In this video, we’re going to review how to perform a pump and fill service on a customer-owned RV or motorhome.
Before getting started, it’s important to note that there are two different types of services that are regularly performed on these types of vehicles. This includes a water filling service and a waste pumping service. The two services are typically completed together; however, there are times when you’ll only need to perform one of them. Always review your work order and discuss with the customer prior to completing either service.
Water Fill Service
To begin with a water fill service, we’ll first need to locate the water fill valve. This is typically found on the side of the trailer, opposite from the main entry point. These access points usually have a plastic cover that needs to be unscrewed by turning counterclockwise. Once opened, we'll notice it’s a gravity fill valve. To fill, we'll need to turn on our water pump and slide the end of the hose right into the hole. We'll then open the water valve on our hose to fill, continuing until the tank is full. We’ll know the tanks are full when we hear or see water spilling out from under the trailer or when it rushes out of the end of the fill valve.
Please note, on some of the bigger and more expensive RV models, there will only be a single access point for both a city water connection and holding tanks. These types of fittings are typically brass and have the traditional screw-on valve for a standard garden hose. To fill these types of tanks, you’ll need to screw your hose into the RV and then have the customer flip their water fill switches on the RV from city water to tank fill.
Once the switch has been flipped, we'll open the water valve on our hose and proceed to fill the tank until it’s full. After the tank is full, we’ll close the water valve on our hose, shut off the water pump, and unhook the RV fitting from the RV. Congratulations, you’ve successfully performed a water fill service.
Waste Pumping Service.
To perform a waste pumping service, we’ll start by making sure the RV has water in its freshwater tank or it’s connected to a city water source. Next, we’ll walk around to the backside of the trailer to locate the dump valve. This will be the area where we’ll need to connect our waste hoses.
Please note most smaller RVs have a single dump valve for both their black water and gray water holding tanks, but large RVs will often have more than one dump valve. Once located, we’ll remove the plastic cap to the valve and evaluate the fitting type for the valve. This is because not all RV connections are alike, so we’ll need to attach the correct adapter for our hose to fit. With the proper fitting attached, we’ll then proceed to connect our hose to the RV waste valve with the PTO disabled.
Once the hose is properly attached, we’ll then slowly open the gate valve by pulling the lever up on the valve that’s labeled as black water. With the gate open, we’ll then slowly lift up the hose to ensure waste is inside. Next, we’ll head back to our truck to engage the PTO so the waste can safely drain from the tank, through the hose, and into the truck.
During this process, we’ll want to stay close to the waste valve. If at any point during this process we start to hear any plastic popping sounds, we’ll need to IMMEDIATELY release the hose from the RV fitting and gently pull the hose back from the valve to let air in. If we don’t break this seal quickly, we could cause the holding tank on the RV to collapse, causing severe damage to the vehicle.
Once the black water tank is drained, we’ll need to identify if this trailer has a single waste line that is connected to both the gray water and black water valves or if there are two separate waste lines, independently connected to a graywater tank and a black water tank.
If the trailer has a single waste line, we’ll proceed to open the gray water valve located next to the black water valve by lifting it up and letting it drain into the hose until the gray water tank is empty. Once we’ve confirmed it’s empty, we’ll slowly release the waste hose from the RV with BOTH gate valves still open, catching any residual waste that may be in the line and letting it trickle into the hose. Once empty, we’ll then close the gate valves and reconnect the cap to the end of the line. We’ll then proceed to disengage the PTO and roll up the hose.
If the trailer has a separate waste valve for both the gray water and black water tanks, we’ll need to disconnect our waste valve from the black water tank with the gate valve still open, catching any residual waste that may still be in the line. We’ll then close the gate valve on the black water tank and cap the end. Next, we’ll head back to our truck to turn off the PTO. With the PTO disabled, we’ll return to the waste valves where we’ll then reconnect our hose to the gray water tank, then proceed to open the valve. We’ll then reengage the PTO, allowing the gray water tank to drain fully.
Please note, it’s important that we never run the PTO with the gate valve still closed. This can cause severe damage to the valve which may cause it to fail. Let’s also remember that if at any point we start to hear any plastic popping sounds, we’ll need to IMMEDIATELY release the hose from the RV fitting and gently pull the hose back from the valve to let air in.
After all the waste has been pumped, we’ll then slowly remove the hose from the gray water tank, allowing any residual waste to drain into the hose. Once empty, we’ll then close the gate valve and reconnect the cap to the end of the line. We’ll then proceed to disengage the PTO and roll up the hose.
Prior to leaving, we will want to visually inspect the surrounding area and have the customer check their inside sensors to ensure they are registering as empty. It’s also important to note that most RV waste sensors that are improperly cared for show inaccurate readings about 50% of the time. Most RV owners are aware of this issue; however, it is important to still have that conversation prior to leaving. Once all tanks are serviced and we have visually inspected the surrounding area, the service is now complete.