How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank 9

Properly Dumping & Thoroughly Cleaning Your Trailer’s or RV’s Black and Grey Tank

Ah, the all important Black tank. Ever wonder why they call it a “black tank?” I always thought it was so that it was less offensive than saying “I gotta dump the shitter-tank before we go.”

Turns out, the tank is black. (Someday they’ll start making them out of clear plastic, just to be funny)

No-one wants to see that!

Which brings me to the next silly question of the day, why is the elbow on that Black Tank drain tube clear?

How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank 9

The basics of dumping a black tank:

  1. Hook up your sewage hose to the camper and the dump station
  2. Hookup the sewage tank rinse water line
  3. Plug your nose
  4. Pull the lever on the black tank valve
  5. Turn on the rinse water line.
  6. Wait forever.

Ok, that might be a little on the sarcastic side of the process. But I am writing about a crapper-tank and you are reading it. We don’t have to be all that serious about this right?

How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank 9

Oh fine. In all seriousness there are a few pointers that can help you and your tank keep smelling as fresh as the day she rolled off the lot.

If you use these little Y-valves for your water lines – be sure to use a check valve or a “one-way-only” valve as it’s also called. I use them on both ends. Just because there is suppose to be more water pressure coming from the pump side of the hose doesn’t mean that it a guarantee. You have a big tank and it’s sitting higher than your hose connection. Just sayin.

How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank 9

So you hook-up your hoses and get ready for the smell of all smells. If this is your first time and you haven’t experienced the sheer wall of foulness before, get ready. You’ll never forget this smell – it’s like no other and difficult to make a comparison.

If you have kids and a sense of humor like I do, ask for help at the right time. They’ll start thinking for themselves about blindly trusting people 🙂

How To Properly Dump & Thoroughly Clean an RV Black Tank 9

Let’s get back to business though. The real reason that you have a clear section of the sewage hose is to know when your tank is clean. There’s really no other way. You could guess and say that I pulled the blank tank lever 10 minutes ago and then ran clean water into it through the flush for another 10 minutes. But would you really know if it was clean?

Nope. You would not good sir.

Mix up about 2oz of Ridex and  a gallon of fresh water and pour it down the toilet. Run the flush water from the outside to mix it up for a few minutes, or until the meter on the black tank shows that the tank is about half full.

Drain and rinse and then do another sniff test.

Watch this full process below and the full 10 video-series on The Complete A-Z Guide on RV Camping for beginners here.

How To Pump-n-Dump an RV Black Tank