Being in the great outdoors lowers your stress, helps your immune system, and gets you away from your phone. What better way to enjoy all that nature has to offer than by visiting an RV campground?
Upgrading your tent for an RV is an exciting move, especially because you get to enjoy most of the amenities you love from home in your house on wheels.
Most RVs have hookups so you can connect water and electricity to your site. Another hookup that some RV sites have is the sewer hookup. This connection takes the wastewater from your gray and black tanks and gets rid of them safely and legally.
If you've never used an RV sewer hookup before, it can feel overwhelming. The good news is this process is nothing to worry about. We outline how to get your RV sewer connection all set up in our guide below.
How an RV Sewer Hookup Works
Although RV bathrooms feel like the bathrooms from home, they don't work quite the same way. Every time you go to the bathroom and flush the toilet in your RV, the water stays in a tank. It stays here until you are ready to dump it out.
Most RVs have three different types of tanks. They hold water from various parts of your RV.
Gray Water Tank
The gray tank is where water from your RV shower and sink goes.
Black Water Tank
The black tank is where the toilet waste goes. Some RVs don't have a gray water tank. If this is the case with your RV, the shower water will also end up in the black water tank.
This is where you store the water that you will use in your RV during your stay. You'll fill this tank up with fresh water and use this to do things like shower, flush the toilets, or wash dishes.
Once your tanks are full, you'll need to dump them of their contents so you can fill them again. Dumping stations will have the correct connections you need to get rid of your waste in a safe and legal way. You never want to get rid of your waste tanks in the wild or you could risk harming the environment.
When to Empty the Tanks
The biggest factor for how long it will take before you need to empty your black water tank is how often you are using the bathroom. Families with a larger amount of people will have to empty their tanks faster than a pair of campers.
How to Connect Your RV Sewer Hookup
Once your tanks are full, it is time to dump them. You can do this by connecting a sewer hose from your RV to the sewer.
Before you start, get yourself a pair of gloves. This isn't the most glamorous work, so protecting your hands is a must-do part of the process. Once you have your gloves on, follow the steps below to learn how to empty your RV's black and gray water tanks.
1. Find the Sewer Connection
A sewer connection is less common in campsites than water and power connections. Although some places, like Canopy RV Resort, have sewer hookups at the site, other campgrounds have them in one location on the property.
You're looking for a spot on the ground that is made from concrete and has a lid. You can sometimes see a PVC pipe with a cap coming out of the concrete hole.
2. Connecting the Hoses
Once you've located the campground sewer, you'll want to check that the sewer hose valves on your RV are in a closed position. You don't want to take the valve caps off if they are in an open position or you'll risk getting waste on you.
The sewer hose to your RV has a bayonet-style fitting end and an elbow-shaped end. The bayonet-style fitting connects to your RV waste valve and the elbow-shaped fitting connects to the dump station.
First, take your RV sewer hose and connect the bayonet-style end to your RV. Next, connect the elbow-shaped side of the hose to the dump site inlet. Make sure your hose fits without any gaps to keep leaks from happening.
A helpful tip is to use a sewer hose holder for this step. This tool helps keep the sewer hose in place. It also angles the hose the right way and up off of the ground.
3. Drain the Black Tank
Once you have a secure connection, the next step is to open the tanks on your RV. Carefully open the valve on the blank tank so that the waste water starts to flow out. During this process, make sure that you don't see any leaks.
Make sure that you keep the valve open until the blank tank is as empty as you can get it. Once the waste is gone, you can close the black tank valve.
You'll repeat this process with a gray tank. Once both tanks have no waste water left in them, it's time to close the valves on the sewer hose.
4. Disconnect the Sewer Hose
Once the tanks are empty, twist the bayonet-style fitting until it disconnects from your RV and put the cover on the waste valve. Only disconnect the hose side that is connected to your RV. You don't want to disconnect the dump station side until the hose is clean.
5. Clean the Sewer Hose
Grab a garden hose to spray on the inside of the sewer hose. Once you have a clean sewer hose, you can remove the hose from the dump station. Store your hose in your RV for the next time you need it.
Don't Let RV Hookups Stop You From Getting Out in an RV
There are several different RV connections you'll have to learn when you buy an RV, but they are all easy to figure out. Although it's not the most fun job, don't let the RV sewer hookup scare you out of this fantastic pastime.
One of the best parts of having an RV is the places you get to stay. If you're looking for a new location to visit, it doesn't get any better than the Canopy RV Resort in Texas. Reserve a spot at our resort today!