Finding Dump Stations
By KC Chavda
If you dry camp as we do, or stop at Wal-Mart or Home Depot or other such establishments on your way south, one of the challenges has always been finding RV dump stations along the way and near your destination. As many of you might have experienced already, many dump stations have been closing and others are starting to charge for dumping, sometimes exceeding $30 in eastern in Canada and the US. We hear many horror stories from motorhome owners with toads describing how they took over two hours to dump as the dump station was not big rig friendly.
So how do you go about finding dump stations along your journey? I know some folks always stay at campgrounds with full hook ups and this is never an issue. Others travel the same routes and over time have found dump stations that they always frequent, so searching for one is not an issue (unless one of them closed down and then its panic time). But if you travel in new areas or your travel plans change unexpectedly, finding a dump station when your "RV has to go" can be challenging. To give you an idea, less than 28% of BC provincial parks have dump stations! Carrying all that "stuff" in your tanks for long distances cost you $$$ in fuel consumption, wear and tear on the rig and rig stability, as fluids slosh around a lot. Keep in mind each US gallon of fluid weighs in excess of 8.3 lb or 3.7 kg!
Dump stations can be found in many locations such as rest areas (many of these have closed or are closing due to abuse), gas/service stations (like Flying J , Shell and others), government Parks, Visitor Centres, Fairgrounds and wastewater treatment facilities. Not every one of these locations sports a dump station so the challenge is to determine which one. The internet has been a great place to find listings of dump stations and there are several sites, but like other information on the net, the lists can be outdated, incomplete or lack key information. Check out; www.rvcentral.com, www.rvdumps.com, www.sanidumps.com and www.dumpstations.ca (editors note).
My partner John Clarke and I manage www.sanidumps.com. It is the most complete list available. We do more than a thousand updates a month thanks to over 250,000 users. Searching is as simple as clicking on the Country, Province or State and the nearest town. The system will provide you with comprehensive information that lists all the nearby dump stations, direction, GPS coordinates, seasonality (open and close), fees (if any), potable water availability and if its big rig friendly.
For those that need to find dump stations while on the road and do not have internet connect ability, we have created an eBook that you can download on your computer. Now you have the same information anywhere, anytime at very low cost. And they make a great Christmas gift for under $30.00! Check out our web site and have a happy and safe holiday season.
Email your questions and comments to email@example.com