Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about boondocking.
I boondocked (in a BLM dispersed camping area) recently near a group of people in tents and they dumped their dishwashing water on the ground several feet from their campsite as well as allowing the water from their sun shower to fall on the ground. Yet, since I have a motorhome, I am required to contain all my wastewater in a holding tank and carry it to a dump station. Can I instead just run a dump hose from my gray tank out away from my campsite and empty it onto the ground without running the risk of getting a ticket? —Clifford
The correct (and preferred) answer to that question is NO. Do not dump your black or gray water tanks on the ground. In reality, boondockers hedge their bets on that question. You are not likely to get a ticket if you dig a hole as far away from your campsite as your hose will reach to dump your gray (NEVER your black) tank into. Let the water seep into the ground, then refill the hole. Put your hose away. Even if a ranger saw you doing this he would likely not issue a ticket. You WOULD likely get a ticket if you dumped your tank all over the ground, didn’t dig your hole deep enough or didn’t regulate the flow enough so that the water overflowed the hole, or you left your hose out, signaling to all passersby what you were doing, which would likely lead to repercussions.
The best practices plan is to not dump your tank, but if your gray water is coming up into your bathtub the day before you intend to leave you may have to dump some (but not all) of your gray tank to avoid a sloshing, disagreeable mess in your bathroom. You can reduce the amount of water going into your gray tank by practicing water conservation, like washing and rinsing your dishes in a tub (with biodegradable soap), then carry the tub a good distance from your campsite and pour it on a thirsty plant.
Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .