How to Use an RV Dump Station: An Easy, Step-by-Step Guide

by Five2Go

We've got about a five-hour drive ahead of us so we're going to take you along for the ride and kind of see how a moving day goes. I’ll include showing you how to use an RV dump station. When you're traveling any length of time, you’ll have a need to do this so it’s best to be prepared.

We drove for about 2 hours and came across a travel welcome center. It has a truck stop, it's a car stop, and it's an RV stop. They have hundreds of truck places to park overnight. They have about 15 RV hookups with electricity. There's no water out here or anything, but it's kind of nice that they have this available. We're just going to park here.

There's a very clean dump station. Even though the next campground that we're going to supposedly has full hookups on site, we're going to go ahead and dump just to get the weight off the truck as we're driving because we're probably carrying 20 or 30 gallons and that's 8 pounds per gallon.

I like using fully waterproof reusable gloves to do this job.

Making sure the valves are closed

On this RV, there's a little tube under here that stores what I call this hose number one. 

This hose has my clear connector so I can see what's going on. I always use this one. Sometimes if I need longer I pull out hoses two and three. The first thing I do when I'm dumping is make sure all the valves are closed. 

Attaching the hose to the RV

I’m going to attach the hose to the RV. 

Using the 90-degree head

Then use the 90-degree head you attach which gets the pipe down into the dump.  

A lot of times at dump stations, there will be bricks or pavers or stones or something heavy. You just kind of lean it on just to keep it down, because when you open your tank, there's quite a bit of force that's going to be coming out of here. 

Always do the black tank first, and then you use the other two tanks to flush the rest of that through the pipe.  

RV dump station tutorial

Emptying the tanks

Pretty simple. You just pull it and watch. 

We've been driving with this tank with contents, so it's been sloshing around real good. It should be all broken up pretty well. It sounds like it's coming out pretty fast.  

You're never going to get a full flush unless you use something like a wand that you put down the toilet with the hose attached, or if you have a system like a sprayer that we have built into our black tank.  

All right, so the black tank is done. So I went ahead and closed that and I just pulled what we call gray two. We have two gray tanks. This is the tank that the sink in the kitchen goes to. 

Gray One is up front, and the shower and the bathroom sink go into Gray One. The washer and dryer also go into Gray One. 

So I do Gray Two first when we're out dumping because the water doesn't come out as hard. So it's kind of a good first flush. Then when I pull one, because it's coming from farther away, it kind of runs downhill and it really blasts into this hose. So I do Gray one last, so it's kind of a more forceful one

Nautilus system

This is our nautilus system. 

Just below our nautilus panel, we have the valve for Gray One. So as soon as Gray Two is done emptying out when it gets down to a trickle, we'll go ahead and close two. 

Okay, Gray One is pretty much empty. Gray Two is pretty much empty. Black tank's pretty much empty. So we're good to go back on the road. We just dumped a lot of weight down that hose, so that should help with gas mileage, wear and tear on the tires, and all of that. 

So we'll go ahead and close up Gray One, just push on it, and it's connected somehow down in there to a gate valve that shuts on the tank. So pretty much done up here. I need to get the hose off and tighten everything back on here. Just reverse the way I put it on.

Almost all dump stations will have a hose that's on the dump station. It's not for filling your tank. 

Flushing the RV hose

It's for flushing your RV hose or cleaning any messes you make. 

I like to use it to flush the hose because when we're at a full hook-up campground, I don't have a hose to do that. So I can use that to just blast some water through and make it even cleaner. 

Even though I just closed all three tanks, I checked them again, because the last thing I want is anything from that black tank coming out when I pull this off, so it just turns off.

Storing the hose away

How to use an RV dump station

It’s time to push your hose together and place it back onto the storage. 

So that guy just slides right in. Put the accessories away. I got my little accessories box put away. Now we take the gloves off. One glove off, grab the other glove with the back of the first one, and then I never touched anything. I've got some hand sanitizer I use after I remove my gloves.

How to use an RV dump station

Now we’re heading to our RV park destination at Tennessee Lake RV Resort. I hope I was able to help you learn how to use an RV dump station. The more you do it, the faster and easier the process will go. Where was your most recent RV trip to? Let us know in the comments!

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