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How to Design an RV Dump Station: 5 Easy Steps

Written by Philip Lopez / Fact checked by Paul Lemaire

how to design an rv dump station

All RV campgrounds should offer a sanitary dumping station to safely dispose of waste from RV’s holding tanks. This is especially required for campgrounds that don’t have sewer risers. You can also connect a new RV dump station to your home for your convenience.

So, how to design an RV dump station? You need to consider many factors, including the proper location, parts, and connections. Make sure that the dump station is located far from potable water with a tight cover and an approved water outlet.

Explore the elements in making an RV dump station design below, but first, let’s understand the concept of RV dump stations.

Table of Contents

What Is an RV Dump Station?

A dump station is where you dispose of the waste from your RV without harming the environment. This waste goes into a communal septic tank through a hose.

If you travel with a large number of people, it’s recommended to empty the tank every other day. If you’re with just one person, once a week is enough.

What You’ll Need (To Know)


When designing an RV dump station, you should follow the guidelines to ensure the safety of the environment and the people around you. Here are the important factors that should be included in your plan.

1. Location

Whether you’re making an RV park sewer system design or a home RV dump station design, find the proper location.

The best place to build an RV dump station is at sites where municipal sewage disposal systems or sewage lagoons serve at an adequate capacity. Due to high sewage volume and maintenance needs, on-site septic systems with drain fields aren’t great places to make a RV dump station.

The dump station should be far away from a water supply well, about 100 feet distance or more. Be at least 50 feet away from a potable water outlet or campground as well. As much as possible, consider the amount of traffic around the chosen location. You don’t want to block commuters from traveling.

2. Construction Guidelines

These requirements may differ from one state to another, but one of the most common prerequisites of building a dump station in a campground is to have at least one dump station per 100 campsites.

Every RV dump station should have its own water for flushing. This ensures the proper sanitation of your campground. Make a sign to clearly indicate that the water is meant for flushing so people won’t confuse it with drinking water.

Also, equip your dump station with necessary measures to prevent the wastewater from flowing into the area’s water supply. Contaminated water can lead to serious disease when ingested. Also, prepare a tank to hold plenty of water, at least one thousand gallons, to make sure that every dump is disposed of properly.

For any pipes connecting to a sewer line, make sure that they don’t leak. Use appropriate hoses, caps, and equipment to prevent interference and damage. As for the concrete pad, make sure that it’s at least 4 x 6 feet in size and four inches thick.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Once you have all those guidelines in mind, it’s time to put them onto paper and design your RV dump station.

Step 1: Design A Sloped Concrete Apron

The first step to designing an RV dump station is to create a sloped concrete apron. This part provides you easy access to the drain and prevents waste spills. The concrete apron should have a drain that’s at least four inches in diameter at the center of the pad.

Step 2: Put A Cap on The Drain

Since this particular station will be dealing with waste, you’ll need a drain cover to prevent the odor from escaping. Design a tight-fitting RV dump station lid with a foot-operated fixture. This will limit close contact with the waste, so you won’t get it on your clothes or skin.

The cap should be durable to ensure multiple uses. Many sturdy drain covers are made of heavy-duty plastic that can last for many years.

Step 3: Install An AVB And Water Meter

To prevent the wastewater from flowing into the water system, include an approved atmospheric vacuum breaker (AVB) into the design. This RV dump station equipment should be placed downstream from the shutoff valve and be inspected regularly.

As part of the RV septic system design, make sure that you plan to install a separate water meter to quantify your tank.

Step 4: Add A Water Source

You want an approved water outlet located just near the dumping station to flush down the drain pad with each use. Get a thick but flexible hose; this ensures the sewer tube’s stretchable enough to reach the drain and durable enough to last long.

To prevent the hose from touching the ground or concrete pad, find a way to retract the hose when unused.

Put an “UNSAFE FOR DRINKING” sign to the water outlet to warn people of any possible contamination.

Step 5: Submit For Approval

If you want to make a dump station for an RV campground, you should get the plan approved by your state health department. Again, ensure that the campground dump station meets the necessary building requirements by matching them to your design.

Create a diagram showing the proper dimensions and details that are recognizable to you. Show the placement of parts and the method of putting them together on paper.

RV dump stations may need some minor renovations in the future to address problems. When renovations are required, consider whether the capacity meets the current standards. Think about more efficiency improvements to minimize operational costs.

Is It Acceptable to Dump RV Black Water at Home?

Yes, it’s legal, depending on where you live. That’s why it’s essential to look up your state requirements to avoid any troubles with law enforcement.

For an RV dump station at home, make sure that you have crawl space under your house that offers easy access to the sewer line. Find a ventilation screen to insert the ABS pipes to make a connection to the main sewer line.

Here’s a video showing how to install a new RV dump station into your home.


It’s important that you know how to design an RV dump station because it can contribute to a convenient RV life. You can keep the wastewater out from clean water systems and the ground, providing safety to the environment and everyone’s health.

For home RV dump station plans, make sure that you provide easy access to the main sewer line.

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