If you are traveling full time or even just for a quick get away, it is always important to know where you can dump your tanks. Whether it is for the sake of convenience or you are in absolute need of a way to dump your tanks, having an available resource for locations close to you is crucial for you to be able to enjoy your trip.
Before we get started, it would be good to define what we will be talking about. When we mention "dumping" we am referring to both Gray and Black waste water holding tanks unless specified differently. This is mainly because there are strict rules in outdoor areas (national parks and national forests) about "dumping" your RV holding tanks in any capacity.
It is important to know that all open dumping of either your black or gray tank is prohibited on national park land and national forest property. Open dumping is when you release either the waste from your black tank or your gray tank without being hooked up to a proper waste disposal location. Open dumping is illegal and can cause huge issues for the environment and the park when waste isn't dealt with properly. Read this article as a reference.
There are very few exceptions to this rule so always be safe and check with a local park station or visitor center and find out local laws and regulations.
There are a number of consistent dump locations that are often easy to find nation-wide. Some of the most common are truck stops/travel centers, RV parks/campgrounds, and National Park supplied dump stations. Usually it doesn't cost too much to dump your waste and will often be included in the cost of your stay if you are staying at a RV park. Some places will still allow you to dump free of charge if you're just stopping in.
Most travel centers and truck stops will have an option in the facility 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, always call ahead of time or research online. Prices can vary but are often very affordable. In reality you shouldn't often need to dump at a truck stop, but it is always good to know they are a viable option.
While you are on the road, many of the facilities you will staying at will allow for dumping. Hotels are one exception. But 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 tank waste. RV parks and campgrounds will usually let you dump for a fee even if you aren't a guest of the campground. As always, be sure to call ahead before you arrive. Sometimes, dumping is reserved for visitors of the campground only or can only be accessed from a campsite. It varies from location to location.
Often times, campgrounds within national parks will not have RV hookups and it can be a chore to find a location that has a hookups or even a dump station. Call the local National Park Visitor Center or Ranger Station for help as they will have a full list of places within and/or outside of the park for RVers to use.
It can sometime be a chore to find a place that allows you to dump your RV's holding tanks but it is becoming easier as time goes on! Now days a quick google search can garner great resources for your trip and keep your mind on the road. In the next section we will talk about the best ways to find a dump location.
In the modern age, the internet has become an invaluable resource for RVers. Here are the few resources we recommend to anyone looking for a place to dump their tanks:
Both of these websites work great to find locations near you. It can also type "RV dump stations near me" into Google and call the possible options closest to you. There are also a few apps on Apple App Store that can help a lot:
AllStays is a great app for Apple IOS (iPhones) that will consistently point you in the right direction for all RVing and camping needs as well as provide locations for parks, dealers, and attractions that might help you on your quest for a dump station. The biggest draw back is that it can cost more than most apps at $9.99 so shop at your own discretion.
We aren't getting paid to promote these resources, they are just a few of the best options that people can find online these days that will help you to dump your tanks while you're on the move.
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