Last updated on October 9th, 2019 at 01:48 pm
If you store your RV at home, being able to empty your RV holding tanks at home is a great convenience. You may want to Install an RV sewer dump on your home sewer line. But if your home has a septic system, you should have a good understanding of how it works before adding a home RV sewer dump into the system. If not done properly it may require costly repairs to your septic drain field. Dumping a forty-five-gallon holding tank all at once won’t be a problem if the RV dump line is installed correctly, as described below.
The critical thing to remember is sewer lines should not have quick drops because the water will leave the solids behind to build up in the drain pipe. With the proper drop, solids are kept with the liquid and float to the septic tank entrance.
One inch of drop in a one hundred foot line is almost overkill; you should try for no more than a half-inch drop per hundred feet. Significant elevation changes should be done with 90-degree drops.
Connect your RV dump line into the septic system between the house and septic tank, NEVER into the drain field. Installing the RV dump AFTER the septic tank and before the leach lines will eventually clog the lines and may require digging up all the leach lines and replace them to get his system working again.
Another option is to drop the discharge from your RV dump directly into the top of the septic tank, preferably before the baffle, if your tank has one, but after the baffle will work if that is the only possibility.
If the dump will be used daily or very frequently, one needs to make sure to hook in between the house and tank, but for occasional use dumping into the tank after the baffle will work. The baffle in a septic tank ensures that the solids go down, not across the top of the liquid and out into the drain lines.
If dumping in after the baffle, it is a good idea to make sure the waste enters perpendicular and even to drop the end of the dump down into the water level a few inches to help direct the solids to the bottom. I always put the dump about six inches down into the water. NEVER bring waste in AFTER the baffle in a horizontal configuration as the agitation could send the solids across the top of the liquid right into the drain field outlet.
When installing new septic systems on lots big enough for RVs to be parked, I always offered to include an RV dump free of charge and connected it between the house and tank whenever possible. I figured it would save digging up the yard later to install one, and the additional cost of the pipe was minimal.
Hello, I am in the process of purchasing a 5th Wheel for my mother to live in at my house. We would like to hook directly into the home septic. The only direct access is the clean out pipe. Everything else is buried. What would be the best way to approach hooking into the septic from the 5th Wheel?
You should be able to purchase all the items you need at any well-stocked RV store, just tell the clerk what you want to do and he should be able to supply your needs.
Hello. My parents own an RV and will be parking it at our house for about a month or two every year and staying in it. We have a septic system. They will be parked less than 15 feet from the manhole cover and inspection cover. We are trying to determine the best way to provide a hookup that is permanent for when they are here. We had looked for a manhole cover that had an access on top for the drainage pipe to go into, but did so to no avail. We are looking for the safest way to do this (as we have little kids that like to investigate) without having to just lift the cover every couple of days or living it partially opened to have the pipe fit. Based on your comments, I think it is after the baffle if it goes into the manhole directly. Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Sorry if the terminology is not accurate.
You could make a cover to use while your parents are visiting. I would use several thickness’s of plywood, however many required to make it sturdy enough. It should be easy to cut a hole in the plywood cover for the drain connector. Use a pipe flange to connect it to the cover. You could even add a pipe extension under the cover to direct the waste to the proper part of the tank.
Hope that helps.
Thank you very much for your assistance and response. Have a great day!
How do you find someone in your local area who can come take a look and makesure its done properly and an estimated
That’s a job for a plumber. Finding a good plumber is like finding any other good tradesman. Start by asking family members and friends for recommendations. (Ask them on facebook). Check out online review sites etc. Call plumbers and ask questions.
I have house and septic. I have an rv i need to clean out. Priblem is both house and septic are higher than i can put rv. What can i do i cant move rv to higher ground
See these articles:
I have a Tiny House on wheels and would like to connect the sewage line from the Tiny House to my home sewer system. I have a clean out on my property. Is this legal in Washington State of King County?
This article was intended to provide a solution to RVer who, arriving home for a camping trip, need a way to dump their tanks. As such, we are assuming the connection to the cleanout would be made using an RV sewer hose and tempory. If this is what you had in mind then it should be okay since your tiny house is technically considered an RV.
If you plan a long-term connection… I assume someone will be living in the tiny house… then you may run into legal issues. Is it legal to live in a backyard tiny home where you are?
I don’t have a septic system but I am purchasing an rv next spring. I am renovating my house and want to install a dump station at my home. What am I looking at for a process etc? Can I even do it?
Hey Steven, this is by far the best information I’ve found online so far! Thanks for the education for those of us who are clueless. If you are still up for answering a question or two, I have at least one. So, I really want to install one of those campground like pvc pipes with a screw on lid that would go straight into our septic tank. The lid to the tank (that is supposedly before the baffle, even though it is farthest from the house) is a big plastic piece. Could I just drill a hole in it and put in a 4 inch pvc trap like pipe with a screw in top to avoid having to take the whole lid off of the tank top every time I want to dump black and gray tank into it with a hose?
I had some help with this article from a fellow RVer who was a plumber by profession so I cannot offer authoritative advice about this. In theory, I would think your idea is sound but, because I am not an expert, I have to advise you to consult with a plumber so you know you are doing things properly.
Thanks, I do know a plumber. I’ll ask him.
I want to put in hookups for my Rv but feel I should have professional company do it. I have a septic system and would need dump and electric run. Are there any suggestions on a company or how would I locate one that would help me with this. I am located in central Florida.
Any licensed electrician can do the electrical work. Same for plumbing, any good plumber can connect to the septic system. If trenching etc. is necessary you could do that yourself with advice from the electrition and plumber. If you need to have that done they can make the arrangements. You may want to read these articles: A FloJet Macerator Pump Made It Possible RV Macerator Pumps – the Basics
Hi Steven! My wife and I just moved into a stationary fifth wheel that is connected to a septic tank. However there is still a black water holding tank. Would recommend keeping the tank open or keeping it closed and draining it into the septic tank when full? We don’t want solids to get stuck to the black water holding tank, however we are also afraid of flooding the septic. Thank you
The black tank valve should be closed until it is nearly full. You need to do this to ensure solids get flushed out and do not build up in the tank. You can keep the gray tank valve open if you want but, since gray tanks can get stinky, you should close it on a schedule that works for you and let the tank fill to flush the tank. Maybe use some chemical too. I would recommend letting the gray tank fill the day before you empty the black tank. That way you can use the gray water to flush the sewer hose after dumping the black tank.
Hello, we are soon going to be living on the property of a friend in an 5th wheel. It is a large property and we won’t be very close to the septic tank. We do have several kids and so I imagine the tank will fill up rather quickly. Is there a way to make a tank near the 5th wheel that could be emptied once a month or so like they do with campground bathrooms? Or is there another option I haven’t thought of?
How far away from septic will you be? Up hill or down hill? Even a little incline makes a difference. See my article about macerator pumps. http://rvtipoftheday.com/product-review/flojet-macerator-pump/
I think it is between 50-75 yards away. The land seems somewhat level for a ways, maybe a slight incline and then has a decline.
I think that is going to be too far for a macerator pump to work but may be worth trying. Depending on local ordinances you may be able to make a dry well to handle the gray water. And use a large toter tank ( https://amzn.to/2D2FFEY ) to dispose of the black waste.
If you will be staying for an extended time, a year or more, it would make a lot of sense to put in a regular sewer line to the septic tank.
Hi. I live in a 5th wheel with hard plus Bing into the septic tank on property. There seems to be a clog somewhere but I’m not sure where. I have tried boiling water into the toilet but didn’t work. Plunger didn’t either. I attached the clean out thing to the water hose. I could feel water going in, but still nothing came out. Can I pull the pipe out of the septic and try to get something out that way?
Have you checked to see of the tank valve is open?
A plunger will never work to unclogged a holding tank because the tank is vented. The tank cleanout can be effective at clearing a clog but you have to be careful not to overflow the toilet or shower (depending on which tank you are flushing). Always have someone inside watching as the tank fills and be ready to turn off the hose. If the level goes down over time then continue flushing until the clog is gone.
You can remove the pipe from the septic connection and you may have to do that. But, for me, that would be the last resort. There is just too big a chance of a bad spill.
Once you get the system unclogged keep your black tank valve closed until the tank is at least 2/3 full. Then open the valve to dump the tank. More information about this in the articles linked below.
Here is some information that may help prevent future clogs.
I Pulled the Dump Valve but the Tank Won’t Drain?
RV black water holding tank basics
RV Holding Tank Usage
RV Holding Tank & Sewer Hose Tips
My travel trailer is parked can I just run the sewer line from the trailer straight to the septic tank or do I have to use the holding tank on trailer for the waste then empty it out
There is no practical way to bypass the holding tanks in an RV. You can get away with leaving the grey tank valve open and letting the water drain through, but you should close the valve occasionally and let the tank fill. Filling the tank helps flush food waste, etc. from the tank. The black tank valve should be kept closed except when draining the tank. You absolutely need water in the tank to flush the solid waste.
i’m new to this and not sure what you mean when you talk about hooking the rv into the septic. Right now my rv is in-between the part of the septic where the pump is and the mound with the drain field. Not sure what a baffle is either…can you help me understand?
If your septic system includes a pump, you will have to consult with a plumber. In a typical household septic system that does not use a pump, all household waste drains into a septic tank that allows solid waste to settle out before liquid waste moves on to the drain field. Normally a septic tank has a baffle in it that helps the solids settle. If you plan to dump your RVs waste directly into the septic tank it is important to do so on the proper side of the baffle. Google ‘how septic tanks work’ to get a better understanding.
Hello helpful website .But if you add a RV dump pipe thru the access port lid does the end actually go into and below the scum layer if so is it pressure that forces it out the end I’m having trouble understanding how that will work.
I am not a plumber so I can not answer you with any authority. There are different types of septic tanks and installations. You need to know which type you have before you do any modifications. My best advice is to consult a plumber who specializes in septic system installations.
I’m looking to set up a vintage park model ( think of the movie Long Long trailer) for summer guests & family. I want to connect to my home septic system. My question is how long can I reasonably go with solid pipe & two 90 degree sweeps before connecting? One location is 75 feet and the other is 100 feet. Thank you
Sorry, I cannot advise you on this. You need to consult a septic system professional even if you plan to do the work yourself. Pay the pro for an hour or two of his time to tell you how to do it correctly.
Hello! My husband and I bought a property that has a sewage line already from a previous home that was burned down. We are staying temporarily in a camper. How do we or can we connect our camper to the existing sewage? Should we call a plumber? The line is not to close to our camper. Thank you!