As full-time RVers, my husband and I have had our fair share of experiences draining a black tank over the past year. If you are getting ready for your first trip to the campground and you’re dreading this task, learn from our mistakes! Below are my best RV tips for cleaning out your black tank!
Invest in the Proper Equipment
I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the right equipment for the job before you start. You’ll need the following:
- Black tank hose
- Sewage hose risers
- A water hose — separate from your freshwater hose
- Black tank cleaning tablets
- A storage chest for all this equipment when it is not in use
Do not skimp on these things. Having the right equipment for the job is key to ensuring you don’t end up with a mess on your hands — or anywhere else.
Be Careful About What Goes In
You can buy RV toilet paper that dissolves in the tank and won’t cause clogs. We have never used any of these products because we didn’t want to risk them not dissolving quickly enough and causing a problem. That being said, I’ve never heard of RV toilet paper clogging a system, but we chose to throw all of our paper into a trash can instead. It’s also a good idea to try and ensure your tank fills with mostly liquids and as few solids as possible, which will help it to drain more thoroughly.
Drain the Black Tank First
One of the mistakes we made the first time we emptied our tank was the order we drained the tanks. You always want to drain your black tank first and the grey tank second; this allows the greywater to flush all of the black water from your lines. If you are at a full-hookup site, I recommend closing your grey tank the day before you want to leave and then letting it flush the lines before you disconnect. You’ll still need to clean all of your hoses, but this will help.