Where To Empty Campervan Toilets: A Complete Guide

By: Scott Adamson
/ September 28, 2022
Getting rid of your bathroom waste is not always a fun job, but it’s an important one!

If you’ve chosen to have a toilet in your van, whether it be a plumbed, cassette, or composting toilet, you may be feeling a little unsure of how and where to safely dump your waste.

Typically, the most convenient location for emptying your campervan toilet is a dumping station which can be found near campgrounds and RV parks.  If you’re on the road you might also consider using disposal sites at truck stops, public rest stops, or even RV dealerships. If you’re staying in a more remote location, you can dump the waste in toilet vaults (also known as pit toilets). For composting toilets, you can dump solid waste at dumping stations or landfills, while liquid waste can be emptied at public restrooms.

In short, there are a few options available where you can empty your campervan toilets but let’s dig into the most popular methods.

Where Can I Dump My Campervan Toilet Waste?

1. Campground Dumping Stations

Dumping stations may be the most convenient and accessible way to dump your toilet waste. 

Here’s why most full-time vanlifers prefer dumping stations:

  • There’s access to a water source for tank cleaning.
  • They are well maintained.
  • They are easy to use.
  • They are easily accessible. 

The best way to find a dumping station near you is to search online or use an app like Allstays.  However, you must ensure to comply with the rules when emptying your toilet. Many dumping stations will also charge a small fee for using this service, so you need to plan accordingly. 

Dumping your Cassette Toilet

Cassette toilets come with a removable holding tank that you need to dump when it gets full. As there are no separate tanks for holding solid and liquid waste, you need to empty them frequently to avoid bad odors. 

Emptying a cassette toilet is easy, and the process takes around 10 to 15 minutes.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to empty your cassette toilet:

  1. Remove the waste tank (that stores the waste) from the fresh tank (that contains water).
  2. Choose an appropriate dumping spot. 
  3. Unclip the top from the pipe on the toilet. 
  4. Empty the waste into the drain.
  5. Fill the tank with water (available at most dumping stations) and rinse off using a detergent. 

How To Empty A Black Water Tank?

If your campervan has a traditional plumbed RV toilet, your waste is probably flushed into a tank located somewhere under your van. That tank is called the Black Water Tank.

To empty a black water tank, you will want to make sure to pack your own slinky hose. 

Here are the steps to emptying your black water tank:

  1. Connect the sewer hose to your black tank’s outlet. 
  2. Secure the other end of the hose safely in the dumping inlet. 
  3. Slowly open the black valve first and make sure the connection is tight. 
  4. Next, open the grey valve and empty the liquid waste; this also helps to clean out the icky black water contents from the hose.
  5. Once done, clean the sewer hose with water. 

2. Gas Stations & Truck Stops

Many gas stations and truck stops also have dumping stations that you can use for a small fee. 

Here’s how they compare to other options: 

  • Service is decent in most truck stops/gas stations with a working water connection.
  • Very remote truck stops/gas stations may not have the service available, so you should plan accordingly.
  • Quality may vary in different truck stops. 

Overall, truck stops are a good option to dump waste if you are willing to pay for their services. 

3. RV Dealerships

Many RV dealerships also have dumping stations that you can avail yourself of along your journey. The major benefits of dumping stations at RV dealerships are: 

  • The stations are clean and well-maintained.
  • You can find many RV dealerships along common routes.

Like most other services, RV stations also charge a fee to dump your toilet waste.

4. Pit Toilets

If you are camping in a remote area, there is a very good chance that you may not have access to a dumping station. In this case, you can use outside toilets (also known as vault or pit toilets) to dump your waste.

You may have to use your water to rinse the toilet so consider taking some extra on the trip. 

Where Can I Empty My Composting Toilet?

Composting toilets use separate tanks (or chambers) for solid and liquid waste. The solid waste can then be turned into compost, given the right conditions. However, it takes a lot of time, and many vanlifers prefer to dump both solid and liquid waste. 

Here are a few places where you can dump the solid waste:

  • Dumping stations: As with cassette toilets and black water tanks, dumping stations are a convenient way to empty your composting toilets. 
  • Burying in the ground: As solid waste from composting toilets is already in the process of turning into compost, it is a good idea to dump it in the ground. Make sure the hole is very deep and sits at least 6 to 8 inches from above ground.
  • Landfill: You can collect the solid waste in a trash bag or a composting bag and simply dump it in a trash receptacle. This is perfectly acceptable and is not considered against the law. 

To dump liquid waste, you can use the following places:

  • Public restrooms: You can empty your liquid waste down a public toilet.
  • Campsites and campgrounds: Emptying your liquid waste tank at a dumping station is also a great option.

 

What if I’m camping in a remote area?

If you’re camping in a remote area, you may find yourself without access to a suitable dumping station. In this case, I’d suggest you try to limit the use of your campervan toilet. You may have no other choice than to dig a hole (following these guidelines). 

Keep in mind:

  • Don’t dump your black water waste on public lands.
  • Don’t rinse off your toilet tank in a stream or river.

Where NOT to dump

 

It’s also important to know where NOT to dump your toilet waste. 

You should also never empty your toilets in storm drains. These drains are either designed for rainwater or are designed for sewer lines. There can also be consequences for you if you dump in storm drains illegally. 

And as mentioned earlier, don’t dump your black water waste on public lands or rinse your toilet tank in a stream or river.

Key Takeaways

Here’s a quick review of what I covered: 

  • You can empty cassette toilets and black water tanks at various places, such as dumping stations at campgrounds, vault toilets, and truck stops.
  • Composting toilets can also be emptied at various spots, including dumping stations, landfills (solid waste), and public restrooms (liquid waste). 

Happy travelling!

Scott Adamson
Wanderful Idea Guy
Coffee drinker, adventure seeker, below average photographer.
Recommended
Trending
By: Scott Adamson
/ Aug 15, 2022
By: Scott Adamson
/ Aug 5, 2022
By: Scott Adamson
/ Aug 15, 2022
Get The Wanderful Newsletter
Subscribed! We think you'll enjoy being part of our community!
Be the first to see our tips, stories, news and more.