How to hook up and use an RV sewer hose

If you are road tripping in a self-contained rig (one that has a bathroom and/or a kitchen), at some point you are going to have get down to some nasty business and dump those tanks. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who thinks this part of RVing is fun, but the process doesn’t have to be messy or time consuming. Follow these steps and you’ll be back on the road in no time.

  1. Use disposable gloves. What you are about to do deals with gross grey water from your shower and sinks, and raw sewage from your RV toilet. It ain’t fun and can be a health hazard , so do yourself a favor and use gloves whenever you handle the hose or mess with any of the connections and caps.
  2. Make sure RV valves are closed. Yep, there’s a cap on the RV side, but make sure you have all the waste valves shut before attempting to take it off. This makes sense, right? If you take that cap off with the valves open, you are in for a surprise.
  3. Connect RV sewer hose. Most hoses have bayonet-style fittings and generally make a tight seal. Connect one side to the RV waste fitting, and extend the hose to the dump station’s inlet. Make sure to use an elbow (not yours, a fitting) that fits snug and deep into the dump station opening. You may need to use a soft sewer gasket depending on the dump station and location.
  4. Slowly open the black tank valve first. This is an important step. Depending on how full your tanks are, you can expect there to be a good pressure surge as sewage enters the hose and makes its way to the dump station. Keep an eye on the elbow going into the dump station for leaks, raw sewage shooting into the air, etc. Allow the tank to completely drain, giving it adequate time to trickle out at the end of the process. Close the valve.
  5. Drain the grey tank. After you’ve drained out the black tank and closed the valve, you can slowly open the greywater tank valve. Doing this second cleans out all that raw sewage from the hose. Just like the black tank process, keep an eye on things for leaks. Allow for things to fully drain.
  6. Close the RV waste valves. At this point, you can go ahead and close both the black and greywater tank valves. Be sure to look for any leaks from the valve itself, too.
  7. Disconnect hose from RV. Twist to disconnect, and pop the cap back on the waste valve.
  8. Spray down, clean up. At most places, there is a non-potable water hose – use that to spray down inside your sewer hose while it is still connected to the dump station. After that, remove the elbow from the dump station and spray it down, too. Spray down the concrete that surrounds the dump station.
  9. Stow away. Most RV’s have a pipe or area designated for the sewer hose. Stow everything away where it belongs, keeping it out of contact from other stuff that may be in the same area.
  10. Disinfect. Remove gloves and throw away. Most dump stations have a trash can for used gloves. Use hand sanitizer as a precaution. As an extra step, you can use a spray disinfectant on the sewer valves and hose connections.

That wasn’t so bad, right? Now you are ready to get on the road and back to the fun stuff. Got a tip or trick? Let us know in the comments, or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter.