RV Sewer Dumping – The Straight Poop on the Poop

RV Sewer Dumping. Yes, we all have to do it at some point. It’s the right of passage into the RV world. Everyone in the park loves to watch the newbie with the brand new sewer hose figuring out the procedure for the first time. If you’re a new RVer and looking for some advice and tips then this blog post is for you.  I’ll let you know how I do the deed and what equipment  I use.

RV Sewer Dumping Equipment

First the equipment and the first tip: don’t cheap out on your sewer hose! Having your vital hose leak or burst because you wanted to save $20 bucks is not worth it. The hose I  went with is called a Viper and made by Valterra. It cost in the neighborhood of $50 and came with a sewer hole connector and 15 feet of hose. So far I have used it for over a year and at more than 100 campsites and not a leak. The thing is tough!  I’ve dragged it around on the ground, stepped on it and cram it in/yank it out of the RV bumper.

Sewer Hoses and Fittings

Valterra Viper Sewer Hose

Valterra Viper Sewer Hose

I chose this particular one because of it’s resilient, very flexible, crushproof rubber hosing and simple quick connections. Also, it collapses to a very short size for easy storage. If you need a longer run, extensions are available and connect very easily and quickly as well. The connector for the campground sewer is very versatile and designed to fit many sewer hole designs, and there are many!!

Valterra D04-0450 Viper 15' Sewer Hose Kit
Price: $53.75
You save: $7.05 (12 %)
33 new from $50.100 used

The next equipment tip I have is to get yourself a clear plastic window attachment, this way you get to see what’s coming out of the tanks. Gross but very important to know the state of the tank.

Sewer Elbow - Clear

Sewer Elbow – Clear

Finally, as all plumbers know, S#*t runs down hill, so invest in a handy sewer support. Not only does it aid in a quick evacuation of the nasty waste but some RV parks demand some sort of support system. It allows you to set up the hose to have a nice even down incline which really allows the tanks to drain quickly. The faster the flow the more likely solids and debris will be sucked out of the tank.

RV Sewer Support

RV Sewer Support

So that is the RV sewer dumping equipment I use along with a good set of rubber gloves, some hand cleaner, and one more thing. Some parks I’ve visited demand that you use what’s called a sewer donut or ring, a round rubber device used to seal off the ground sewer connection. I’m not a big fan of these because they could be easily kicked loose but if the sewer hole has no threads it will come in handy. I believe in Florida it is a law that you use one.

Valterra F02-4600 4" x 3" Soft Sewer Sponge Ring
Price: $9.04
29 new from $2.000 used

My RV Sewer Dumping Procedure

Here I will explain the procedure I use when dumping and when I dump. I generally arrive at the RV site with near empty tanks so for the first day or so I use the RV and don’t worry about sewer hook up. I like to have almost full tanks when I dump as this gives the tanks a nice flush out. This helps remove many of the solids that may be in the waste. When I hook up, I first place a small bucket under the RV sewer outlet. This is to catch the dribble that usually comes out from some fluids making it passed the tank valve seals during transit. Then I hook on my clear plastic elbow and the hose. I attach the end connector into the sewer hole making sure it’s a snug fit and then hook up the hose to that. Finally I elevate the hose on the sewer support making sure it has a nice incline to the sewer ground hole.

I empty the black tank first and then follow with the gray tanks. That way the gray mostly soapy water cleans out the hose. My trailer comes with a black tank flushing system so every 5 dumps or so I will run the flushing system to rinse out the black tank. This is where the clear elbow comes in handy as I can see the waste output getting cleaner and cleaner and know when the tanks is clean.

After I finish emptying the tanks I go and add some fresh water to each, maybe a couple of gallons or so. This way they don’t dry out and during transit, the swishing action will help clean the tank walls.

RV Holding Tank Chemicals

I generally use nothing but water in my tanks and rarely have issues with odor. One thing I do is use lots of water when on full hookups. This helps dilute the waste. If doing a lot of dry camping and need to conserve water and the weather is fairly hot I find the best stuff to use is Happy Campers holding tank treatment. A little goes a long way and has no smell to it what so ever.

Video clip of the RV Sewer Dumping in action

Camco 40123 Quickie Flush with Back Flow Preventer
Price: $19.99
You save: $14.32 (42 %)
42 new from $17.880 used

Everyone has their little secrets and methods, this is how I carry out the nasty task. Hopefully, this will help out new RVers with their first dumping experience. If anyone has more tips or questions feel free to comment below.

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  • Geo Graphy

    I have a 1997 Airstream Motor coach. The sewer connection is lower than modern RVs and I have been in several RV parks where the sewer connection for the park was very high, either because the pipe was brought out too high above ground or the connection is up hill from the pad. In either case, the swere hose is running up hill from the RV to the ground connection. This has been such a problem that I have decided that we will not stay on sites where these conditions exists. The only solution to the up hill run is to use either a macerator pump or one of the water jet wast disposal systems. One is expensive and the others do not seem very reliable. Any suggestions?

    • Wow, that’s a tough one. I haven’t run into that problem. Maybe you can add some blocks under the tires to raise the trailer up enough.

  • Eddie

    I have been told that when you are camping and the RV has a sewer hook up, that you leave the valves open so that the grey & black water are sent directly to the dump. Is this true?

    • It’s OK to do that with the grey tank but not the black tank. For the black tank you only want to dump it when there is enough water to help flush out the waste. I usually wait until it is nearly full. Do a Google search for “RV poop pyramid” 😉

  • Jesse

    Great educational and informative video. Do you ever use a cleaner wand in the commode to get the black tank clean? Also what do you do for storage? Thanks again for the info.

    • Thanks, Our RV has a built in black tank flushing system. We are full-time RVers so don’t store the rig too much or for too long. I usually just clean the tanks real well and add some water to them, if it’s cold weather I will add some RV antifreeze

  • Shanda

    Thanks so much for the ‘dirty’ on the poo emtying thing…we just bought our first RV and have no idea what we are doing! It is very intimidating. I am trying to do a ton of research as to not have my husband get splashed with the unmentionable! Thanks again!

  • I’ve used it ever since this post. However my ‘lil bit’ wasn’t as much as yours, so will up it in a few weeks. This worked well, A week ago when temps got over 200, I dropped a ‘chemical” treatment for odor issues. But until then I sure didn’t need it. I am flushing every time I dump, too because of the weather. Thank you for the tip. It’s saved me a lot of dough on tank chemicals.

    • Opps. It’s hot, but not 200! 105 is bad enough, thank you!

  • melvin

    You don’t actually drink the Borax/watersoftener do you?

    • No, it just gets used in the waste tanks, not the fresh water tank. 🙂

  • I would like to give this a try, using just the Borax and the Calgon. I’ve read elsewhere that it works, but until you said so, I didn’t trust that advice. So if I try this, how much Calgon. I don’t mean to be picky but my ‘little bit’ and yours might vary a lot and, not being naturally mechanical (ask my brother…I burned up an outboard because I couldn’t see the problem with smoke!)… I could use a suggestion. My tank is 45 gal.

    • I would say about a half cup. Depends on how hard the water is where you are. Some places like where we are from in the Pacific Northwest the water is mostly rain water and very soft so not much mineral scale builds up, I don’t bother with the water softener that often when there.