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How to Dump RV Tanks

If you’re an avid RVer, you know how important it is to handle waste disposal correctly.

Learning how to dump RV tanks is a crucial skill for any camper, ensuring a clean and hygienic experience while on the road.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through every step of the process, from preparation to execution, and answer common questions to make your RV waste disposal journey smooth and efficient.

How to Dump RV Tanks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin the dumping process, ensure you have all the necessary supplies.

Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need:

  • Protective gloves
  • RV sewer hose with appropriate length
  • RV sewer hose support
  • A sewer hose connector
  • Wastewater hose
  • Non-toxic RV tank cleaner
  • Water hose with a sprayer attachment
  • Plastic bucket

Find the Dumping Station

When it’s time to empty your RV tanks, you’ll need to locate a dumping station.

Most campgrounds and RV parks provide designated dumping areas for their guests.

Position Your RV

Proper positioning of your RV is crucial for an effective dumping process.

Park your RV close to the dump station, ensuring that the sewer hose can reach the dump inlet without any kinks or tangles.

Empty the Black Tank

The black tank holds the waste from your RV’s toilet, so it’s essential to empty it first.

Follow these steps:

  • Open the Black Tank Valve: Using the handle provided, open the black tank valve slowly. Allow the waste to flow out completely.
  • Flush the Tank: After emptying the black tank, flush it with clean water using a built-in tank flushing system or a tank wand. Repeat until the water runs clear.
  • Use Tank Cleaner: To maintain a fresh and clean black tank, add a non-toxic RV tank cleaner as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Empty the Gray Tank

The gray tank holds the wastewater from your sinks and shower.

Follow these steps to empty it:

  • Open the Gray Tank Valve: Similar to the black tank, use the handle to open the gray tank valve and allow the wastewater to flow out.
  • Flush the Tank: To prevent build-up and unpleasant odors, flush the gray tank with clean water.

Rinse and Clean

After emptying both the black and gray tanks, it’s essential to clean and sanitize your equipment:

  • Rinse the Sewer Hose: Use the water hose with a sprayer attachment to thoroughly rinse the sewer hose.
  • Clean the Dumping Area: Clean the dump station area and ensure no spills or debris are left behind.

Store Your Equipment

Once everything is clean, dry, and disconnected, store your dumping supplies in a designated compartment or storage area in your RV.


How often should I dump my RV tanks?

The frequency of dumping your RV tanks depends on your usage and tank size. As a general rule, you should empty the tanks when they are at least two-thirds full to prevent odors and tank overflows.

Can I dump my RV tanks at home?

It’s not recommended to dump your RV tanks at home, as it may violate local regulations and create sanitation issues. Use designated dumping stations to ensure proper waste disposal.

How do I prevent odors in my RV?

To avoid unpleasant odors, use tank deodorizers and cleaners regularly, keep your tanks closed when not dumping, and maintain proper ventilation in your RV.

Can I use regular toilet paper in my RV?

While some regular toilet papers break down easily, it’s safer to use RV-specific or biodegradable toilet paper to prevent potential clogs in your RV’s plumbing system.

What should I do if the dump station is busy?

If the dump station is crowded, be patient and wait for your turn. Avoid long lines by planning your dumping schedule during off-peak hours.

Can I dump both tanks simultaneously?

No, it’s best to empty the black tank first and then the gray tank. This order prevents gray water from flushing away solid waste, making the process more effective.


Knowing how to dump RV tanks is an essential skill for any RVer.

By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can ensure a hygienic and hassle-free waste disposal process.

Remember to gather your supplies, find a suitable dumping station, and clean up properly after emptying your tanks.

With the right knowledge and preparation, you can enjoy your RV adventures without worrying about waste disposal.