How much is ‘too much’ to pay to dump your RV’s tanks?

The good ol’ days of free dumping is coming to an end. Oh, there are some free places still left, many of them at highway rest areas and some public campgrounds.

But most often, it seems, you’ll pay $5, $10 or more to rid your rig of its liquid yuck.

So what do you think — how much is ‘too much’ to pay to dump your rig? We realize that in a dire emergency you may need to pay whatever is asked. But, in general, what’s your limit?

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29 Thoughts to “How much is ‘too much’ to pay to dump your RV’s tanks?”

  1. larry

    the cost can get too high. just look at out of the way spots and you can tell if the locals are charging to much.

    i can understand a charge.. only if you are just dumping.
    but if you are buying a tank of fuel (gasoline, diesel) . then the dump should be free with the sale.
    aka: most full service truck stops, will also make money off you in there restaurant, convenience store, service bays, etc.

  2. JP

    since we have a class B, I think, if there is a fee it should be based on amount dumped.

  3. Nanci

    When we need to dump and take on water it is usually time to wash clothes too. We will find a full hook up campground for the night and rather than spending $10 or $15 for dumping will spend the night, wash clothes, fill with water and flush the holding tank for only $10 to $15 more than a dump fee.

    1. ARLENE BROWN

      ???? Great idea.

  4. Robb Stuart Fl

    While I don’t stay in KOA’s unless there’s no better option because of the cost, I have used their dump stations. I’m not sure if it’s KOA policy but I was not charged since I was a member.

  5. Joel Vinson

    We haven’t paid a fee yet. We dump and clean out before we leave our site. On the road we use our rig and we dump at rest areas if the tank starts getting to much. I suppose if push comes to shove, I’d pay the Good Sam discounted price at Pilot.

  6. Rob

    Fortunately we have not run into anything over $10 for a pumpout, with most being $5 – but we have not traveled beyond the West, so there may soon be a pumpout costing $$ in our future.

  7. Bill J

    Some real numbers might help. Until 2 years ago, we owned a small house in a beautiful village near Estes Park, CO, surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park. The village had no sewer system, and our lot was too steep to accommodate a septic system, so we had a 2000 gallon buried vault (storage tank). It cost us $300 to get the vault pumped by a local honey-wagon outfit , or about $15 per hundred gallons. But I have to point out that the honey wagon had to drive more than 30 miles round trip, on a steep, narrow, hairpin road, and over an 8000-foot pass, to reach our home.

    Suppose the average RV dumps 100 gallons. That suggests to me that if a dump station uses a pumped-out tank, and the tank location is easily accessible and near a honey-wagon business, $10 might be a fair charge. We can’t expect $5, but $15 might be a bit over the top.

  8. Dann

    We do our camping ONLY in state and federal campgrounds. Those dump facilities are usually totally free here in Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois.
    Paying to dump is part of the deal at these facilities and included in the fees. We like it that way. This is one reason we gave up on private places ten years ago.

  9. Peggy

    We live in a small town and the local convenience store was charging $5 to dump. They got a lot of complaints from locals so they now comp the locals and only charge a dump fee to people passing through. We think that is a great deal for our community. We purchase gas and restaurant meals from this store in order to pay for this local convenience.

  10. Terry

    Using rig bathroom instead of camp bathroom likely reduces water usage, and does reduce facility usage. Site costs should not have added fees to dump. For those traveling thru just wanting to dump at your camp, a fee is appropriate.

  11. Carol

    We worked at a state campground which had to mzintain their own sewer plant. This is a labor intensive job, not to mention unplesant. The plant required repair quite often not only from the fully booked campground use, but also those passing on the interstate who stopped to dump only. They were also able to fill up with potable water. It costs more than you think to maintain a sewage processing station.

  12. RACA

    Truthfully, when your tanks are full and you HAVE to dump them what else can you do…but pay and plan better next time!

  13. Fox

    Anything over $10.00 is HIGHWAY ROBBERY.

    1. Terry

      Up to $10 if they are coming to site & pumping!!!! At a roadside dump, $3 max. Public rest areas and paid campsites’ campgrounds should remain free!

  14. Wolfe

    I either dump at home or schedule a weekly night somewhere that includes a shared dumpsite, and hold it in between. Never paid a dump-only fee nor paid for hookup at site.

  15. orville best

    we here at ceder village charge 20.00.if you are dry camping you can dump here or drive 44 miles round trip to save 5.00 we have to pay 300.00 per 1000 gal.and we have three tanks to dump.

    1. Terry

      If paying a very low rate to self-contained dry camp, then yes, a charge for the extra ‘amenity’ is proper.

    2. Chuck Woodbury

      Orville, I don’t think some RVers realize that businesses that operate dump stations need to pay to have the tanks pumped out. Thanks for weighing in on this.

    3. Roy Ellithorpe

      When I’m full, it’s over 100 gallons, so you would be losing money on me.

  16. Warmonk

    I worked for a few years in an RV Park. Three years ago we were charging $5 for drive-by dumpers – anyone staying in the park could dump free of charge. We upped it to $10 because we weren’t covering our costs. Call the plumber once or twice in a season and every penny in dump fees goes to his pocket.

    Some people put stuff down the hole that it was not designed for. Some people had trouble hitting the hole. From a campground operations perspective the dump site generates bad memories, good stories, and costly repairs – and even unexpected extra work.

    I once had a fellow drive up in a half-million dollar motorhome. He asked how much to dump and then drove off taking his load with him. He wasn’t going to pay $10 just to dump. OK with me.

  17. Tom Meisner

    Never had to dump while on the road, tank is big enough even for a few Camp Walmarts, live in the county down a dirt road, can dump in the front yard, mixes well with the chicken’s doo doo. But on topic $10 seems fair.

  18. Craig

    I’ve been charged one nights camping fee. I think that is too high.

  19. Chuck Turner

    10 years RV’n with about 100,000 miles and some 400 campgrounds we have never needed or even looked for a fee dump station.

    1. Terry

      Times they are a’changing… now many camps are relegating you to their parking lot sites… cannot cook, shower, wash hands for 1week —and only if do dishes outside & dump dish water on ground ; black tank, 4-5 days. Plus, the cost of gas and weight to haul full tanks is ghastly if not on flat roads .. I reduced our Rez from 3 wk to 4 days, after arrival at one such place. $25 honey wagon , not even in demand , just 1 day/week … too bad , just pull up/pack up/hitch up, drive to our dump… nope, if I’m pulling up, packing up to drive, hitching up, I’ll be leaving . Should have disclosed that there was only a 5% chance of getting a FHU and that the Showers were closed … for that parking lot far away from the main camp with all the amenities/FHU

  20. Randy

    Question is worded weird. How much will I pay? $10 How much is too much $15. For $15-$20 I can get a PPA campsite for the night with Sewer.

    1. Terry

      Yep… and have done so! Bonus, hot showers and sometimes a pool.
      If camps are using honey wagons , likely they’re just dumping into own dump station or any empty site w a sewer connection anyway, not paying the fees to a contractor … but, covering your labor/equip costs us reasonable when they come to your site and pump

  21. Tommy Molnar

    I’ll pay up to $10 on the rare occasion that we have to use a ‘facility’ just for dumping, but that’s also going to include using a water source to flush the tank a couple times in the process. If all there is, is basically a ‘hole’ to let the tank(s) empty into, then even the $10 is too much.

  22. Bill

    I understand the need to collect a fee to dump as travellers are not tax payers in the area. However, dumping your tanks is an environmental responsible requirement and shouldn’t be used to turn a profit. Operating costs need to be covered and profits can be made elsewhere.

Comments are closed.