How to Easily Dump RV Holding Tanks

RV Waste Water Tanks

If you’re like most of us, the most dreaded part of any RV trip is the infamous dumping station. If you are looking for a way to easily dump RV holding tanks, you’re in the right place. Dumping your RV’s black and gray wastewater tanks has got to be the worst part of every trip. You get the know the folks in your camp squad pretty well when you get back in the truck and ask, “What did you eat?”. That was a joke. Nobody asks that.

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Below are a few tips to easily dump RV holding tanks.

First of all, if there is a line at the dump station, be patient. It takes a few minutes to dump and clean your tanks the right way. Your turn will come soon enough.

Let’s discuss the difference between the two tanks. Your rig will have at two holding tanks, gray and black. What do the different names mean? I thought you’d never ask. You can learn more about RV lingo here.

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RV Holding Tanks

The gray tank is where your sinks and shower water are stored. This is made up of mostly dish water, toothpaste, and soapy shower water.

The black tank is where your toilet waste is stored. There is no explanation needed.

Black and gray waste water dump valves

So, after waiting patiently in line, it’s your turn at the dump station. The VERY FIRST thing you will want to do is put on your gloves. Disposable latex gloves work the best. Keep in mind that the people before you in line may have stuffed the water hose inside their sewer hose, so you don’t want to touch it without gloves.

Black tank flush port

Hook one end of your sewer hose to your rig and secure the other end into the dump. Always empty your black tank first. I will tell you why when we get to the gray tank. If you’re not sure which valve is for the black tank, it is the larger of the two (in most cases). Our rig has two different colored handles, gray and black. After you dump the black tank, rinse your tank. There are several different way to accomplish this.

Black Tank Rinse

Our rig is equipped with a black tank rinse that I can just hook up the hose and let her rip, however there are fittings available with the hose connection built in. I have also seen folks drag the hose inside and shove in into the toilet. Now do you see why gloves are the first step?

Once you see the water turn clear, if you have a clear or opaque fitting, close the black tank valve and open the gray tank valve. Dumping the gray tank last helps to rinse out your sewer hose with all of the soapy sink and shower water. After that’s done, close the gray tank valve, unhook your sewer hose from your rig, and rinse it out with the hose.

TIP: NEVER use your fresh water hose for rinsing sewer hose.

Opaque 90 degree fitting for dumping RV holding tanks
Opaque waste tank 90 degree fitting

Whatever you do, DO NOT stick the water hose inside your sewer hose to rinse it. Keep in mind that there are other folks coming behind you and the first thing they are going to grab is the water hose.

Stow your sewer hose and dispose of your gloves when you are finished. And be sure to wash your hands afterwards.

Another great thing to keep in your rig, next to your sewer gear, is a spray bottle of diluted bleach water to spray on the hose spigot and hose end.

Conclusion On How to Easily Dump RV Holding Tanks

By following these useful tips will make your dump station visit a little less painful. I still haven’t come up with anything to mitigate the smell, sorry. If you have additional tips or if I have missed something, please let us know in the comments below.

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