This is an answer to one of the questions we are asked often: How can I find RV dump stations near me?
Despite the RV life being one filled with freedom and excitement, it still comes with a few little changes of lifestyle that many newcomers have a hard time adjusting to. We know this because we’ve gone through it ourselves when we first got into the RV life!
One major issue that newcomers to the RV community find is the issue of waste. Yup, you got it, we’re talking about that waste. As in, of the human kind.
Unfortunately, though it might be a great fertilizer, you can’t dump your RV waste wherever you may want. It’s not as simple as pulling over along the side of the road and unloading. No, you are going to have to find a dump station in order to make the unloading of your waste as safe, clean, and environmentally friendly as possible.
We will tell you how to find dump stations, and give you helpful tips for dumping.
Hey, if you buy something through my links, I might get a little something-something as a thank you. No extra cost to you, promise! Read our full affiliate disclosure here.
What Are Dump Stations?
RV Dump stations are facilities that are designated for dumping off RV waste, both black tank, and grey tank waste. This means that RV owners can get a fresh start on their waste and dirty water storage throughout their trips and vacation getaways.
However, dump stations aren’t exactly available on every block. Sometimes you need to go a bit out of your way to find one when your tanks get a bit full.
Luckily, even though RV Dump Stations aren’t packing every street corner, they are still located all over the country. With a little bit of proper planning, you won’t have to concern yourself too much.
In the same way that we plan our stops for sleep, sights, and events, dump stations are just another thing that we have to schedule.
Tips for Finding RV Dump Stations
Finding RV dump stations is easier now than it ever has been. You can imagine what it was like back before the age of the Internet! Today, we can find dump stations rather easily through various online sources and even through simple Google searches.
Google searches will make finding dump stations rather easy. However, in our experience, there can be some issues with the information being 100% accurate. Sometimes open/closing times and prices will be a bit different on Google than they are in reality. Use Google with a bit of caution!
Boondockers have more of a challenge in finding RV dump stations, and if off the grid camping is your choice, you'll need to work your trips around them to some extent. The more experience you get with your RV trip planning, the smoother the experience will be. It just takes a bit of practice to get the hang of incorporating dump stations into your trip planning as smoothly as possible.
Use Apps and Websites to Find Dump Stations
Many campgrounds do have RV dump stations, but they can often have long lines, or the timing just doesn't work out for you to use them when you need to. And there is a chance your campground won't have one.
The following online resources will help you between stops. As for boondockers, the following will help you find dump stations wherever you camp.
This site has been around for a long time and claims to provide the most comprehensive listings of RV dump stations online. They list private, public, RV park, non-park, municipal, truck stop, rest stop, campground, camping, resort, commercial, pay, donation, and free RV dump stations worldwide. You search by Zip or Postal code.
This site is only for US RV dump stations. I think this site is easier to use because you can search by state, city or map. The map feature is my favorite as it lets me easily find my location and then to visually see what's closest. The map feature also shows Interstate rest areas with dump stations are only shown on the dump stations map.
AllStays LLC is a travel-focused company that provides a range of resources for RVers, campers, and truckers. One resource is an app specifically for finding dump stations, called AllStays RV Dump.
You can download that app by itself, but you'll notice I listed AllStays Pro instead. Why?…
Because with AllStays Pro, you can find RV dump stations and SO MUCH MORE! AllStays Pro is browser-based, not an app, but it's such a great resource for RVers. We rely on it almost exclusively in our RV travels.
Using this link and the discount code: rvpodcast you can save 10% off your All Stays Pro annual subscription.
This is a popular website listing campgrounds, and you can use it to find dump stations, too. First, search by state, then select “view map.” The map search feature then has a “Category” tab where you can select “dump stations.” Dump stations will then populate on the map.
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This RV Rental site also has a section that allows you to search for RV Dump Stations near me. Find the state you are in and then scroll the cities for dump stations nearby.
It's a straightforward, browser-based resource that helps you easily find what you're looking for.
Tips for Using RV Dump Stations
A very important thing to remember is that RV dump stations are a shared space where all RVers go to empty out their waste and tanks. That means that we should all treat them with respect and care.
We are all guests there, and leaving the dump station cleaner than you found it is always the most common courtesy.
The sad truth is that many RV dump stations have had to shut down due to excessive waste spillage and improper care by users. With this in mind, always take the time to clean up after yourself and keep your waste where it is supposed to be–in the septic tank underground and not above ground all over the place!
Some good practices to keep in mind are:
- Release your black-tank before you release your grey tank. This will minimize odors, and help to wash away some of that more delicate waste when you are finished.
- Also, remember to use the water hose provided at most dump stations to clean up the area and any potential spillage that may occur during your dumping process.
- And as many dump stations also offer drinking water, be sure to choose the right connection if you are planning to top off your freshwater tanks. There are usually two hoses available. The one near the actual hole in the ground is usually marked non-potable water. It's just for washing down any spills.
- The freshwater, or potable, hose, is usually located at the far end of the dump station.
- Make sure you have an airtight connection with the RV Di=ump Station Hole. Smaller hoses should have a small black ‘Donut” that fits over the end of the hose coming from the RV.
Waste is something that all of us RV owners have to deal with. It may be a bit of a hassle, but the freedom of the open road does come with a few obstacles that need to be overcome along the way. That is why RV dump stations are both a godsend and a hurdle that must be worked around at the same time.
The best practice when it comes to RV dump stations is to always plan ahead of time.
You never want to be caught off-guard with a full black-tank and nowhere to let it out safely and legally. That is why you should always keep an eye on your online resources for where the best dump stations are for you and your route.
With proper planning, you shouldn’t have to go too far out of your way to get to an RV dump station.
Once you have a good understanding of where the dump stations on your route are, you can hit the road with a clear and calm head. You don’t have to worry that your, uh… Delicate matters will come back to haunt you in the middle of a trip.
Many campgrounds have RV dump stations, but they’re not always the cleanest and most well-maintained option. Plus, there’s often a line of RVers waiting to hook up to them.
That’s why many RVers prefer to dump their RV tanks at home, and it is possible! Sometimes it’s as simple as connecting to an access port, while other times you’ll need to do some modifications.
In this article, we answer some of the basic questions and then jump into the options for dumping RV tanks at home. Keep reading…
PRO TIP for Dumping: USE AN RV MACERATOR PUMP
An RV macerator pump makes dumping your tanks much easier and cleaner. At its most simple level, a macerator pump is an automatic grinder. Like your garbage disposal grinds up the solid you put down the sink, an RV macerator pump grinds up the solid and liquid waste you flush down your black water tank, turning it into a slurry.
Furthermore, because it not only grind but pumps, it can drain that waste longer distances through a much smaller sewer hose. This comes in handy if you can’t park your RV close enough to your septic connection!
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