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How to Find the Best RV Sewer Hose

Spend enough time with other RVers, and you will inevitably end up talking about poop at least once. Regardless of experience level, just about everyone has an unfortunate black tank story to tell. If you don’t yet, then it is probably only a matter of time. When it comes to dumping tanks, even small mistakes can have messy consequences. Though awful in the moment, black tank mishaps are a special kind of baptism into the RVing community. Once you’ve cleaned yourself up, you’ll have a great story to tell around the campfire for years to come.

One thing to learn from these stories is that quality matters when it comes to sewer hoses and the related accessories. Whether you are shopping to replace a hose that leaks or proactively trying to avoid future mishaps, it is essential to learn more about your options before choosing a new sewer hose.

How to Connect Your Sewer Hose

sewer hose for rv

Regardless of which sewer hose model you choose, it will not work properly if it is not connected properly. User error, not hose failure, accounts for the majority of black tank mishaps. Be sure to read the instructions thoroughly, so you know how to get a good connection at both ends of the hose. If you are new to RVing or uncertain of how to use a new type of hose, consider practicing with clean water in your tank. The procedure may seem intimidating at first, but it is not difficult.

Read more about how to connect your sewer hose.

When to get a new sewer hose

Unless your current sewer hose is visibly damaged or malfunctioning, it may be hard to know when it is time to replace it. The average life expectancy of a hose depends on many factors, including what material it is made of, how often it is used, and exposure to sunlight and extreme temperatures. If you suspect your sewer hose may need to be replaced soon, consider purchasing a new one already, even just to have on hand as a backup should disaster strike.

Most likely, if you are using the sewer hose that came with your RV when you purchased it, you should plan to replace it as soon as possible. It is rare for manufacturers or dealerships to include a high-quality sewer hose. Even if your rig is brand new, the hose it came with may be a black tank disaster waiting to happen.

Remember that sewer hoses are regularly exposed to the elements, as well as a good deal of wear and tear in ordinary use. Plan to regularly inspect sewer hoses, seals, and connectors just as you would inspect tires, brakes, and hoses for signs of wear and damage. Sewer hoses occasionally need to be replaced, even when well cared for.

Factors to consider

On the surface, it may seem as though all sewer hoses are exactly the same. Walking around a campground, you may not see many obvious variations in sewer hose design, and transporting waste from the black tank to the sewer hookup is hardly a feat of advanced engineering. It may be surprising that there are actually many factors to consider when choosing a sewer hose. Be sure to take the following criteria into account when deciding which hose will best meet your needs:

Length

Sewer hoses should be long enough to reach from your tank outlet to the sewer hookup without being overextended. At the same time, a hose that is too long is less efficient as the waste material has to travel a greater distance. When it comes to sewer hoses, aim for “just right” – neither too long nor too short.

Since every campsite and campground will be different, it can be hard to know what length is “just right”. To get an idea of how much hose is right for your rig, measure the distance from your sewer cap to the rear bumper, then add a few feet for margins. This way, if the sewer hookup is at the rear of your campsite, you know that your hose will reach.

Common lengths for sewer hoses are 15 feet or 20 feet. Typically, the 20-foot kits include two 10-foot hoses with a connector, allowing you to use only 10 feet of the hose when this is sufficient, but extend to double the length when it is not. Shorter sections of extension hose, typically 5-10 feet long, are also available and can give added flexibility in assembling the right length hose.

rv sewer hose size lenght

Size

The size of your sewer hose is a factor both when it is in use and when it is stored. Failing to consider both could result in frustration and problems, so measure well to ensure a good fit.

Most RVs have a standard size when it comes to grey and black water outlets. Sewer hoses are 3 inches in diameter and most RVs have a common outlet point for both grey and black water tanks. Some larger rigs have a second outlet point so a length of hose can be attached to each one, which meets in a “Y” joint so a single hose leads to the sewer connection. Alternatively, you can choose to connect each tank individually when they need to be emptied. The fittings for these outlets and connections are generally standard on RVs manufactured in the last 30-40 years. For older rigs, you may need to find an adjustable adapter in order to connect a new sewer hose.

Remember to also consider the size of the space where your sewer hose will be stored when not in use. If you choose a hose that is less flexible or that does not collapse as small as your current hose, it may not fit in the storage space. Remember to plan space for any joint fittings or elbow connectors, as well as any extension hoses if you choose to purchase a longer hose than you currently have.

Sewer hoses should be stored in a way that keeps them separate from any other hoses to avoid contamination. Many RVs have sewer hose storage in the rear bumper, which is typically a 4-inch by 4-inch square. A 3-inch sewer hose fits without a problem, but beware of permanently attached fittings that may be larger than 4 inches. If you plan to store your sewer hose in the bumper, look for a model that has detachable fittings.

Durability

Sewer hoses put up with a lot of abuse. First, there is the routine wear-and-tear of repeatedly connecting, disconnecting, and storing it. Exposure to UV rays causes most materials to begin to break down over time. Then there are the different mishaps that can happen along the way. Someone might get a little too close with a lawnmower or accidentally step on the hose while walking in the dark. Accidents happen and no sewer hose is indestructible.

Nevertheless, some hoses are more durable than others. Hoses are made from a variety of materials, such as vinyl, polyolefin or TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). They can be treated for UV protection to increase their resistance to the harmful effects of the sun. Hoses can also vary in thickness, so even those made from the same materials can be more durable if they are thicker and therefore more sturdy.

Durability is often a compromise. A hose made from TPE is more durable than those made from polyolefin or vinyl, but this sturdy construction makes it much more difficult to collapse and store. Vinyl is very flexible, but gaining this flexibility may mean replacing your sewer hose more frequently. While durability is an important factor to consider, it may or may not be your highest priority depending on your individual usage and needs.

rv sewer hose Connectors

Connectors and Fittings

There are two main questions to ask when considering sewer hose connectors and fittings: How difficult is it to connect the hose, and how secure is that connection?

While connecting the sewer hose is rarely anyone’s favorite part of RVing, it is even more unpleasant when the task is difficult. Each manufacturer uses a slightly different design and some are ergonomic than others. For RVers with joint problems such as arthritis, a better grip on the connector could make it much easier and more comfortable to securely empty the tanks.

Most sewer hoses connect with a bayonet locking system that holds the hose firmly in place but still allows the hose to be connected and disconnected easily. These bayonet systems can be designed with different numbers of bayonets, and generally more bayonets make the connection more secure. A secure connection is important so that when you open the valve to release the contents of your tanks, the pressure will not disrupt the connection and cause leaks.

Cost

While sewer hoses are generally very affordable to replace, there is still a wide range of prices and cost is a factor for most people. While a greater initial investment may mean replacing the hoseless often, there are no guarantees. The cheapest model may work well for you and last a long time, or it might fail and lead to a black-tank baptism. Generally, a mid-range model is a good compromise that is preferred by many frequent and full-time RVers.

Additional accessories

sewer hose

Support Stand

A support stand is an inexpensive way to extend the life of your sewer hose while also helping your tanks drain efficiently. By keeping the hose up off the ground, it is better protected from the elements. Elevating the hose also allows you to position it so that gravity helps everything flow more easily. There are a variety of different styles of support stands available, from collapsible plastic pieces that cradle the hose, to accordion-style supports, to adjustable-height stake-style supports. Which type you should choose depends on personal preference, as well as how much space you have available and how long your sewer hose is.
Read more about selecting the right sewer hose support stand. 

Tote Tank and Hose

Not all campgrounds have sewer hookups at every site. Often they will have a dump station available for emptying tanks, but it is inconvenient to disconnect everything and move your rig when your tanks need to be emptied. Under these circumstances, a portable waste tank or tote tank is a very convenient way to move the contents of your tanks to the dump station. Also referred to as a “blue boy”, tote tanks come in a variety of different sizes.

While you can use your regular sewer hose to connect your RVs outlet to the portable tank, the connection point on most tote tanks is also bayonet-style, so your sewer adapter will not attach properly. The best (least messy) way to connect to the tote tank is either to get an adapter so that your hose can have bayonets on both ends or to purchase a designated tote tank hose. These hoses are typically much shorter, between 3-5 feet, since the tank is on wheels and can be moved close to the sewer outlet. They also come pre-fitted with the appropriate connectors on both ends of the hose. Most sewer hose manufacturers also sell tote tank hoses, so you can choose the same kind of hose for your tote tank as for your regular sewer hookup.

Read more about choosing a portable waste tank. 

Transparent Elbow Adapter

While it may not sound appealing to have a clear view of what is coming through your sewer hose, it is extremely helpful to be able to see when the flow has stopped. By having a see-through elbow at the point where the hose connects to the sewer hookup, you can know for sure when the tank has finished draining and it is safe to disconnect the hose. If you purchase a sewer hose kit, it may include a transparent elbow adapter. If it does not, this is an accessory to consider adding to help you avoid disconnecting too soon.

Recommended Models

Comparison Chart

Model

Length

Price Range

Material

Camco Rhinoflex

15-20 feet

$30-40

Polyolefin

Thetford Titan

15-20 feet

$30-45

TPE

Valterra Dominator

15-20 feet

$30-45

Polyolefin

Camco Revolution

20 feet

$35-50

Vinyl

Lippert Waste Master

20 feet

$120-155

Nylon / plastic-coated metal

Camco 39631 RV HTS Heavy Duty

15-20 feet

$20-35

Vinyl

Advantages and Disadvantages

1. Camco Rhinoflex

camco

Advantages

The sturdy polyolefin hose is reinforced with steel wire which not only adds strength but ensures that the hose stays extended to the desired length. The fittings are removable for bumper storage, which also means they can be attached to a new hose when it needs to be replaced. The kit includes a translucent elbow and swivel fittings. It can be compressed to a very small size for storage. It is inexpensive and a great value for the money.

Disadvantages:

The removable fittings can come loose if not properly tightened. It is not the most durable hose available.

The ONE I Trust (Camco RhinoFlex)
$38.43

For safely removing dump from your RV, you definitely need to check the Camco RhinoFlex 4 in 1 hose coming in several sizes and with plenty additional requisites as well. There is a reason why campers trust it!

Buy Now
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10/26/2021 10:41 am GMT

2. Thetford Titan

thetford titan

Advantages:

Made from TPE, which is a rubber-like material, the Titan will hold its shape and bounce back even if run over by a car. It is not sensitive to temperature, so neither extreme heat nor extreme cold will affect its performance. It is extremely durable and the sewer adapter has a handle for easy connection. An ergonomic, extended bayonet connector gives you a better grip.

Disadvantages:

Because the hose maintains its shape so well, it does not easily collapse down smaller for storage. Storing the Titan requires much more space than most other hoses. Some users find the plastic connectors to be weak.

Thetford 17854 Titan 10 Foot RV Sewer Hose Extension
$18.74
Thetford's Titan 17854 is a great deal if you frequently travel, and you need something less expensive to do the job. The best part is that it is portable, can do the job well and it bounces back once everything is finished.
Check Price
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10/26/2021 04:35 am GMT

3. Valterra Dominator

valterra

Advantages:

The Dominator hose is made from polyolefin with 23 mil thickness, making it both strong and extremely flexible. It maintains its flexibility even at extremely cold temperatures. It is collapsible and offers rotating fittings for easier set-up. The material is also UV stabilized to extend the life of the product. The Dominator comes with a one-year warranty.

Disadvantages:

The fittings are permanently mounted, so they cannot be removed for storage and if any part needs to be replaced, the whole kit needs to be replaced.

Valterra 20 Ft Kit
$46.96
The Valterra 20 Ft Kit is an amazing deal for your RV. It comes in a package with 2 hoses instead of just 1 and it is reallu easy to adapt to different sewer types, making every draining headache-free!
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10/26/2021 09:46 am GMT

4. Camco Revolution

Advantages:

The high-grade vinyl construction of the Revolution makes it both flexible and durable, while still easy to compress for storage. This hose easily connects with other Revolution hoses so that multiple hoses can be attached to give the needed length. The fittings have 4 bayonets for a more secure hold when attached properly, and can swivel 360-degrees to make connecting and disconnecting easier.

Disadvantages:

It is not the most durable hose system on the market and it is not ideal for extreme weather conditions. It does not come with a transparent elbow adapter.

Camco Revolution Swivel Kit
$30.50
Camco really knows how to make RV owners happy, so the Revolution Swivel Kit is supposed to be frustration-free and give you easily adjustment and fewer things to attach, so you get the business done.
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10/26/2021 08:36 am GMT

5. Lippert Waste Master

lippert

Advantages:

The Waste Master is the deluxe, luxury sewer hose system. It is one of the most durable hoses on the market and its plastic-coated metal coils are on the outside so that the inner hose is completely smooth to avoid any waste becoming stuck. It uses a leak-proof cam lock system to connect, rather than a bayonet system. The sewer adapter is permanently attached with an easy-grip handle and an integrated shut-off valve. The hose is UV protected and flexible.

Disadvantages:

It is by far the most expensive system on the market. While it offers many unique features, the cost is prohibitive for many. Because it does not use the bayonet system, the RV output point must be altered in order to install the cam lock connector. The hose is heavy and bulky to store and transport, so it is not ideal for those who travel often.

THE BEST FOR YOUR RV (Lippert Hose Management System)
$131.35
If you are looking for something more durable, then Lippert is the right choice for the task. The hose is leak-proof and prevents waste from getting trapped inside (which is every RV owner's dream!)
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10/26/2021 12:05 am GMT

6. Camco HTS Heavy Duty

camco heavy duty

Advantages:

This is the best value for the smallest price tag. All the connectors are removable, and the 20-foot hose compresses down to 32 inches for storage. It is lightweight and does the job without a lot of extra features. It is perfect for the occasional weekend user.

Disadvantages:

Fittings need to be purchased separately and can be difficult to install. This model lacks many features that are helpful and convenient for regular or frequent use.

Camco Heavy-Duty Sewer Hose
$21.75
The Camco Heavy Duty Sewer Hose is excellent for full-time travelers. The hose is made with HTS vinyl and is super stretchable and the combination of vinyl and wires offers ultimate protection when draining waste from your RV.
Check Price
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10/26/2021 07:31 am GMT

Final Words:

Finding your favorite RV waste disposal hose might be a daunting task if you don’t know what you are looking for, but with the choices, we have briefly reviewed, and with the tips, we have shared above, there is hardly a chance that you will be unsatisfied. If you were looking for a suggestion where to start with, or with the best deal for your budget, we would definitely recommend the Lippert Waste Master as it has plenty of features and technology that others lack.

Keep reading: Keep your RV maintained and it can last a lifetime. Read our Ultimate Guide to RV Maintenance to find out more!

Christine Lindstrom

Christine Lindstrom is a freelance writer and full-time RVer. She loves traveling the country with her husband and three children and hopes her writing can help others discover the joys of the RV lifestyle.