By Russ and Tiña De Maris
When we take on the RV lifestyle, we also put on some new “hats” for the roles we assume. What kind of hat does a “sanitary engineer” wear? I dunno — the only part of my uniform in that role is a pair of good, thick rubber gloves.
Getting out the sewage becomes our “problem,” and that can really BE a problem if we’re not sure of where to “get rid of the goods.” When set up in an RV park, it’s not a problem — but on the road or when boondocking, it gets a bit more complicated. Here are some possible places to dump your tanks:
Highway rest areas. Although more and more are being removed due to budget and abuse problems, many state rest stops still offer free dumping stations.
City, county, state, national and federal parks: Some are free, some charge a fee. Others are free only if you camp, or for a fee otherwise.
Local government sewage treatment plants: Check out the phone book, call the main number and ask for the treatment plant.
Truck stops: We point in particular to those catering to RVers, like Flying J. The “J” has instituted an electronically controlled dump station, meaning you pay to convince the electronics to let you lighten your load. With a Flying J RV customer loyalty card the price is $5 to dump, or $10 without. We’ve found some Love’s Travel Stops have free RV dump stations — they’re a little harder to find.
RV parts stores and RV dealers: Some offer dumping services, usually for a small fee.
Gas stations: Keep your eyes open: some have a dump station on the premises.
Don’t think you can sneak off the road and off-load your tanks. The “Midnight Dumper” only messes up the local environment, causes image problems for RVers, and when caught will pay a stiff fine and earn an embarrasing arrest record.