take a shower, wash your face, or wash your hands, the remaining water travels through the pipes and is collected in a gray water tank to be used later. It’s common for this water to contain soap residue or food particles.

Black Water Tank

The toiletwater that has been flushed out is collected and kept in a wastewater tank known as a black water tank.

Freshwater Tank

The term “water storage tank” refers to a container that stores fresh water and allows it to flow through your RV’s plumbing system when you do not have access to your city’s water supply. It is important to note that all three tanks are completely distinct from one another and require regular maintenance to work properly.

What Size are RV Holding Tanks?

The volume of your RV’s tank may have a big influence on your travels. Consider the following scenario. You’re on a relaxing vacation with your friends and family. Everyone is gathered around a campfire, snacking on marshmallows. Your RV is only a few feet away from where you are standing. An individual makes a fast trip to the restroom, only to return in a state of shock when they discover that the RV’s waste tank has hit capacity and freshwater is running low. Isn’t it a little disturbing? The only option in such a case is to pack up and find the nearest public sewer where the wastewater can be disposed of properly.

As a result, you must select a holding tank size that is appropriate for your requirements.

Greywater tanks with a capacity of 32 gallons or more are more common than black water tanks with a capacity of 15 gallons or less.

The length of time it takes for your tank to fill to capacity, on the other hand, is dependent on how much you use it.

For example, if you’re traveling alone, you might be able to stretch your tank’s life to last a week or more. When traveling with multiple people, however, the same water will not last nearly as long.

How Do You Know When Your Holding Tank has Reached Full Capacity?

Most recreational vehicles are equipped with a built-in mechanism that allows you to monitor the capacity of each tank individually. This function is only available on newer variants of the vehicle. An obstructed RV toilet, particularly in older and smaller trailers, may signal that your tank has reached its maximum capacity.

How Do I Drain my RV Holding Tank?

Prior to beginning the process of emptying your holding tank, make certain that you have a sewage hose and a pair of gloves to protect yourself. Following that, locate the various valves on your RV. Both grey water and black water will be clearly labeled or marked with a clear indicator or label. Now, connect the other end of your sewer hose to the valve and fasten it into the sewer line itself. Make certain that both ends are tightly attached. Pulling the drain valve will allow the tank to empty.

Because black water contains human waste, it must be disposed of at an authorized disposal site.

Discharging any solid waste that has become caught in your sewage pipe by draining the grey water tank after the black water tank may be quite beneficial.

How Do I Clean my RV Holding Tank?

You may clean your RV holding tank using specialized cleansers and chemicals that are designed specifically for this purpose. When cleaning your black water tank, be sure to apply the right cleaning and deodorizing chemicals, as they will aid in the breakdown of solid waste in the tank. They also help to keep unpleasant odors away from your RV toilet and other toilet facilities.

10 Best RV Waste Tanks

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of holding tanks, let’s take a look at some of the top waste tanks currently available on the market today. RVs are typically equipped with built-in tanks. However, if you want more assistance or if your RV does not have a holding tank, you may invest in a portable RV waste tank to accommodate your requirements.

Barker (30844) 4-Wheeler Tote Tank

This portable Barker tank, which is available in a variety of sizes, is ideal for use with all types of recreational vehicles. Because of the polyethylene material that was employed in its construction, this tank is extremely long-lasting. In addition, it is zinc and aluminum plated for further durability. Therefore, you won’t have to be concerned about leaks or foul odors. With the help of the wheels and pulley, you can move this tank about with ease. Additionally, the front wheels are able to rotate, which makes it simple to move the tank.

You may hook a sewage hose to the 3-inch wide valve on the side of the tank.

Barker (31342) Tote Tank

Barker’s (31342) Tote Tank has a storage capacity of 30 gallons, which, depending on how much you use it, might last you several days or more. This type, like the previous one, is equipped with zinc-plated brackets, which help to keep unpleasant odors away from the home. Because of the aluminum that has been used into its construction, it is lighter and simpler to transport.

Furthermore, due of the extra-large rubber tyres and the high-quality tow handle, navigating is made simpler. This tank has been pre-assembled and is ready to be used right away! It includes a 3-inch sewer valve as well as a 5-foot sewer hose in addition to the valve.

Tote-N-Store 20123 Portable Waste Transport 4 Wheeler

This Tote-N-Store Tank is small in size, yet it has a large amount of storage capacity. This tank, which has a capacity of 25 gallons, weighs around 39 lbs when it is empty. Because of its low-profile design and extra-long built-in tow handle, it is ideal for towing. The tank’s mobility is enhanced by the rubber wheels on the bottom. This long-lasting tank is pre-assembled and features well-designed vents that make it simple to fill. Want to know what the most outstanding characteristic of this tank is?

The tank is also covered by a 3-year manufacturer’s guarantee, so you won’t have to worry about getting into an accident while using it.

Camco Rhino (39002) Tote Tank

ThisCamco Tankis another another high-quality product to add to your shopping cart. This tank is one of the best on the market because of its heavy-duty design, which is paired with a leak-free design. The Camco Rhino tank, like the majority of the tanks on our list, is delivered fully constructed and ready to use. Additional accessories such as cleaning, maintenance, and storage items are included in the package. This tank is made of high-density, UV-stabilized polyethylene, which allows it to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions.

Barker (27844) Tote Tank

It is the third Barker product on our list, which is indicative of the high-quality items the business creates. TheBarker (27844) Tote Tank is a great example of this. With a tank capacity of 32 gallons, there will be no problem with storing space. As with the previous versions, the 27844’s structure is made up of aluminum and zinc plates, which make it lightweight, rust-free, and durable all at the same time. This tank is equipped with bayonet fittings as well as a five-foot sewage hose.

Tote-N-Store 25609 Portable Waste Transport

TheTote-N-Store 25609is another tank that gives a lot of storage space. It can hold up to 32 gallons of wastewater. The rubber wheels on this tank are not only smooth, but they also generate very little noise when in use. You can buy a lot of other accessories with this tank as well; it contains a drain hose, hose clamp, garden hose cap, adaptor, and a 15-inch garden hose. All of those are quite beneficial when draining the tank.

Thetford SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tank

The tough Thetford SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tank is the next item on the list. Its tough shell and wheels contribute to the tank’s durable construction, resulting in a tank that will serve you for a long time. The SmartTote2 is equipped with an Auto Level Gauge, which helps to prevent the tank from becoming overfilled with water. Apart from that, the four wheels on this tank make it quite easy to maneuver. It is quite simple to drain this tank because of the study hose and bayonet fitting that has been installed.

Tote-N-Store 20129 Portable Waste Transport 4 Wheeler

The Tote-N-Store 20129 Portable Waste Transport 4 Wheeler has the most storage capacity of all of the vehicles on this list. Our 38-gallon storage capacity ensures that you will have no trouble keeping everything organized and safe. Another excellent feature is the quick drainage system, which allows you to empty the drainage tank in a matter of minutes rather than hours.

Because of the design’s efficiency, you won’t have to worry about raising the tank when draining it. Then there are the optional attachments, which include a 34-inch and a 3-inch garden hose cap, as well as a 3-inch straight hose adaptor, among other things.

Alpha Systems VB22548H Holding Tank

Designed for long-term use, the Alpha Systems VB22548H Holding Tank is very sturdy and can accommodate up to 33 gallons of effluent. In accordance with international standards established by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the Canadian Standards Association, this tank has been manufactured and tested. The tank is adaptable and may be fitted to any type of recreational vehicle. Furthermore, depending on your tastes and requirements, you may use it for either black water or grey water.

SmartTote Portable RV Waste Tote Tank

In the event that you are accustomed to traveling alone in your RV, the SmartTote Portable RV Waste Tote Tank is the right choice for you. Its storage capacity is 12 gallons, which makes it an excellent choice for those looking for smaller storage tanks. Despite the fact that this SmartTote tank is modest in size, it does not lack in terms of durability or quality. This tank is made of polypropylene, which makes it fairly durable. It is extremely portable, due to the rubber wheels and tow bracket on which it is mounted.


By this time, I hope you have gained an understanding of not only the usual RV holding tank size, but also the significance of tank capacity in RVing. When selecting whether or not to purchase an RV holding tank, consider your requirements and preferences. Once you’ve determined the appropriate tank capacity for your needs, you can relax and enjoy all of your RV excursions without fear.

RV Holding Tanks: The Ultimate Guide on Holding Tanks for RVs

Your RV holding tanks are responsible for allowing you to use the restroom — as well as the shower and the kitchen sink — while traveling without leaving a trail of wastewater behind. Holding tanks, as the name indicates, are used to store wastewater generated by your home and store it beneath your coach until you are ready to dump it into a public sewer system. There is also a freshwater holding tank, which allows you to use fresh water even if you are unable to connect to the city’s water distribution system.

Everything you need to know about RV holding tanks will be covered in this essay, from how to distinguish between black and gray water (which is critical!) to how to unclog a stoppage.

As previously stated, there is not (often) a single holding tank for your RV; rather, there are three different holding tanks for your RV to use.

Each requires certain maintenance practices to function properly; for example, you must put particular chemicals in your black water tank to aid in the breakdown of solid waste and the preservation of the odor-free operation of your RV toilet.

But first, let’s go back to the beginning. What precisely is the black water holding tank in an RV and how does it function? And what other options do you have for RV holding tanks? The three distinct RV holding tank systems are shown in the diagram below.

  • Water that runs from your sinks and showers is referred to as gray water. In other words, it is the reasonably clean wastewater that may contain soap residue or food particles, but which normally does not contain anything particularly noxious. Water that has been contaminated by human feces is referred to as black water. A fresh water tank may also be installed, letting you to utilize your onboard plumbing system even while off-grid camping or boondocking.

In order to keep them functional (and as odor-free as possible! ), each camping holding tank must be dumped (or filled) individually and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. In particular, many campers are interested in the size of their RV’s holding tanks, because it is the tank capacity that has the ability to compel you to finish a boondocking camping vacation sooner than you would have liked. After all, once your wastewater tanks are full (or your freshwater tank is dry), you will have no alternative but to connect to a city sewer and water hookup in order to dispose of the old and replenish your supplies with the new.

courtesy of GIPHY However, the good news is that the normal holding tank size for an RV is actually quite acceptable.

(Obviously, larger recreational vehicles will have greater holding tanks, in basic terms.) No matter what large your tanks are — and the only way to know for sure is to contact your dealer or owner’s handbook — the length of time you may go between dumping operations is a question of personal preference.

  1. Having discussed tank size and capacity, let’s move on to what occurs when those tanks reach capacity: dumping.
  2. Most recreational vehicles are equipped with an onboard sensor system that allows you to monitor the levels of each separate tank.
  3. umm.
  4. watching things rise to the surface.
  5. An essential point to remember is that you should avoid emptying your tanks before they are completely filled, especially in cold weather.
  6. If you want to dump your tanks, you’ll need to step outside your RV and find a location along your sideboard where the waste tank valves are located.
  7. This is standard practice.

In order to prevent it from coming free and causing a really nasty mess, you may want to have someone lay their foot, or even a block, on the end of the pipe that connects to the municipal sewage.

Always empty your black tank first; this will allow the gray tank to wash out your hose with its comparatively clean water once it has been drained.

Whether or not your campground is linked to a sewage system, close both valves when the tanks are completely empty—leaving them open is a surefire way to create a clog, as the liquid waste water will flow through while the solid waste is allowed to build.

Potable water hoses are often white in color, making them simple to distinguish from other types of hoses.

Draining your tank is accomplished by opening the drain valve located at the bottom; refer to your owner’s handbook for precise instructions on how to do so.

What happens if you have a clog in your drain?

You should constantly use a good black tank deodorizing and cleaning chemical, which will aid in the breakdown of solid waste and the preservation of the fresh scent of your toilet.

The compounds are available in both liquid and powder forms, but employing them makes a significant effect regardless of the form.

If your fresh water tank is polluted or smells bad, you may clean the RV’s holding tank using regular home bleach to eliminate the odor.

  • Run the water until you can smell the bleach, then turn off the water and let the tank to rest for at least 24 hours after you have drained all of the bleach water. Fill the tank with water and then run the water again until the bleach smell has disappeared. After that, you may refill the holding tank as usual.

If you use RV holding tank cleaning and empty your tanks on a regular basis, the odds of encountering a blockage are little to none. Also keep in mind that you should only use toilet paper designed exclusively for RVs, which will help you avoid a clog in the first place by preventing it from occurring. Quick-dissolve toilet paper is significantly gentler on the sensitive systems in your RV. It is also lot less expensive. Having said that, if you find yourself in the position of having to unclog your holding tanks, you don’t want to employ the same type of rough-and-tumble approach you would use on your household metal pipes.

  • A typical procedure is replacing the RV toilet and plumbing system with a conventional, residential commode and completely removing the RV holding tanks.
  • Because this type of plumbing is not usually straightforward or simple, you may need to hire assistance.
  • RV holding tanks and plumbing systems are not as reliable and durable as the ones you are accustomed to at home!
  • How to clean the holding tank sensor in your RV by pouring soapy water through the whole system is demonstrated in this video.
  • RV Plumbing: PartsFittings — Please Read Before Proceeding
  • To have on hand for plumbing repairs and projects are a variety of tools. This article contains all you need to know about the RV plumbing vent cap. What You Should Know About Unclogging an RV Toilet 8211
  • How To Unclog An RV Toilet 8211

To prepare for an RV holding tank replacement, the first step will be to remove your old tanks, which we’ll cover in more detail later on in this article. It is possible that you will need to develop schematics, install a fresh water pump, and mount your black and gray water tanks according to the manufacturer’s directions before you can complete the installation of your new RV holding tanks. If you want to do it yourself, Install It Yourself offers an excellent tutorial on how to do it here.

  1. There are some situations when it may be more cost-effective to engage a plumber; in this case, it is advisable to discover how to identify a reputable RV repair specialist before you begin shopping about!
  2. In most cases, you’ll need to remove the toilet in order to get access to the black water holding tank, however you may be able to reach the tanks totally from the sideboard of your recreational vehicle.
  3. If you have any questions, you should check your RV owner’s handbook.
  4. Despite the fact that RV holding tanks are not the most visually appealing components of an RV, they are an unavoidable fact of life that must be dealt with.

Maintaining them will make your self-contained RV feel more like a home while you are on the road. It is possible that this content contains affiliate links.

Guide for RV septic tank

A recreational vehicle (RV) is often equipped with two types of RV septic tanks: a black water tank and a grey water tank, respectively. The gray water tank is responsible for collecting wastewater from your RV sinks and shower. The tank is referred to as a gray water tank because the soap residue from the sink and shower causes the water to appear grey in appearance. The black water tank in your RV is the tank that collects wastewater from the toilet in your vehicle. Consequently, both liquid and solid waste are collected in the black water tank.

A scenario such as this should be regarded as one in which all waste water is deemed black wastewater.

Greywater RV septic tanks

As previously stated, the grey water tank serves as a storage tank for all of the greywater generated by the RV. Greywater is any water that is used in an RV, with the exception of water that is flushed down the toilet, and is classified as waste water. Let’s take a look at the steps involved in emptying the grey water RV septic tank.

Emptying greywater RV septic tanks

Despite the fact that greywater is not as poisonous as black water, extreme caution should be exercised when draining it. Despite the fact that some RV owners dump gray water into the lawn, the ideal practice is to empty it into a waste disposal facility. It is recommended that the grey water tank be emptied after the black water tank is emptied. This aids in the removal of any debris that may have remained after the black water dump was completed. The following are the procedures to be followed while emptying your tank:

  • Wearing a pair of disposable gloves is recommended. A sewage dump pipe must be connected between your trailer and the dump station. Open the gray tank valve and let it to empty completely before closing it. Fresh water should be forced into the sewage pipe. Place the sewer disposal hose in a safe place. Dispose of your gloves in an appropriate manner.

Blackwater RV septic tanks

The black water tank is responsible for collecting human waste, toilet flushing water, and tissue paper. It goes without saying that you should not flush anything else since it might clog the plumbing and cause a nasty backup in your RV. Anything that is not suitable for flushing down the toilet should not be flushed down the toilet in your RV. Check to see that your black water tank has enough water in it before you begin using it. In addition to aiding in the absorption of foul odors, water also aids in the movement of solid waste so that it does not adhere to the walls.

Septi RV is a product that has been carefully developed to break down waste in the black water tank while also eliminating foul odors at the same time.

Guidelines for emptying black water RV septic tanks

  • You should take measures while emptying the waste from the black water RV holding tanks since the waste is highly poisonous, and it is crucial to follow all safety precautions when emptying the tank. Rubber gloves, shoe coverings, and safety eyewear should all be used to protect your hands and feet from potential harm. Make sure you have some liquid soap on hand so that you may wash your hands when you are through. Prepare to dump – you may only dump at a sewage outlet that has been designated. In a dumping station or on the campground, you can get your hands on some of these items. Connect the sewage hose to the RV and then insert the other end of the hose into the drain hole
  • Empty the tanks as soon as they are almost full
  • Do not wait until the tanks are completely empty.

Important tips when using campground septic systems

Every camper has a duty to ensure that the septic system at the campground is in excellent working order.

Here are some pointers on how to use the campground’s sewage system in the most efficient manner.

  • As a precaution, always double-check that you have latex gloves, a sewage hose, a separate hose for washing out the black water tank, and a storage bag to keep all of these materials
  • To minimize leaks when acquiring a used recreational vehicle, double-check to make sure the sewage pipe is in good condition. Always be sure you park into the campsite on the right side of the septic system. Though the majority of dump stations feature two sewer access points to allow cars to pull up on either side, it is a good idea to think of it like a gas station – the location of the RV tank on your camper will dictate which side you should use
  • Before you leave the house, double-check that all of the valves are closed. Leaving a valve open might result in a stinky and dirty messe since wastewater will splash all over the place as soon as you remove the drain pipe’s top. Getting as near to the sewage drain as possible can help you prevent straining the sewer hose to its limit. In the event that you stretch it too far, the pressure that will be applied as soon as you begin emptying the RV tanks will cause it to become disconnected from the rest of the system. Read all of the restrictions for the campground’s septic system and keep track of which water sources are portable in case you need to refill your tank again later. Filling up with water should be done through a separate hose to avoid contamination.

How often should your empty RV septic tanks?

The length of time you may utilize the grey water tank in your RV before having to discharge the wastewater is determined by the size of the tank and the number of people who will be using the RV. During the course of a typical day at home, the average household consumes 80-100 gallons of water. However, when traveling in an RV, water use is greatly reduced. It is estimated that you will use around 16 gallons of water if you take two showers in the RV, each lasting four minutes each. Consider that you wash dishes for three meals in your sink, which may consume an additional 6 gallons of water.

  • As a result, you may expect an average of 26 gallons of greywater every day.
  • If you are staying at a campsite, on the other hand, you will very certainly be linked to the campground’s septic system.
  • However, if you are only traveling by yourself or with one other person, your tank will need to be emptied less regularly – perhaps once a week at the very most.
  • The tank should be drained as soon as it is two-thirds full, according to the manufacturer.
  • The majority of modern recreational vehicles are equipped with devices that inform you exactly how full the tank is.

Taking care of your RV tanks

Aside from periodically emptying and cleaning the tanks, it is a good idea to avoid using chemicals and other goods that may pose a threat to microorganisms. Bacteria play an important function in the breakdown of waste in RV tanks because they aid in the breakdown of waste. Therefore, avoid the use of bleach, bronopol, embalming fluid (glutaraldehyde), formalin, and perfumed and antibacterial soaps, as well as other harmful chemicals. In fact, any substance that should not be used by septic system owners is also not recommended for use in a recreational vehicle (RV).

To understand more, download the free eBook on our website.

In addition, there is:

  • Don’t forget to wipe the “O” ring seals off the sewage caps before you leave the house. Once the seals have been cleaned, a light coat of oil should be applied to avoid gray and black water dribbles. After flushing the tank, always add a few gallons of water to it. In this way, any residual residue in the tank will be prevented from collecting and drying on the tank’s bottom
  • Make sure to keep your valves closed until you are ready to start pumping your tanks. Keeping the valves closed not only prevents the sediments in the tank from drying out, but it also helps to keep the foul odors at away. Do not pump your tanks before they are completely full. Wait until they are at least half-full before opening them. Add water to the tank until it is half-full if you are ready to leave a location and the tank is not completely full. The water in the tank is crucial because it aids in ensuring that the sediments are adequately flushed from the tank. Use your fresh water hose to empty your tanks rather than your waste water hose. When flushing the tanks, start with the black water tank first and work your way down to the gray water tank afterwards. This will guarantee that your hose is as clean as possible after use.


The RV septic tank will last for many years if it is cared for and maintained properly. However, just as with a home-based septic tank, if the RV holding tanks are not properly maintained, they can quickly fail.

You must be deliberate in your approach to taking care of it, which includes pumping the tanks as soon as the need arises, employing biological additives to aid in the breakdown of waste, and avoiding the use of harmful items that may have a negative influence on the efficacy of helpful bacteria.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *