Make dumping less of a “crappy” situation

Dumping the waste tanks: If you camp, you can’t avoid it. But a few simple techniques can make this aspect of RV life easier and help you avoid unpleasant accidents. These suggestions apply whether you are on hookups at a campground or just emptying your tanks at an RV dump site.

First, always start with your black tank followed by the gray. This way the soapy gray water will help to clean your waste hose by flushing residues and sudsing drainage surfaces. Following the gray water dump, flush the drain hose and connectors with water before stowing.

It’s usually best to let your black tank fill at least part way before dumping it, even when you are camped with hookups. This allows solids and tissues to partially break down and liquefy so that they will flow easier. It also results in a heavier flow that will help carry material out of the tank and down the drain piping and hose.

Here’s another tip: Support your drain hose by some means to avoid low sections where fluids can collect. Try to achieve a steady slope. This is particularly important when you hook up at a campsite. You can use a board on blocks or buy a “slinky” drain hose support. Some RVers use sections of rain gutter; it’s lightweight and two sections can be telescoped easily to extend their reach.

Another helpful accessory is a transparent plastic elbow or flush valve which you hook up between your drain line and waste hose. It provides visual confirmation of your progress and can alert you of sewage blockages. The flush valves include a hose connection that can be used to help resolve blockages. In that regard, one feature to look for in an RV is a sewage flush system: sprays inside the black tank that are supplied with water by an outside hose connection. It’s not essential, but it is definitely a nice-to-have.

Finally, always remember to hose off the dump area. Leave it for the next camper as you would like to find it yourself.