Stealth Greywater Dumping, Do You or Don’t You?

When you’re boondocking, do you dump? Your grey water, that is.

Our wheels had barely started turning the first time anyone introduced us to the concept of dumping grey water somewhere other than a septic system.

Wisconsin’s Amish country beckoned but the nearest dump station was closed and our grey tanks were full.

We asked a farmer if he knew of another station.

“Yah sure, right there” he said as he pointed to his field.

Our heads spun ’round. “Are you kidding!” we asked. He wasn’t. “Just your greywater of course. Go ahead and pull in, the field needs it.”

We couldn’t believe it. As dedicated backpackers who took every precaution to avoid polluting water sources on the trail, we were horrified.

But our 35 gallon grey tanks were full and we had nowhere to go. So we did it.

The Blue Boy Blues

Avid boondockers know; when you’re settled into a spot, going to the dump is a huge ordeal.

Some folks haul a blue boy around. Many are brave enough to use the blue boy for blackwater dumping, which seems pretty disgusting. We would never, ever get that close to our own poo water (other than the occasional RV dump mishap).

You’ll see blue boy enthusiasts driving 3 miles per hour through Quartzsite, which appears to take longer than just pulling up stakes and moving the rig.

Our fifth wheel is too small to keep a blue boy, so that option is out for us.

Desert Dumping

Our boondocking experiences have taken us to many places where dumping greywater in an open field was accepted by the local population, whether they were land owners or fellow RVers. Usually it’s in the desert.

At the Slabs, it’s a given. Some folks push the envelope of decency by digging gopher holes for grey and black water. Trust me, we won’t go there. Ever.

Playing by the Rules

Stealth greywater dumping is always contingent on the dumping area being safely away from water, other campers and only in barren locations. And always at night (by daytime the puddle has evaporated). We only use biodegradeable soaps and never allow liquid kitchen wastes to go down the drain. That’s just smelly.

I know stealth RV greywater dumping horrifies a lot of people, but the reality is more of us do it than are willing to publicly admit.

So I’ll be the first to step forward. You’re next!

Do You or Don’t You?

If you do, or are considering the possibilities, here’s a handy little device made specifically for this purpose.

The Valterra T1020-5VP Gray Water Drain Adapter.

We saw a camper in Ajo, Arizona using one. Just attach a garden hose and point it away from your rig. Downhill, of course.

If we’ve lost any sort of respect you had for us over this, we apologize. But I’m just coming clean with our reality. It’s just like a saying among scuba scuba enthusiasts:

There are two kinds of divers out there: Those who pee in their wetsuits, and those who lie about it.


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56 Responses to “Stealth Greywater Dumping, Do You or Don’t You?”

  1. YOU are terrible people………welcome aboard I say.

  2. ‘My grandmother’s sink and wash water drained into the back yard and the flora certainly was flourishing at those spots.’

    For exactly the same reason why we don’t use soap in a lake, the stuff is fertilizing, the phosphates feed algae. Nothing wrong with a little soapy water on the ground, the park I’m in has grey water traps, the ministry of environment even has regulations on how to build them. I used to put a drop of soap in a bucket of water to pull dew worms out from under a composter.

  3. We are fairly new to traveling in a TT. Our first site with no sewage hookup was interesting for a family of five. Conserving am military showers only lasted two days on 35 gallon grey tank. My oldest suggested we scoop up the shower water and dump away from the trailer. We lasted five days! I got to thinking that this could be bad for environment. We are in the desert. Thank you for your insight and candor.

  4. Just a note to thank you and remind you that acts of bravery live forever on the internet! 🙂 Just starting out and trying to learn everything we can. Your analogy reminded me of another from the world of cruising on the Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW) – two types of boaters on the ICW; those who have gone aground, and those who lie about it.

    • Well shucks, thanks Jane! That’s kind of like the old saying about divers peeing in their wet suits.

      Best wishes to you in your travels. Keep in touch!

  5. I see the posts and some replies are very old, but thought I would chime in. Katajojo reflects my position perfectly, so I should just add a X2 and be gone, but that’s not my style. My grandmother’s sink and wash water drained into the back yard and the flora certainly was flourishing at those spots. Her whole life up to a few years before I was born, she had an outhouse. But, as they got up in years, grandpa built an addition onto the back of the house for her; with lumber he cut down and sawed himself, and installed, toilet, sink and shower. I think he built a septic tank and made the drain field, for the toilet only. You always knew where the drain field was because the greenest grass in the yard was there. So, I think It is the high volumes of what waste we are dealing with not the waste itself. I think a composting toilet is something that would profit us all. My hats off to any and all that live small.

    • Wolfwhistle, you were fortunate to grow up with two great grandparents. What homesteaders! I agree, it’s the amount of waste that’s the issue. Composting toilets are terrific and so is recycling grey water. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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