Picture of How to drain an RV's black and gray tanks.
My girlfriend and I  recently bought an RV. We bought a 1990 Holiday Rambler Alumalite tow trailer. It's about 27' (or about 8 meters) long. This being our first RV, we knew nothing about how to operate or care for it. We bought it with the intent to become full-time RVers and have been living in it (comfortably) for about 2 months now. One issue we ran into quickly was how to drain the tanks, after searching online I found nothing for this specific model and very little for any other, so here is my instructable for how to dump the gray and black tanks.
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Step 1: Overview and Materials

Picture of Overview and Materials
Female to Female.jpg
 I will be showing you where to find the drain valves, how to attach the hose and drain the tanks, how to clean the black tank and also some of the tools I use to do this with. 

I use

Gloves - preferably rubber or anything that won't let water or "yuck" through.

A wand - a length of cpvc pipe with a valve used to put into the toilet and rinse the tank.
                 The picture of the wand is easy to miss - it's next to the detergent.

Sewer hose - a special hose used to drain RV tanks.

Female to Female (not as interesting as it sounds) - a female to female garden hose adapter used                                                                                                 to connect the hose to the wand

Laundry detergent - powdered laundry detergent (the cheaper the better) I have read on several                                          forums that the detergent helps break apart the waste and decrease smell,                                            and it seems to work very well.

Hand sanitizer - for sanitizing your hand as often as you need!!

I also use at our present location a portable waste tank - because there is no immediate sewer                                                                                                                 hookup available.
BarbaraM14 months ago

Need help regarding draining black tank on a Dutchmen Aspen Trail travel trailer. It is not moveable. The sewer tank to dispose it into is about 40 feet away. It is also slightly elevated. Does the draining only work with the help of gravity, or is there an way to force the contents out, in spite of a slight elevation?


ne2i1 year ago
I've heard if you are traveling and want to clean your tanks, dump some ice down the toilet and drive... Cleans up the tank nicely
glorybe4 years ago
Some RVs have a pump called a mascerating (spelling?) pump that is sort of like a high powered blender so that there are no solids in the tank at all. It might be a good idea to have that special pump. I believe that some rigs also use that pump to force the waste to dump.
I know this is an old thread, but a mascerator fits on the drain of the tanks. It only "blends" the stuff as you drain the tank. It doesn't do anything to the stuff going into the tank.
anoxion3 years ago
this seems like a no brainer but i had a hell of a time draining my tank. definately gonna make myself a wand like yours, as well as use the laundry detergent, thanks!
A little of this and that (author) 4 years ago
Please leave any improvement ideas, suggestions for deodorizers, or just general knowledge of the subject. I am not an expert and always appreciate learning a better way to achieve my goals.