If you’re a new owner of a motorhome or travel trailer, congratulations! Welcome to the RV life, a world of possibilities and your entryway to the great outdoors. While owning a residential vehicle comes with a lot of beauty and freedom waiting to be explored, there are inevitable aspects that require you to get down and dirty. Of these, the dirtiest is, by far, maintaining and emptying your RV’s black tank or septic system. While it isn’t the most glamorous job, it’s a necessary part of any RV adventure. And without proper maintenance and care of this system, things can get pretty ugly. Thankfully the team here at South Thompson RV has all the scoop on your RV’s poop chute. With these five tips, maintaining your black tank won’t have to be as dirty as you think!
How often you need to empty your tanks is relative. If you are travelling with a large number of people, you may need to empty your tanks every other day. If it is just you and your spouse, once a week may be enough. Most RVs have sensors that help monitor the levels in your black water, gray water, and freshwater holding tanks. Typically, the sensors track fluid levels in increments or percentages. A general rule of thumb is to wait until your tanks are about two-thirds full before emptying them. It creates a much better “flow” when dumping, making the process much more efficient.
3. Only Dump at Designated Dump Stations
Never dump your black tank’s wastewater anywhere except designated dump stations. Dump stations are always clearly marked, and many RVers rely on mobile RV apps to help them locate dump stations because apps typically have up-to-date closure and pricing information. Some dump stations, like some parks and campgrounds, operate seasonally, depending on temperatures. Apps often post real-time user experiences and provide contact numbers, so it’s easy to verify if a dump station is open or closed for the season.
The one place you won’t want to conserve water is inside the black water holding tank. Water helps flush everything down better, and when mixed with a holding tank treatment, the water interacts with the treatment and breaks down RV toilet paper and solid waste. Before using the toilet, fill the bowl with water at least halfway. When you flush, everything should go down much easier.
RVers often debate whether or not it’s necessary to use RV toilet paper. We have a whole blog on it, actually. Some people say that septic-friendly toilet paper is just as safe as RV toilet paper, but some manufacturers disagree. Your best bet? Stock your RV with the toilet paper the manufacturer suggests.
If you have more questions about maintaining your RV’s black tank, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at South Thompson RV for simple recommendations. You can also make an appointment with our service centre to ensure your RV is in tip-top shape and adventure-ready before hitting the road!