Top 10 Tips for Surviving the RV Dump Station

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Let’s be honest – taking a trip to the RV dump station is not the most enjoyable part of the camping experience. It does need to be done, however, as emptying your tank promptly is one of the keys to successful RV ownership. If you would like to make your upcoming trips to the dump station as smooth and trouble-free as possible, review the tips listed below.

MUTCD_D9-12#1 – Black Tank First

To reduce the chances of an undesirable clog in your hose, start with the black tank and follow up with the grey tank. Since there should be more fluid in the grey tank, it will be easier to flush out the hose this way.

#2 – Wear Gloves!

This one should be obvious given the kind of work at hand, but be sure to wear gloves to keep yourself away from as many of the germs as possible. Clean your gloves between uses so you can maximize your chances of staying healthy.

#3 – Bleach Spray is Your Friend

Carrying a bottle of bleach spray is a great idea when you know the RV dump station is in your future. Spray down surfaces that you suspect may be dirty just to add another layer of sanitation to the process.

#4 – Pay It Forward

Do you like to arrive at the dump station to find a mess? Of course not. Keep that in mind and clean up after yourself before you leave. If all RV’ers were respectful of the dump stations, the whole experience would be improved for all travelers.

#5 – Flush the Tanks with Fresh Water

When possible, pour a bucket or two of clear water down the toilet and into the tank to clean it out after you have finished dumping. This will help to wash out the inside of the now-empty tank, leaving it in better condition for your next trip.

#6 – Buy a Quality Hose

Needless to say, having your sewer hose break while dumping one of your tanks is not an experience you will enjoy. Make sure you have a heavy-duty hose along for the trip to avoid any mishaps.

#7 – Bring Your Own Hose

Many RV dump stations will have a garden hose on hand to rinse out your tanks. However, a hose will not always be present, so pack your own. A small garden hose won’t take up much space in the RV, but it will come in handy in a big way.

#8 – Move It Along

Stopping at the RV dump station on a Sunday afternoon when everyone is heading home is often a crowded experience. To help out your fellow RV’ers, work quickly and move out of the way as soon as possible.

#9 – Keep the Black Water Tank Closed

Before you head to the dump station, make sure your black tank valve is closed while camping. If it is left open, you will lose liquids and the solids will stick to the sides of the tank. It will be far more difficult to clean out your tank when this occurs.

#10 – It’s All About Timing

As mentioned above, RV dumping stations can get quite crowded on Sunday afternoons. If possible, plan ahead and schedule your stop for a non-peak time to save yourself a headache. A stop at the dump station can be quick and easy if you don’t have to wait for a crowd of people to move out of your way.



  1. If it is crowded at the dump station, I will by-pass it and stop at the first Camping World or use the dump station at a rest area. It also allows the tank to slosh around.


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