How Much Should a Honey Wagon Cost?

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An RV tank dump sign

Your RV’s gray and black tanks can only hold so much waste. When they’re at capacity, you’ll have no choice but to empty them.

If you’re staying in a campsite without a sewer connection, this could mean you must take your RV to the dump station. However, this can be a lot of work and incredibly inconvenient, especially in the middle of a camping trip. 

Luckily, a honey wagon can save the day. But how much should a honey wagon cost? Let’s find out!

What Is a Honey Wagon?

A honey wagon is a portable tank. Workers transfer waste from a wastewater storage tank into the portable one to dispose of it properly.

Honey wagon services make their rounds through RV parks, campgrounds, or festival locations to empty the waste tanks of anyone needing it. These services allow RVers to worry less about managing their tank levels.

However, it should be no surprise that honey wagon services are a premium service in most situations. This means they’re not likely doing it out of the goodness of their heart, and it will cost you.

Why Is It Called a Honey Wagon?

The term honey wagon is a slang term that people once used to describe the horse-drawn wagons that carried sewage and other waste away for disposal.

The honey color that people noticed was the waste liquid contained within the tank. If you’ve ever dumped an RV tank, you’re familiar with the color.

When Do RVers Need to Use a Honey Wagon?

RVers need to use a honey wagon when using their RV in a location without an easy or convenient way to dump their tanks.

While some RVers carry portable waste tanks that allow them to transport the waste to a dump station without packing their entire rig, this isn’t an easy task as they can weigh 150 to 250+ pounds in some cases.

You’ll often see honey-wagon services at music festivals and rallies that last several days. In these situations, organizers try to maximize the space by packing RVs as closely as possible.

It’s not easy or possible for RVers to move their rigs if they need to dump their tanks. Sometimes they’ll include a honey wagon service with admission to the festival or rally, and other times it’s not. 

An RV having their tanks dumped

Do Campgrounds Offer Honey Wagon Services?

Some campgrounds offer honey-wagon services, and others do not. It primarily depends on the campground and the demands of the campers.

Since most people using their RVs will camp for three or four days, it’s not always necessary. However, if a campground frequently sees campers staying a week or more, they may consider offering the service.

If you know you’ll stay long enough that you’ll need to dump your tanks, you’ll want to know this in advance. You don’t want to wait until you get set up in your campground to figure out a solution.

If the campground doesn’t offer a honey wagon service, you’ll need to either use a portable waste tote to do it yourself or pack up your RV, hitch up and haul your entire RV to the nearest waste station.

How Much Should a Honey Wagon Cost?

The cost of a honey wagon service varies from one honey wagon provider to the next. However, it can cost anywhere from $5 to $25 per dump.

Rigs with multiple black and gray tanks may incur additional charges. Considering the cost of a portable waste tote and all the extra work it requires, a honey wagon may be a better option when it’s available.

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How to Make Your Tanks Last Longer

We’ve learned a few tricks for making our RV black and gray tanks last as long as possible.

Whether boondocking or camping on a site without full hook-ups, we quickly learned how to make the most out of our tanks. Here are a few tips to help maximize the time between dumping your RV tanks.

Use Campground Shower/Bathroom Facilities

If the campground has shower and bathroom facilities, use them. The less water that goes down the drains in your RV, the longer you’ll go without needing to dump your tanks.

Showers can use a tremendous amount of water, so you’ll have to dump your tanks sooner. Take advantage of the campground shower house and save yourself the trouble of dumping your tanks more often.

Keep in Mind: Before you use a gas station bathroom, make sure you avoid making these 5 Mistakes!

A campground bathroom

Less Water When Flushing

An RV’s black tank requires a generous amount of water to help with dumping when it’s at capacity.

However, if you’re trying to make your tanks last as long as possible, you’ll want to avoid flushing too much water into your tanks. This can be tricky because if you don’t get enough water into the tank, you could risk clogs.

To remedy this, some RVers make their RV bathroom a “pee only” and require individuals to poop in the campground bathroom. This ensures that half the water flushes into the toilet and reduces any solids from getting into your tank.

Minimize Dirty Dishes

Showering and restroom usage drains the water, but so does washing your dirty dishes. The best way to avoid washing dirty dishes is to avoid dirtying them. We found that using paper plates and disposable utensils was the best way to limit our dirty dishes. 

In addition to using disposable plates and utensils, we also plan our menu to limit the number of dishes. By restricting the dishes we used to create our meals, we had fewer to wash. 

Keep in Mind: How Does a Waterless Toilet Work? Let’s find out!

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Is Paying for a Honey Wagon Worth It?

Sometimes you have no choice but to pay for a honey wagon, especially if you don’t own a portable waste tote. In these cases, it will be worth the cost so you can use water in your RV without worrying about how you’ll dump it.

In some cases, like at festivals and rallies, you may also have no choice since it may be the only way to dump your tanks for the duration of the event.

If you need a honey wagon, do your research and know their process and the frequency they offer their service.

Will any of your upcoming adventures require using a honey wagon’s services?

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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