How Often To Empty Travel Trailer Septic Tank? (TOP 5 Tips)

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 often you need to empty your tanks is relative. If you are traveling with a large number of people, you may need to empty your tanks every other day. If it is just you and your spouse, once a week may be enough. A general rule of thumb is to wait until your tanks are about two-thirds full before emptying them.

How often do you empty a septic tank in RV?

In simple terms, if you have lots of people on board, you might need to empty the tank daily. But if you are just traveling alone or maybe with one more person, your tank would need emptying less frequently – maybe even once a week. The rule of thumb is to empty the tank before it fills up.

How do I know if my RV septic tank is full?

There is another way to know your tank is full (or close to it) besides using sensors or sound. “Sound” is also a good indicator, but in addition to that method, the closer to full, the more it smells (even if you use chemicals). You’ll want to dump for sure when you can’t take the smell any longer.

How long will a 30 gallon black 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 much does it cost to empty an RV septic tank?

Dumping your black water tank can cost anywhere from Free to $35. Some public campgrounds, waste water treatment plants, rest stops and RV stores will allow free dumping. Private business and campgrounds will charge between $10 -$35 with an average of $20 for dumping the tanks.

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.

Can you empty RV tank into septic?

In summary, yes you can dump RV waste water into house septic systems. Don’t use chemicals in your black water tank that may destroy your tank’s natural ecosystem. When dumping from an access port, try to make sure you’re on the correct side of the baffle.

Is it OK to dump GREY water on the ground?

Generally, as long as your gray tank contains water that was used for washing, it’s legal to dump it on the ground.

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 do I need to empty my black water tank?

Dumping your black water holding tank every 3-5 days will help control odors. Having enough water in your holding tank is absolutely critical to suppressing odors! Without enough water, the aerobic bacteria in your tank won’t be properly hydrated, resulting in less-effective waste breakdown and odor elimination.

How long can you store water in a camper holding tank?

Two weeks is the simple answer to how long to keep fresh water in an RV tank IF you aren’t using the water and refilling during that time. When water sits unused in a tank, it can become unsafe and therefore undrinkable.

Can you put bleach in RV black water tank?

Cleaning your black water holding tank is best done when you’re fully hooked up and have both a water and sewer connection. Avoid using bleach or antifreeze for your deep clean, as both of these can dry out rubber seals and ultimately ruin your sewage system.

Can I pee in RV shower?

In general, you should not pee in the RV shower. The water from the shower goes straight to your gray water tank, and urine should go to the black water tank. However, sometimes urine ends up in the greywater tank. In this case, you will just need to add extra cleaning steps to keep your gray water tank clean.

How much does it cost to have your RV pumped out?

Most full-service dump stations will cost you on average $10-$25 per dump. This will allow you to do everything from emptying your tank to rinsing your black tank completely. If you are looking to get a dump station membership, your fees will run you anywhere from $200-$1500 a year for a full-service membership.

Do campers have septic tanks?

The black water tank, also known as the RV’s septic system, holds anything flushed down the toilet. Depending on the size and class of the RV, “grey water” holding tanks typically have a capacity between 40 and 65 gallons, while “black water” holding tanks usually range between 18 and 64 gallons.

How Often Should You Dump Your RV Holding Tanks?

It is necessary to empty your RV’s black water holding tank when you are camping in your motorhome. RV black tanks must be emptied every 3-5 days, as opposed to house septic systems, which only need to be emptied (or “pumped”) every few years. To begin, we will explain the need of regularly scheduled dumping when RV camping.

Dumping your black water holding tank every 3-5 days prevents the buildup of waste residue.

However effective your high-quality RV holding tank treatment is, waste residue will always accumulate over time, especially if the waste is allowed to linger in your holding tank for a lengthy period of time. Fortunately, you may avoid this problem by emptying your tank on a regular basis before waste residue has a chance to accumulate excessively on the sides and floor of your tank. When waste stagnates in your tank, it is quite easy for sensor problems to occur. If you don’t empty your tank on a regular basis, waste and/or toilet paper will begin to adhere to the sensor probes, leading them to constantly indicate “full.” Dumping your tank every 3-5 days can assist to lessen the likelihood of sensors misreading your tank’s contents.

Dumping your black water holding tank every 3-5 days will help control odors.

It is vitally important to have adequate water in your holding tank in order to effectively suppress smells! When there is not enough water available, the aerobic bacteria in your tank will not be able to maintain optimum hydration, leading in less effective waste breakdown and odor removal. If you’re using up all of the water in your tank, you’ll be completely depleted in around 3-5 days. When filling your tank, however, if it takes you more than 3-5 days, you will almost certainly need to use extra water!

This is because not only does water assist the aerobic bacteria in your high-quality holding tank treatment in eliminating odors as they digest waste, but it also acts as a barrier to keep odors from entering your RV in the first place.

The pipe leading to your toilet is equipped with a p-trap, which collects water at a low position in the pipe and prevents sewage smells from seeping into your home.

Continue reading for more information.

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The Unique Method

Although emptying your RV’s black tank on a regular basis is extremely necessary for RV maintenance, did you know that there is much more to properly caring for your RV than you may have realized? Yes, this is correct! However, the reality is that the majority of people never put in place a comprehensive strategy that tackles all of the concerns that might arise when RVing. That is precisely why we developed The Unique Methodas a thorough approach for RV holding tank cleaning, which has already assisted thousands of RVers in preventing obstructions, eliminating smells, and restoring misreading sensors to their vehicles.

RVers have benefited from the numerous extra guidelines, suggestions, and methods found in The Unique Method, which have saved them the time and money associated with recurrent holding tank problems.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries concerning this subject. Alternatively, you may contact us at [email protected]

Also in Guides and Resources

Although emptying your RV’s black tank on a regular basis is extremely necessary for RV maintenance, did you know that there is much more to properly caring for your RV than you may have realized? Yes, this is correct! However, the reality is that the majority of people never put in place a comprehensive strategy that tackles all of the concerns that might arise when RVing. That is precisely why we developed The Unique Methodas a thorough approach for RV holding tank cleaning, which has already assisted thousands of RVers in preventing obstructions, eliminating smells, and restoring misreading sensors to their vehicles.

RVers have benefited from the numerous extra guidelines, suggestions, and methods found in The Unique Method, which have saved them the time and money associated with recurrent holding tank problems.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries concerning this subject.

How to Unfreeze RV Pipes and Tanks

The 8th of December in the year 2021 In addition to being preventative measures, many of these thawing techniques are also preventative measures, and the tools used to prepare for cold weather should be staple items in your RV if you plan to camp through the winter, and even if you plan to camp in the fall or very early in the spring when the weather in many areas can surprise you with freezing temperatures at unexpected times.

Throughout this post, we’ll go over what sections of your RV’s water system are at risk of freezing, what equipment you’ll need to defrost frozen tanks and pipes, and some practices to use when using those items to prevent causing harm during the thawing process.

How Often Do You Dump The Black Tank?

Camping is not always a picturesque and romantic experience. Someone will have to empty and clean the tanks sooner or later, and no one appears to be interested in taking on the task of doing so. If you’ve been handed this chore because you were the one who drew the short straw, you might be wondering how often you should be emptying the RV’s black tank. We’ve done the research so that we can provide you with the solution. Your black water tank should be emptied every 3-5 days or when it fills up to two-thirds of its capacity, whichever comes first.

  1. Put on your gloves. Connect the hose to the drain for the black tank’s water
  2. The other end of the hose should be inserted into the wastewater port. Activate the black water valve and drain the tank
  3. Activate the gray water valve and drain the tank
  4. Float the hose
  5. Take everything apart and store it.

Knowing how to securely and legally empty the black water tank of your camper or recreational vehicle is essential knowledge to have before heading out on the road.

We’ve gathered information on these tanks from a number of professional sources and camping blogs, and we’ve compiled a comprehensive summary of our results in this piece. Continue reading this page for answers to frequently asked questions about black tanks, as well as other information.

Emptying Your Black Tank Step-By-Step

The procedures for emptying the black water tank of your camper or recreational vehicle are outlined above. Please see the section below for a full step-by-step procedure on how to achieve this without difficulty.

1. Put on gloves

Make sure you have some heavy-duty rubber gloves on hand for this type of work because it might be messy. Rubber gloves are easy to clean when you’re through with a project, and they provide excellent protection for your hands and arms while you’re working. To see these rubber cleaning gloves on Amazon, please visit this link.

2. Connect the hose to the black tank water drain

A good-quality sewage hose should be connected to the camper or RV’s outlet drain with care and firmness. You’ll see that there are two valves at this location, one for the black water tank and another for the gray water tank in your system. Make a note of which one is which, and then go to the following step without opening either of the valves in question.

3. Run the other end of the hose into the wastewater port

The other end of your sewer hose should be securely inserted into the wastewater port on your sewer line. If it is possible to attach it, be certain that it is attached appropriately. Some ports will enable you to enter the hose up to a foot or so into the port without having to connect it. Make certain that you are aware with the type of wastewater port that you are utilizing and that your hose is properly inserted or attached.

4. Open the black water valve and empty

It’s time to empty the tanks now that your line is securely secured at both ends of the tank. First, slowly open the black water tank valve, allowing it to completely empty itself. This will safely and cleanly transport all of the waste from your toilet’s holding tank out of the house and into a sewer or septic system that has been certified.

5. Open the gray water valve and empty

Following the completion of the black water tank, you will want to go to the gray water tank for disposal. Close the valve for the black water tank and then gently open the valve for the gray water tank, starting with the black water tank. Allow it to drain completely until it is completely empty.

6. Flush hose

If you happen to be in an area with a plentiful supply of freshwater, you might want to attempt cleansing the hose with it. Despite the fact that the gray water will have loosened and eliminated a significant amount of debris and germs, a thorough flush with freshwater will accomplish considerably more.

7. Disconnect and stow

The hose should be disconnected from the drain valves on your camper now that you’ve completed the project. Check to see that both valves are completely closed. Then gently and slowly remove the hose from the faucet. Keep it in a safe place until you need it again.

How long can you leave waste in a black tank?

According to our study, the majority of camping experts believe that it is safe to keep black water in the tank for up to 10 days at a time. Most, on the other hand, recommend that you empty it no later than one week after you first use it. Of course, this is also dependent on how the product is used. A camper with a smaller black tank that is being used by a large number of people will necessitate the need to empty the tank more frequently. Additionally, it is important to note out that using the proper sort of toilet paper is crucial in order to keep your black water tank running smoothly and clog-free.

See also:  How Much Does It Cost To Have Septic Tank Field Lines Run? (Perfect answer)

It degrades much more quickly than typical toilet paper used in the home.

On Amazon, you can find this RV and camper certified toilet paper by clicking here. Always keep an eye on how full your camper’s black water tank is becoming so that you can empty it in a timely manner and prevent a sloppy situation.

Should you empty the gray water or black water first?

However, while you are legally allowed to drain any sort of water first, it is strongly advised that you drain the black water first and then the gray water after that. The black water is the dirtiest and most contaminated, since it contains the greatest number of germs. It also has the foulest odor. You will be able to instantly flush any black water leftovers out of the hose if you let the black water tank to empty first, followed by a drain of the gray water tank shortly after that. By draining the gray water last, you are helping to keep the inside of the hose clean and from smelling as awful as it otherwise might.

Can you dump the black water tank anywhere?

No way, not at all! Wastewater disposal is prohibited almost everywhere, and for good cause. Consider the following scenario: you’re camping somewhere and you have to smell (or foot in) spilled black water left behind by the person who came before you. There are tight restrictions governing where and how you dump black water tanks for sanitary purposes, and there are no exceptions. When staying at a campground, the best location to empty your black water tank is through one of their septic or sewage hookups.

But what if you’re in a more rural campsite or if you’re boondocking somewhere far away from civilization?

So, what are your alternatives if your black water tank is approaching close to being completely full?

Truck stops

Most truck stops provide this service for people who are traveling with a black water tank on their vehicle. When your own is getting too full, consider using the one that is nearest you. Naturally, there will be a charge, but it is preferable than having backflow.

Interstate rest areas

A large number of interstate rest sites will provide safe and legal locations for people to empty their black water tanks. Of course, ahead to your camping vacation, you’ll want to identify and plan out the locations of the ones that do. There will be a nominal price to utilize these facilities, similar to what truck stations charge.

RV Parks

There’s also the option of pulling into a contemporary RV park and paying to use their system. You can empty your black water tank even if you aren’t staying at the park, as long as you pay the proper fees.

Portable wastewater tanks

Investing in a portable waste water tank may prove to be quite beneficial in an emergency situation. It is simple and safe to store these watertight tanks, which can then be wheeled out to connect to your camper’s black and gray water tanks to provide drainage for your camper. When it’s completely loaded, you wheel it back and stow it until it can be legally emptied once more. While you may not be able to empty the whole contents of both tanks into it, you will be able to empty enough to allow you to go back to business before you reach to a location where you may legally dump the complete contents of your tank into the ground water.

It’s important to remember that dumping wastewater on the ground or into a canal is prohibited and will result in harsh penalties in most jurisdictions.

Whenever you’re boondocking, make sure you have a plan in place for where you’ll securely and legally dump your black tank water so that you don’t get yourself in a sticky situation later on.

Can you dump gray water on the ground?

The fact that gray water comes from the camper’s sinks and showers means that it is OK to pour it directly onto the ground, correct? The answer to this question will vary depending on the state in which you are visiting as well as the restrictions in effect at the campground where you may be camped out. Some states permit it, while others forbid it by law. In addition, it’s vital to keep in mind that while some locations will allow the dumping of gray water, they may have a different understanding of what constitutes gray water than you.

However, some jurisdictions regard any water that comes into contact with food to be “black water,” and it would be necessary to dispose of it in the same manner as you would dispose of black water in these circumstances.

In light of these considerations, it is critical that you are aware of all applicable state and municipal legislation surrounding gray water disposal before you dump it into the ground.

How often to clean a black water tank?

When you clean your self-contained system with professional cleansers and deodorizers on a regular basis, you will maintain the air smelling fresh and the system clear of obstructions. However, how frequently should this be done? The black water tank in your camper should be cleaned at the conclusion of every camping trip, as well as when you are preparing to put your camper away for the season. In addition to cleaning your system, these cleansers aid in the breakdown of any toilet paper that may have accumulated on the edges of the tank throughout its use.

In Closing

In this article, we’ve learnt a great deal about black water tanks. You should now be aware of the actions you’ll need to follow in order to empty the tanks, as well as the locations where you may legally and securely dispose of them. Also discussed in this piece is how long you can safely let black water to sit in the tank and how often you should dump it from the tank. If you found this topic about black water tanks to be interesting, we recommend that you read the following posts as well: What kind of bathroom accessories should you choose for your new recreational vehicle?

What Is the Average Cost of RV Camping?

How Often To Dump Black Tank? [+How To Empty It]

It is critical that you understand how to properly empty your RV’s black water holding tank before embarking on your first RV camping trip in order to avoid the difficulties we just described from ruining your RV camping experience. Here are the fundamental procedures you’ll need to take to empty your black water tank safely and without causing any problems:

What You’ll Need

  • Drain hose and attachments – they are often included with your RV
  • Hose for the garden
  • Gloves (and maybe a disposable mask)

Optional: sewer hose elbow to connect to the sewer hose.

These are not required, but they can be beneficial. On Amazon, you can find this RV sewer elbow adapter by clicking here.

Emptying and Cleaning Your RV Black Water Tank Step-By-Step

Identify the gate valves for the gray and black water on your trailer or recreational vehicle. Despite the fact that every RV is different, these valves will most likely be located around the location where your freshwater is hooked up. Generally speaking, the black water tank pipe in an RV is longer than the gray water tank pipe; however, this is not always the case. A handle is normally provided for opening and closing the valves, and they are usually labeled. You’ll see that the two valves are located near to the place where the plumbing for both tanks is connected to one another.

This is the location where your sewage hose will be attached.

Then, by rotating the tank cover counter-clockwise (off), you may remove it and place the lid of the tank aside.


Because liquid waste flows downward, ensure sure the sewage hose connection point is higher than the point at which the sewer hose will discharge its contents into the sewer. The sewage hose elbow should be connected to the RV section of your sewer hose if you choose to use one, and then the line should be connected directly to the plumbing beneath the gate valves where the tank lid comes off. Using the hose’s other end, connect it to the dump site or septic tank at your campground.


Make sure that the black tank drains completely into the sewer by opening the valve and allowing the hose to flow into the tank from above. You’ll know it’s finished when you see the distinct elbow attachment or hear the flow come to a halt. Close the gate valve on the black tank as soon as you are certain that the tank is empty.


This is the moment at which you’ll need to clean the tank, and depending on the type of equipment you have, there are a variety of approaches you may take to do this. To avoid causing damage to your RV’s tank, you should always follow the directions in the owner’s handbook that came with the vehicle. For example, some individuals recommend backwashing the tank with a high-pressure garden hose to remove any remaining debris. While this is quite effective, it may cause a black water tank that is too weak or too tiny to function properly.

Some RVs are also equipped with specialized equipment of their own, and some of the more expensive ones come with a built-in rinser.


Not quite completed, because you still have to prepare the now-empty black water tank for further usage. To begin, make sure that all drain lines are closed to prevent waste from escaping. Fill and flush the toilet three to four times to ensure that the bottom of the black tank is completely filled. This is important because if you don’t do it, the first waste that goes down into the tank may solidify and attach to the bottom, producing clogging issues in the future. After there is a sufficient amount, add an eco-friendly enzyme cleaner.

It’s just as important to take care of your fresh water and gray water tanks as it is to take care of your black water tank, and while emptying and cleaning your RV holding tanks on a regular basis is the most effective way to keep them in good condition, there are some other things you can do to keep your RV holding tanks in good condition.

For Your Fresh Water Tank

Allowing water to linger in a fresh water tank for an extended amount of time is not recommended; instead, empty and dry the tank after each trip. If an odor emanates from the tank or water source, contact a professional.

  • Pour 1/4 cup of bleach into the tank for every 15 gallons of water it holds after you have emptied it. After filling the tank with water, drain the tank. Make sure to let the tank sit empty for at least one full day before refilling and draining it again until the bleach smell has gone away

For Your Gray Water Tank

To avoid blockages, avoid flushing food particles down the toilet or down the sink. A chemical odor absorber may be required because this tank does not contain any fresh water, and it is possible that it may begin to stink. Solutions that are too strong might cause damage to the valves and seals, so be sure you only use RV-safe chemicals while cleaning your vehicle. This tank should also be drained and dried before being stored.

For Your Black Water Tank

Preparation for using the toilet begins with ensuring that the tank’s base is filled with water and that there is an inch or two of tank chemicals present. Use only RV-safe toilet paper to avoid clogging issues that may be quite unpleasant. Try to avoid leaving it until the last minute to empty the toilet tank by purchasing this quick dissolving toilet paper from Amazon. You should make a pit break to do so while the tank is no more than 2/3 full, if possible.

How often do you dump the tank

Topic:How often do you dump the tank

Posted By:w6peaon 06/07/09 09:58am
I know a lot of people will say this guys an idiot so what.(me)If you use your RV and the tank is not full when you get home how, how full do you let it get before you dump your tanks?The DW and I went on a trip, when we got home the tanks weren’t full enough to dump. We went back out of town again the following week end. I was trying to find a place to feed the Gas tank, made a quick “U” turn, to be able to get into the gouge station, the rest of the trip seemed to have an odor of sewer in the bathroom. My question is are the shower and the sink in the bathroom piped into the black tank or the grey tank?Also has any one use Ridex in in their black tank. Or is it better to use WiskCalgoon in the Black tank? Thanks

Remember “Without Trucker’s America Stops” “Buy American Made Only!” It’s too late to save your shoes.roll up your pant legs”When all else fails.Amateur Radio” I needmoreCoffeeOld BushmillsIf We Can’t Haul It.You Don’t Need It.Motor-T Semper Fi

Posted By:Litchon 06/07/09 10:03am
I don’t wait until it is full, I dump before I get home. I see no reason to wait until full, makes no sense to me. Learned my lesson the hard way by not dumping and having the TT sit in the warm Summer weather for a couple of months. Let’s just say that when I took it to the campground down the road to dump, I cleared out all the sites near the dump station, it was really bad!

2006 Chevy HD LBZ Duramax/Allison 2006 Holiday Rambler Savoy 30sks

Posted By:joanne0012on 06/07/09 10:16am
The advice to wait until the black tank is at least 3/4 full is related to the resulting flushing force which helps remove solids.So at the end of an outing, if I don’t know whether I’ll be using the tank again within the next couple of weeks, I’ll definitely dump even if it means I have to put water into it in order to bring it up to 3/4.If you use detergent and Calgon, you don’t need to use them every time, just once in a while to keep the sensors clean and help get out residual gunk. They aren’t an equivalent substitute for the every-time tank “chemicals.”


Posted By:wtravlr1on 06/07/09 10:19am
I’m a full timer, I usually wait til the black is at leat 3/4 full. Since I have a built in tank sprayer, I would wash it if it was going to sit a while.

Posted By:maddog348on 06/07/09 10:19am
If you are waiting ’til it gets to some prescribed/imagined “fullness” before dumping – just fill to the “mark” with fresh waterpull the plug. JMHO We do that quite often on weekend trips.

Posted By:kaydeejayon 06/07/09 10:03am
Shower and sink are usually drained into the grey tank.IMHO the black tank should be emptied at the end of a trip, even if it’s not full.

Keith J.Sold the fiver and looking for a DP, but not in any hurry right now.

Posted By:ArcticDodgeon 06/07/09 10:21am
I dump when I leave the CG, dump station on the way home, or when I get home. I never knew that tanks could not “be full enough to dump”. I have enough $h!t I haul all over the place and see no reason to needlessly haul and store waste when it can easily be dumped.

2009 Komfort 256TS 2001 Dodge Ram 3500 QC 4×4 Cummins DRW2005 Dodge Durango Limited AWD HEMI2006 Dodge Charger R/T HEMI2001 Sebring Convertible1995 Miata M-Edition1 Wife “2 Boys UWBellevue College1 Trixie (Bichon Frise)Only 21 years to retirement!

Posted By:samsontdogon 06/07/09 10:22am
I dump the all the tanks during and after each trip. I refill the tanks with clean water when not camping and when hooking up to go on our next trip I flush all tanks again. I put maybe two gallons of water in the black tank before leaving. Not saying its the right way, just the way I do it

samsontdog” “

Posted By:five’eron 06/07/09 10:25am
I empty at the end of each trip if posible.It is recomended that the tank is 3/4 full.Before I disconnect the water or drain the fresh tank I will fill the Black to that level if I can before I head to the dump station.The shower and sink is usually seperate and contained in the Grey tank if you have one.My advice would be to close the vent in the bathroom when you are travelling down the road if you left it open.Instead of removing the stink, it will actually cause a vacume and pull the stink from your tanks.Not sure if you had it open but just a friendly tip.

2009 1500 Dodge Sport QC, Prodigy Brake Controller, 2009 KZ 266 MXT

Posted By:emmmwon 06/07/09 10:28am
The last day of any trip we are on I go ahead and fill the black tank all the way up and dump it. time permitting I may do it a few times before pulling out.

Posted By:Bucky Badgeron 06/07/09 10:29am
I finish filling and then dump at the camp ground.

2010 F150 5.4, 3.55, 4×4, Equli-z-er Hitch2007 Forest River Salem 27RB LEand2009 Nomad 3980

Posted By:Bumpyroadon 06/07/09 11:37am
I usually have to drain my grey tank every third day so I get a FHU site.Since I am draining the grey, I drain the black tank first since it is all hooked up already.With a black tank sprayer mounted on the wall of the black tank opposite the drain, I can empty the black tank at my convenience and don’t have to wait till it is 2/3 full, etc.bumpy

Posted By:Triker33on 06/07/09 10:36am
Quote:How often do you dump the tank I dump mine every 11-12 days. Quote:If you use your RV and the tank is not full when you get home how, how full do you let it get before you dump your tanks? 1. If you use the slinky hose it is best at 3/4 or fuller.2. If you use a macerating pump it shouldn’t make any difference how full the tank is.If1 above is used, then they are no reason you can’t add water to tank to make it full at home and then dump.Quote:My question is are the shower and the sink in the bathroom piped into the black tank or the grey tank? Depends on how the manufacture plumbed it. Most have the showersink to grey. But some may have the shower to blacksink to grey. Some may have shower to greysink to black. Quote:Also has any one use Ridex in in their black tank. I use Rid-X at my winter spot. As my tank dumps into a septic system there. I use theSewer Solutionand can dump without using the water pressure part of it.I use just water only in my summer travels.

LarryFull Time Since 991999 34Q Discovery DP ISB 275HP 6 Speed AllisonVMSpc | Pressure Pro14 Lincoln MKS EcoBoost ToadClick here to see where I am

Posted By:tvman44on 06/07/09 10:50am
If it is not full when I am ready to leave I fill it with water and then dump.

Papa Bob1* 2008 Brookside by Sunnybrook 32’1* 2002 F250 Super Duty 7.3L PSDHusky 16K hitch, Tekonsha P3,Firestone Ride Rite Air Springs, Trailair Equa-Flex, Champion C46540″A bad day camping is better than a good day at work!”

Posted By:stetwoodon 06/08/09 08:52am
We dump when we leave the park.Flush the tank sometimes, but not always.Water is a precious resource and there is no need to waste it by filling tanks and flushing them frequently.The ground water reserves are dropping all over the country due to excessive use and waste.

Posted By:Bumpyroadon 06/08/09 09:06am
stetwood wrote:We dump when we leave the park.Flush the tank sometimes, but not always.Water is a precious resource and there is no need to waste it by filling tanks and flushing them frequently.The ground water reserves are dropping all over the country due to excessive use and waste.when you dump the tanks into a septic system, doesn’t the water make it’s way back into the aquifer?bumpy

Posted By:Chuck Gailon 06/07/09 08:04pm
We always dump before leaving campground.Done it that way for many years, and over 80,000 miles.No smell, no trouble.I have read here many times that doing as we do causes problems.Maybe so, guess I’ll wait another 80,000 miles and see.

Chuck Wonderful WifeAustralian Shepherd2010 Ford Expedition TV2010 Outback 230RS Toybox, 5390UVW, 6800LoadedNot yet camped in Hawaii, 2 Canada Provinces,2 Territories I can’t be lost because I don’t care where this lovely road is going

Posted By:Dutch_12078on 06/07/09 02:57pm
w6pea wrote:My question is are the shower and the sink in the bathroom piped into the black tank or the grey tank? It’s not uncommon for the bathroom sink to drain into the black tank. As I recall, the RVIA code allows one additional fixture in addition to the toilet to connect to the tank. The bathroom layout is probably the determining factor in which ones do it, and which ones don’t.

Dutch2001 GBM Landau 34′ Class AF53 chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMSBigfoot Automatic Leveling System2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pumpReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox baseplate

Posted By:BobRon 06/07/09 12:56pm
I dump every time I move. When it is hot out, after two days the black tank develops an odor due to decomposition. Why waste gas hauling waste.

Posted By:bhothon 06/08/09 02:24pm
We picked up a flush king a few years ago and now we dump after every trip even if it’s an over nighter. Waiting to get a certain level of waste becomes a non-issue.

Posted By:mockturtleon 06/07/09 02:42pm
Don’t assume it’s only the black tank that stinks.A grey water tank with dishwater in it will get pretty ripe in a few days of hot weather.

2015 Tiger Bengal TX 4X4Chevy 3500HD, 6L V8

How often do you empty RV holding tank?

Asked in the following category: General The most recent update was made on June 25th, 2020. The frequency with which you must empty your tank is relative. It is possible that you may need to empty your tanks every other day if you are traveling with a large number of passengers. If you and your spouse are the only ones in the house, once a week may be plenty. Wait until your tanks are approximately two-thirds full before emptying them, according to general rule of thumb. The following are the steps to empty your gray water and black water holding tanks:

  1. Make a start by pulling up to the RV dump station and aligning the black holding tank drain valve as closely as feasible to the dump station’s entrance
  2. Obtain the sewer hose and put on latex or other disposable gloves (in order to avoid any contamination).

In a similar vein, how can I tell whether the black tank in my RV is full? When the shower pan is retaining water, you can determine that the gray water tank is full. When the water is turned off, it is possible to check the blackwatertank by gazing down the titlet. When it comes to this, how long can I keep water in my RV’s tank? We learned that keeping the water inside of a vehicle’s freshwater tanks can keep it fresh for up to two weeks, although this is not always the case. It’s possible that it will go either way.

Can you keep black water in an RV for an extended period of time?

If you have children, you should anticipate your black watertank to last no more than 5 days.

How Long will a Black Water Tank last in a RV?

When we go camping, there is always the concern of whether or not we will need to relocate the RV in the midst of our vacation to dump tanks, or how long we will be able to go without dumping. This article should have provided you with a clear understanding of how frequently and when you will need to dump. How long will a black water tank on my recreational vehicle last? If you are camping with a partner or by yourself, a travel trailer’s black water tank will normally last 5 or more days. In the event that you have children, you should expect your black water tank to last fewer than 5 days.

The black water tank in your RV is the last thing you want to have to think about or deal with while you’re on the road.

After you have become familiar with the functioning of your RV and its ins and outs, you will have a good sense of how long your black tank will last and how much care it will require.

RV Black Water Tank Explained

If you can utilize the methods below to preserve as much space as possible, your black water tank will endure for a very long period. For example, if you have two people camping with you and they both fill a 12 gallon bucket into your black tank and your black tank holds 25 gallons, you could expect to get 25 days out of your black tank on a single fill. Even if each passenger consumed one gallon of space, your black tank would have enough capacity to last 12.5 days in your RV. Gray tanks are known to endure far longer than black tanks.

The following are five examples of recreational vehicles, along with their capabilities.

RV Make/Model Black Tank Capacity Gallons
Winnebago Micro Minnie 25
Keystone Bullet 30
Winnebago Minnie 25
Dutchmen Aspen Trail 28-32
Jayco Jay Flight 32.5-39

What is a black water tank?

The black water tank is the container in which all waste water and material that is flushed down the toilet is stored for disposal. When dealing with black tank waste water, always use the required protective equipment and procedures to ensure that you do not come into touch with it. The black water tank is normally located under the chassis of the RV, next to the gray water tank, and is connected to the sewer system. When fully stocked, black water tanks can add 200-300 pounds to the weight of your RV, assuming they are between 25 and 39 gallons in capacity.

Do I need Special Toilet Paper for RV?

Toilet paper specifically designed for use in a camper is required. Generally speaking, if it is safe for sewer and septic systems, it is acceptable. It is not required to purchase special, extremely costly RV toilet paper, but it is important to use toilet paper that is septic safe. Make certain that every time you dump your black tank, you flush it to prevent the accumulation of any paper or debris. We have found this toilet paper to be quite pleasant, and we have had no difficulties with it in our black tank.

Waste and toilet paper are the only materials that should be flushed down the toilet and into the black tank.

How to conserve black water tank space in your RV

When camping, the simplest approach to save space in your RV’s black water tank is to use the restrooms at the campsite as frequently as possible. Additionally, try the strategies listed below to save even more money on your electricity bill.

  • Consider doing a fast flush with the foot pedal on the first attempt if you’re doing number one. If you’re going to the bathroom for the second time, fill the toilet with a little water first. This will help prevent any things from adhering to the bottom of the toilet and necessitating the use of a lot of water to flush them down
  • Whenever you go to the bathroom, if your water is turned off, do not turn it on since you may not require any water to flush
  • Only use the toilet at night
  • During the day, use the restrooms at the campground.

What happens if a black water tank fills up?

You don’t want your black tank to full up at any cost, and you certainly don’t want to find out what will happen if it does. If sewage is splashed throughout your camper, it will completely detract from the overall appearance. You should constantly keep an eye on your black tank’s consumption, and you should always be able to see down the toilet while the valve is open. If your tank overflows, it will leak into your RV, plain and simple, so do not allow this to happen to you. Sensors for black water tanks are notoriously incorrect because objects can become caught on the edge of the sensors.

It is preferable to be safe and empty it more frequently than to allow it to build up and cause difficulties.

It is your responsibility to empty your tanks into the tote and transport them to the campground’s disposal station.

We prefer this one for a smaller bag, and this one is one of our faves for a big four-wheeled tote as well.

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How to empty a black water tank

  1. Dress in protective clothing, such as latex or equivalent gloves and safety glasses
  2. To connect your RV’s sewer dump hose to the sewer dump station, follow these steps: Open the black tank valve and hold it open until the flow stops
  3. Connect the black water flush (if provided) and start it up. To flush the toilet if you do not have a black water flush, fill the tank with water. Reopen the black tank valve once again. Once the flow has been completed, close the black tank valve. Remove the gray water tank and dispose of it. Close all valves and disconnect the sewage connection from the RV. At the disposal location, flush the sewage hose with water. Cap off the RV’s waste water drain line. Spray the bleach mixture over the hose, the fittings, and everything else that came into touch with it. Remove the hose and any things from the area
  4. Take off your gloves

How to keep your black tank from smelling?

Using deodorizer tablets after every time you empty your black tank will help to keep it smelling fresh. These pills are quite affordable, and they give the necessary enzymes to aid in the breakdown of stuff in your black tank, making it simpler to flush and reducing odor. Find out how long a fresh water tank will last in this article. Find out how long a grey water tank will last by reading this article.

Related Questions

How can I clean the sensors in my black water tank? Filling up your tank 12 with water is the most effective method to cleaning your black water tank sensors. In order to assist in agitating solids that may have been attached to the sensors or walls, some ice should be added. Drive your RV throughout the area, making turns, stopping, and accelerating as you go. Your tank should be emptied, and your sensors should be cleaned. Is it legal for me to dump my black water tank on the ground? No, you are not permitted to empty your black water tank on the floor.

When working with your black tank, always use gloves and goggles to protect your eyes.

No, you should never leave your black tank open since water will flush through it each time and will not carry any particles with it.

Additionally, this can cause poisonous sewage gas to flow into your RV, which is hazardous.

Helpful Items Mentioned in this Article:

The use of RV-friendly toilet paper will make your black tank very happy. It will be easier to clean, and it will be less odoriferous. This material is still quite soft! A high-quality sewage hose, such as the one we recommend here, will prevent you from making a mess at the dump station. This is not something to scrimp on, nor do you require a pricey $150 hose. A tote tank, such as this15 gallonor this42 gallon, will allow you to leave your trailer at the campsite rather of making several dump out excursions, saving you time and making living at camp more convenient.

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How Often Should You Dump and Empty Your Black Water Tank?

A vacation in your personal recreational vehicle provides a level of independence that can’t be matched by any other mode of transportation. Having all of the luxuries of home at your disposal while traveling across the world is something that must be experienced firsthand. Of course, when you travel in an RV and make use of the amenities, you’ll ultimately have to deal with the garbage that comes along with it. Grey water and black water tanks are used to store waste water, which is pumped into two separate sections each.

The black water tank is the container in which your toilet effluent and everything else associated with it is collected.

Emptying your gray water tank is a rather straightforward procedure, as you might expect. On the other hand, when it comes to your black water tank, RV septic pumping in El Centro, CA, might prove to be a little more difficult to manage.

Find a Sensor

Because you don’t want to get into the habit of checking your RV’s black water tank on a frequent basis, many new RVs are equipped with sensors that monitor how full the tank is. They’ll notify you when the time has arrived to empty the tank. However, smaller recreational vehicles and trailers may not be equipped with a sensor for your grey and black water tanks. Depending on your situation, you may need to keep an eye on your black water tank or get into the habit of emptying it whenever you’re in close proximity to proper disposal facilities.

How Often Should I Empty My Tank?

Identifying the precise frequency with which you must empty your RV septic tank is not a simple issue of black and white math. It will depend on how much water you are consuming and how many others are accompanying you on your journey. To give you an example, if you’re a solitary traveler who uses your restroom only sometimes, you can definitely get away with emptying it once a week. If you have a large number of people using the restrooms in your motor home, you might consider having your RV septic tank pumped every other day in El Centro, California.

Trust in a Pro

As you might imagine, emptying and pumping an RV septic system can be a time-consuming and dirty process if you don’t have the proper tools or knowledge. The importance of having a professional pump and dump your tanks cannot be overstated. They’ll see to it that everything is removed as smoothly as possible, so that your black water tank is ready for its next task.

Your Septic Expert

Sharps Sanitation is the place to go if you need RV septic pumping in El Centro, California. Over the course of our more than 50 years in business, we’ve served a diverse range of clientele throughout California. In addition to providing septic pumping services for recreational RVs, we can also provide septic pumping services for both residential and commercial clients. Not only that, but we also provide a variety of other services. Our porta potty rentals are of the highest quality, and include handicap-accessible portable toilets and sanitary handwashing stations, among other amenities.

It just takes one phone call, so pick up the phone and call now!

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. Despite the fact that both grey and black water drain via the same outlets, the valves that regulate their flow into their respective tanks are normally distinct.

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 utilized 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.

  1. As a result, you may expect an average of 26 gallons of greywater every day.
  2. If you are staying at a campsite, on the other hand, you will very certainly be linked to the campground’s septic system.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. The use of a water meter is safer, however, because these sensors can become defective over time due to wear and tear, resulting in incorrect readings of the amount of water consumed.

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.

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