How to dump RV waste at home

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For all the glorious adventures that RVing can provide, you have to pay for it in some way. The costs that are most often at the forefront of people’s minds are things like money and time, but we can’t forget about the unpleasant yet unavoidable biological truth we must always face: waste.

It may not be fun to think about, but the waste that accumulates from your daily activities has to go somewhere eventually! Waiting in a long line at an RV campground dump station may not sound too appealing, but thankfully, it isn’t your only option. Here, we’ll teach you how to dump RV waste at home safely and ethically so you can dispose of it on your own terms. 

What to know about dumping RV waste at home

It may come as a surprise to some that you can actually dump RV waste at home, and it isn’t too hard, either! This can be the best option a lot of the time if you’re in a position to wait to dump your waste until you get home because it’s more convenient and cost-effective than getting rid of it at a traditional dumpsite. You often have to pay a fee at other sites, but at home, it’s completely free. 

It’s important to note, however, that you can’t just dump your RV waste haphazardly. You have to use specific dumping practices to comply with legal requirements (which can vary depending on your state and county, so check up on local laws to be safe) and to avoid harming the environment. With that being said, we’ve compiled a guide on the best way to dispose of RV waste at home, so read on!


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Four ways to dump RV waste at home

There are multiple methods to dispose of RV waste at home, depending on the materials you have on hand and the systems you have access to. Some are easier and more efficient than others, but all of these methods will work:

1. Using a sewage system

Many counties allow you to access a public sewage disposal system. If you have one close to you that you can use, this is probably the best option for dumping RV waste that you have (unless you have your own private septic system, but we’ll get into that later). 

Before you begin dumping your RV waste into the public sewer system, you should check local regulations and make sure that it’s legal, and then ensure that you’re on the side of the system that’s for solid waste disposal and not the storm drain. Dumping into the storm drain could cause major problems. You should also inform your neighbors of what you plan to do so that everyone is on the same page. After getting the all-clear for these steps, you’re ready to use the sewage line. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. First, you’ll want to locate the cleanout of the residential sewer line. This is a tiny pipe protruding from the ground that’s connected directly to the sewage system. You’ve probably seen cleanouts like this at RV campgrounds. The cleanout will have a little end cap so look for this if you aren’t sure how to find the pipe. 

  2. Once you’ve identified this piece, you should put on the proper safety equipment like gloves and any protective face covering you have in case things get messy. 

  3. You must remove the end cap of the cleanout in order to insert your disposal hose. Be careful here, as sometimes gases can be emitted when you unscrew the cap.

  4. Pull your RV up next to the cleanout and connect your disposal hose from the black water tank to the cleanout. We can’t emphasize enough that you should always dump the black water tank before the grey water tank to prevent buildup in your tank.  

  5. Make sure your hose is fully secured into the cleanout, and pull the valve to empty your tank. 

  6. Before moving onto the grey water tank, fill the now-emptied black water tank with fresh water to clear the tank out fully. 

  7. When that is done, you can empty the grey water tank using the same exact steps. 

  8. You should rinse out the disposal hose after you’ve finished to keep it clean, and then you can pack up and store everything away.

That’s it, your RV waste has been dumped!


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2. Using a septic tank

If you’re a hardcore RV lover, it may be a smart idea to install a septic system of your own for dumping RV waste at home. 

The process is effectively the same as the one we’ve detailed above for residential sewer systems, with the difference being that you’re using your own private septic system instead of the city connection. 

As always, you should wear protective equipment while dumping your waste and check with local ordinances to check that you’re allowed to dump your waste in your tank.

Many RVers feel that this is the best method for dumping because you can do it on your own terms. If you are a frequent RVer and are able to install a septic system of your own, we highly recommend it.

3. Using a macerator

This method is the hardest to do and will cost a couple of hundred dollars in start-up costs, but it’s very effective. 

To do this, you’ll have to buy a machine called a macerator that will finely shred your waste into a liquid that you can transfer to your toilet for flushing. 

You’ll connect the disposal hose to your RV’s waste port and then to your macerator, and you’ll connect a garden hose from your macerator to your toilet. Then, you’ll pull the RV’s valve to let the waste flow into the macerator and turn the macerator on. Liquified waste will now run into the toilet, so be prepared to keep flushing it as it fills up.

When all the waste is finished, run clean water through the same setup to make sure everything is properly cleaned. The whole process might take a little while, but you’ll know you’re finished when you only see clean water coming from your RV.


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4. Using a bucket

This is the most rudimentary and tedious method on the list, and should really only be used if you don’t have any of the other options available. 

All this entails is simply releasing your RV waste from the disposal hose into any bucket you have on hand that you’re willing to get dirty and carrying the bucket to your nearest toilet to dump. 

We recommend only filling the bucket to less than ¾ of its capacity because you really, really don’t want to spill. Carefully take the filled bucket to your toilet, flush away, and repeat the process until you’ve gotten rid of all your waste. When you’re done, you’ll want to give the bucket a good scrubbing to eliminate any residue. 

And of course, wear gloves and goggles during this so you can minimize the unpleasantry of this experience. This may be an unappealing method, but if you’ve got no other choice, it’ll definitely get the job done.

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