An RV owner is always excited to know new things about the RV and its operations. An RV is full of many different features and functions which you learn with the passage of time. RV-related tasks and operations are very easy to learn and understand. They can be easily understood with the help of little research.

Most parts related to an RV are fun and exciting. However, there are also some related tasks to RV that are not so fun for example dumping the holding tanks of your RV. Many people find it difficult because it is mostly a disgusting task for many to dump all the smelly waste. However, being the owner of an RV, you have to do it one way or the other. That is why we are here to help you understand and learn some easy and less disgusting methods to get the dumping task done without much hassle.

RV Holding Tanks

It is obvious that when you are outside on the road in an RV, water and sewage management, etc are the things that you should arrange beforehand. That is why there are holding tanks in every RV to provide space for all the waste and waste water etc from the showers, sinks, and toilets of your RV. Every RV is fitted with two or three holding tanks for holding wastewater or waste from the toilet etc.

Black Water Tank

The holding tank at the bottom of your RV toilet for holding all the solid and liquid waste from the toilet of your RV is called the black water tank. It holds all the waste from the toilet.

Grey Water Tank

The grey water tank is also for holding waste water but it is used for wastewater coming from the sinks or showers of your RV. The cleaning of the grey water tank is a bit easier as compared to the black water tank as it contains no smelly waste from the toilet. Not all RVs have grey water tanks. Some RVs come with black water tanks only. The black water tanks hold all the waste from the toilet and wastewater from the sinks and showers etc.

Fresh Water Tank

It is obvious from the name that a freshwater tank holds all the freshwater that is used for various purposes in your RV while you are on the road.

Dumping Black Water Tank on an RV

The first and foremost step for dumping a black water tank is to find a dumping station. There are many dumping stations located in state parks, commercial campgrounds and national parks, etc. most of the dumping stations are also equipped with sewer hose attachments that will make your dumping task easier. Never dump your RVs waste anywhere where it is not meant to be dumped. Always try to find a dumping station first.

List of Equipment Needed for Dumping

  • Disposable gloves
  • Garden hose
  • Sewer hose with attachments
  • Clear sewer hose elbow

Now the actual task comes. You have to perform the following steps to dump the waste from your black water tank.

1. Find the Valves

The first step is to identify and find the grey water and black water tank valves. Though all RVs are not the same, the valves are mostly located near the freshwater hose. In most RVs, the black water tank pipe is larger in size as compared to the grey water tank pipe.

That is why it is easy to identify. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes the valves are also labeled so it becomes easy to identify. The valves come with open and close options. The grey and black water tank valves are often located close to the plumbing of the two tanks.

There is also a lid below the valves. This lid is used to hook up the sewer hose. Before taking off the lid, you should close both the grey and black water tank valves.

2. Attach the RV Sewer Hose

Attach the sewer hose elbow to the point of the RV sewer hose. Now attach the sewer hose to the plumbing below the valves. Take off the lid first after closing the valves of the holding tanks. After taking off the lid, attach the sewer hose.

After attaching the sewer hose with the RV, now put the other end of the sewer hose to the dumping station on the campsite. Try to secure the open end of the sewer hose in the dumping station with the help of some heavy object like rock etc. this is suggested to prevent dislodging of the sewer hose in between the dumping process because it will be a great mess.

3. Open the Tank Valves

Now is the time for real action. Open the black tank valve and let all the waste flow down into the sewer hose attached to the RV. Use a clear elbow while attaching the sewer hose so that you can see when the tank has become empty. When you are sure that the tank is empty and all the waste has flown through the sewer hose, close the black tank gate valves.  

4. Clean the Black Water Tank

If you have a sewer tank rinser then you can attach the garden hose with it. Open the black tank valve and also turn on the hose. Now start rinsing the inside of the black water tank. Keep on rinsing the tank until you see clear water running out of the tank.

5. Detach Everything

When you see that the sewer hose is now clean, then detach all the connections and attachments and keep them in a plastic bag. Put back the lid of the plumbing outlet carefully. Keep your garden hose away from the freshwater hose. And last but not least, wash your hands thoroughly and dispose of the gloves properly.


How often should the black water tank be cleaned?

It is recommended that you should not leave the waste inside the black tank for more than a week. The black water tank should be emptied when it’s 2/3 full or at the end of every trip.  

Sarah Michelle is a passionate writer and digital strategist interested in the evolving landscape of online content and user experience. Having closely followed the developments in digital marketing and search algorithms, Sarah brings a unique blend of insights into the marketing world and is committed to helping both creators and consumers navigate the digital realm with confidence.

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