How Do You Find an RV Dump Station?
It’s a dirty job, but someone has to know where to dump RV waste. We get it; dumping the holding tanks on an RV isn’t the most fun job. Especially when the aroma of the black tank makes its way into the air, but it’s a necessary chore when RVing. We’re here to help you locate legal places to dispose of your waste.
Let’s say you’re wrapping up a great boondocking trip and now need to clear out your tanks. You need to find an RV dump station.
The three easiest ways to find an RV dump station are to ask someone, find it on the RV LIFE app, or Google it. You can always ask someone at a local store, for example, where to find the nearest dump station. Some cities have dump stations in local parks or gas stations.
Apps like RV LIFE Trip Wizard can also help you find dump stations. Googling nearby dump stations may also work.
How Do You Dump RV Waste?
Most RVs have at least one gray and one black holding tank. To get rid of the waste inside the tanks, you’ll need a sewer hose and connectors. The Camco RhinoFLEX Sewer Hose Kit is a great option. You’ll also want a pair of washable rubber or latex gloves to keep any leakage from touching your skin.
Dumping RV waste is quite simple. After putting on your gloves, connect one end of the sewer hose to the proper tank outlet on your RV. The other end goes into the dump station hole, preferably with a clear elbow connection.
Next, open the lever for your black tank to release the waste. Emptying your black tank before the gray is important. After the black tank is empty, release the waste from the gray tank. The gray tank holds water from your sinks and shower. As it dumps, it will clean out some of the toilet waste in the sewer hose that came from the black tank.
Gone with the Wynns created a helpful three-minute “how-to” video for dumping your tanks. They show you how quick and easy it can be to dump RV waste.
Where to Dump RV Waste
Here are 10 places where you can dump RV waste legally.
1. RV Parks and Campgrounds
RV parks and campgrounds typically have either a dump station for community use or full hookup sites. On full hookup sites, you’ll have a septic tank hole right on your campsite. You can put your sewer hose in it just like you would at a dump station.
If you’ve been boondocking or camping without a dump station, many campgrounds will let you pay a fee to use their dump station. Always be sure to call ahead to see if they have one and allow the public to use it.
2. Gas Stations
Many truck stops and gas stations have dump stations. Sometimes they’re well marked. Other times you may only know about it by finding it on an app because other RVers reported it.
Pilot and Flying J Travel Centers are examples of truck stops that may have dump stations. They often also have potable water available. This is a great amenity to look for, especially if you’re camping off-grid.
3. RV Dealerships
There are RV dealerships that put in a dump station for the convenience of their customers. Plus, it’s a great marketing tool to get passersby to come in and take a look at the inventory. Camping World is the most well-known dealership that has dump stations at some of its locations.
To find out if a dealership offers dump services, search on an RV app or call ahead. Be sure to ask if there’s a fee or any special directions to access the dump station. You never want to get into a situation where there’s a tight turn, and you won’t be able to maneuver your RV. Some dealerships are very crowded, and the dump station might not be accessible for large RVs.
4. National Parks
Many national parks have dump stations in their campgrounds. You can find out if the national park you’re visiting has a dump station on its website.
For example, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah has a dump station at the North Campground. Any visitor can use it for a small $5 fee, and there’s potable water available as well.
5. Sporting Goods Stores
Sporting goods stores like Cabelas or Dick’s Sporting Goods may have dump stations. You can locate them on an RV app or by calling or stopping in at a store near you.
Often the stores with dump stations also have RV overnight parking. Even if you find these stores on an app, we still recommend calling ahead or checking in with the store once you arrive to make sure it’s OK. Positive communication with the stores is an excellent way to ensure these services remain in place for other RVers.
6. Wastewater Treatment Plants
A place you may not have thought of to dump RV waste is a wastewater treatment plant. But it makes sense when you consider what happens there. We found one in Lowell, Michigan. They charge a small fee and even have potable water.
Boat marinas often have dump stations. Similar to campgrounds, the dump stations usually have a fee if you’re not staying there. Be sure to call ahead and remember to ask if your RV can get in and out of the space.
8. Home Septic Tanks
You can use your home’s septic tank to dump RV waste. You might find the setup complicated, however. If you’re thinking about accessing your home septic system for RV waste, we highly recommend consulting with a professional first.
9. Recycling Centers
Recycling centers can have RV dump stations. Check with your local recycling center to see if they do. It could be a convenient way for you to dump RV waste after a weekend camping trip.
10. City or State Dump Stations
Some cities have dump stations. Typically they’re located in a park’s parking lot. State parks may also have dump stations, particularly if they have a campground. You can find city or state dump stations on RV apps or with an online search.
Having a full hookup site at a campground is probably the most convenient way to dump RV waste. But don’t let the lack of full hookups stop you from exploring. There are many places to find a dump station while traveling. What’s the strangest place where you’ve found a dump station?