All about RV dump stations
Unsavory but Necessary
Dump stations are one of those aspects of RV life that are not entirely pleasant, but are entirely necessary. If you’re using your RV, you’re likely using your RV bathroom. If you’re using your RV bathroom, you’re going to need a dump station. A dump station is a place where raw, untreated sewage can be sent into the sanitary sewer system. Using a dump station to dump raw waste is not only the safest, but also most responsible way to dispose of raw human waste. It is illegal to dump raw waste in the wild, and you can get a ticket if you choose to do so.
How do I find a dump station?
There are some typical locations that often have dump stations. These include:
- State Parks
- National Parks
- RV Parks
- Rest Stops
- Travel centers
- Gas stations
- Truck Stops
While it’s often easy to find a dump station when parked at a campground, it can become more challenging when out on the road. How do you know which of these places actually have a dump station you can use? Fortunately, in our day and age there are many apps and websites that can help you locate dump stations. Here are a few:
- RVDUMPSITES.NET: You can search by state, city or map on this website.
- SANIDUMPS.COM: The most comprehensive website, featuring dumpsites across the world not just the US.
- RVDumps.com: This website allows you to filter for just dumpsites on the interstate – a very handy tool when traveling.
- RVSHARE.COM: Search for dump stations by state.
How do I dump my RV waste?
For cleaning out your RV septic system you will want gloves, wipes, a tank flush hose, a sewage hose and tank treatment. First empty your black tank (solid waste), then your gray tank. Attach the sewer hose to to the RV hose outlet and open the slide valve to drain the black tank completely. Then close the valve and open the gray tank.
While your black water and gray water tanks are being emptied (you will want to stabilize the hose with a brick or paver), you can set up your flush hose by attaching it to the dump station’s fresh water spigot. Once you have dumped both tanks, make sure the valve is fully closed. Disconnect the hose, and immediately raise it up so that any contents left inside the hose run down into the clean out. Keep the sewer hose raised above the draining end of the hose and then use a flush hose to run rinse water through the sewer hose.
Following a clean out it’s smart to drop a tank deodorizer in the toilet to keep your tank odor free.