So you dump your tanks after every trip; that’s fantastic, but because the dumping process relies on gravity, there is waste residue left behind on the walls and floor of your tank. Without rinsing the tanks after each dump, residue could be left behind to fester and odors could become a real issue on your next trip. And it’s not just odors that could undermine camping contentment; lingering residue can also cake onto sensors, causing misreadings.
Rinsing your tanks regularly and thoroughly helps remove stubborn residual waste inside your tanks; even the most liquefied waste cannot completely drain out on its own if the tank is installed out-of-level, if the RV isn't parked perfectly level, or if you have a particularly odd-shaped tank. Instead, the waste will collect over time in low spots and crevices and lead to increased tank odors and sensor problems. For full-time RVers, we recommend a lengthy rinse (20-30 minutes) every 3-5 dumps, but you can also do a brief rinse after every dump. Boondockers or dry campers who do not use their RVs for several days or weeks until the next trip should always do a brief, post-dump rinse at the end of every trip.
Deep cleaning all your wastewater tanks regularly is also an important habit whether you boondock on the weekends or enjoy the full-time RVing experience. For dry campers and boondockers who often take shorter trips, deep cleaning should be done at the start and end of the camping season (refer to the Deep Cleaning RV Wastewater Holding Tanks guide for more details). It’s also a good idea to fill your black tank(s) with water and a high-quality bacteria and enzyme treatment while in storage, but draining it if temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.
All of the habits we have covered so far will take you a long way in the pursuit of RVing bliss, but you also need to be very specific about what you allow into both your gray and black tanks, something we will cover in further detail in the next article.