New RV owner. Hooking up to a septic tank.

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donkbet

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Oct 2, 2022
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Victoria BC Canada
Hi everyone, new RV owner here. I know quite literally nothing about owning or living in an RV but I'm eager to learn! My fiance and I have purchased a 2006 Flagstaff Classic Super Lite. We've parked it on my mom's 2 acre property and plan on living in it through the winter. I'm having an electrician come hopefully this week to install a tt-30 outlet in the house. I would also like to hook up the RV's black and grey water to the septic here on the property. It's a septic tank (not sewer). I'm not quite sure how to go about this. Ideally, I'd like to do it myself 🤞

Unfortunately, I can't park the RV close by the septic tank. They're located opposite sides of the house. Also, from what I can tell, there's no septic clean-out (there is a pipe that looks like one, but my mom believes it's for the perimeter drains.) There are however some pipes in the basement that look like they could potentially be used to hook up the RV septic (I think? I've included some pics). Just outside the house is the septic pipe, which I think a clean-out could be easily installed. I'm not familiar with this stuff, so I could be completely wrong.

If I can somehow hook up the RV's black and grey water to one of these (whether it's a macerator or a RV tote), that would be ideal. What are everyones thoughts or suggestions? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!

Link to pics
 

Laura & Charles

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Could be anywhere. Originally from Ohio. Go Bucks!
Welcome to the forum! A tote is going to get real old, real fast. A macerator should not be too difficult to set up. Somebody will be along shortly who will know more about it than I.

Your winter temps will be fairly moderate so what you’re proposing is certainly possible, but you’ll be spending a significant amount on electricity and propane to stay warm. Some skirting around the rig (to insulate under the rig) will go a long way to your comfort and to save $$.
 

Ex-Calif

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I dug about 40 feet of trench to my septic and buried it. I have an elbow and standard 4 inch connector at the RV end and I installed a T-fitting into the septic piping.

The pic you have of what appears to be outside pipe is a candidate. I would not go through the hassle of penetrating the house to hook up inside unless I had to - i.e. have to run all around the house to the septic tank.

If that is the feed from your home to the septic then I would come in at the same height and put a T junction in. You will need a 1/4 bubble drop on the piping run or about 1/4 inch per foot.

The biggest difficulty if you go this way is you will have to dig up a fair stretch of existing Septic pipe so you can get the flex to install the T.
 

tlmgcamp

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Jul 16, 2016
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341
Please note that what you are proposing would violate health/septic codes in some locations. Further, the septic system is designed for the existing dwelling and hooking up the RV to it may exceed the design capacity.
 

Kirk

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There are however some pipes in the basement that look like they could potentially be used to hook up the RV septic (I think? I've included some pics). Just outside the house is the septic pipe, which I think a clean-out could be easily installed. I'm not familiar with this stuff, so I could be completely wrong.
I would agree with the previous posts. Before you do any plumbing you need to verify that those are sewer lines, but I strongly believe that you are correct that they are. If you have someone flush the toilet while you stand next to the lines you should be able to hear the water pass through or feel some vibration in those lines. Once you know for sure the next issue is to figure out how to get your waste to those lines and that probably means a macerator pump to get it there as sewer lines need a downslope to work naturally. You also need to figure out how you will access them, cutting through a wall, cutting into the outside line, or what? You should still plan to use the trailer's waste tanks and only empty as needed. Another issue is, how long will you be living that way? Winter will sometimes be below freezing and water lines can freeze. We spent part of a winter in a park just across the water from you at Port Angeles, WA so I am familiar with the weather issues. You will need to make some additional provisions for the winter if you are to live comfortably through the winter so we can probably help you with that as well.
 

Babe2201

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Walpole, NH
I can't offer much advice on what to do but I do agree with what others have said and that is to avoid hooking it into the house piping.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
Victoria winters are mild enough to make this possible, but it's still going to take a lot of heating and a 30A shore power connection really limits the use of an electric space heater. You will probably want a bulk propane tank too - the little 20 lb BBQ tanks will last only a few days each. A local propane supplier can fix you up with 100 or 300 lb tanks and you can insert a Tee fitting in the trailer propane line to connect it.

By the way, make very sure that electrician adds a TT30 outlet and wires for 120v, not 220/240v. Electricians are much more familiar with the 240v application (electric dryers, welders, water heaters, etc) than 120v and too often install the wrong type of power. 240v will fry your RVs wiring in a heartbeat!

It looks like one of those sewer connections ought to be usable but it's tough to say without seeing where they go. You can use a macerator pump at the RV to push the effluent to the clean-outs if needed. The gray water can be left connected fulltime if you like, but the black waste should be collected in the RV waste tank until 2/3 or more full and then dumped or pumped out. That makes sure that solids and paper don't accumulate in the tank and line.
 

Ex-Calif

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NorthCentral Florida
Please note that what you are proposing would violate health/septic codes in some locations. Further, the septic system is designed for the existing dwelling and hooking up the RV to it may exceed the design capacity.

This is true. My original permit request was for a 1500 sq/ft dwelling and a 30 foot RV. I was told calculated capacity would be exceeded so I dropped the RV request.

The inspector did say that occasional dumping of the RV would be fine especially as the calculation on the house is a family of 4 and we are only 2 people.

In regards to the sewer plumbing the inspector had no problem with anything connected upstream of the septic tank - i.e. he didn't care about my RV drop in.
 

LMHS

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Jun 3, 2022
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NM
In the US, you can go to the local building permit department and should be able to get a (hopefully accurate) copy of the septic field diagram. I assume it works the same way in Canada. The diagram should show where the house hooks into the septic field. A good one would show the pipes from the house to the drain field. You can always add a cleanout trap to a main pipe if one isn't there. It's a good idea to have one for future waste problems.
 

Kirk

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Since donkbet has not been back since shortly after he made the post,it wouldn't seem that he is too concerned.
 

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