How to Build an RV Dump Station (Step-by-Step Cheat sheet)

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Oh shit! Yuck… These words you will hear from a person using a plunger, I can agree it is not the most awesome experience for a trip.

Recreational vehicles do not have a sewerage system like your house that collects and drains on its own to the grid.

Let’s face the facts here you have to carry with you your poop until you reach an RV black water and grey water drain points.

What’s an RV Dump Station?

A dump station is a septic tank or a sewer line that is provided either by the parks or municipal, where you can empty the sewage from your RV tanks into.

Some of the drain points like these ones provide technical assistance for the faint-hearted. Beware of colloquial terms!

If you’ve been to a toilet immediately after someone else, it is not the perfect idea. Dumping off your poop is not one of the best experiences; this is especially in a public dump station.

Is Dumping Sewage Legal?

It is a criminal act to dump waste, especially raw sewage on the open streets.

Even if you are out into the wild, it is not advisable to let waste from your wastewater tanks run free, this is because it can cause an outbreak.

It’s not also an awesome sight to see poop out in the wild, especially with the odors that come with it.

You can avoid the troubles of dealing with these awful experiences by installing a dump station in your home.

Of course, this will save a lot of your time and money because you have to pay to access public dump stations. In some places, sewer lines and septic tanks are already in existence.

Having your dump station is helpful as you can dump your waste anytime you want; you do not have to strain after a trip making sure your tanks are empty before reaching home.

You can rest and do the work later, considering it is quite tedious.

Public dump stations exist in camps where RV mostly visits, though the need to empty your tank may arise due to:

  1. Preference to use your RV as an additional guest room
  2. Where your road trips do not last a week at the interval,
  3. Cleaning your tanks for storage. 
  4. Where you use your residential vehicle as your permanent residence.

RV Dump Station Cheatsheet

Your home sewage and wastewater are most commonly dumped into a septic tank or through a grid sewer that serves your area.

If you do not have either of them see how to construct the best small septic system for a travel trailer.

Constructing a dump station especially, if you don’t want to incur the cost of hiring a plumber is quite simple. Assuming you are not afraid of soiling yourself.

Fixing a dump station into the grid sewer

Residences that are connected to a sewer system usually have one or several cleanouts — these are pipes connected perpendicular to the pipe that connects your wastewater to the sewer grid.

They usually have a screw-able top which is used to check for and clear blockages.

Provided the RV can reach a point near the cleanout you are safe to drain your tanks in the comfort of your home.

Building a dump station into a septic tank

i).  You should consider choosing an area midway between your house and the septic tank to place your dump station.

2). This can also be done at the septic tank clean-outs, where a hose from the RV tanks is put directly into the clean-out.

3). You can also directly drop your hose pipe into the septic tank top most preferably before the baffle. This ensures that solids sink to the bottom of the tank instead of out into the drain pipes with the water.

4). You should also ensure that the hose pipe is perpendicular and several feet below the water in the septic tank to ensure that splashing does not occur. It also prevents the solids from moving directly into the drain pipes, they sink to the bottom.

You can now comfortably empty your wastewater tanks in the comfort of your home avoid embarrassment, and at your own pace because it is a long process.


  • Septic tanks utilize bacteria to break down microorganisms; therefore it is not advisable to use detergents containing harmful chemicals that would slow down the natural process.
  • Consider using environmentally friendly soaps and detergent to clean your surfaces and for a shower.

Types of tanks in an RV

  1. The black water: This holds water from your toilet, this contains poop, tissue paper, and water used to flush your RV toilet.
  2. Greywater: Tank, this tank contains water from the kitchen sinks and the bathroom; it is mostly grey thus its name.
  3. Clean water tank: It contains clean water that is mostly used for washing cleaning, cooking, and all the general activities that require clean water in the RV. How to clean your RV fresh water tank step by step.

Only the black water and the grey water tanks need to be emptied every once in a while. (Why your RV black tank leaks)

This will mostly depend on:

1. Size of your black water tanks: For RVs with smaller tanks, frequent emptying is required.

2. Amount of water you consume: This is water that you let down your sinks, toilet, washer, and bathroom.

3. The number of inhabitants of the RV: A higher number of people may require that the tanks be emptied frequently, to ensure that they don’t get full and cause problems and clogging.

4. When the sensor reads full: A modern RV is equipped with a sensor that can discern whether the tank is full. After some time using these sensors tends to reduce their performance and may give false results.

This is prevented by cleaning the tank regularly and ensuring that the debris does not clog the sides.

For older versions of RV you need to develop a pattern, this depends on the usage.


  1. Gloves: Wear plastic gloves because you are dealing with water to avoid contamination. Thorough washing of hands is required and all the parts that came into contact with the contents of the black hole.
  2. Overall: You should put on an overall or clothes that can be cleaned or discarded easily after being soiled.
  3. Wedge: To unscrew the caps on top of the cleanouts, this is the point you put the other end of the 3-inch drainage hose. Ensure that it is tightly in position; this minimizes chances of spillage and has the whole neighborhood unsuitable for human existence.
  4. Hose: You need two hose pipes, one which is 3 inches wide and the other of smaller diameter; they are used for draining the tank and supplying the clean water that is used to clean the tanks.
  5. High pressure piped water system: This is used to clean the tanks
  6. Face mask: This is required for the odor

Draining the RV tank

Step #1: Ensure that your tank is about 3\4 full; if it halfway adds water to that level. Most the RV drain work on gravity and pressure is quite a factor.

Step #2: Connect your 3-inch hose to both the black water drain pipe and the greywater one. Ensure that both valves are closed.

Step #3: Connect the other end of the hose to the cleanout securing it properly.

Step #4: Open the black water valve first and make sure that all the contents have been washed off.

Step #5: Next, open the grey water tank valve, this water is a bit cleaner and will sort off rinse the pipe off the dirt.

Step #6: Add some detergent and water softener to the toilet bowl and flush.

Step #7: Rinse the tanks starting with the black tank; this is to ensure that all the residues that had been collected are washed off.

Some RV tanks possess a self-flashing mechanism that cleans the interior, some older RVs lack this advancement.

There is a need to improvise by either having someone manually fill the flashing bowl and flashing to fill the tank or using a tank cleaning wand or a flush valve. (Checkout Where To Fill RV Freshwater Tank (The Simple Guide))

The effectiveness of the process depends on the method you chose, and the amount of water you use, which in this case is a lot.


The advantages of having a well-maintained drain tank are enormous.

For one, you’ll save the cost associated with replacing parts like valves and sensors that get clogged or even buying the entire replacement which is quite expensive.

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