Can You Hook Up an RV to a Septic Tank

Your RV is the ideal way to go camping and tour the country while saving money on airfare and hotels. But what about when the RV sits unused, even while you struggle to make space for houseguests inside? If you could hook up your RV to the septic tank, it would make a perfect guesthouse when family and friends stay over.

So, is it possible? Can you hook up an RV to a septic tank? The short answer is yes, you can! Learn more about how to implement this ingenious idea.

How Do Septic Tanks Work?

A septic tank is an effective alternative for rural homes that don’t have access to a municipal sewer system. All wastewater from the house flows into the tank. There, it gradually separates into three layers: sludge (solids) at the bottom, effluent (liquid) in the middle, and scum (lightweight solids) on the top.

When the effluent layer rises high enough, it flows through a pipe and into the drain field, where it seeps into the surrounding soil. A filter stops most solids from entering the outlet pipe, preventing clogs from forming.

How to Connect an RV to a Septic Tank

Connecting your RV to the cleanout is the easiest option. Look for a PVC pipe sticking out of the ground near the septic tank with a screw cap sealing it shut. Simply remove the cap and attach the sewer hose from the RV. Make sure it’s properly secured to avoid creating a mess.

It’s best to keep the RV hooked up while you have guests to continuously drain RV wastewater. Dumping the RV’s tank into the septic tank all at once can shock the system and disrupt the delicate balance between bacteria and wastewater.

Keep Your Septic Tank Working Well

To work as intended, septic tanks must maintain plenty of beneficial bacteria. Therefore, it’s crucial to use your plumbing strategically. If the guests staying in your RV aren’t familiar with septic tanks, give them a quick rundown to make sure they don’t compromise your system:

  • Don’t dump too many chemicals down the drain. Cleaning solution, detergent, and soap should be used sparingly.
  • Use septic-safe toilet paper and never flush anything besides toilet paper and human waste.
  • Toss food scraps into the trash rather than rinsing them down the drain.
  • To avoid overloading the septic system while guests are staying with you, stagger your shower times, avoid running the dishwasher or doing laundry, and follow the rule, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.”
  • Schedule septic pumping more frequently if you often hook up your RV to the tank.

If you’re interested in using your RV and septic tank together, but you’re not confident about making the connection yourself, Trinity Liquid Waste can help. We also offer comprehensive septic tank services to keep your system flowing smoothly for years to come. Call us at 510-874-6489 or contact us online to schedule services in Pleasanton, CA.