RV Dump Stations in Iceland - A Beginners Guide
Updated: Aug 10
I bet that everyone at least once in a lifetime has had the dream of getting into the car and driving off into the sunset. That also applies to dreams of a self-made trip around Iceland. The answer to these dreams is renting an RV for your journey. Traveling in your own vehicle where you have all the essentials seems like a great experience right? There’s a reason it is called home on four wheels. It will indeed become your temporary home which should give you the most comfort during your Icelandic adventures. RV rental in Iceland is definitely the best way to explore our little island that’s full of attractions. Apart from giving you an extreme sense of freedom, it puts all these beautiful landscapes at your fingertips. The benefits of camping in Iceland are countless. To be able to enjoy it though as much as possible, you need the right camper for your road trip, and to have some basic knowledge of how it works. There comes a question that often comes back to us and appears on many travelers forums, and it applies to gray water and RV dump stations in Iceland which offer the lavatory disposal.
As a standard, all motorhomes come with a toilet, bathroom and kitchen with sink. This is what makes them so functional and comfortable. Using these facilities though is associated with producing impurities - gray water and feces. To start with you should know that there are three water tanks in total in your motorhome. There is one for freshwater, another for gray and third one for black water. Their discharging falls under renter responsibilities, so you will personally be responsible for the condition of the septic tanks. The freshwater tank is easy to refill so there is not much to worry about. You can do it at all the campsites, gas stations even some restaurants and private pools. If you tend to do it in any of those places, make sure you ask the working member for permission.
How is gray water created?
Washing dishes after your meal or morning shower are the main activities which create gray water. It has to be gathered somewhere as it would not be a good idea to throw it out from the motorohme just anywhere, don’t you agree? So it’s gathered in a dedicated tank which is built into the motorhome. When the tank gets full it has to be discharged directly to the sewage grate located at designated places usually at the camping sites, special parking lots or gas stations. The black water tank is where everything that goes down the toilet ends up and it also has to be emptied on the dump stations or campsites. This tank is usually attached to your motorohme but in some models you will be also able to find a portable toilette drain.
It is hard to clearly state how often the tanks will get full but you will need to empty them at regular intervals. How often? It mostly depends on how much you will rely on the facilities in the rented motorhome. Sometimes it happens that tourists mostly use public toilets at the tourists' attractions, campsites and gas stations and it is not necessary to empty the tanks that often. The case looks different when you are traveling with a family and small kids and you use the toilet and shower quite often.
You can also use the kitchen, toilet and showers at the campsites to avoid the tanks getting full so quickly. Most of the campsites offer all these facilities and you can even make a laundry there. This is especially a good idea if you are traveling in a large group of friends or family.
Where to find RV dump stations in Iceland
It might seem obvious what we are just going to say but it is strictly forbidden to empty the septic tanks in places not intended for this, especially in lakes and directly to the ground. For some, it still happens to be not that obvious and you can see some tourists throwing the gray water straight through the window. Some can do it out of simple ignorance but fortunately, it always meets others disapproval and does not happen that often nowadays. It absolutely has to be done at the RV dump stations which you can find all around Iceland.
There is nothing to worry about as this is nothing complicated and you will easily be able to do it yourself. Even if this is the first time you rent an RV and have no experience with camping at all. The rental company which is providing you with the vehicle for your trip should also give you some guidance on the above. They usually give some tips and advice on how and where to dump gray and black water in Iceland.
The most convenient way is to stay at campsites which offer dump facilities and there are many of those in Iceland. There are also plenty of RV dump stations around Iceland and you will always find one near you. These are the special stations made for all the motorhomes users to be able to dump gray and black water. The cost of the facilities depends on the place but the good news is that you will also be able to find some stations around the country free of charge.
The list of dump stations around the country can be found on the website of the Environment Agency of Iceland. It might become very much helpful during your journey so make sure you have a look at it.
It is a good idea to download the map to your smartphone to be able to check where the nearest dump station is. We do recommend to use this map when planning your itinerary. This way you will never be surprised by a full tank with no place to dump it.
How to dump RV tanks
As mentioned already in the first part of this article, dumping the gray and black water is nothing complicated and after a short instructional post, you will be able to do it with your eyes closed, even though we do recommend to keeping them open!
The water from the tanks is released manually by opening the valve located on the tank and attaching the sewer hose to drain the water. Due to the small difference in levels in the tank, the water will flow quite slowly. As there are different models of motorhomes in which the water tanks are located in different places, it is worth asking your rental company to show you how to do it with your specific model.
Use a pair of gloves in case of any spillage and when you cannot hear the water rushing over the hose, it means that the tank is already empty. You should now splash the hose and the tanks with tons of fresh water and you’re done!
How to take care of septic tanks
You will need to take care of the cleanliness of the gray water tank as this is another important matter. Do not rinse leftovers of food and other stuff which should not go to that tank. In addition, it is recommended to disinfect the tank. There are special chemicals that can be used for the cleaning which you can usually find in the rented motorhome. There are special tablets you use for the black water tank which dissolve waste ad toilet paper. Remember also to use a specific toilet for this kind of toilets which are made of easily soluble cellulose.