How to build an RV septic system?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “How to build an RV septic system?” We will describe the steps of building an RV septic system in detail along with the method. We will also talk about a few tips to manage an RV septic system. At the end of this post, you will get to know how to build an RV septic system in just a couple of days.

How to build an RV septic system?

To build an RV septic system, you need to follow the steps described below.

  • Locate the main sewer line
  • Attach a PVC pipe
  • Dig a hole according to the tank size
  • Level the tank
  • Fix an elbow to the pipe to the septic system

Locate the main sewer line

  • The first step is to locate the main sewer line from the RV. Every RV has a main sewer outlet. This outlet is usually a two-inch PVC or a three-inch ABS pipe. You will need to figure out the outlet. You can also refer to the RV’s manual to know where the pipe is located.

Attach a PVC pipe

  • Once you have located the main sewer line, the next task is to attach a PVC pipe. You will need to attach a PVC pipe according to your preference. The pipe should connect to the place where you want to build the RV septic system.
  • Make sure that the distance from the main sewer line to the RV septic system has a minimum of five to 10 feet. It is always good to build an RV septic system a little further away from the RV. At the same time, make sure that it is not too far away.
  • The PVC pipe should extend horizontally and be sure to have a couple of clamps attached to the pipe. These clamps must be easy to remove and there should be no hassle when it comes to traveling with the RV.
  • Another option is to dig a trench and attach the PVC pipe so that there is no hassle and the pipe will not be exposed.
  • You must run the pipe directly to the hole that you plan on digging to place the RV septic tank. You can add stones to the hole and fill the hole up to the bottom of the pipe.

Dig a hole according to the tank size

  • You will need to dig a hole in the ground according to the size of the RV septic tank. Be sure to measure the tank from the top to bottom and dig a hole that is a little bigger than that tank.
  • You must have a minimum of five to 10 inches of extra space once you bury the tank in the ground. You will also need to measure the distance from the inlet hole to the bottom of the tank.
  • Just be sure to have enough space around the RV septic tank so it can be placed easily in the ground. Avoid digging an extremely large hole since it might be an issue later.
  • There are different types of RV septic systems for this purpose. You can purchase an RV septic tank according to your requirements. You can also choose to get a custom-made RV septic tank.
  • Another option that people use instead of a tank is 55-gallon drums. You might need to do some alterations to these drums like cutting an inlet hole to match the measurements of the pipe that enters.

Level the tank

  • Be sure to level the tank by filling in the mud around it. This is essential since the tank should not be shaky or loose. Use the mug and fill it around the tank on all four sides to keep it tight.
  • Before placing the tank in the hole, you can use a couple of stones at the bottom along with some sand to ensure that the tank is level.

Fix an elbow to the pipe to the septic system

  • After leveling the tank, you will need to ensure that the PVC pipe ends correctly at the mouth of the tank. The next step is to fix an elbow to the pipe. The elbow must be placed in a manner that enters the RV septic system without any hassle.
  • You might want to use some tape around it to make sure that there are no gaps. Once you are done fixing the elbow, you can put the lid back on top of the tank. Then, you can backfill the dirt into the trench and grade. Be sure to check for any leaks along the pipe.

Tips to manage an RV septic system

Managing your RV septic system certainly needs attention and this is something that you need to do often. Be sure to maintain and check your RV septic system every couple of months. This also depends on how often you used the RV septic system.

Empty and clean your tanks regularly

  • It is unwise to keep your RV tank full, especially when not in use. The RV septic tank has a big effect on your vehicle. If you make use of your RV only e a few times a year, be sure to empty the tanks as soon as possible. This must be done to remove or limit the amount of debris that is built up inside these tanks.

Avoid keeping them full during the summer

  • During summer or warmer climatic conditions, there are chances of mosquitoes laying eggs inside your tank. At the same time, you should not keep your RV septic system full during winter. It is essential to keep it clean since there are chances of the tank getting frozen.
  • Be sure to pump out the waste water when moving from one location to another. Avoid keeping your RV septic tank full for more than a week when not in use.

Use biodegradable soap

  • Using biodegradable soap is sure to help prevent build-up inside the tank over time. You can also use a laundry detergent that does not have phosphates and other additives that can lead to a build-up in your RV septic system.

Those were a few tips to consider while managing or maintaining your RV septic system. The RV septic system plays a vital role and it must be checked every few weeks. Building an RV septic system is not too hard if you follow the steps mentioned above. Feel free to get in touch with an expert if you are not comfortable working with RV septic systems.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: “How to build an RV septic system?” We have described the steps of building an RV septic system in detail along with the method. We have also talked about a few tips to manage an RV septic system. Have you built an RV septic system before? Leave us a comment below and let us know your method.


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