How to Construct a Small RV Septic System

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic tank

  • 4-inch PVC pipe

  • 4-inch PVC elbow

  • Crushed rock

  • 4-inch PVC perforated pipe

  • Rosin paper

  • 4-inch PVC coupling

  • PVC glue

  • Level

  • Backhoe

Tip

A tank can be purchased at any local hardware or plumbing supply. A backhoe can be rented by the day with or without an operator.

Warning

Use caution when backfilling not to crush the pipes.

Septic tank installation

Constructing a septic system for an RV can be accomplished by building a scaled-down version of a full size system. A smaller septic system will work for an RV because usage is lighter than that of a septic system built for a house. You can build a simple yet effective system with products purchased from your local hardware store, plumbing supply and stone yard. Check with your local zoning office for required permits.

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Step 1

Locate the main sewer pipe coming from the RV.

Step 2

Attach a 5- to 10-foot piece of PVC pipe to the main plumbing pipe coming out of the RV. This pipe extends horizontally and should be attached with a clamp which can be removed easily to travel with RV.

Step 3

Measure the distance from the inlet hole to the bottom of the tank. This measurement needs to be the depth of the hole from the bottom of the pipe.

Step 4

Dig a hole and set the tank in it according to your measurement.. This is the septic tank, which will separate the solid and liquid waste.

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Step 5

Fit the inlet from the RV drain into the tank until it is snug.

Step 6

Level the tank and backfill the dirt around the tank.

Step 7

Glue an elbow onto the end of the drainpipe facing down toward the bottom of the tank.

Step 8

Dig a 10-foot ditch from the end of the tank at the outlet hole, pitching down 1/8 inch per foot.

Step 9

Install PVC pipe from the outlet hole to the end of the trench.

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Step 10

Glue a PVC elbow on the outlet pipe in the tank facing down toward the bottom of the tank.

Step 11

Dig a 10-foot-deep hole at the end of the trench.

Step 12

Add stones to the hole. Fill the hole up to the bottom of the pipe.

Step 13

Add a 2-foot length of 4-inch PVC perforated pipe to the end of the PVC solid pipe. The perforated pipe should end in the middle of the stone filled hole and slope down 1/8 inch per foot.

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Step 14

Cover the perforated pipe with stones. Stones should surround the pipe and be at least 4 inches above the pipe.

Step 15

Apply rosin paper on the stones to separate the dirt and the stones. The rosin paper will eventually dissolve once the dirt is packed, and at that point the dirt will not mix with the stones.

Step 16

Put the lid back on top of the tank.

Step 17

Backfill the dirt into the trench and grade.

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references & resources

Elijah Reno

Elijah Reno is an entrepreneur working in the SEO marketing field. Prior to starting his own business, Reno worked as a civil servant. He began writing technical documents such as Phoenix Sky Harbor Data Package and Boston Logan Technical Package in 1993. He holds a bachelor's degree in information and computer science from Stockton State College.