Okay, I’ve just gotta say it. “It’s a stinky job, but someone has to do it!” Dump the black tank, that is! The duty that every RVer avoids is really not as crappy as you might think. Between fancy sewer hoses and attachments, you’ll have a royal flush in a matter of moments, without ever getting your hands dirty. And with several RV tank rinser options on the market today, cleaning the black tank after dumping it will wipe away any sign of odor, helping you to take care of the bottom line!
So, without further ado, let’s see who has the best RV tank rinser out there. Otherwise, you’ll have nothing to go on.
What is an RV Black Water Tank?
“Black water” says it all – an RV black water tank is the receiving receptacle that holds waste from the toilet, both liquid and solid. They vary in size by vehicle models but must be dumped frequently to maintain a healthy and odor-free environment in your RV.
How Do I Clean My RV Black Water Tank?
When you dump the tanks in an RV at a dump station or at an individual sewer hookup at your campsite, it is always good practice to dump the black tank first. Once it is finished, close the gate valve and open the valve to dump the gray tank, which holds water from the sinks and shower.
This water will help in cleansing the sewer hose after black water has run through it. You will still need to clean the sewer hose with fresh water from the dump station or your campsite.
Once both tanks are relatively empty, they should be cleaned with an RV tank rinser, and there are a couple of ways to do that.
- Your rig may come with a built-in rinsing system. See below for more information on how that works.
- There are additional pieces of equipment that can help you rinse the tanks out if you don’t have a built-in system. For instance, you can add your own rinsing system by drilling a hole in the bottom of the black tank and adding a rotary rinser, which pumps fresh water into the black tank from a direct water hookup. You may also purchase a clear plastic sewer hose attachment (so you can see when the water runs clean) that has a gate valve with a water hose attachment in front of it. A third option is a cleaning wand that is inserted down the toilet and directly into the black tank. It has a powerful flow of water that cleans the tank interior.
Built-in Rinsing System
If your RV has a built-in rinsing system, you just need to connect a water hose for operation. The hose will be used in coordination with dumping the tank to keep water moving through, cleansing it as the wastewater is pushed down the sewer hose.
Since most water tanks are gravity-fed, this system seems to work pretty well. Repeat and use a clear sewer hose attachment so you can see when everything is running clear.
What is RV Black Tank Flushing?
This is the best way to clean your black tank after dumping its contents. As stated above, use one of the RV tank rinser systems to rinse the tank repeatedly until the freshwater runs clear.
If you have a built-in system, hook up a water hose to the inlet, turn it on, then empty the black tank contents by opening the gate valve for that tank. This creates a continuous loop of water moving through the tank, then running out the sewer hose, and eventually, the tank will be cleansed.
If you use a sewer hose attachment that has an added gate valve and rinse valve on it (simulating the built-in version), you cannot run fresh water into the black tank until after it is empty. The clear water and the wastewater would be running in opposite directions through the same opening.
So empty the tank, keeping the black tank gate valve open, then hook up a hose to the sewer attachment, with the attachment’s additional gate valve closed. This keeps all of the freshwater running into the tank to clean it. You may need to repeat this process several times to get the black tank cleaned.
When using the wand, you will need to hook up a hose to it, while dumping the black tank. Then from inside the restroom, hold the toilet valve open. Put the wand down into the tank, and turn it on. You can move the stick a bit to clean various sections of the tank from above.
If, after several minutes of cleaning, you still don’t feel the tank is as clean as it needs to be, put ice cubes down the toilet and into the empty tank. Driving around for an hour or so loosens any particles from the sides of the tank. Use the wand once again to clean the tank further.
RV Tank Treatment
Many RVers use a couple of products to keep their black tanks performing well and to lessen the existence of odors:
Add a scoop of Happy Campers Holding Tank Treatment and a gallon of water to the black water tank. This water-activated mineral solution eliminates odor, rather than just masking it with a fragrance. This is how we use Happy Campers ourselves.
Best RV Tank Rinsers
Camco “Swivel Stik”
- Powerful rotary cleaning action dislodges and flushes the stubborn waste deposits and odor-causing particles left after...
- Solid section including handle measures 24" long; the flexible section measures 34" long with a 2" diameter nozzle
This RV tank rinser wand works well at cleaning the black tank from within the RV toilet. It has a handle of 2 feet in length. It also has a flexible portion to get to the corners of the tank. High-pressure water is pumped through a rotating head, dislodging stubborn solids from the tank walls.
- The easiest, most sanitary way to clean the RV holding tank
- Dislodge and flush stubborn waste deposits and odor-causing particles left after holding tank is emptied
This aftermarket addition to an RV is the best way to replicate a built-in rinsing system. Drill a hole in the black water tank and adding the tubing. Mount a valve to the tubing on the exterior of any RV. You have created a way to thoroughly rinse the tank after every dump station visit.
Valterra Flush King
- SEWER TANK RINSER: Breaks up plugged tanks pipes and cleans tank, pipe, valve, drain hose
- FUNCTIONAL: Anti-siphon valve with internal backflow preventer protects the fresh water supply from possible backflow
A sewer hose attachment designed to help you rinse the black tank after dumping. This clear plastic elbow comes with an additional gate valve and water hose attachment. It is configured to block freshwater from going down the sewer hose to the dump instead of forcing the water into the black tank to clean it.
Last update on 2021-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API