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How to Safely Dump RV Waste at Home

How to Safely Dump RV Waste at Home

The one downside to traveling in your RV is the waste that gets left behind. It’s a natural part of life, but that doesn’t mean emptying it at the end of your journey is any less awful. The good news is that you can dump it at home; you just have to make sure you do it safely.

The bucket and macerating methods are the most popular ways to get rid of RV waste when you get home, and the important thing to remember is that you always empty the waste into your septic at home. This keeps you (and others) safe and prevents the spread of disease.

In this guide, we will take you through everything you need to know about safely dumping your RV waste at home – giving you the opportunity to do it yourself and save a little time.

How to Safely Get Rid of RV Waste at Home

How to Safely Get Rid of RV Waste at Home

There are THREE methods for getting rid of your RV waste at home in a safe manner. They are all simple to follow, and the one that you choose depends on your preferences and circumstances.

Once you’re ready, let’s get into the DETAILS and see how these dumping RV tanks at-home methods work for your black tank.

The Bucket Method

The most COMMON method for RV waste disposal at home is the bucket method. It’s also one of the simplest and most straightforward methods, which is why it’s so popular.

Pro Tip: Never use a garden hose; always make sure you have a sewer hose for your at-home dump stations. 

Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

1. Park your RV over the septic tank at home

2. Connect a hose from the RV’s waste outlet to the septic tank

3. Use a bucket to catch the RV waste as it drains into the septic tank

4. Once the RV is empty, disconnect the hose and flush the RV’s waste system with clean water

5. That’s it – you’re done.

The Macerating Method

The macerating method is a bit more INVOLVED than the bucket method, but it’s still relatively simple.

Pro Tip: This method is for when you need to dump RV tanks with solid waste into your septic system.

Here’s how it works:

1. Park your RV over the septic tank at home

2. Connect a hose from the RV’s waste outlet to the septic tank

3. Turn on the RV’s water pump and open the waste valves

4. The RV’s waste will be macerated (chopped up) as it empties into the septic tank

5. Once the RV is empty, disconnect the hose and flush the RV’s waste system with clean water

6. That’s it.

Dumping Without Macerating

If you don’t want to macerate your RV’s waste, you can still dump it into your septic tank at home. It’s a bit MESSIER, but it’s still a perfectly safe septic tank method.

Here’s how it works:

1. Park your RV over the septic tank at home

2. Connect a hose from the RV’s waste outlet to the septic tank

3. Use a bucket to catch the RV waste as it drains into the septic tank

4. Once the RV is empty, disconnect the hose and flush the RV’s waste system with clean water

5. Done.

Why Dump Your Holding Tanks at Home?

Why Dump Your Holding Tanks at Home

It’s a good question – WHY wait until you get home when there are other places where you can dump your holding tank? Well, there are a few EXCELLENT reasons for saving the load for your own septic tank instead of going about it the traditional way.

Avoid Dumping Fees

The most obvious reason for RVers to dump their tanks at home is to AVOID paying dumping fees. Dumping fees can range from $5 to $50, and every penny counts if you’re RVing on a budget.[1]

Pro Tip: By dumping at home, you can avoid those fees and save yourself some money while also ensuring your waste is disposed of in a SAFE manner.

Jump the Queues

If you’ve ever been RVing, you know that the lineups to dump your tanks can be RIDICULOUS. Especially on busy weekends, you can find yourself waiting in line for an hour or more just to get rid of your waste.

Why put yourself through that when you can easily dump at home and avoid the lineups altogether?

No Extra Stops While Driving

Making extra stops while RVing can be a pain, especially if you’re on a LONG road trip. By dumping at home, you can avoid having to make an extra stop just to get rid of your RV waste.

Not only is it MORE convenient, but it’s also safer, as you won’t be tempted to take your eyes off the road while driving.

Conserve Water

Dumping your RV tanks at home can also help you CONSERVE water. When you’re RVing, every drop of water counts as you’re often limited in how much you can carry.

Pro Tip: Dumping your tanks at home allows you to AVOID flushing your RV’s waste system with clean water and conserve your precious water supply.

Which Products Should You use Before Dumping?

Which Products Should You use Before Dumping

Now that you know all about RV waste disposal at home, you might be wondering what PRODUCTS you should use before dumping your tanks.

Here are a few RV holding tank products that we recommend:

  • RV Antifreeze: This is a great product to use if you’re RVing in COLD weather. RV antifreeze will help to prevent your holding tanks from freezing, which can cause all sorts of problems.
  • RV Cleaner: RV cleaner is a great way to keep your holding tanks clean and odor-free. Simply add a bit of RV cleaner to your tanks BEFORE you start using them, and then flush it out after each use.
  • RV Deodorizer: RV deodorizer is another great way to keep your RV smelling fresh and clean. Simply add a bit of RV deodorizer to your tanks before you USE them, and flush it after each use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Dump an RV?

This is a great question; the answer will vary depending on how often you use your RV. If you RV full-time, you’ll need to dump your tanks more often than if you RV part-time.

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend dumping your RV tanks every 3-5 days. This will help prevent your RV from becoming overloaded with waste and keep your RV smelling fresh and clean.

Can You Drain Gray Water on the Ground?

No, you should NOT drain gray water on the ground. Gray water is the wastewater from your RV sinks and showers and can contain harmful bacteria.

If you must drain gray water, be sure to do so in an RV dump station or a campground with designated gray water drainage areas.

Can You Pour Bleach into the Gray Tank?

No, you should NOT pour bleach into the grey water tank. Bleach can damage the rubber seals in your RV’s plumbing and cause all sorts of problems.

If you must use bleach, be sure to do so in an RV dump station or a campground with designated gray water drainage areas.

What Happens if You Overflow Your RV Holding Tanks?

Overflowing your RV holding tanks can cause a MESS and damage to your RV. If you think your RV’s holding tanks are getting full, be sure to stop using them and find an RV dump station as soon as possible.

To Conclude

To Conclude

Dumping your RV waste tanks is easy to do and can be done at home with a little bit of knowledge. It’s also EASY to stay safe and ensure that there is no risk of anyone becoming sick so long as you use your septic tank for disposal.

You can avoid the lineups and conserve your precious water supply by dumping at home. Simply add RV cleaner to your tanks BEFORE use, and be sure to flush them out after each use.

We hope this guide has been able to help you maintain your RV a little better and also give you a good idea of why so many people choose to dump at home.

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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