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How Often Should You Dump Your RV Holding Tanks?

October 05, 2020

How Often Should You Dump Your RV Holding Tanks? Unique Camping + Marine

Dumping your RV black water holding tank is an essential part of RV camping. Unlike home septic systems, which only need to be emptied (or “pumped”) every few years, RV black tanks need to be emptied every 3-5 days!

Today we’ll discuss why regular dumping is a crucial component of RV camping!

Dumping your black water holding tank every 3-5 days prevents the buildup of waste residue.

No matter how well your high-quality RV holding tank treatment works, waste residue will always build up over time, especially if the waste is left to stagnate in your holding tank for extended periods. The solution to this problem is to dump your tank regularly before waste residue has a chance to excessively collect on the sidewalls and floor of your tank.   

Sensor issues can easily result when waste stagnates in your tank. If your tank isn’t dumped regularly, waste and/or toilet paper will start to stick to your sensor probes, causing them to read “full” all the time. Dumping your tank every 3-5 days can help to reduce the chances of misreading sensors. 

Dumping your black water holding tank every 3-5 days will help control odors.

Having enough water in your holding tank is absolutely critical to suppressing odors! Without enough water, the aerobic bacteria in your tank won’t be properly hydrated, resulting in less-effective waste breakdown and odor elimination. If you’re using enough water in your tank, you will probably be full in about 3-5 days. On the other hand, if it takes you longer than 3-5 days to fill up your tank, you likely need to use more water!

Odors can become a particularly overpowering problem when you don’t use enough water, because not only does water help the aerobic bacteria in your high-quality holding tank treatment to eliminate odors as they digest waste, but it also forms a barrier to prevent odors from entering your RV. This water barrier functions in much the same way as your home toilet. Your toilet’s pipe contains a p-trap that holds water at a low point in the pipe and blocks sewer odors from seeping up into your home. 

By dumping your tank every 3-5 days, you can ensure that you’re using enough water to both hydrate the bacteria and form a water barrier, which will help keep odors in check!

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The Unique Method

Regularly dumping your RV black tank is absolutely critical to RV maintenance, but did you know that there’s much more that goes into properly caring for your RV? It’s true! But the fact is that most people never implement an all-inclusive process that addresses all the issues that can come with RVing. 

That’s exactly why we created The Unique Method as a comprehensive process for RV holding tank care, and it has helped thousands of RVers prevent clogs, eliminate odors, and restore misreading sensors. The topic of regularly dumping your holding tank, which we’ve covered today, is represented by rule #7 of The Unique Method: dump your tanks every 3-5 days for optimum odor control. There are many additional rules, tips, and tricks contained in The Unique Method that have saved RVers the hassle and expense that can come from persistent holding tank problems. We encourage you to check out The Unique Method if you’re looking for an easy-to-follow way to put clogs, odors, and misreading sensors behind you forever!

As always, if you have any questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to let us know! You can reach us at

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