for When RVs Have to Go

One of the less enjoyable aspects of RVing is emptying the waste water, also known as “dumping.”  In most RVs there are three tanks:

  • Fresh Water Tank – Holds the fresh water for drinking, cooking, showering and bathing
  • Grey Water Tank – Holds the waste water from the shower, kitchen sink and bathroom sink
  • Black Water Tank – Holds the waste water from the toilet

The size of these tanks vary, but typically the fresh water tank has about the same capacity as the grey and black water tanks combined.  In our RV, the fresh water tank can hold 50 gallons, grey water 28 gallons, and black water 25 gallons.

Black tank and dump connection underneath our RV

Some campgrounds have sewer connections right at the campsite.  When there is electricity, water and sewer at a campsite, this is known as having “full hookups.”  This is very convenient and almost like living in a house, because we can take generous showers and dump every day.

Many campgrounds have just a single, shared sewer connection known as a “dump station.”  In this case, we dump on the way into the campground and dump again on the way out.  If we are staying at the campground for an extended period, we have to drive over to the dump station every 3-5 days.

But if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we love to dispersed camp, which means camping for free in a national forest or other public land.  The advantages are peace, quiet, isolation, and incredible views.  The main disadvantage is there are no hookups.  Which means we have to run appliances and other electrical devices off our generator and batteries, we have to conserve water, and we have to find a nearby dump station every few days. Logo. Copyright ©

Fortunately, there is a terrific website called that lists thousands of dump stations across the United States and Canada.  It’s billed as “The Most Comprehensive RV Dump Search on the Web.”  The website is “crowdsourced,” meaning that the bulk of the information is provided and updated by the people who use the website.

Sanidumps is FREE and easy to use.  Just enter your city and state, and it will list all known dump stations nearby, their GPS coordinates, cost (if any), and when the dump station is open (e.g., some dump stations are closed in winter).  You can also search by clicking on a map.  There is a comprehensive eBook Guide for sale.  And if you buy the Android app, it will list dump stations near your current location.  Unfortunately there is currently no app available for the iPhone/iPad.

We had the pleasure of meeting John Clarke, the founder of, in a Walmart parking lot near the end of our trip.  We told him how much we appreciated his website and offered him a few suggestions, which he welcomingly received.  He was traveling around the country in his RV, promoting his product at RV shows, and talking to his website users.  He seemed like a really nice, down-to-earth guy.

By using, we were able to find free dump stations all across the country.  Amazingly, we had to pay to dump only twice the entire trip, both times when we were in really remote locations.  When your RV has to go, be sure to visit

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