LivingTravelHow to dump RV black water tanks

How to dump RV black water tanks

RVing is one of the only hobbies where you will find people talking about their bathroom business. That’s because waste is a big factor when it comes to RV. If it’s not connected to a sewer connection, then an RV could be considered a great potty on wheels. Dealing with debris, sewage tanks, and general roughness is something all RVers need to learn. Fortunately, most RV parks and campgrounds have dump stations that help RVs dump debris and get back on the road.

To guide newbies or RVers camping away from parks for the first time, here is our tutorial on how to unload RV sewage tanks.

What is a black water tank?

The RV’s black water tank is the tank that stores waste. It’s where your toilet water and waste go, and if you don’t have a gray water tank, it’s where all the drain goes. Black water tanks can also be known as sewage tanks or RV septic tanks, although the latter is a misnomer. Now that you know what’s going on with your black water tank, let’s throw it out.

Pro Tip: Trying to rinse your tanks before they are at least 2/3 full is inefficient. If you want to rinse your tanks but they are not 2/3 full, fill them with water until they get there to help make it easier.

Before you start flushing your RV’s black water tank, you will need the following items:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Sewage hose
  • Hose elbow or clamp
  • Sanitation items like bleach and hand sanitizer.
  • Garden hose for rinsing

Basic step to dump RV black water tanks

Have the above list ready to dump your RV black water tanks? Excellent! Let’s start getting rid of your RV waste:

  • Take your RV to a dump station, try to get your black water outlet as close to the dump station as possible.
  • Put on your disposable gloves.
  • Make sure the valve on your RV’s black water tank is tightly closed.
  • Connect your RV’s sewage hose or pipe to the proper outlet, in some RVs there may be separate outlets for your gray and black water tanks. Make sure to connect to the black water tank, there should be labels on the outlets such as ‘sewage’ or ‘black water’. Make sure your hose is tight with an extra ring clamp.
  • Take the other end and connect it to the discharge fitting with a 45 degree pipe elbow. This makes it easier to connect the pipes and helps reduce or prevent the possibility of spills. If you do not have an elbow, make sure the hose has a solid foot in the waste receptacle of the unload station.
  • Once you’re sure everything is closed, release the black water tank valve. You should listen to the waste flowing, let it do its job until you can no longer hear anything.
  • Flush your toilet several times to help ensure all waste is flushed out. Use your black tank cycler at this point if you have one.
  • If you have one, now is the time to unload your gray water tank. Always make your water black first followed by gray water. Gray water can help remove leftover sewage.
  • Refill your black and gray water tanks with water and rinse again if you need or want to make sure your tanks are completely rinsed. You can do it as many times as you want.
  • Close your black and gray water release valves.
  • Disconnect the hose from the RV and then the discharge receptacle.
  • Rinse the discharge hose and discharge area if there were spills, be careful of splashing!
  • Return your discharge hose to its proper storage area.
  • At this point, you will have to move your RV out of the way if there are others in line.
  • Treat your black water tank with whatever chemicals or enzymes you use.
  • You’re done

Once you’ve been in RV for a while, unloading your RV black water tanks won’t be a big deal. You will start helping others in the RV park to do the same. You will know when you can get away with the garbage and when you can’t. You’ll learn the ins and outs of your RV sewer system and get the most out of it the longer you’re on the road. Consider any tips or tricks to help you in the future, and you’ll be a VR download pro in no time.

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