I hope you agree with me when I say,
When you’re living in an RV, emptying the RV septic tank system becomes the least favorite yet the most important part of your life.
If you are traveling or living in an RV, you have to deal with your RV waste tanks yourself. With the right procedures to handle your RV septic systems not only you can empty your tanks easily but you can avoid a disgusting disaster in your RV and ride peacefully.
Here we have a Beginner guide to the RV septic system and all the instructions to avoid mistakes while dealing with your septic tanks.
RV Septic System
Typically septic system for RV comes in three different tanks for Fresh, gray, and Blackwater. But in old or in a small septic system for a travel trailer, two tanks, one for the freshwater and the other for the Gray and Blackwater combine.
Fresh Water Tank
The freshwater tank contains clean water that you use in your sink, shower, and other places in your RV. A water filter can also be fitted on the supply from this tank to get drinkable water.
Gray Water Tank
The gray water tank contains dirty used water from the kitchen sink and bathroom shower of your RV. It has a separate outdoor valve to empty this tank. Some fifth wheels and big RVs have two Grey water tanks.
Black Water Tank
This is the worst part of RV camping for beginners that scares them. The black water tank holds the toilet water from in the RV. It also has a separate outdoor exit point. Dealing with this water tank carefully is the most important part to maintain the hygiene of your RV septic systems and indoor area.
How an RV Septic System Works?
In our RVs, we all love to have a clean and working washroom, but that means we eventually got to do something with all that waste. You must know how many underground septic tank systems are available in an RV park.
When you find an underground septic tank then the process of dumping your Rv waste begins.
To avoid any unnecessary disgusting disaster, follow these steps and dump your RV waste carefully.
1. Connect Rv to Septic Tank
Getting as close as possible to the dump station is always a good idea. In this way, you minimize the risks of leaking your hose pipe.
At first put on your gloves. An RV sewer hose comes in two sides, one is the “Connection in” and the other is the “dump in”.Connect the “Connection in” side of the sewer hose to the dumping assembly of your RV and put the “dump in” down the hole in the underground RV septic tank.
Sewer support is recommended as it helps the water flow smoothly. Make sure to fix tightly both sides to avoid any leakage. Try to keep the hose straight and avoid the highs and lows in it.
2. Emptying the RV Tanks
Though it is the worst yet most important part of the process, you can do it easily and quickly with the proper care. Here is the step-by-step process for emptying your RV waste.
a). Emptying the Black Water Tank: After connecting your sewer hose tightly then always remember, empty the Black water tank first. You just open the valve and start draining the Black water tank.
While draining your Black water tank, try flushing your toilet 2 to 3 times to rinse out any solid particles from the tank and the sewer hose pipe.
Once you see that the Blackwater tank stops draining then close its valve.
b). Emptying the Gray Water Tank: Usually, your RV has a separate Grey water tank but in old RVs or some small campers there is only one tank that contains all the kitchen dirty water and toilet waste in it.
After the Blackwater tank is fully drained, open the valve of the Greywater tank and let it roll from there. In this way, the Greywater will rinse out any residues left from Blackwater in the sewer hose.
It is recommended by many users that you should pick every particle and split materials from your dishes in the kitchen sink. They can clog in the pipes or the tanks and damage your RV septic system.
Want to get rid of your old RV? Check out our related guide on How to get rid of your old motorhome.
3. Disconnect the Sewer Hose
After emptying both tanks, disconnect the sewer hose from the RV dumping assembly but leave the other side down in the hole of the underground tank.
Don’t forget to fix tightly the drain outlet caps on your RV.
Rinse out the sewer hose with water spray that is often available near the dumping unit in the park.
4. Put some Water in Black Water Tank
In the end, don’t forget to add some gallons of water back into the black water tank and camp powder treatment into it. Extra water prevents coagulation in the tank and powder treatment reduce the smell
5. Discard the Trash
Remove your gloves along with all other trash of the process. Sometimes you may use some wipes or tissue papers in the process, remove it all.
Sanitize your hands just after the process because the thing you are dealing with can make you sick.
Best RV Black Water Treatment
The Blackwater tank holds toilet water that means it stinks very badly. If you don’t take care of it properly then its smell can spread in your RV and that is what scares the beginners most.
Some of the best Blackwater treatments are mentioned below
1.Camco TST Ultra-Concentrated RV Toilet Treatment Drop-Ins
WHY WE LOVE IT:
- Quick effects
- Eliminates stinky odor
- Smells good
Camco TST Ultra-Concentrated RV Toilet Treatment helps to eliminate smell and dilute the solid waste in the black water tank.
2. Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer Drop-Ins
WHY WE LOVE IT:
- Breaks down waste
- Eliminates toilet smell
Walex Drop-Ins are biodegradable and powerful deodorizers. It is non-staining and helps to eliminate smell quickly.
3. Camco TST Lavender Citrus Scent RV Toilet MAX Treatment Drop-Ins
WHY WE LOVE IT:
- Smells like lavender
It is formaldehyde-free with Lavender citrus scent water treatment. Its effect can last up to seven days. It is a must-have water treatment for your RV.
Where to Dump RV Septic Tanks?
When you are living in an RV park, many underground septic tanks are available there. You always keep in mind to know how many septic systems for an RV park are available and park somewhere near an underground RV septic tank system. However, in most RV park septic system designs, you can find easily campground septic tanks to dump your RV waste. Rv park septic system cost is including in the amount that they charge you to live in their parks. Normally it ranges from 500$ to 900$.
Residential sewer systems
When you are traveling in your RV you may find it hard to find a place to dump your waste. However, RV dump into a residential sewer system will be a nice thing to do but it is illegal in some states you have to take permission to dump your motorhome holding tanks in a local sewer system.
Or if you are living in your home a homemade septic tank for RV will be good for you. You must learn how to build an RV septic system at home and run it. Connecting RV to home sewer is always a good idea but you may need to take permission from authorities as well.
Portable Septic Tank
On your longer journeys keep a portable RV septic tank with you and add an RV dump to the septic tank when no other option is available. You can dump this extra travel trailer septic tank when you find a dumping unit on your traveling.
Almost all the Gas stations have underground septic tank facilities. Whenever you go to a gas station in traveling, empty your RV septic tank systems there.
Hey! I’m Mark Polk, an author, camper & public speaker on anything & everything RV related. I have educated millions of RV consumers on safely and properly usage through my movies (i.e. TRV Education 101: RV Care and Maintenance 2009) Writing about this industry is a huge passion of mine, so here’s a little piece of my mind.