February 19, 2019
It may come as a bit of a shock, but believe it or not, you can’t just dump your RV holding tanks just anywhere. Open dumping (when you let your black or gray tank empty onto the ground) is actually illegal. Many travelers don’t know this, and if caught, the fines can be pretty hefty. But no need to worry. We’re here to help you find a legal dump station nearest to you! Dump stations are available in many locations, and we will cover them in this article.
Disclaimer: We will use the term “dumping” to mean both gray and black holding tanks. We include this disclaimer because there are strict rules in outdoor areas (National Parks and National Forests) about “dumping” your RV holding tanks in any way.
It is important to remember that all open dumping of either your black or gray tank is prohibited on national park land and national forest property. This is because if waste from your black or gray tank isn’t disposed of properly, it can damage the environment and cause huge issues for the park. Check out this article as a reference.
Key Takeaway: Don’t dump your tanks unless you’re hooked up at a proper waste disposal location. There are very few exceptions to this rule, so always be safe and check with a local park station or visitor center to find local laws and regulations.
Guide Continued Below
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Now that you know that open dumping is illegal, we can explore the legal dump stations available to you. There are many reliable dump locations nation-wide!
Most travel centers and truck stops will have a station that will allow RVers to dump their tanks. For example, most Pilot/Flying J locations will have an option to dump. If you are unsure, just call ahead or research online. There is usually a slight cost to dump your tanks at a truck stop or travel center, but it’s much, MUCH lower than the fines that come with open dumping.
If you're staying at an RV park or campground, there will almost always be a place for you to dump your black and gray tanks. Many campgrounds and RV parks will even let you “drop in” and dump your tanks without staying at the campground. Again, they usually charge a fee, but sometimes (if you’re lucky) they will let you dump free of charge. As always, be sure to call ahead before you arrive as sometimes dumping is reserved only for visitors of the campground or the dumping location can only be accessed from a campsite.
Campgrounds inside National Parks usually don’t have RV hookups, which can also make it hard to find a dump station. If you run into this issue, call the local National Park Visitor Center or Ranger Station for help. They will have a full list of dumping locations inside and/or outside of the National Park for RVers to use.
Finding local dump stations is even easier with online resources.
Here are a couple of the resources available:
These websites are also helpful in finding dump locations near you. You could also run a Google search for “RV dump stations near me” and call the possible options closest to you.
Note: We are not getting paid to promote these resources. They are simply a few of the best online resources available that will help you find where to dump your tanks.
Even though you aren’t able to empty your tanks wherever you please there really are a ton of options for you when it comes to dumping. We hope this article has helped to provide useful solutions to finding dump stations! If you have any questions about finding dump stations or dumping your tanks, please reach out to our customer support team.
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