How Large Of A Septic Tank Does A Camper Hvae? (Solution)

A typical RV holding tank size will range from 10 gallons to 100+ gallons. Generally, the bigger the RV, the bigger the septic system for RV will be. Travel trailer holding tanks will generally be smaller than motorhome holding tanks because trailers are usually smaller than motorhomes.

  • How big are camper septic tanks? Size and capacity also depends on the size of your RV or camper, but on average, the black tank will hold between 18 and 64 gallons. Fifth wheels usually have the largest black tanks, which can hold 39 to 88 gallons when full.

How big are camper septic tanks?

The size of the tank changes with the size of the RV. However, they’re often more accomodating than most people expect. In a small RV, you can expect at least 15 gallons for the black water and a gray water tank of 30 gallons. A larger RV might easily have tanks as large as 50 gallons each.

How many gallons is an RV septic tank?

Expect a holding tank to be between 25 and 100 Gallons. A class A RV will average 80 Gallons, Class C will average 30 Gallons, and as class C will average 70 Gallons.

How many gallons is a mobile home septic tank?

Size of Tank The more bedrooms and occupants, the bigger the tank. A common size for three bedrooms is a 1,000-gallon tank; this is a minimum, however. Your local county may have different criteria.

How much sewage can a camper hold?

Class C RVs will hold 35-60 gallons, Class Bs will hold around 20-40, and fifth wheel trailers hold about 60-80 gallons. Smaller trailers hold 40-60 gallons.

Do campers have septic tanks?

The black water tank, also known as the RV’s septic system, holds anything flushed down the toilet. Depending on the size and class of the RV, “grey water” holding tanks typically have a capacity between 40 and 65 gallons, while “black water” holding tanks usually range between 18 and 64 gallons.

How big is the black water tank in an RV?

Capacities for black water tanks range in 5 gallon to 202 gallons, with tank thickness ranges from 0.25 inches (1/4″) to 0.375 inches (3/8″). When installing or performing maintenance, all care, handling, and procedures should be done specifically for wastewater holding tanks.

How much water does a camper shower use?

How much water does an RV shower use? On average, a travel trailer shower will go through about 2-6 gallons of water per shower. This depends on a variety of factors such as length of shower time, the water usage of the shower head, and if you turn off the shower while you lather up.

Do campers have fresh water tanks?

Every camper is designed a little differently, but most include a fresh water tank. You’ll use this handy system for drinking, cooking, doing dishes, showers, and using the toilet when you are not hooked up to an outside water source.

How long does a 30 gallon black water tank last?

A 30-gallon black water tank can last up to six days. The size of the wastewater tanks (grey and black water) depends on the manufacturer of the caravan and the design of the caravan.

How big should my septic tank be?

The larger your home, the larger the septic tank you’re going to need. For instance, a house smaller than 1,500 square feet usually requires a 750 to 1,000-gallon tank. On the other hand, a bigger home of approximately 2,500 square feet will need a bigger tank, more than the 1,000-gallon range.

What sizes do septic tanks come in?

Most residential septic tanks range in size from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons. An average 3-bedroom home, less than 2500 square feet will probably require a 1000 gallon tank. Of course, all of this depends on the number of people living in the home and the amount of water and waste that will be put into the system.

How do I find out the size of my septic tank?

One way to find out the size of your septic tank is through records kept from when the tank was installed. These records could be with the previous owner of your home. Another way to identify the tank size is to talk with the last company that serviced/pumped your tank.

How do you get rid of the poop pyramid in RV black?

To eliminate a poop pyramid, you need to get water into your black tank. The first thing you should do is close the black tank valve and get as much water into the black tank as possible. If the poop pyramid prohibits you from putting water into the tank, get some tank cleaner to pour down into the sewer drain.

How long can black water stay in RV tank?

How long can you leave waste in a black tank? Our research shows that most camping experts maintain that you can safely leave black water in the tank for up to ten days. Most, however, state that you should empty it out after no more than a week.

How do I connect my RV to my septic permanently?

Typically, you will find a clean out is the easiest way to connect your RV to your septic tank. This will be a PVC pipe that comes out from the ground with a screw cap. You can simply remove the cap and attach the sewer hose from your RV into this clean out.

How Big Is An RV Septic Tank?

One thing that scares off more people than anything else whether they are new to the RV lifestyle or are just thinking about it is the prospect of living in one. To put it another way, the septic tank is being dumped. When people think of having a small kitchen or taking brief showers, they don’t consider it to be a major inconvenience. However, it is when they begin to consider the inconvenience of emptying the “toilet” tank that they begin to have serious doubts about the whole proposition.

What is the capacity of an RV septic tank?

They are, on the other hand, frequently more accommodating than most people anticipate.

Tanks as large as 50 gallons apiece might be found in a larger recreational vehicle.

Explain the difference between black water and gray water, as well as the third tank in your RV – the fresh water tank – in this section.

What Are The Different Tanks?

One item that scares off more people than anything else whether they are new to the RV lifestyle or are just thinking about it is a septic tank. To put it another way, the septic tank has to be dumped. Having a small kitchen or taking short showers isn’t a huge concern when you think about it, is it? However, it is when they begin to consider the inconvenience of emptying the “toilet” tank that they begin to have serious doubts about the whole affair. The first apparent question that arises is how often does it need to be disposed of in the first place.

  • The size of the tank varies depending on the size of the RV parked inside it.
  • Expect at least 15 gallons of black water storage and a gray water tank that holds 30 gallons for a modest recreational vehicle (RV).
  • Keep reading, though, if you’re not sure what I’m talking about.
  • Among other things, we’ll discuss what you should know about the sizes, how and when to dump, how to tell when it’s time to dump, and other pertinent information.

How Many GallonsDoes An RV Black Water Tank Hold?

The size of each tank is determined by the overall length and width of the RV. An RV designed to accommodate eight people will require larger tanks than an RV designed to accommodate two people. The fresh water tank is, on average, the biggest of the three tanks. According to RVing Know-How, it has a capacity of somewhere between 20 and 100 gallons of liquid. The gray water tank holds around 50 gallons on average. Black water tanks have a capacity of 18-64 gallons. While a larger tank may appear to be the best option in some situations, it is not always the case.

A huge tank will either be completely empty while it is scarcely utilized or will take an excessive amount of time to fill.

A tiny tank is simply inconvenient – who wants to have to find time to empty their tank on a daily basis?

This will allow you to receive an estimate of how many gallons you fill each and every day.

This way, if you’re staying somewhere without access to a dump station or sewer hookups, you’ll be able to estimate how many days your tank will last. It might also be useful if you intend to travel for a longer period of time than usual and need to factor in time for dumping.

How Often Do You Need To Dump RV Waste?

It is dependent on the size of the RV on how large each tank is. A motorhome designed to accommodate eight people will require larger tanks than a motorhome designed to accommodate only two people. The fresh water tank is, on average, the biggest of the three. According to RVing Know-How, it has a capacity of 20-100 gallons of liquid. Approximately 50 gallons of gray water are held in the tank. 18-64 gallons of black water may be stored in a black water tank It is not always the case that a bigger tank is the best option.

In either case, odor issues may arise, as well as a difficulty in cleaning the tank thoroughly.

Make sure you are familiar with your exact RV, as well as the size of the tank before you begin.

It will be easier to predict how long the tank will last if you are staying somewhere where there is no dump station or connections.

Can You Dump Black Water On The Ground?

The size of each tank is determined by the overall length and width of the vehicle. An RV built to accommodate eight people will require larger tanks than an RV built to accommodate two people. Fresh water tanks are typically the largest of the three tanks. In accordance with RVing Know-How, it may contain anywhere from 20 to 100 gallons. The gray water tank holds on average 50 gallons of water. The capacity of black water tanks ranges from 18 to 64 gallons. While a larger tank may appear to be the best option in some situations, this is not always the case.

  1. A huge tank will either be completely depleted while it is rarely utilized or will take an excessive amount of time to fill.
  2. A tiny tank is simply inconvenient – who wants to have to schedule time to empty their tank on a daily basis?
  3. This will assist you in estimating how many gallons you fill each day.
  4. It might also be useful if you intend to travel for a longer period of time than usual and need to schedule time for dumping.

Where Is The Black Water Tank In My RV?

Following the gray water tank, the black water tank is positioned below and adjacent to the RV carriage. Of course, if you have two different tanks – some compact RVs just have one – this isn’t a problem. The process of locating and emptying the black water tank might be difficult for first-time users.

Utilizing a dump station and emptying the black water tank on your own may be made more comfortable with the aid of this instructional video. Always begin with the black water tank and work your way down to the gray water tank.

How Long Will A Black Water Tank Last?

It’s difficult to determine how long a black water tank will endure in the long run. Over time, the plastic used to construct the tank deteriorates and becomes brittle. It doesn’t matter how carefully you take care of the tank at this time; it is just nearing the end of its useful life at this point. While it is rare, it is possible for a tank to endure for more than twenty-five years before this occurs. Tanks, on the other hand, do not always make it to this stage. Damage happens most frequently as a result of inappropriate handling or storage.

  1. This may be accomplished with a regular garden hose.
  2. This might cause serious damage.
  3. When the RV is not in use for more than a week, it is recommended that the tanks be emptied.
  4. If there is any possibility that the water in the tank will freeze while it is being stored, however, do not follow this recommendation.
  5. Prepare your RV for the winter, as seen here:

What Are Black Water Tanks Made Of?

The black water tank in most recreational vehicles is composed of an unique type of plastic. ABS plastic, commonly known as polycarbonate plastic, is also utilized in the plumbing industry. Some tanks are built of low-density polyethylene, which is lightweight and durable (LDPE). This is easily distinguished by its milky, nearly transparent look. Tanks constructed with LDPE are extremely difficult to repair. They are resistant to the majority of solvents, and the majority of crack repair procedures are ineffective.

  1. ABS plastic, on the other hand, can be repaired in some instances.
  2. It’s possible that it’s not worth it.
  3. After only a few weeks, the material begins to disintegrate – you can repair one hole, but after a few weeks, there’s another.
  4. It’s just easier to replace than it is to cope with leaks from your toilet tank, smells, and other unpleasantness for an extended period of time.

In Closing

The majority of recreational vehicles have three tanks. The potable water is stored in the fresh water tank until it is needed. The gray water tank gathers the water that has been used in the shower and in the sink. The black water tank is where the used toilet water is stored and disposed of. Depending on the RV, there may or may not be a gray water tank, and all used water is collected in the black water tank. For optimal results, empty the black water tank when it is nearly full – never less than two-thirds of the way full.

Always dump your RV’s black water at a dump station, both for legal and hygienic considerations.

Using a hose, flush the tank on a regular basis to prevent waste left behind by mistake from collecting in it. If you enjoyed this post, you may want to consider the following: What Is the Size of an RV Shower? 14 Recreational Vehicles with Extra-Large Bathrooms

What Is The Typical RV Holding Tank Size?

Whether you’re planning a road trip or living full-time in your RV, it’s critical to understand the capacity of your camper’s holding tanks. The amount of fresh water you can take for drinking, washing dishes, and showering, as well as the size of the RV’s tanks for gray water and sewage, must be determined before you leave home. Water hookups are available at almost every campground, and some sites even have dump stations where you can empty your gray and black water tanks. However, knowing the capacity of your tanks is still vital so that you can plan your trip correctly, especially if you’re traveling as a family or in a group.

See also:  What Is The Best Septic Tank? (Question)

Additionally, you may find yourself in a campsite without electrical or water hookups, and if your fresh water tank is low or empty, you may be need to purchase additional water for drinking and washing up.

It depends depend on the size of your RV how large your holding tanks will be, but on average, your fresh water tank will contain 20 to 100 gallons, your gray water tank will hold around 50 gallons, and your black water tank would store between 18 and 64 gallons.

What Types of Holding Tanks Do RVs Have?

Most recreational vehicles and campers are equipped with three types of tanks:

  • The majority of recreational vehicles and campers are equipped with three types of tanks:

It’s a good idea to empty your gray and black water tanks before they reach too near to the maximum capacity level. Most RVs are equipped with a sensor that alerts you when the tank is approaching capacity. If your camper does not have a sensor, you’ll need to keep a watch on the gray water tank to ensure that it does not fill up. Later in this piece, I’ll go through how to empty your holding tanks.

How Can I Tell The Capacity of My RV’s Tanks?

Opening your tank storage area and looking inside will normally reveal the volume of each individual tank, although this is not always the case. It’s possible that the tank capacity isn’t visible on the tank itself, but you can discover the sizes in your owner’s handbook instead. Alternatively, you may conduct an internet search using the make, model, and year of your RV to obtain the tank capacity data. It’s common for the manufacturer or seller’s website to provide the capacity of the tanks if you’re purchasing an RV and have questions about tank sizes.

Your fresh water tank’s capacity is always the first item on the screen to appear, followed by the capacity of your gray water tank, and finally the capacity of your black water tank.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, you can transport up to 75 gallons of fresh water, your gray water tank can hold up to 60 gallons, and you must empty your black water sewage tank before it fills up with more than 50 gallons.

What is the Typical Gallon Capacity of an RV’s Holding Tanks?

Generally speaking, bigger recreational vehicles (RVs) will have larger holding tanks, whilst smaller campers would have smaller holding tanks. However, this isn’t always the case, as some large RVs are built to seat fewer people than other models. Due to the fact that Class A RVs are the largest campers available, the holding tanks in these vehicles will be bigger, but Class B RVs and camper vans will have the smallest holding tanks available. Tank capacities also differ depending on the kind of tank used, with fresh water tanks having the most capacity and gray and black water tanks having the least.

Average Size of Fresh Water RV Tanks

A rule of thumb is that holding tanks in big recreational vehicles (RVs) have more capacity, whereas tanks in compact campers have less capacity. The opposite is true in some cases, since some big recreational vehicles are built to accommodate fewer people. The holding tanks in Class A RVs and camper vans will be the largest since these vehicles are the largest available, but Class B RVs and camper vans will be smaller because these vehicles are the smallest. Fresh water tanks have the biggest capacity, while gray and black water tanks carry less waste.

Average Size of Gray Water RV Tanks

The size of your RV’s gray water tank is frequently determined by the size of your RV’s living space and sleeping capacity. Your gray water tank will have a capacity of around 50 gallons on average across all RV classes and travel trailer types, with Class A and fifth wheel trailers having the most capacity and Class B having the lowest capacity. Gray water tanks in Class A recreational vehicles typically carry between 40 and 65 gallons of water. When it comes to fifth wheel trailers, the range is similar, although some trailers can carry as much as 93 gallons of gray water in the gray water tank.

Travel trailers are also available in a range of sizes, with the gray tanks in smaller trailers holding as little as 28 gallons and the gray tanks in bigger RVs holding as much as 78 gallons in some cases.

Average Size of Black Water RV Tanks

Despite the fact that the black tank in most RVs is smaller than the fresh and gray water tanks, it can fill up more quickly depending on how much you flush, how much toilet paper you use, and how often you use the toilet. Aside from the size and capacity of your RV or camper, you can expect the black tank to carry somewhere between 18 and 64 gallons on average. Fifth wheels typically feature the largest black tanks, which may contain anywhere from 39 to 88 gallons when fully stocked with waste.

In class C motorhomes, which are available in a variety of configurations, the black tanks range in size from 27 to 63 gallon capacity.

Larger travel trailers may have larger black tanks, but in average, the black tank in these campers will store between 28 and 42 gallons of liquid waste each day. In the event that your Class B RV has a black tank (although not all have), it will most likely hold between 10 and 26 gallons of waste.

How Do I Empty My Gray and Black Water Tanks?

The fresh water tank in your camper can normally be filled from the water hookup at your campsite, but emptying the gray and black water tanks in your camper may be a difficult (and occasionally disgusting) part of owning a camper. Many RV parks and campsites will have a dump station that has been certified for this operation, but not all of them will have one. So, if you’ll be needing to empty your tanks at the conclusion of your stay, be sure to check with the campsite ahead of time to ensure they have one available for you.


How to Maintain Your Holding Tanks

When you have a camper, filling your fresh water tank is typically as simple as using the water hookup at your campground; but, emptying the gray and black water tanks may be difficult (and occasionally downright disgusting). Many RV parks and campsites will have a dump station that has been certified for this operation, but not all of them will have this facility. So, if you’ll be needing to empty your tanks at the conclusion of your stay, make sure to check with the campsite ahead of time to ensure they have one available for use.


  • If you want to optimize the area in your black tank and minimize blockages, you should only use specific RV toilet paper. Preparing your toilet before each trip involves filling it with water from an external source (such as a bucket), adding a dosage of black water tank treatment (such as Aqua-Kem), and flushing it once. By taking military showers and/or utilizing disposable plates and utensils, you may reduce your water use. Allowing your gray water tank to fill at least two-thirds of the way before emptying it can help to avoid buildup and make the cleaning procedure more efficient at removing scum from the tank. Never completely empty your gray water tank since scum will accumulate and generate smells and unclean conditions within the tank and hose
  • Instead, keep the tank half-full.

Steps for Emptying Gray and Black Water Tanks

Whenever possible, empty your black water tank before emptying your gray water tank. This is because gray water is cleaner and may be utilized to rinse up the black water hoses, whereas black water is less clean. Plus, who likes to reserve the most unpleasant and inconvenient work till last? It’s best to get it over with as soon as possible. @thebravewinnie When it comes to emptying your gray and black water tanks, follow these simple steps: There are a variety of signals that your RV’s sensors are indicating that your tanks are growing full and need to be emptied, including the following: 1.

  1. In any case, it’s time to empty the tank and start over.
  2. @airstream nuts and bolts2.
  3. You should then unscrew the holding tank outlet cap and connect the waste hose between your camper and the dump station.
  4. 3.Drain your black water tank by opening the valve on the side of the tank.
  5. When you’re finished, close the valve on the black tank and repeat the process with the gray water tank valve.
  6. Lift the detached end of the hose to discharge any residual water from the hose into the dump hole at the bottom of the hole.

Remove the hose from the dump hole and water off the area surrounding the hole to remove any spillage that may have occurred. Cover the dump hole and put your sewer hose somewhere safe. Treat your black water tank with the appropriate chemicals by contacting Cal RV Specialists.

How to Deal With Clogs in Your RV Holding Tanks

It’s crucial to understand that your gray and black water tanks are not the same as your home’s sewer system in this regard. They can become clogged or fail if you flush or drain the incorrect materials through them, or if they are not properly cared for. In order to prevent particles from entering your RV’s gray water tank, you should attempt to place strainers in the sink(s) and shower drains of your RV. For the sake of preventing blockages in your black water tank, you should always use specific RV toilet paper and never flush sanitary items or wet wipes (even if they are labeled as flushable).

If Your Black Water Tank Gets Clogged…

  1. Always use gloves and protective eyewear to avoid coming into touch with human excrement, which is not only disgusting but may also be harmful to your health. Start by draining your black water tank completely, as this may help to clear the blockage completely. If this is not the case, the blockage might be in your waste pipe (which runs between the toilet and the black water tank)
  2. Otherwise, Pyramid plugs can form in your waste pipe as a result of hardened waste build-up, and they can be difficult to remove. To unclog these blockages, you’ll need to use a toilet snake and a long, flexible auger to probe about within the toilet’s waste pipe until the line seems to be clean. Note: Only use toilet snakes or toilet wands that are specifically made for RV usage, since regular ones may pierce your tank or waste pipe.

If Your Gray Water Tank Gets Clogged…

  1. To flush your pipes and break down any build-up, use a moderate cleaning procedure such as a little dish detergent and hot water. Allow the hot water to run for a while, then empty your gray water tank after you’re finished. Deep-cleaning your gray water system can also be accomplished by circulating a very dilute bleach solution through its pipes and within the tank itself. Consider putting ice to the tank and taking a brief drive to let the ice to’scrub’ the interior of the tank
  2. This will help to prevent corrosion. Gray water treatment chemicals, as well as those for your black water tank, are both accessible, however they are not necessarily required to be used.

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Septic Tank Size – iRV2 Forums

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08-04-2020, 01:36 PM 1
Community ModeratorMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jul 2016Location: Central, ArkansasPosts: 9,130 Septic Tank Size

We are putting in a pad for semi permanent living. The bus has 60 gallon grey and black tanks. Obviously the grey will stay open but the black will be dumping 60 gallons in bulk every couple of weeks. Has anyone installed a septic tank just for the rv pad? If you have what size worked out for you?_2004 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV Cummins ISC 350HP Allison 3000 6 speed2020 Chevy Equinox Premier 2.0t 9 speed AWD

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08-04-2020, 02:24 PM 2
Senior MemberJoin Date: Nov 2012Location: bis. ndPosts: 1,118 i was builder for 23 yrs. i built many rural homes. the septic tanks are like 1000 gallon. its the drain field thats important. states have different codes for amount of sq ft for 1 bedroom or 4 bedroom. and depth of pipe kind of pipe like with a sock or just perforated. what kind and how much material per foot of pipe. in ND with our soils you can go up 4 feet deep. i never did that as i think it aerates better at like 30 inches. and never in a place that water collects. on downhill slopes you cant just angle pipe with slope as all the water goes to end it has to be level or stepped_2007 Alfa Gold! model 1008. 400hp Freightliner, IFS!
08-04-2020, 04:48 PM 3
Moderator EmeritusJoin Date: Jan 2000Location: Silver Springs, FL. USAPosts: 24,784 If it is only serving the RV pad, you might get by with 500 gallon tank and a suitable sized drain (leach) field, but I’d go for 1000. I haven’t priced the components lately but there used to be only a small difference in tank costs and everything else is the same anyway. Local codes may dictate the size anyway, but since it’s not a residence you might get away with a DIY, no-permit installation.Be careful with the drain field – it makes or breaks the system and soil type and terrain are crucial factors (see beenthere’s post)._Gary BrinckFormer owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVsHome is in the Ocala Nat’l Forest near Ocala, FL
08-04-2020, 05:19 PM 4
Senior MemberJoin Date: Apr 2016Location: Full TimersPosts: 355 Spd. did not say he was adding a drain field. If not hooked to a field how often are you willing to pay to have it pumped? Are you going to empty the gray into the tank also? Are you thinking of a seperate field for the gray water? If your going to dump black only and pump it then a 350 gal. tank will last over a month. Gray on the ground will work if you have space and no neighbors too ding you. Campground hosts are frequently faced with this dilemna in parks where the only sewer hookups in the park are at the host sites._DaveSheryl Rambeau2011 Itasca Meridian 39′
08-04-2020, 06:13 PM 5
Senior MemberMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jun 2014Posts: 10,473 I would contact the county health/environmental department and talk to them. There may be a minimum size that would work for what you want. My guess a 300 gallon would be enough along with ~100 ft of drainfield but that depends on you perk testing. You will need a drain field unless you plan on pumping, which would be a pain. Depending on the county requirements this could be stone filled trench or composite type.Also, if you decide to add a septic system I caution against using any type of RV Black tank treatment. I might play havoc with the septic tank.I built a new house and had the septic installed in 2017. My wife does dog grooming and I wanted a large enough system to handle that plus the 4 bedrooms, so I opted for a 5 bedroom system which required a 1250 gallon tank and 550 of drain field (110 ft per bedroom). Permit cost $250In my case the health department required a soil study meaning I had to hire a guy to dig a couple holes, look the soil type, and write a report (that I had to correct). The study cost $300.Install was pretty straight forward, cost $6500.I ran the lines to have an RV dump in the parking area that I excavated, I actually added a second one if we have visitors._Jim J 2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD Cummins ISC 350 8.3L2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
08-04-2020, 08:46 PM 6
Senior MemberJoin Date: Apr 2015Location: Rogers, ARPosts: 1,645 My opinion would be that you would need a larger tank, which will require a larger leach field.You are saying a 60 gal dump every two weeks, thinking only a small tank will take care of this.The problem is that a septic system is a “trickle” system. Only a small amount of water normally trickles into the tank on a continuing basis, and trickles out into the leach field the same way. An operating septic tank is normally full of water and as 1/2 gal. trickles in, 1/2 gal trickles out to the leach field where it gradually soaks into the ground. A smaller tank won’t have the capacity to take a 60 gal dump without filling the intake pipe and possibly flowing out your dump cap. If you install a 60 gal capacity intake pipe, to dump into, then it can trickle into, and out of the tank, then you should be good. Septics just aren’t for high flow water volume.Another thing about septics is that they operate on bacteria to digest the solid waste. If you flush disinfects down, that can kill the bacteria and stop the digestive action in the tank. A tank usually requires continuous adding of the bacteria agent._2019 Fleetwood Discovery LXE 40M w/2021 Equinox
08-04-2020, 08:52 PM 7
Community ModeratorMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jul 2016Location: Central, ArkansasPosts: 9,130 I will be adding a leach field and I know about using ridx and not killing the bacteria. The perk tester I called recommended not getting a permit since it is a second septic on property and only for the RV. I don’t have an issue with that as there are no neighbors but I want it to work. I may request a bigger tank just because. I don’t mind getting it pumped. Twice a year is better than once a month though._2004 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV Cummins ISC 350HP Allison 3000 6 speed2020 Chevy Equinox Premier 2.0t 9 speed AWD
08-05-2020, 06:55 AM 8
Senior MemberJoin Date: Jan 2017Location: Nashville, TN areaPosts: 4,580 Tank size determines how long the stuff stays in the tank and gets broken down by bacteria. Field size determines how much effulent can be soaked into the ground.If you use a tank that’s too small you stand a chance of introducing raw sewage into the field lines. If you don’t have enough field lines you can water log the field lines.In most locations septic systems are pretty well regulated and designs are critical. Failing to properly size the system can pollute the local area and ground water with some pretty nasty bacteria. I would suggest you consult the local health department or whoever regulates septic systems in your area.If your main concern is that it works properly that would be the best way to go. Septic permits are usually in the $100 range and you get a lot of design assistance for that price. If you’re trying to sneak something past the regulations then ignore this post.Nobody on here can determine field or tank sizing unless they have some knowledge about your soil makeup._When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.2019 Newmar Canyon Star 3627 on a 2018 F-53 26K chassis w/6 speed transmission2017 Jeep Wrangler JKU with Ready Brute tow system w/Currie Tow PlateTitusville, FL when not on the road
08-05-2020, 07:10 AM 9
Senior MemberJoin Date: Nov 2015Posts: 1,056 Spd, I understand you are ok with just putting it in, I would search for a contractor who’s experienced with septic systems, explain to them your plan and see if they will work around getting a permit. They will know local code.CLIFFORD
08-05-2020, 07:12 AM 10
Senior MemberMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Jun 2014Posts: 10,473 Built a new house in the country so no city sewer.Knowing we would have to have a septic system I did research. Most “experts” say that there is no need to use a RidX type product if you use your system correctly. Some of the recommendations I found wereDo not use a garbage disposal disposal to send food waste to the the septic system. It will not break down easily.Limit harsh chemicals, I actually put a bypass in for the two laundry rooms I built knowing my wife uses bleach to disinfect dog stuff.Limit water use, that is why I installed the largest tank I could find, to help offset my wife’s high usage.No RidX or equivalent.If you do things right you won’t have to worry about pumping for +10 years, or longer depending on specific circumstances. So spending a little more now for the proper size system may save you money in the long run._Jim J 2002 Monaco Windsor 38 PKD Cummins ISC 350 8.3L2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/5.7 Hemi
08-05-2020, 11:51 AM 11
Registered UserMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Mar 2018Location: Blairsville, GAWPB, FLPosts: 3,993 I would tap into the existing house septic system, even if I had to use a macerator to pump to it, if it’s higher up from the RV pad. The grey water could go into a French drain (5-10’ of gravel in a 2’ wide trench) and once a week pump the black to the house septic.In GA (clay soils) you can legally put 10 RVs (no washing machines) on a normal house septic system (1000 gallon tank). If you want separate system for the RV I would use a 275 gallons plastic tote and 3 sections of plastic drain field chambers.
08-06-2020, 05:31 AM 12
Senior MemberJoin Date: Nov 2015Posts: 1,056 IVYLOG, ha! I made up a 2 tote system, been three years now and working great. The design duplicates a cement tank. No washer/dryer on the system.CLIFFORD
08-06-2020, 09:08 AM 13
Registered UserMonaco Owners ClubJoin Date: Mar 2018Location: Blairsville, GAWPB, FLPosts: 3,993 The Infiltrator plastic chambers are the best thing for drain fields, especially in clay soils. The OP is in AR (soils unknown) and no permit so $250 in materials and a small trackhoe for half a day. problem solved BUT tapping into the house system is the best choice.
08-06-2020, 03:07 PM 14
Moderator EmeritusJoin Date: Jan 2000Location: Silver Springs, FL. USAPosts: 24,784 alank is correct in his warning about overwhelming a too-small tank, though we could debate forever whether “too small” is 300 or 500 or 1000. His warning is the reason I suggested 1000 even though 500 is probably large enough. Just trying to be cautious.For the reason alank cites, it’s better to dump 20-30 gallons more often than 60 gallons every once in awhile.Note that the black tank contents are already partially digested when dumped, so you shouldn’t be putting a bunch of thick solids and paper into the tank all at once. It is, however, enough viscous fluid to add several inches of water to the tank until it drains off. Modern tanks usually have baffles to prevent the nastier stuff from proceeding directly to the drain field exit pipe, though._Gary BrinckFormer owner of 2004 American Tradition and several other RVsHome is in the Ocala Nat’l Forest near Ocala, FL
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RV Holding Tanks: The Ultimate Guide on Holding Tanks for RVs

Your RV holding tanks are responsible for allowing you to use the restroom — as well as the shower and the kitchen sink — while traveling without leaving a trail of wastewater behind. Holding tanks, as the name indicates, are used to store wastewater generated by your home and store it beneath your coach until you are ready to dump it into a public sewer system. There is also a freshwater holding tank, which allows you to use fresh water even if you are unable to connect to the city’s water distribution system.

  1. Everything you need to know about RV holding tanks will be covered in this essay, from how to distinguish between black and gray water (which is critical!) to how to unclog a stoppage.
  2. As previously stated, there is not (often) a single holding tank for your RV; rather, there are three different holding tanks for your RV to use.
  3. Each requires certain maintenance practices to function properly; for example, you must put particular chemicals in your black water tank to aid in the breakdown of solid waste and the preservation of the odor-free operation of your RV toilet.
  4. What precisely is the black water holding tank in an RV and how does it function?
  5. The three distinct RV holding tank systems are shown in the diagram below.
  • Water that runs from your sinks and showers is referred to as gray water. In other words, it is the reasonably clean wastewater that may contain soap residue or food particles, but which normally does not contain anything particularly noxious. Water that has been contaminated by human feces is referred to as black water. A fresh water tank may also be installed, letting you to utilize your onboard plumbing system even while off-grid camping or boondocking.

In order to keep them functional (and as odor-free as possible! ), each camping holding tank must be dumped (or filled) individually and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. In particular, many campers are interested in the size of their RV’s holding tanks, because it is the tank capacity that has the ability to compel you to finish a boondocking camping vacation sooner than you would have liked. After all, once your wastewater tanks are full (or your freshwater tank is dry), you will have no alternative but to connect to a city sewer and water hookup in order to dispose of the old and replenish your supplies with the new.

courtesy of GIPHY However, the good news is that the normal holding tank size for an RV is actually quite acceptable.

(Obviously, larger recreational vehicles will have greater holding tanks, in basic terms.) No matter what large your tanks are — and the only way to know for sure is to contact your dealer or owner’s handbook — the length of time you may go between dumping operations is a question of personal preference.

  • Having discussed tank size and capacity, let’s move on to what occurs when those tanks reach capacity: dumping.
  • Most recreational vehicles are equipped with an onboard sensor system that allows you to monitor the levels of each separate tank.
  • umm.
  • watching things rise to the surface.
  • An essential point to remember is that you should avoid emptying your tanks before they are completely filled, especially in cold weather.
  • If you want to dump your tanks, you’ll need to step outside your RV and find a location along your sideboard where the waste tank valves are located.
  • This is standard practice.

In order to prevent it from coming free and causing a really nasty mess, you may want to have someone lay their foot, or even a block, on the end of the pipe that connects to the municipal sewage.

Always empty your black tank first; this will allow the gray tank to wash out your hose with its comparatively clean water once it has been drained.

Whether or not your campground is linked to a sewage system, close both valves when the tanks are completely empty—leaving them open is a surefire way to create a clog, as the liquid waste water will flow through while the solid waste is allowed to build.

Potable water hoses are often white in color, making them simple to distinguish from other types of hoses.

Draining your tank is accomplished by opening the drain valve located at the bottom; refer to your owner’s handbook for precise instructions on how to do so.

What happens if you have a clog in your drain?

You should constantly use a good black tank deodorizing and cleaning chemical, which will aid in the breakdown of solid waste and the preservation of the fresh scent of your toilet.

The compounds are available in both liquid and powder forms, but employing them makes a significant effect regardless of the form.

If your fresh water tank is polluted or smells bad, you may clean the RV’s holding tank using regular home bleach to eliminate the odor.

  • Run the water until you can smell the bleach, then turn off the water and let the tank to rest for at least 24 hours after you have drained all of the bleach water. Fill the tank with water and then run the water again until the bleach smell has disappeared. After that, you may refill the holding tank as usual.

If you use RV holding tank cleaning and empty your tanks on a regular basis, the odds of encountering a blockage are little to none. Also keep in mind that you should only use toilet paper designed exclusively for RVs, which will help you avoid a clog in the first place by preventing it from occurring. Quick-dissolve toilet paper is significantly gentler on the sensitive systems in your RV. It is also lot less expensive. Having said that, if you find yourself in the position of having to unclog your holding tanks, you don’t want to employ the same type of rough-and-tumble approach you would use on your household metal pipes.

  1. A typical procedure is replacing the RV toilet and plumbing system with a conventional, residential commode and completely removing the RV holding tanks.
  2. Because this type of plumbing is not usually straightforward or simple, you may need to hire assistance.
  3. RV holding tanks and plumbing systems are not as reliable and durable as the ones you are accustomed to at home!
  4. How to clean the holding tank sensor in your RV by pouring soapy water through the whole system is demonstrated in this video.
  • When turning their RVs into full-time, fixed residences, some RVers would rather skip the RV holding tanks in order to save the hassle of dumping and cleansing the tanks on a regular basis. In the majority of situations, this entails replacing the RV toilet and plumbing system with a standard, residential commode and completely eliminating the RV holding tanks. For additional information on how to bypass RV holding tanks, talk to your dealer or another competent RV specialist about it. If you are unfamiliar with this type of plumbing, you may need to seek professional assistance. As previously said, plumbing your RV’s holding tanks is a complicated task that should be carried out with extreme caution to avoid injury. RV holding tanks and plumbing systems are not as reliable and durable as the ones you might be accustomed to at home. Regularly cleaning your RV holding tanks will help you prevent significant problems down the road, and it also has the added benefit of maintaining your RV tank sensor in good condition as well (and therefore performing its job well). How to clean the holding tank sensor in your RV by pouring soapy water through the whole system is demonstrated in this tutorial. Here are a few more blog pieces that might assist you in getting a better understanding of your RV’s plumbing system as a whole, including holding tanks:

To prepare for an RV holding tank replacement, the first step will be to remove your old tanks, which we’ll cover in more detail later on in this article. It is possible that you will need to develop schematics, install a fresh water pump, and mount your black and gray water tanks according to the manufacturer’s directions before you can complete the installation of your new RV holding tanks. If you want to do it yourself, Install It Yourself offers an excellent tutorial on how to do it here.

  1. There are some situations when it may be more cost-effective to engage a plumber; in this case, it is advisable to discover how to identify a reputable RV repair specialist before you begin shopping about!
  2. In most cases, you’ll need to remove the toilet in order to get access to the black water holding tank, however you may be able to reach the tanks totally from the sideboard of your recreational vehicle.
  3. If you have any questions, you should check your RV owner’s handbook.
  4. Despite the fact that RV holding tanks are not the most visually appealing components of an RV, they are an unavoidable fact of life that must be dealt with.

Maintaining them will make your self-contained RV feel more like a home while you are on the road. It is possible that this content contains affiliate links.

A Beginner’s Guide To RV Holding Tanks

Liz Wilcox contributed to this article. RVing may take you to some breathtaking destinations and provide you with the opportunity to make lifelong memories. However, not every aspect of RVing is visually appealing. It’s an unglamorous — but vital — aspect of any RV excursion to keep up with and empty your septic system on a regular basis. And if this system is not properly maintained and cared for, things may get rather unpleasant. Whether you’re a first-time RV owner or you’re planning to rent an RV via Campanda, it’s crucial to understand how to properly maintain your RV tanks.

What does an RV septic system look like?

Liz Wilcox is the author of this article. When you travel by RV, you may see some breathtaking destinations and make some fantastic memories throughout your travels. While RVing is a beautiful experience, not everything about it is such. It’s an unglamorous — but vital — element of any RV excursion to keep up with and empty your septic system on a regular basis. And if this system is not properly maintained and cared for, things may quickly become a mess. It’s critical to understand how to properly care for your RV tanks, whether you’re a first-time RV owner or planning to rent an RV via Campanda.

1. Fresh Water Tank

An RV typically has three tanks: one for fresh water, one for gray water, and one for black water. This tank is used to store fresh water, as the name implies. This is the water that comes out of your faucets and showers.

2. Grey Water Tank

The grey tank is responsible for storing the waste water from your RV shower and kitchen sink. It is possible that some secondhand campers and older RVs may not have this tank.

3. Black Water Tank

For novice RVers, this is the one that gives them the creeps. The black tank is responsible for storing waste water from the toilet. This tank is used to collect all filthy water if your RV does not have its own separate gray tank. Any one of these tanks, if not properly maintained, might pose difficulties for the owner.

How often should I empty my RV tanks?

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to how often you should empty your tanks; it all depends on how frequently you use them. The frequency with which you should empty your tanks is a matter of personal preference. If you are traveling with a large group of people, it is possible that you may need to empty your tanks every two days. If you and your spouse are the only ones in the house, once a week may be plenty. As a general rule of thumb, you should wait until your tanks are approximately two-thirds full before empties them.

Some recreational vehicles are equipped with devices that allow you to see exactly how much fuel is left in your tanks.

This type of sensor begins to malfunction after a few years of use.

In certain cases, even brand new sensors may produce an inaccurate reading due to paper or other trash adhering to the sensor and causing it to indicate “full” when it is not. Keeping track of how much water waste you generate is critical to staying on top of the situation.

How do I empty my RV tanks?

Your recreational vehicle’s holding tanks should be prominently labeled. If you’re renting an RV, make sure you obtain a tour from the RV owner before leaving. Before you start your first waste water dump, make sure you have a sewage hose and some gloves to keep your hands safe from the chemicals. Next, make a note of the valves that are located on the outside of your RV. These will be prominently labeled with the words “grey” and “black.” Connect your sewage hose to the RV’s waste water shutoff valve.

  • Before pulling the valves, double-check that it is securely attached on both ends.
  • It’s important to remember that the toilet waste water empties straight into this tank.
  • Dump stations are always prominently labeled and easily identifiable.
  • When you can no longer hear any liquid coming through the line, turn off the valve and remove the hose.
  • This is critically crucial.
  • It will force all of the liquid to drain out, leaving no route for the particles to drain out as a result.
  • Pull the grey tank valve once you’ve made sure the valve is completely closed.
  • Some RVers choose to keep the gray tank valve open outside the RV and allow it to drain continually to save time.
  • Flushing the gray tank after flushing the black tank can assist in flushing any sediments that have been caught in your sewage pipe.
  • When removing the sewage pipe, go cautiously to avoid creating a mess.

How do I maintain my RV septic system?

Starter kits like this one are available at places like Walmart and RV retailers. Once you’ve gotten the hang of emptying the tanks in your recreational vehicle, the task can be completed fast and efficiently. However, there is more to properly operating your tanks than simply emptying them – upkeep is just as vital and will help you avoid problems down the road if done correctly. In general, flushing your system on a regular basis, as well as cleaning and sanitizing your tanks, will keep your system up and running relatively trouble-free.

Other things to know about your RV holding tanks:

The fresh water tank, however it is the least frightening of the three tanks, nonetheless need care from time to time. When connected to water or filling the tank, only use a potable water hose to avoid contaminating the water. Because of their white tone, they are simple to distinguish. When using this tank, it is critical to pay close attention to the weather. Insulate your hose during freezing weather and drain your fresh water during periods of excessive heat to avoid water stagnation and evaporation.

The fresh water tank is responsible for storing the water that flows out of your faucets. It’s the least frightening of all of the RV holding tanks. If the tank begins to smell, it is possible that it has become polluted. To clean the tank, use regular household bleach.

  1. Pour 14 cup of bleach into your tank for every 15 gallons of water it holds. Continually run the water until you detect the fragrance of bleach Continue to run the machine until all of the bleached water has been removed. Allowing your tank to rest for 24 hours is recommended. Ensure that your tank is fully refilled and that the water is running until the bleach smell is gone. Use as you normally would

Gray Water Tank

Once again, here is the location where the water from your sink or RV shower is collected. Large travel trailers and fifth wheels may have two gray tanks to accommodate the additional space. It’s vital to notice that the drain into this tank is rather modest in diameter. Take all necessary precautions to guarantee that food particles do not end up in the sewer. Even something as little as a pea has the potential to block a drain.

Black Water Tank

You should only ever empty your tanks at a dumping site that has been authorized for that purpose. There are a few basic rules of thumb to follow in order to keep the dreaded black tank from causing problems:

  1. Single-ply toilet paper should be used. Two-ply might cause a blockage in the tank. Flush the toilet on a regular basis, always adding water to the bowl before flushing
  2. After you’ve dumped your tank, disinfect it. Special chemicals for this may be found in the RV area of any large box shop
  3. However, they are not inexpensive. Pouring a garden hose down the toilet is a good way to keep this tank clean. This should assist in flushing your system and clearing out any buildups that have occurred.

Although draining sewage may not be a part of your RVing dreams, it is a very real and necessary element of the RVing experience. Ideally, it should be a short and painless process if everything is done correctly. Follow the instructions above, and after a few trips to the dump station, you’ll be an expert at dealing with your RV’s septic system! Even though emptying your RV’s tanks is not a pleasant task, it is an essential aspect of RV life. Are you apprehensive about the prospect of emptying your own recreational vehicle tanks?

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