Essential Gear for RV Waste Tanks
So you are new to this RVing thing and you need to make sure you have all the essential gear.
Especially for the RV black tanks. And even the RV gray tanks.
I’m going to lump it all together as the essential gear for RV waste tanks.
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Scared of the RV Black Tank?
Don’t worry, everyone is scared of the RV black tank when they first start.
When I first started RVing, I bought a cheap RV before I invested in the new, fancy RV.
I did this intentionally. I wanted to know if I could “do” this RVing thing.
- Could I drive the RV?
- Could I deal with maintaining the RV?
- And then, could I deal with the black tanks?
I mean, we don’t want to be Cousin Eddie, right?
Or perhaps Robin Williams in RV?
Don’t be like Cousin Eddie. Or Robin Williams. Let’s get this whole dumping your RV tanks done right with this essential gear for RV waste tanks.
Essential Gear for RV Waste Tanks
Before you pass Go!, before you collect $200, spend some money on these RV sewer essential items.
Whether because they are required to dump or because many campgrounds will require these items, they should be in every RV setup.
And you’ll be sorry if you missed any of them.
Why: How else are you going to get the poop from the tank to the drain? We don’t want to be like Robin Williams, so get good quality hoses that hook together properly.
Sewer hoses typically come in 10 feet segments. I recommend at least 2, and preferably 3-4. You never know how far from the drain you’ll have to park. Or when one of the hose segments will “spring a leak.”
Buy Now: Camco 20′ Sewer Hose Kit
Why: the elbow fitting is easier to deal with than trying to get the hose to point down into the drain.
You’ll want a clear one so that you know when the waste is done and it is running clear water.
Yeah, it sounds gross that you’ll be watching the waste go down into the sewer, but it is really necessary. You don’t want to drain just the fluids and leave the solids. This will lead to the dreaded RV black tank poop pile.
So get the rinse system working and run it until the water runs clear. Which you can see through the clear elbow fitting.
Why: Many campgrounds and older dump stations may have the threads in the sewer connection stripped. Or it just be a piece of PVC pipe with no threads at all.
The sewer hose seal, sometimes called the doughnut, connects your hose to the drain and keeps all the waste from spilling out. It is also good at sealing in odors so that you don’t get the whiff of sewer odors when you walk by.
The RV sewer doughnuts are cheap and don’t take up much room. But when campgrounds require them, they are going to be marked up pretty high in the campground store. So get one now.
Buy Now: Camco Sewer Hose Seal
Why: Because poop flows downhill. A lot better than it does uphill. The hose support will keep the waste flowing towards the sewer drain. And off the ground. This will prevent dreaded backups and pressure inside your hoses.
Also, it’s required in some states and many campgrounds.
Buy Now: 20′ Sidewinder RV Sewer Hose Support
Why: Many RV black tanks have this cool feature called a black tank rinse. You hook up the hose to this and it sprays water inside the black tank to get rid of the gunk that clings to the sides. Like toilet paper. Rinsing the black tank every time you dump the tanks is a great way to keep the tank sensors working.
Also, when you are done dumping, it is a good practice to rinse the sewer hoses with clean water to make sure that everything has made it all the way through the hose.
Do you really want to stick your freshwater hose down the sewer hose? Eeewwww. Think of all the cross-contamination!
Have a separate hose just for your RV waste tanks.
If you spring a leak while dumping, you’ll have a hose handy to help clean up.
And since this one isn’t white, your fellow RVers won’t think you are using your freshwater hose. Just saying.
Buy Now: Camco 25ft Clean Out Hose
Why: if your RV black tank doesn’t have a rinse system built in, then you will want to get a reverse flush valve. You hook the clean out hose right to the valve and can fill the tanks to rinse them.
The dual flush pro is also great to help break up any poop piles that may form in your RV black tank. The water at the high pressure is great to loosen the pile up to get down the sewer hose.
Why: If you RV doesn’t have the black tank rinse system built in, then you’ll need this to help get all the gunk off the walls.
Regularly rinsing out your black tank will help keep the sensors working so you know how full it is. And you are more likely to avoid the dreaded poop pile.
Why: Do you really want your sewer hose, no matter how well you rinsed it out, to be just floating around in your RV basement compartment?
I mean, yuck!
How about we have something to conveniently store the sewer hose in and keep it separated from all the other stuff in your RV basement?
These tubes are great because you can mount them external to your basement compartments (either under the RV or on the bumper are popular spots).
If you don’t get a bumper style hose carrier, at least get a good size bucket to keep all your RV sewer system gear contained in one spot.
Buy Now: Valterra Adjustable Hose Carrier
Why: We are dealing with poop and other waste here. And sure, you aren’t always going to spring a leak, but if you do, do you really want waste on your hands?
Sure, you can wash your hands but I don’t know about you, I’d rather keep the stuff off my hands. And also wash my hands.
Especially after a tailgate when who knows has been through your bathroom. Because eeewwww.
Buy Now: Disposable Gloves, Box of 100
Why: Even if you use gloves, you are likely to still contaminant something during the dump process. I like to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in the wet bay or the bay where I store all the sewer gear.
This way, you can “rinse” off the germs before you lock up the bay or open the front door of the RV. I mean, you’ll go in and wash your hands but think of all the places you have to touch before you even get to the sink. Ugh.
I also keep a roll of paper towels on hand. And often a small bottle of hand soap if you have an outdoor shower to use to rinse off, if needed.
Buy Now: Germ-X Hand Sanitizer, Pack of 4
Optional RV Sewer Equipment
Some RV waste tank gear may depend on what your needs or setup are. These are optional, but often highly recommended, equipment, depending on how you use your RV.
Why: If you are RVing in a campground with only partial hookups (ie no sewer) or boondocking with no hookups at all, then you are going to need to either 1) pack your RV up to take to a dump station or 2) use this portable dump station.
You can empty your RV waste tanks into this tote and then tow it to the dump station. This saves you the hassle of packing up your RV site.
Get a four-wheel version. Even when empty, they are quite heavy. When full, they are extremely heavy.
Buy Now: Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank
Why: No need for the bulky sewer hoses when you can dump with a much smaller hose. The smaller waste chunks also take up less space in your tote tank, if you have to use one.
And what happens when you have an uphill slope from your RV tank to your drain spot? Shit doesn’t flow uphill. Unless you have an electric pump doing the hard work. The macerator pump can move the waste slightly uphill.
Why: Just plain old tired of dealing with the black tank? Then install a composting toilet in your RV bathroom. The solids become compost that you can throw out in the trash. The liquids go into the gray tank.
Then you can convert your black tank to extra gray water storage or do away with it entirely to gain extra RV basement storage space.
Any More Essential Gear for RV Waste Tanks Recommendations?
Comment below if you have recommendations on gear that every RVer should have to manage their RV black and gray tanks!
For more reading on RV waste tanks and sewer systems:
- Make Your Own RV Black Tank Cleaning Bombs
- RV Gray Tanks: The Other RV Waste Tanks
- How To Remove RV Sewer Flies and Gnats
- Tips for Dealing with RV Odors
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