Where to dump RV waste was a big question I had when I first purchased my camper.
Sure, staying at a commercially run campground like KOA typically has a full hookup with power, water, and sewer connections. But if you’re staying in a state or national park or boondocking (off the grid), the chances of having a sewer hookup are slim. Instead, you’ll have to go to a dump station to dispose of your wastewater.
Here are seven places to dump your RV tanks when on your next road trip. Keep in mind that while finding places to dump your black and grey water, there are sometimes fees associated with using a facility where you’re not overnighting.
1. Campgrounds or RV Park
Depending on what type of slot you book, your campsite will either have a solid waste hook up or it won’t. Regardless, every campground will have a dump station for you to discharge your black and gray water.
Even if you’re not staying there, most campgrounds will let you use their dump station for a nominal fee.
The dump station at the campground is usually located on the way out because that is where guests that are dumping will opt to discharge. However, if you are staying at the campground for more than a few days, you can swing your RV around to dump and then head back to your slip.
2. Camping and Outdoor Store Retail Locations
Select retail locations like Camping World and Cabela’s have dump stations located in the vicinity of the store.
With Camping World, unless you are a member of their Good Sam travel club, expect to pay a nominal fee to dump RV waste.
If you purchase something at Cabela’s, ask the cashier for a dump code. The Cabela’s locations that offer dump stations typically charge $5 per dump.
3. Camper/RV Dealerships
Dealerships weren’t an option that was top of mind for me, although they should have been. Since most RV dealerships offer repair and maintenance on-site, it only makes sense that they have a spot to empty gray and black water tanks.
READ MORE: 7 Tips For Dumping Your RV Blackwater Tank
However, always ask if they have a dump station and never assume you can use it. Humility and candor can take you a long way if you’re asking for something.
4. Marinas or Harbors
There’s a good chance you’ll find a dump station at a marina because of the boats that come to pump out their holding tanks.
However, since marinas are designed for boaters, they will typically charge a little higher than the standard $5 to $10 fee. The average marina dump station fee is around $20.
You want to also make sure the station is in a spot that you can easily get to and that your sewer hose will reach. Since marinas are designated for boats, the connections may be closer to the docks and not the road.
5. National and State Parks
There’s a good chance you won’t have a sewer line hookup at your site while staying in a state or national park, but almost all of them have a dump station on the way out of the park.
Just make sure to do some research ahead of time to find the location, payment amount, and see whether you need a key to access the sewage drain.
Also, if you’re traveling in cold weather areas, some dump stations will not be open to RVs or camping trailers if the temperature is below freezing.
Some national parks also have access to potable water, allowing you to fill your freshwater tank with a garden hose.
6. State Rest Areas to Dump RV Waste (Varies)
You may think that rest areas are only for visitors passing through or trying to catch a quick nap, but some also have dump stations.
It will vary state by state, but select rest areas have an RV dump station where you can discharge black and grey water waste. In my travels out west, I noticed that a lot of the states had dump stations at the first and last rest areas of the state.
In Florida, no rest areas have dump stations. But as you head west, I found that Georgia, Kansas, Colorada, and Wyoming did have free dump stations at the rest areas.
A good resource to use to check for rest area dump stations is the website RV Dumps. You can use that to plan what states or locations you want to dump your gray and black tank.
7. Truck Stops
Gas stations and truck stops such as Flying J and Love’s are known for having a dump site for wastewater.
Depending on the location, it could be in the $5 to $10 range. If you’re a member of Good Sam, there is a discount when using a Flyin J, which is a Good Sam partner.
I’ve personally dumped at both Love’s and Flyin J while RVing and both spaces were off to the side of the regular pumps, allowing you to park parallel.
PRO TIP: Always ask the attendant at the truck stop if there is a discount to dump RV waste at the dump station with a fuel fill-up. You can also spoil yourself and hop into a large shower at most truck stops.
8. At Home (BONUS)
This method will depend on your local rules and city codes, but it doesn’t hurt to call your local plumber and ask what is involved in installing a dump line in your yard.
The RVers who have had the most luck with this are the ones that have a septic tank on their property, but it never hurts to ask to see if they can tap into your septic line.
Keep in mind you may have to build a concrete splash area around the dump pipe in order to stop the waste from seeping into the ground.
A DIY way is to invest in a macerator pump. This pump connects to the drainage valve on your unit and has a rotation head inside of it, chopping any particles up into very fine granular material. This allows you to essentially stick a garden hose at the output of the macerator pump and run the line into your toilet line.
You can watch a macerator pump YouTube review here.
Personally, it seems like a lot of work but the pumps are popular and always work well if you’re in a bind.
Never attempt to change or empty your black and gray tank without first putting on a pair of gloves. Bacteria runs rampant in dirty water, even if you treat it with chemicals.
Always plan ahead when it comes to dumping your black and gray water tank. Some areas will have plenty of locations to dump your waste, while others are few and far between.
Always make sure you have a long enough hose before paying the fee for the dump station.