RV Basics: Wastewater Plumbing (and Dumping) for Beginners

This post may contain affiliate links.

Welcome back!

It’s time for the next installment in our “RV Basics” series, where I try to give you the talks I wish I had gotten when we started RVing.  These videos are not technical, and are geared towards easing any apprehension for new RVers.

But for this one, I hope the beginners are really paying attention.  It’s about one of the biggest sources of anxiety for new RVers – wastewater plumbing – including the black tank!


This series of videos is sponsored by Winnebago, and we’re proud to be partnered with them to bring this to you. I hope it’s all easy enough for anyone to follow, but if it isn’t, let me know!

In the next video, we’re going to focus not so much on any particular system. Instead, we’re going to look at all of them at once, and explore how you can use them all together to take your RV out in the winter

If you’re looking for the first video in the series, where I break down your RV’s electrical systems, you can find that one here:  RV Basics: Understanding RV Electrical Systems for Beginners
The second video in the series, where we explore the fresh water plumbing, can be found here:  RV Basics: Understanding Fresh Water Plumbing for Beginners

Any questions, ask below in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!

James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he's not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or - that one time - doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.

    6 thoughts on “RV Basics: Wastewater Plumbing (and Dumping) for Beginners

    1. Jimmy

      I have a 2023 EKKO and I have found the the sensor that monitors fresh and grey water levels is way out of whack. The fresh water sensor is consistently off by 15%. When the tank is full, that is water is flowing out of the overflow outlets when I fill it, the monitor says that it is 85% full. The grey tank monitor does not register any water until the fresh water monitor is below 50%. Are you and others experiencing similar issues?

      Thanks for all the information.

    2. Bill

      Why don’t RV manufactures use gray water for flush water? Of course if there is insufficient gray water then fresh water would be required.

      1. James - Post author

        A few reasons. Firstly, grey water is not clean. If you filled your toilet with grey water, you’d find it unpleasant. As in it would smell… bad.
        Then, it would need a pump/filters/etc to move it around. There would also be cross-contamination issues if a fixture was equipped to use both fresh and grey water.
        That’s a lot of expense and effort involved to conserve a resource that’s basically cost-free for most RVers.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear once we have had the chance to review it.