How often should I empty my tanks?

As often as you would like! There’s no right or wrong as to when (other than when the tanks are full!) or how often you should empty your RV’s holding tanks.

Our only word of advice is that you empty them when they are 90%-100% full. By doing this (even, adding water to get the level up), the tank’s liquid content will create a whirlpool (tornado) effect, pulling waste from the tank as it quickly empties. Emptying a tank that is less than 50% full will result in a slow seepage, where waste is left behind.

Most RVers monitor their tank sensors to indicate when they need to empty their holding tanks. Unfortunately, many owners have problems with misreading sensors, so they develop a sense of when their tanks are getting full as they use them and end up dumping them according to their determined schedule.

You should never travel with tanks that contain more than a few gallons of weight. In fact, we recommend that you empty, flush, and clean your tanks prior to hitting the road with your RV and add three to five gallons (depending on each tank’s capacity) to each of your tanks to “lubricate” them during the drive to your next destination.

Does the ice in the black tank trick work for cleaning that tank out while traveling? We’ve covered this on our blog in a separate article. Take a look.

Jim & Debbie Tome, Owners

Hi, we're Jim and Debbie Tome and we're the owners of Kleen Tank LLC, the nationally-recognized and largest professional network of RV tank cleaning service provider.

We've been RVers like you since 2004 and have traveled all over the U.S. in our Airstream travel trailer. We started the business about twelve years ago and have cleaned tens of thousands holding tanks in thousands of RVs. From tiny weekend travel trailers to monstrous fifth wheels to luxurious motorhomes, we've seen just about every situation there is with RV holding tanks and waste systems.

We hope you enjoy our question-and-answer articles; we try to post at least a couple per week and we've got a great library of them to cover just about every problem.

And if you like these short question-and-answer posts, be sure to check out our main Kleen Tank website which contains years of longer-format articles that go more in-depth on many topics. Enjoy!

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