How Often To Empty The Septic Tank Of My Camper? (Solution)

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 should I empty my septic tank?

  • As a general rule, you should ideally empty out your septic tank once every three to five years. There are some key factors which influence this though. 1. Size of your tank – They can only hold a finite amount of waste.

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 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 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 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.

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.

What happens when RV black tank full?

The Holding Tank for Your RV May Physically Burst. If your tank has filled beyond capacity then the materials may give out due to weight and pressure. This will cause the waste to pour into the area that the tank occupies. The waste will also spread anywhere that a liquid can go.

How long can I leave waste in my black tank?

You should not leave matter in your black water tank for more than a week. Your black water tank should be emptied once it’s ⅔ full and/or at the end of every trip. If that isn’t possible, make sure to add water to the tank and add a holding tank cleaning chemical to avoid odor and backup.

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.

What is gray and black water in RV?

A gray water tank collects water that goes down the drain of your shower and sinks. The black water tank holds the wastewater from your toilet. Though it may seem easy to do, you can’t just empty your tanks and be on your merry way.

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

You’re looking at $20 to $25 with some campgrounds. Members at Flying J or Love’s will usually only pay about $5. However, public RV dump stations near you often charge higher prices. Read Also: Regular Toilet in RV?

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.

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.

A Beginner’s Guide To RV Holding Tanks

Liz Wilcox contributed to this article. RVing may take you to some breathtaking destinations and provide you with the opportunity to make lifelong memories. However, not every aspect of RVing is visually appealing. It’s an unglamorous — but vital — aspect of any RV excursion to keep up with and empty your septic system on a regular basis. And if this system is not properly maintained and cared for, things may get rather unpleasant. Whether you’re a first-time RV owner or you’re planning to rent an RV via Campanda, it’s crucial to understand how to properly maintain your RV tanks.

What does an RV septic system look like?

Recreational vehicles are often equipped with three tanks, which are positioned on the underneath of the vehicle to ensure that everything runs properly.

1. Fresh Water Tank

An RV typically has three tanks: one for fresh water, one for gray water, and one for black water. This tank is used to store fresh water, as the name implies. This is the water that comes out of your faucets and showers.

2. Grey Water Tank

The grey tank is responsible for storing the waste water from your RV shower and kitchen sink. It is possible that some secondhand campers and older RVs may not have this tank.

3. Black Water Tank

For novice RVers, this is the one that gives them the creeps. The black tank is responsible for storing waste water from the toilet. This tank is used to collect all filthy water if your RV does not have its own separate gray tank. Any one of these tanks, if not properly maintained, might pose difficulties for the owner.

How often should I empty my RV tanks?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often you should empty your tanks; it all depends on how frequently you use them. The frequency with which you should empty your tanks is a matter of personal preference. If you are traveling with a large group of people, it is possible that you may need to empty your tanks every two days. If you and your spouse are the only ones in the house, once a week may be plenty. As a general rule of thumb, you should wait until your tanks are approximately two-thirds full before empties them.

Some recreational vehicles are equipped with devices that allow you to see exactly how much fuel is left in your tanks.

This type of sensor begins to malfunction after a few years of use.

Keeping track of how much water waste you generate is critical to staying on top of the situation.

How do I empty my RV tanks?

Your recreational vehicle’s holding tanks should be prominently labeled. If you’re renting an RV, make sure you obtain a tour from the RV owner before leaving. Before you start your first waste water dump, make sure you have a sewage hose and some gloves to keep your hands safe from the chemicals. Next, make a note of the valves that are located on the outside of your RV. These will be prominently labeled with the words “grey” and “black.” Connect your sewage hose to the RV’s waste water shutoff valve.

  1. Before pulling the valves, double-check that it is securely attached on both ends.
  2. It’s important to remember that the toilet waste water empties straight into this tank.
  3. Dump stations are always prominently labeled and easily identifiable.
  4. When you can no longer hear any liquid coming through the line, turn off the valve and remove the hose.
  5. This is critically crucial.
  6. It will force all of the liquid to drain out, leaving no route for the particles to drain out as a result.
  7. Pull the grey tank valve once you’ve made sure the valve is completely closed.
  8. Some RVers choose to keep the gray tank valve open outside the RV and allow it to drain continually to save time.
  9. Flushing the gray tank after flushing the black tank can assist in flushing any sediments that have been caught in your sewage pipe.

When removing the sewage pipe, go cautiously to avoid creating a mess. When the hose is not in use, many RVers store it in a bucket or tub to keep it contained.

How do I maintain my RV septic system?

Starter kits like this one are available at places like Walmart and RV retailers. Once you’ve gotten the hang of emptying the tanks in your recreational vehicle, the task can be completed fast and efficiently. However, there is more to properly operating your tanks than simply emptying them – upkeep is just as vital and will help you avoid problems down the road if done correctly. In general, flushing your system on a regular basis, as well as cleaning and sanitizing your tanks, will keep your system up and running relatively trouble-free.

Other things to know about your RV holding tanks:

The fresh water tank, however it is the least frightening of the three tanks, nonetheless need care from time to time. When connected to water or filling the tank, only use a potable water hose to avoid contaminating the water. Because of their white tone, they are simple to distinguish. When using this tank, it is critical to pay close attention to the weather. Insulate your hose during freezing weather and drain your fresh water during periods of excessive heat to avoid water stagnation and evaporation.

It’s the least frightening of all of the RV holding tanks.

To clean the tank, use regular household bleach.

  1. Pour 14 cup of bleach into your tank for every 15 gallons of water it holds. Continually run the water until you detect the fragrance of bleach Continue to run the machine until all of the bleached water has been removed. Allowing your tank to rest for 24 hours is recommended. Ensure that your tank is fully refilled and that the water is running until the bleach smell is gone. Use as you normally would

Gray Water Tank

Once again, here is the location where the water from your sink or RV shower is collected. Large travel trailers and fifth wheels may have two gray tanks to accommodate the additional space. It’s vital to notice that the drain into this tank is rather modest in diameter. Take all necessary precautions to guarantee that food particles do not end up in the sewer. Even something as little as a pea has the potential to block a drain.

Black Water Tank

You should only ever empty your tanks at a dumping site that has been authorized for that purpose. There are a few basic rules of thumb to follow in order to keep the dreaded black tank from causing problems:

  1. Emptying your tanks at a designated disposal site should be your sole option. In order to keep the dreaded black tank from causing too much difficulty, follow these simple guidelines:

Although draining sewage may not be a part of your RVing dreams, it is a very real and necessary element of the RVing experience. Ideally, it should be a short and painless process if everything is done correctly. Follow the instructions above, and after a few trips to the dump station, you’ll be an expert at dealing with your RV’s septic system! Even though emptying your RV’s tanks is not a pleasant task, it is an essential aspect of RV life. Are you apprehensive about the prospect of emptying your own recreational vehicle tanks?

By clicking on the following link, you may view Campanda’s variety of trailers, motorhomes, and campers: To Rent, Please Click Here.

An RVDo you want to experience the delights of RVing — black water tank and all — with other RV enthusiasts? Consider purchasing an RV. You may rent out your RV on Campanda and convert your investment into a second source of income! To List Your Recreational Vehicle, Please Click Here.

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.

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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.

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

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?

In this case, it goes without saying that you will not have access to a septic or sewer system. 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

If you’re traveling with a black water tank, most truck stops provide this service. In the event that your own becomes overburdened, consider using one of the nearby facilities. There will, of course, be a price, but it is preferable to having backflow.

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.

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 commercial cleaners and deodorizers on a regular basis, you will keep the air smelling fresh and the system free of clogs. However, how frequently should this be done? The black water tank in your camper should be cleaned at the end 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 cleaners aid in the breakdown of any toilet paper that may have accumulated on the sides of the tank during its use.

In Closing

Maintaining your self-contained system on a regular basis using professional cleansers and deodorizers can help to keep it smelling fresh and free of obstructions. When should this be done, though, and how frequently? The black water tank of 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 your tank.

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.


The sewage hose connection point should be higher than the position at which the sewer hose will discharge its contents due to the fact that liquid waste flows downward. 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 when the tank lid is removed. Using the hose’s other end, connect it to the dump station or septic tank at your campground.


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.


Depending on the type of setup you have, you’ll need to clean the tank at this stage. Cleaning the tank may be accomplished in a variety of ways. To avoid causing damage to your RV’s tank, you should always follow the directions in the owner’s handbook that came with it. Others recommend backwashing the tank with a high-pressure garden hose, which some people find to be effective. While this is quite effective, it may cause a black water tank that is too weak or too little to hold the water it needs to function properly.

Some RVs are also equipped with specialized tools of their own, and a few higher-end models come with a built-in rinser as standard equipment.

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.

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 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.
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Blackwater RV septic tanks

Wearing a pair of disposable gloves is strongly recommended. Using a sewage dump pipe, connect your trailer to the dump station. Activate the gray tank valve and let it to drain completely before closing it. Pump clean water into the sewer line using the sewer hose. Remove the sewer disposal hose from your possession; Take care with how you throw away your gloves.

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. 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.

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: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: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: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: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: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: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: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: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 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.

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?

Modern RVs are equipped with sensors that monitor how full the black water tank is, so you don’t have to make a practice of checking it every time you park your vehicle. The time will be communicated to you when it is necessary to empty the container. It should be noted that a sensor for your grey and black water tanks may not be included in smaller RVs or trailers.

In certain situations, 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 to avoid flooding.

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!

RV Black Water Tank: 6 Things You Need to Know

An very crucial piece of equipment in your RV is the black water tank, which can be found underneath the vehicle and contains the waste water from your toilet. However, while it’s not everyone’s favorite thing to think about when they “go,” it’s a big part of what makes RVing so much more easy and fun than traditional vehicle travel or tent camping – no more having to rely on stinky pit toilets at the campsite! If you want to ensure that your RV’s black water tank is always operating correctly and efficiently, there are a few things you should be aware of regarding how it is designed to function.

before you depart.

1. What is an RV Black Water Tank?

The majority of self-contained recreational vehicles are equipped with two types of waste tanks: a gray water tank and a black water tank. A gray water tank is a container that catches the water that drains from your RV’s shower and sink drains. It is the presence of soap residue and dirt in this wastewater that gives it its name and gray-ish appearance, respectively. Check out this page for additional information about grey water tanks. Rather than the gray water tank, we’re more interested with the black water tank, which collects the effluent from your RV toilet.

When you use your RV’s onboard facilities, you won’t have to worry about being continually connected to a sewage line since this tank will take care of that.

Because the black water tank gathers both liquids and solids, it requires a different level of maintenance than the gray water tank.

What you should use instead is RV-specific toilet paper, which is more easily degradable and less likely to clog your rig’s delicate plumbing system!

2. How do I Clean my RV Black Water Tank?

Knowing how much waste is contained within your black water tank, the next obvious thing to ask is: how in the world do you maintain it clean and free of odors? What are the finest chemicals for cleaning the black water tank in an RV or other recreational vehicle? Is it necessary to use bleach? Fortunately, the widespread availability of commercial chemicals and deodorizers makes it quite simple to keep your black tank in good working order on a regular basis. In order to properly prepare for your camping vacation, you need add a dosage of RV black water tank treatment, which may be in liquid form (such as Aqua-Kem) or in packets that look similar to Tide Pods (such asthese).

  • These chemicals not only have the potential to reduce tank smells, but they also have the power to break down solid waste and toilet paper.
  • Apart from keeping your black water tank in good condition using these cleaning methods, it’s also a good idea to deep clean your tanks on a regular basis, possibly between camping excursions or before putting your RV into storage.
  • The process is typically the same: drain your waste tank entirely before filling it three-quarters full with new water and a small bit of bleach, Pine-sol, or laundry soap.
  • This final step should be repeated until the water flows clean.
  • Consider using ice cubes or hot water, for example; go here for more information on how to unclog an RV potty completely.

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

When you have to go, you have to go – and the same may be true about your recreational vehicle! It goes without saying that the exact frequency with which you need to dump and empty your tanks will vary depending on your needs, just as the frequency with which you need to go will change. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to go up to a week or more without dumping the tanks if you’re traveling alone and regularly spending days outside the RV adventuring. You may find yourself emptying the tank every other day or so if you’re camping with a large group of people (or traveling in an RV with a tiny tank capacity).

This comprises the black water tank, as well as the gray water and potable water holding tanks, among other components.

Instead, when the water level rises, you simply sort of.figure out that it’s time to do something.

After all, you don’t want to park your RV with wastewater in the tanks!

To be more specific, you’ll want to fully cleanse your system, which we’ll cover in more detail in the next section. Let’s start with a step-by-step walkthrough of how to empty the black tank in your RV’s toilet. Are you looking for a disposal station in the area? Take a look at this page!

4. How do I Dump my Waste from my Black Water Tank?

To empty the black water holding tank in your RV, follow these steps:

  1. First, put on a pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Connect one end of your sewage drain line to the black tank valve on the back of your recreational vehicle. the hose’s other end is connected to the valve at the sewage line or disposal facility Pulling the valve to empty the black tank and letting it to drain entirely is recommended. To clean the black tank, fill it with water and flush it. According to your arrangement, you may be able to accomplish this with water from your gray water tank. Completely drain off the tank’s water supply
  2. Steps 2-4 should be repeated with the gray water tank. Close the valve on your RV’s water tank and remove the hose from the tank
  3. Before detaching the hose from the sewage connection or dumping station, thoroughly rinse the interior of the hose. Remove the sewage hose and put it in a safe place

5. What is RV Black Tank Flushing?

Some RVs are equipped with a built-in RV black tank flush system, which allows you to attach a hose directly to an intake valve and use it to effectively power wash the tank. This makes it extremely simple to keep your tanks clean and free of contaminants. The flush valve should only be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that it is used appropriately. Most guidelines advise leaving the black tank valve open in order to prevent water from backing up and flooding your RV through the toilet!

  1. After-market options for this sort of vehicle exist in a variety of forms and sizes.
  2. Finally, if you don’t have a manufacturer’s tank flush valve and don’t want to put one in your tank yourself, you’ll have to resort to a more manual approach of cleaning your RV’s blackwater tank.
  3. In order to clear dirt and tissue from the walls of your RV’s black water tank, this rinser is intended to spray water in different directions.
  4. Add a few drops of mild detergent, such as Dawn or Joy, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic DIY black water flushing method!

6. Portable RV Waste Tanks

If you plan to stay in the same location for an extended period of time without access to sewage services, you may find it necessary to use a portable RV waste tank. It is possible to transfer the contents of your black and grey water tanks into an external tank, which can then be transported to a dump station, using these waste tanks. RV portable waste tanks are often equipped with wheels and a handle, allowing them to be conveniently moved about the campsite for disposal. If you utilize a portable RV waste tank, it is vital to remember that cleaning and flushing the tank should be performed with the same care as cleaning and flushing the onboard RV black water tank.

Frequently Asked Questions about RV Black Water Tanks!

To bring this essay to a conclusion, here are a few often asked questions – along with their solutions!

What’s the difference between gray water and black water?

The wastewater that comes from your sink taps and shower — as previously discussed — is considered gray water, whereas black water is considered garbage that comes from your toilet. For further information, see our guides on RV water tanks and RV holding tanks.

How accurate are the black tank monitors?

The frequency with which you clean your tank monitors will determine how accurate they are!

Here’s how to clean the black water tank sensors in your recreational vehicle.

Best practices for black tank dumping?

As previously stated, always be certain that you are dumping your holding tanks into a public sewage connection that has been specially designed for that purpose – never out into the ground or into a street sewer, as was the case over Christmas Vacation! It’s also a good idea to keep your valves closed and wait until your tanks are completely filled, or almost full, before dumping, as this will allow you to use gravity and a large amount of water to flush the disgusting things down the toilet.

You see, if there isn’t enough water consistently resting at the bottom of the tank, the odor of your waste will get more severe.

What are some black tank maintenance tips?

Always use specifically designed RV holding tank chemicals to guarantee that your tanks remain odor-free and that waste is decomposed rapidly and efficiently in your RV holding tanks. While you may clean your tanks more thoroughly with mild dish detergent or ice, you should avoid using harsher things like as antifreeze, which might dry up the seals and cause your sewer system to fail completely.

Does my toilet use affect anything?

The toilet in your RV is not the same as the toilet in your house. Flushing garbage, feminine products, and regular toilet paper down the toilet will quickly block it, and cleaning it up will be a pain in the neck. Take good care of your toilet and only flush what is absolutely necessary. This manner, it will be there for you for many camping excursions to come in the future.

Do I have to dump my own black tank?

At comparison to a toilet in your house, an RV toilet is a little more sanitary. Trash, feminine products, and regular toilet paper flushed down the toilet may cause a blockage in no time, and cleaning it up will be a chore. Maintain a high level of hygiene in your toilet and only flush what is absolutely necessary. As a result, it will serve you well for many camping excursions to come.

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