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How To Dump Your Black and Gray Tanks

March 03, 2020

Learn how to dump your gray and black tanks - proper safety tips and best practices.

Key Points:

  1. There are many designated locations across the U.S. to dump your black and gray water tanks. These locations can often be found at truck stops or travel centers, RV parks or campgrounds, and/or National Parks. 
  2. Dumping your black water tank is easy and simple if you follow the right steps. Please see the instructions below.
  3. Similarly, dumping your gray water tank is very easy. Please follow the steps below. 

Even if you're new to RVing, you've probably heard about the need to dump your tanks. It’s the job no one wants to do, but unfortunately needs to get done. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a dirty or gross job. In this guide we’ll explore how to dump both your black and gray water tanks. 


Where To Dump Your Holding Tanks

First things first, it is very important that you not dump your tanks on National Park or National Forest land! All open dumping on National Park and National Forest land is prohibited by law. Open dumping means that you allow the waste in your tanks to be released from your RV without having it connected to a proper waste disposal location (i.e., you just let waste flow out onto the ground or in the forest!). Just by using common sense, it’s easy to see that it’s rarely ever okay to open dump. For more information on safe dumping, click here

Thankfully, there are a ton of legal locations to dump your tank! Truck stops and travel centers often have dump stations, as well as RV parks/campgrounds and designated National Park dump stations. Most locations will require a small fee, but it is often included in the cost of staying at the park. Other locations may be free.

If you have a home septic system, you can actually dump your black water tank into the septic tank itself. Please see this article on dumping at home for more information about doing this the right way.


Guide Continued Below



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How to Dump Your RV Black Water Tank

Now that we’ve gotten the “where” to dump your tank out of the way, let’s discuss the “how” of dumping your black water tank. Your black water tank is the “gross” one—the tank everyone avoids dumping (this is the tank that is connected to your toilet and sewage system.) But by following the right steps, and with a little practice, it’s not actually that difficult to dump your black tank. In fact, the entire process can take less than 15 minutes!

After you’ve found a place to dump your tank, follow these easy steps to safely and effectively dump your black tank:

  1. Put on a pair of rubber gloves (for safety and cleanliness reasons)
  2. After you’ve hooked up one end of your sewage drain hose to the black tank valve on your RV, securely connect the other end to the valve at the dumping station. 
  3. Open the valve on your RV and allow the tank to empty completely
  4. Use clean water to flush out the black tank. Make sure all the water has drained out before you move on to the next step. 
  5. Close the valve on your RV and remove the hose. 
  6. Before you disconnect the hose from the dumping station’s valve, rinse out the hose with more water. 
  7. Disconnect the hose completely, allow it to dry out, and properly store it.

Congratulations; you’ve successfully dumped your black tank!


How to Dump Your Gray Water Tank

Unlike the black tank, the gray tank (the tank that collects sink and shower water) is a lot less gross to dump, and the steps are even easier. In fact, the steps for dumping your gray water tank are pretty much the same as those you used when dumping your black tank:

  1. Put on a pair of rubber gloves. (It is not as important for you to wear gloves when dumping your gray tank, but we still advise it—just to be safe!)
  2. After you’ve hooked up one end of your sewage drain hose to the gray tank valve on your RV, securely connect the other end to the valve at the dumping station. 
  3. Open the valve on your RV and allow the tank to completely
  4. Use clean water to flush out the gray tank. Make sure all the water has drained out before you move on to the next step. 
  5. Close the valve on your RV and remove the hose. 
  6. Before you disconnect the hose from the dumping station’s valve, rinse out the hose with more water. 
  7. Disconnect the hose completely, allow it to dry out, and properly store it.

It’s that simple!


Conclusion

While the process of dumping your black and gray water tanks may seem daunting—especially if you’re a new RVer—it is really very easy if you follow the right steps. If you have any questions or concerns about dumping your tanks or tank maintenance in general, please feel free to reach out to us. We would love to help you! Happy Camping!



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