When you are planning to set up your RV on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, it is a good idea. However, there are logistics to consider and you should be prepared for them once your septic tank and concrete pad are ready for use.
One of the logistical factors you will need to remember is that RV black and gray water tanks are not meant to be open 24/7. In your hook-up process, you will have to take this design into account. You will also need to use the gray water tank to help flush the black one.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It does its best to guide you through this project so you have the best information to follow. Take a few minutes to see how this important information helps you get the right permanent set-up.
This is actually not a tough task to do. If you are building your own pad and giving your RV or travel trailer a permanent home, this is a good idea. It is also a good idea when you are planning a long-term stay at an RV park or campground.
The process is not hard to do. You just need the right tools, couplings, and hoses to do the job right. The items needed are as follows:
Two flexible 3” connectors
PVC pipe of 3” in diameter
90-degree sewer fitting adapter
45-degree adapter and RV drain
Of course, the specific models and shapes of most of the parts will depend on how your black water exit valve is designed and the location of the septic tank or dump spot.
Keep in mind that the sewer lines for RVs, etc., are not made for long-term use. You may have to buy some new hoses that are thicker and tougher when you want to stay in one spot for a very long time.
95% of the job is preparation. After that, it is a simple matter of hooking everything up correctly.
You can read our article that we wrote some time ago. You can get to it at this permanent RV setup link. It has the steps you will need to do the job properly. There are only six steps involved in that article.
Or you can follow the steps we found at this link:
Step #1: Close all valves on your RV and then twist the termination cap off the drain.
Step #2: Measure the distance from the RV valve to the opening of the permanent sewer’s inlet valve. Cut the pipe that you bought to length. Keep in mind it is better to cut it longer than shorter. You can always take some pipe length off but you can’t put it back on.
Do not forget to smooth out the cut portions and get rid of all the burrs. A file or utility knife can do this.
Step #3: Now take your flexible connector. it should be designed with a 45-degree angle to fit the RV valve. Slide the connector into place and secure it. Then slide the PVC pipe into the other end.
Make sure the connector and pipe are set in the right positions before tightening any clamps or screws.
Step #4: Now it is time to connect to the other end. Again, make sure the pipe is in the right position, and then slip the 90-degree connector over the open end. After that, slip the open end of the connector over the sewer opening or valve. Secure both ends.
Step #5: Run the water faucets in your RV after opening the gray water tank valve. You want to check for leaks. If there are any, seal them up with the right compounds. If there are no leaks, you are done except for clean-up.
Get someone to help you that is experienced in this type of work if you are not sure your skills are up to the task.
There are two ways to get this project done. The first way is to simply run a garden hose from a spigot to the RV. No permits are needed for this set up and it may only cost you the price of the new hose.
If you are running an actual water line, you will need to bury it plus, you may need to get a permit and have inspections done. To do this task is like running a water line to your home but on a smaller scale.
While the first option is cheap and easy, it also has its share of problems. It would be best to bury the hose as well to protect the ground from any chemicals coming off the hose. The second option is tougher and more expensive but it is safer.
The water line will need to be buried up to 12 inches at the bare minimum. Then you have to make sure you are connecting the water line to the proper spot on the main line. The only real problem will be water pressure so take that factor into account.
When that is all said and done, you just have to connect that water line with the one in your RV. Don’t forget to wrap the water line with insulation and heat tape to protect it in the winter.
The process we described above was using PVC pipe. Hooking the sewer up using PVC pipe is a matter of positioning and using the right connectors. Also, the type of security system you use is important.
In some cases, you can use PVC glue to hold the pipe in place. But if you ever move, removing the connectors will be difficult. You will want a flexible connector that only uses a clamp to secure it in place.
The key to using PVC pipe is to make sure you cut the pipe to the right length and have the right connectors. You do not want to be caught dumping any sewage on the ground, even if it is done accidentally.
If it does happen, you may face fines and penalties and will be spreading germs, the possibility of disease, and so on to the groundwater. Double-check your work to make sure all the connections are very secure and will not come undone accidentally.
If you know how to hook up your black water tank to a dump station, then you already know how to do this task. It is a matter of simply connecting the hose or pipes correctly and you are done.
That means you need to have the right-sized connectors to match the opening of the septic tank. You cannot go too small nor can you go too large. You do need an exact and very tight fit to protect you and the water system.
You can use PVC glue on the septic side of the project to get that tight fit. The septic tank won’t be going anywhere even if you move. You can make that permanent but have a way to seal the opening if you do move.
Then, the key to hooking up to the septic tank is having the right angles and the proper length of pipe. Go too short, you will have to add more connectors or start from almost scratch and cut a new length of pipe.
You will also need a slight downward slope to the pipe so the flow will be smooth and nothing stops in the middle of the pipe.
The first step in this process is to make sure your trailer is level. Whether you use blocks, tire steps, or the leveling jacks, you need to make sure your trailer is perfectly level.
If you are connecting to a house sewer or septic system, you may have to dig down and connect to the sewer pipe directly. You will also have to dig down between 12 to 18 inches with a slight slope if you are using the gravity system.
Connect the valves and connectors as we described above making sure they are secure and tight. You will need a 4-inch diameter and a schedule 40 pipe to do this project.
These tasks are not that complicated. You should be able to get plans to help you with all the special details. Or you can talk to your city’s permit section to get what they require before you start this project.
This is another project you should not cheap out on. Get the right materials, and you can find them at an affordable price, so you do not have to do this work again.