A Better Way to Deal with Grey Water

Peggy Sue over Easter weekend camping.

I admire campers with the resources to boondock or dry camp!  We don't have a freshwater tank, a generator or batteries.  We need the hookup!   Water, electricity, and sewer for me, please.  I never thought that I'd see myself write the later.  But, it is true.  Even if you don't have a toilet, having a sewer hook up can really be helpful for you in a pop-up camper.

We have ditched the blue, "tank" to drain our grey water.  My husband was over having to dump that thing.  And it seemed like it was always full.  The main reason to ditch that blue container was the size and space it took to haul it around.

The grey water connection into the sewer line that we saw at Oak Mountain last fall.

Last year, our friend Bryan showed me a pop-up camper that was draining their grey water into the sewer line.  The pop up that we looked at was a high wall pop up with a shower and toilet.  While we don't have these amenities, we do have grey water to drain from washing dishes.  I took some photos and began looking for what we would need to apply this set up to our camper.

Make sure that you reserve a spot with a sewer line for camping if you plan to do this.  Previously, this was not a concern when we reserved a campsite because we don't have black water drainage.  We only needed water and electric.  Now, I ensure that our campsite has a sewer connection.

You will need the following gear to drain grey water into a sewer line:
Valterra has over 30 year s providing industry plumbing supplies to the RV market.  Their products are well made.  Both the water drain adapter and bayonet fitting are constructed to last.  I have been happy with both products. 

When you hook up, place the bayonet sewer fitting into the sewer receptacle at the site.  Next, add the grey water drain adapter.  Finally, connect your grey water hose to the camper and the adapter.

The grey water drain on the camper we first saw also had a sewer hose connected.  I have considered this for my camper.  But I haven't needed it.  So, I skipped this step.  If you find that you do need a sewer hose to help with drainage, this is easy to do.

We have a Valterra sewer fitting and adapter.
One thing that we have discovered that we need to do when washing dishes, is to vent the drain.  I made a little vent contraption from PVC pipe last year.  Several campers on boards I belong to suggested using a plain "Y" adapter for a hose for this purpose.  You can find these at any lawn and garden center at your big box store.  I have a plastic "Y" adapter that I purchased just to try it out to see if everything works.

The "Y" connector we use to help drain our sink in our pop up.

However, if you want a more permanent solution, you might want to purchase Solid Brass Y Valve Garden Hose Connector.  A brass connector would last longer than a plastic adapter.  I picked up the plastic one to try this out before spending any more on it than I had to.

The Y adapter has valves that can be open and closed.  My husband adjusts these to vent and pressurize.  You may have to play with this a bit at the campground to set up your "Y" valve to your liking.  Regardless, we both feel like this works just as well as the PVC contraption that we made and is simple and compact.

Our grey water set up now works well.  It drains easily.  And we have eliminated the need for grey water totes!

If you could eliminate unnecessary gear, what would it be?  What is something that you want to simplify?  Our grey water drainage system is the perfect set up for us.

I gave our gray water drainage hatch an update last year.  Now I feel like I have completed all of my work with how we handle grey water.  We have an updated drainage port as well as a better way to handle the actual grey water itself.  Each trip our set up improves.  We have learned more about what we need and how to make things more efficient. 

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing such a great article. your amazing thoughts and tips for house cleaning. Your blog is very informative and helpful. I really like it. Keep giving me an update.

    1. So glad! Thanks for following along! Happy Camping!

  2. Great article. I had the same concerns and this solves the problem. Thanks for sharing! (Links were a great time saver too!)

    1. I'm so glad that you found this information helpful. It was a huge time saver and so much better than portable tanks. I hope you are able to enjoy a great camping season!

  3. I am soooo doing this!! I spent 3-4 hours researching today to figure out how to deal with gray water and this is the best solution for me. I ordered the Valterra stuff from Amazon just now.

    This doesn't solve my venting issue. Unfortunately my drain comes out the bottom of my pup and not the side, so I can do the easy thing with a Y connector. We're just going to try it without venting and see if it's livable. If not, I'll have to build a custom vent out of PVC. But at least I won't have to empty those crazy gray water tanks. No thanks. :)

    1. I'm glad you found this helpful. We found over time that a custom PVC vent worked the best for helping to get everything to drain. But, I would at least try it before you go to all that trouble. Draining into the sewer was a game changer for us! Happy camping!


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