Monday, January 30, 2023


What’s the longest you’ve waited in line at a dump station?

There comes a time in every recreational vehicle’s life that it has to dump its holding tanks. For most of us, that moment comes regularly — after a week of boondocking or in an RV park with no sewer hookup.

And when that time comes, the place to go is the nearest dump station. Sometimes it’s inside the campground or RV park, but other times we need to drive a few miles (or a lot of miles!). Dump stations are less common these days along major highways due to abuse or because of government budget cuts.

Finding a dump station can be downright difficult. And sometimes when we finally do find one, the price of using it can be $10, $20 or more.

On busy days — Sundays are the worst in the travel season — the line of RVs waiting to dump can be long. A wait of 15 or 20 minutes is common, but some RVers report they have waited for an hour or more.

What about you? How long have you had to wait?

How much is too much to pay to dump your holding tanks?

RVer mistakes gas station fuel tank for dump station


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Morgan Borrowman
2 years ago

Usually I don’t use the Campground dump station unless I am on an extended trip. I have a dump set up at home and dump once I get my trailer stowed in my yard.

Mindy Danberry
2 years ago

One time at a Corp campground, the line was long and the camp host told us to “just pull into one of the FHU sites and dump instead of waiting in line! It all goes to the same place, right?” We’ve used that theory a lot. You should be respectful of those still in nearby sites, find the furthest spot away from others.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mindy Danberry

Well that is one heck of a good idea!

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

Our local Maverick gas station has a free dump site. Free air too. We’ve used it a few times, but never on a Sunday or Monday (as someone else mentioned). The line rivals the line at Starbucks! We mostly use our home dumping station, but make a point of going by Maverick just to see how many folks are out there. It turns into a social event as those waiting congregate and (I guess) tell black tank stories.

2 years ago

If the dump station line is long at the campground. I will drive home and dump at two different campgrounds where I live. Our local fairgrounds also has a dump station.

2 years ago

I don’t wait for anyone, I dump at home.

2 years ago

A campground host told me someone tried using the ditch down the road a bit from the campground. It resulted in guys in hazmat suits doing the clean up and there being about $10,000 in fees to pay.

Robert N. Cordy
2 years ago

We’ve never had more than one rig in front of us!

2 years ago

No matter how long you have to wait, always roll up your windows and close all doors when at the dump station – the meanest, orneriest flies hang out there. And as a backup, keep a flyswatter close at hand.

Bob Amoroso
2 years ago

Waiting to use the dump station occasionally is no big deal…….there’s a lot humor to be seen while waiting. Who uses gloves…who doesn’t……who knows what they’re doing vs a newbie……Women dumping vs Men dumping. It’s just as humorous as watching people launch or retrieve boats. If you know what your doing it shouldn’t take longer then 10 minutes to empty both tanks and be on your way. If you don’t know what your doing it can take a while and there’s going to be a BIG MESS.

The one that sticks in my mind happened a few years ago at Rest Stop free dump station in California. Guy pulls up….has NO HOSE and NO GLOVES…..get 3-4 feet from the dump drain and open his valve to let it run into the drain……..then closes the tank valve and doesn’t hose down the area around the drain…….THEN moves up and pulls over to have a sandwich without washing his hands. Now that was disgusting ! ! !

2 years ago
Reply to  Bob Amoroso

What used to be funny is the dumps at camping world. I wonder who they gave the clean up duties to! This is a great country.

2 years ago

Only one time did we have to wait over 30 minutes. It was at a state park where the bathrooms and shower were next to dump station. The guy 2 units in front pulled up and hooked up then disappeared come to find out he went in and got a shower while his camper was dumping making all of us in line wait for him to primp.

2 years ago

We NORMALLY check out of campgrounds on Wednesday or Thursday. Most of the time we are the only ones at the dump station.

Kaeleen Buckingham
2 years ago

We have sewer access at the end of our driveway so we wait to dump when we get home.

2 years ago

I hope that is a sanitary sewer and not the storm sewer.

2 years ago

It was less than 20 minutes but I wasn’t going to wait any longer. Some people don’t get it.

2 years ago

Waiting is almost hilarious when watching some people. They have a ritual that involves cleaning the black tank so you could drink out of it. Once in Yellowstone i watched a woman carry 5 gal buckets into the rv and dump them into the toilet. Probably 10 times. The line behind me was getting longer and longer. I finally walked up to her and told her to finish because of the line. It was like she wanted it brand new and was never going to poo again.
She did not get mad, i don’t think she realized what she was doing was holding up the line. And Reserve America and the like should give their customers an education on dumping and protocol. Dont wait to get hose and compartments open, get it done and move up. Some stand there with not a clue. Waiting for the dump fairy to come and do it for them.

Sharon Boehmer
2 years ago

As full-timers, we try to avoid Sundays and Mondays at the dump station. It works well for us, no long lines, its all in the planning.

2 years ago

Way back when we first started going to Quartzite and the long term areas there, we waited over an hour to dump. Soon after we found the PitStop just north of town and have been happy ever since

2 years ago
Reply to  dave

Good people at the Pitstop. Last January they had someone wait a half hour after closing so I could fill with fresh water before heading out to Scadden Wash for a couple of weeks.

2 years ago
Reply to  Glenn

You tipped that person generously, right? Gotta show appreciation in meaningful ways.

chris p hemstead
2 years ago
Reply to  dave

Quartzsite is the worst with just the one station. I watched a lady in a beat-up old C after dumping start to fill her fresh water from the rinse hose at the dump station. A lot of us yelled at her.

Ann Marino
2 years ago

DH get up every day at 4:45AM. He empties into the blue tank and dumps about 6:30AM. No lines at the state park dumpsite at that hour.

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