Save tank space with five no-brainer grey water hacks
Those of you that have been RVing for a while know the grey tank will reach capacity long before the black tank, and most likely before you deplete your potable fresh water tank as well.
To be able to extend the time you spend dry camping, you will need to learn some ways to minimize the amount of wastewater that enters your grey tank.
1. Use a dish pan in your sink.
Purchase a dish pan that will fit in the kitchen sink of your RV. When you finish doing the dishes consider “disposing” of the dishwater in one of four ways rather than sending it down the kitchen drain to the grey tank:
- Use it to quench the evening campfire.
- Dump it down the toilet into the black tank.
- Save it in a gallon milk jug and use it to flush the toilet.
Remember the black tank seldom fills up before the grey tank. Take advantage of the “extra” space. In addition, the soapy dishwater will help keep your black tank clean.
Be sure to use environmentally-friendly biodegradable dish soap if you will be disposing of dishwater on the ground.
An aerated showerhead utilizes less water than the showerhead that came with your RV, and the on/off feature will allow you to take “Navy Showers.” Less water used equals less wastewater in your grey tank.
Read more about the best types of showerheads in this Do It Yourself RV article.
3. Purchase a sewer cap with a hose connection.
This handy device allows you to adapt a non-potable garden hose to the 3” termination outlet on your RV and dispose of grey water in one of two ways:
- Where legal (not as many places as they were a few years ago) or with a rangers permission, you can slowly drain your grey water onto the ground in the boondocks. Dig a sump first, be sure to filter out small food particles with a screen to avoid attracting pests and cover when done.
- Route your grey water into an approved wastewater sump.
4. Spray your dishes before washing them.
Purchase a spray bottle and fill it with a mixture of dish soap, water, and a little vinegar. Spray the mixture on dirty dishes and wipe before washing which will greatly reduce the amount of water required to finish washing them.
Less water used equals less wastewater in the grey tank. Dawn dish soap is a favorite among many RVers.
5. Recycle your RV grey water.
The granddaddy of all grey water hacks is to recycle wastewater from your grey tank to flush the toilet.
This grey water hack employs a pump and filter to draw wastewater from the grey tank and uses it to rinse the toilet in place of potable water. This is the same concept as the last point in Hack #1, but a lot more convenient. Learn more about this hack here.
Cheap RV Living shared some great tips on disposing of grey water when boondocking in this Youtube video:
Find more boondocking hacks to save tanks space
The next time you find yourself dry camping, consider which of these grey water hacks would work best for you and see how much longer you can extend your stay before filling the grey tank. You can also find great advice from fellow RVers on iRV2 Forums as well as in this article on RV Grey Water: What Is It & How To Dispose Of It.
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.