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Matt Johnson

The Ultimate Guide to your RV Sewer Hose

MattGlamperGear
Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Feb 8, 2023Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Having the right RV sewer hose setup is essential for any camper. It keeps your black water tank clean and odor-free and allows you to dump it easily at campgrounds without a mess. But having the wrong sewer hose or not caring for it properly can cause many problems.

That’s why we’re here to help!

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about RV sewer hoses – from choosing one that fits your needs to how to use them safely and efficiently and even how best to store them so they last longer.

What your sewer hose kit needs to consist of.

Before you head out on your first camping trip, you want to ensure you have everything to properly set up in your campsite. To make sure everything runs smoothly, you should have a comprehensive RV sewer hose kit that consists of the following—

  • RV sewer hoses. One or more 10-15 foot lengths of 4-inch diameter RV sewer hose – this is usually made from either PVC or some other heavy-duty plastic material. The more the merrier.
  • RV sewer hose fittings. These are designed to connect the end of the hose to your RV’s sewer connection port and also to connect to the dump station tank.
  • Hose supports or cradles. Hose supports or cradles keep the hose in place and keep it from moving or kinking while connected. These are optional but definitely recommended if you keep your hose connected to the septic tank when parked.
  • Drain cleaner and deodorizer. These products can help keep your sewer system clean and free of unpleasant odors.
  • Dedicated water hose. In addition to your potable water hose, you’ll want to have a dedicated hose for cleaning up sewer waste.
  • Gloves. It’s always a good idea to wear gloves when dealing with potentially hazardous materials like RV sewage, so make sure you stock up on these items.
  • Septic storage container. You’ll want to have a plastic tote that is dedicated to all of the components to your sewage tank flush kit. You don’t want to have your hose and fittings comingling with other things like your grill or outdoor toys.

Once you have everything, you’ll be ready to hit the road with your RV sewer hose kit in tow. Knowing that you have all the necessary components will make it much easier to confidently and quickly dump your tanks when needed.

How to flush your black and gray tanks properly.

Whether you’re in the midst of a long camping trip or you’re finishing up from an exhausting weekend of adventures, at some point, you’re going to have to pump out your camper or RV’s black and gray tanks. This process is relatively simple, but it helps to know the basics of how it works and how to keep yourself safe when doing it.

Pulling into the dump station.

Before you do anything, you’ll have to find a dump station. Don’t worry, they’re not that difficult to find. Many RV parks and national parks have dump stations on site, and some, even offer them for free. However, I always recommend you give the RV park a call beforehand to ensure they have a dump station and that it’s operational. Once you arrive at the station, be sure to locate all of the hook-ups and valves, as well as a place to park your rig with easy access to the tanks.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have an RV site with full hookups to include sewage. Ensure you park your camper where you can easily access the RV site sewer caps. These are identifiable by the standard threaded pvc collar with the RV sewer cap on top.

Your RV sewer connector on your RV is typically on the driver’s side of your camper or travel trailer. It can be located in the front, middle, or rear of the camper, so you’ll have to know where yours is before parking at the dump station. Each make and model is different, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual if you’re unsure.

Lay out your RV hoses and sewer hose kit.

Now that you’re parked at the dump station, it’s time to start setting up your hoses. If you have a sewer hose kit, this process will be much easier. Most kits come with everything you need to get the job done, including multiple lengths of heavy-duty PVC or plastic sewer hose, fittings to connect to your RV and the dump station, and hose supports or cradles.

Connecting the hose and fittings.

With everything properly laid out, it’s time to start connecting the hoses and fittings. Start by connecting one end of the hose to your RV’s sewer port and the other end to the dump station valve or tank.

Most RV sewer hoses have a clip-together connection system on them that allows them to rapidly connect to your RV as well as the attachments and components.

Ensure you have a secure connection.

This goes without saying, but if you don’t do this you’ll find yourself in a gross mess. Always ensure that your hose and all of the attachments are securely connected, otherwise, you could end up with a nasty surprise.

Typically when you connect your sewer line, it’ll be snug and will not twist loosely when it’s fully and properly connected.

Connect your San-T-Flush hose.

This step is optional, but if you have a San-T-Flush system installed on your camper then this is the time to connect that hose to it.

A San-T-Flush is a system that sprays freshwater in your black tank to clean out any waste and solids from the walls and flush it down the hose when you’re dumping your tank.

We like to turn it on about 30-60 seconds before pulling the blank tank valve open. This allows it to get a head start on cleaning the tank walls.

San-T-Flush on RV

Dump the black tank first.

With your sewer hoses connected (securely), pull the valve handle on your camper to open the black tank. Let it drain until you don’t see any more solids coming out of the hose and the water from the San-T-Flush is clear.

This process usually takes 3-5 minutes.

If you’re using a San-T-Flush, I recommend closing your black valve after the first dump to let it fill up around half way with water. Then dump again. Continue doing this until you don’t see any remnants coming out of the hose.

Dump the gray water second.

With the black tank completely drained, it’s time to move onto the gray tank.

Turn off the San-T-Flush, close your black tank valve when water stops coming out, then open the gray tank valve.

This process should look similar to the black tank process. Let it drain until there’s no more water coming through the hose, then close the valve.

Congratulations, your tanks are completely drained. It’s time to clean up your equipment.

Cleaning up and storing your hoses.

With both tanks emptied, it’s time to start cleaning up.

Disconnect your RV sewer hose from the holding tanks valve and the dump station tank. Then disconnect all of the components from the hoses and any additional hoses you have connected together.

Rinse them all thoroughly with fresh water. For the most part, when you flush the gray tank, it cleans out the solids from the RV sewer hoses and extra components, but you can never be too sure.

Once everything is cleaned up, let everything drip-dry for a few minutes, then store your hoses in your RV sewer hose storage and the other attachments in your storage container.

Before you drive off, it’s a courtesy for other campers and the campground itself to ensure the sewer cap is closed on the dump station. Many have what is called a footloose sewer cap, which is the type of self-closing sewer cap you can put your foot on to open and close.

RV sewer hose storage solutions.

There are a few ways to store your hoses and components. If you have an RV with a built-in sewer hose storage compartment, this is definitely the best way to go. This will keep all of your equipment secure and out of the way when you’re not using it.

If you don’t have that option, then most people like to store their hoses in an RV sewer hose storage case. These cases usually have enough space to hold your hose, adapters, and other components.

If you’d prefer not to use a storage case, then a plastic bin or bucket is another good option for storing your equipment.

Some RVers will have a dedicated storage container for their sewage accessories and another location for their RV sewer hose.

Vinyl fence posts and PVC pipe works great for RV sewer hose storage.

We’ve seen campers and travel trailers with a PVC pipe attached to the rear bumper. This is a popular option as it keeps the RV sewer hose separate from everything and allows it to completely dry out.

Another idea we’ve seen, in addition to the PVC pipe, is a vinyl fence post. They’re perfect size as they’re usually 4×4, made of vinyl, and they hold up well outdoors.

PVC Pipes Attached to the Bumper
Of course you can make them look much better than this, but they’re extremely functional!

No matter what you decide, make sure to store your equipment and accessories in a safe place so it’s out of the elements and ready for the next time you need it. I personally like the idea of PVC pipe on RV bumpers as it’s the perfect hose storage away from all of your other gear. Just be sure to use secure caps on the ends of the hose storage.

Also, don’t forget to periodically inspect your hoses for any signs of wear or tear. They’re fairly susceptible to dry rot, and the last thing you want is to bust a hole in a hose when you’re dumping black water.

The best RV sewer hoses on the market.

When you’re shopping for RV accessories, wouldn’t it be nice if you had someone experienced that could provide some recommendations based on real-world experience?

That’s what we’re here for!

We’ve put together three different options for RV sewer hoses based on price, performance, and durability. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or the best of the best, we’ve got you covered.

Camco Rhino FLEX RV Sewer Hose Kit

Camco Rhino FLEX Sewer Hose

Camco’s RhinoFLEX sewer hose kit is a great product that makes emptying your RV’s black tank a breeze. While it’s not the best RV sewer hose on the market, it sure is one of the most popular.

The hose is made of durable polyolefin and is reinforced with steel wire, making it kink-resistant. The fittings swivel for ease of use and are detachable, and the 4-in-1 adapter allows you to store the hose in 44-inch square bumpers for proper RV sewer hose storage. The kit also includes a swivel bayonet adapter and two storage caps. I would highly recommend this product to any RV owner.

What we love about this hose.

We really appreciate that this hose is kink-resistant, making it less likely to get damaged. Additionally, we like the swivel bayonet adapter for ease of use and the removable 4-in-1 adapter for efficient storage.

Lippert Waste Master Sewer Hose Management System

Lippert Waste Master Sewer Hose Management System

Lippert’s Waste Master Sewer Hose Management System is a top-of-the-line product that makes emptying your RV’s black tank a breeze.

The hose is designed with a helical coil on the outside, which prevents waste from getting trapped inside the hose. The UV-protected hose is 5’6″ feet compressed and 20 feet extended and features technology that keeps it extended during use to the exact length required.

The permanently-connected nozzle is molded with an easy-grip handle, an integrated shut-off valve, and a clear view port that allows the user to see when waste has been completely evacuated. The nozzle also features a 90-degree discharge port that can easily fit and secure into any sewage inlet. I would highly recommend this product to any RV owner.

What we love about this hose.

The thing about this hose is that it prevents water and solids from getting trapped inside the hose. And we absolutely love the shut-off valve which is something we haven’t seen on any other models. This makes the Lippert Hose one of the cleanest hoses we’ve tried and the best RV sewer hose for those that like to keep things clean and tidy.

H&G lifestyles 10ft RV Heated Sewer Hose

H&G lifestyles 10ft RV Heated Sewer Hose

H&G lifestyles 10ft RV Heated Sewer Hose is an effective, durable no-freeze sewer hose that is perfect for the winter season. Its self-regulating temperature freeze protection provides peace of mind in temperatures as low as -20 ℉. Remember, if the temperatures can freeze water hose, it can freeze sewage hose as well.

And if you ever had a frozen RV sewer hose, then you know how critical this hose is.

The universal bayonet-style fitting attaches to any standard RV sewer outlet and features a thickened rubber sealing ring to prevent leakage. Additionally, the TPE threaded hose is flexible, resistant to ultra-low temperatures, and can be restored to its original state under heavy pressure with wear-resistant sheath protection. You’ll never have to worry about a frozen sewer hose again.

This heated sewer hose for RV campers also has a sewage hose bag for easy storage and three lengths (10ft, 15ft, 20ft) for selection. All in all, this is a great product that can stand up against cold weather conditions.

What we love about this hose.

If you’ve ever done any winter camping or currently enjoying the full-time RV life, then you know how much of a pain it is when there are extreme temperatures outside. You still have to drain your camper’s black and gray water tanks! This is easily the best RV sewer hose for winter camping. It’ll save you from having to buy a new RV sewer hose when the temps drop and your waste hose breaks.

Proper care and maintenance for your hose.

Whenever you’re done with your RV sewer hoses, you must store them, just like you do your water hoses, and maintain them.

Ensure the RV sewer hose is completely dry.

After using your hose and washing the interior and exterior of the hose, always make sure the hose is completely dry before putting it in your RV sewer hose storage. This will help prevent mildew and prolong the life of your hose.

Regularly inspect your hose.

Make sure you inspect your hoses for any signs of wear or damage after every use and replace them if necessary. We like to inspect ours before and after every trip. If your hose is damaged, you’re going to want to replace it before your trip. Sure, many campgrounds have general stores, and some even have RV equipment you can purchase, but finding a hose that’s ideal for your camper might be a bit more difficult.

Never leave your hose exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time.

We all know how powerful the sun’s UV rays can be, so you must never leave your sewer hoses out in direct sunlight for too long. If you have to, make sure you cover them with something like a tarp or RV sewer hose cover. We’ve seen other campers’ hoses dry rot from being out in the sun for prolonged periods of time.

Always disconnect your hose.

It’s great that your RV sewer hoses connect together so easily, but before you put them in your RV sewer hose storage, always make sure to disconnect them. This will help keep your hoses organized and prevent unwanted kinks or damage.

RV sewer hose FAQ

We hope we covered everything you need to know about your RVs sewage hose, but in the event we did not, here’s a comprehensive list of questions we receive regularly. And as always, we’re here to help fellow RVers. So if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask.

What’s the best RV sewer hose?

The best RV sewer hose really depends on what you need. For the most part, the weekend warriors can use the Camco Rhino FLEX or Valterra Dominator, but if you’re a full-timer, then we recommend the H&G lifestyles 10ft RV heated sewer hose.

What is the best way to store my RV sewer hose?

The best way to store your RV sewer hose is by coiling it up and placing it in a storage bag. This will help prevent it from kinking and getting damaged. If you have a storage option in your bumper, that’s even better. That will allow it to remain in a straight line.

How long should the RV sewer hose be?

Most brands make them in 10′ increments. The good news is that if you need more length, you can attach two hoses together. We recommend going with 10ft to start, as that should be more than enough for most campers. However, you might want a couple additional 10′ segments on hand just in case you need them down the road.

What is the best RV sewer hose length?

We like to have at least 20′ of sewer hose on hand for any camping trip. Like we mentioned, usually we’ll only use a 10′ section, but that additional 10′ section can come in handy. Depending on where you camp and dump your tanks, the best RV sewer hose length for your situation may vary. If you have the RV sewer hose storage capacity available, add in more segments if possible. You can never have too many.

Are all RV sewer hoses the same size?

In general, yes. They’re mostly the same size, but some brands have slightly different connections. Make sure to check the specs of your RV sewer hose before purchasing. That way you can be sure it will fit your RV sewer outlet.

How often should you replace RV sewer hose?

As needed. If your sewer hose is going strong for 10 years with no leaks or breaks, then you’re doing great. But if you notice any signs of wear or tear, then it’s time to replace your RV sewer hose.

Are all RV sewer hoses the same diameter?

Yes, we’ve never seen a variation in diameter. This makes it easier to connect two RV sewer hoses together if you need more length. We’ve had to borrow someone else’s sewage hose before and they connect right together.

Do I need a heated sewer hose for my RV?

If you’re camping in extremely cold temperatures, then yes, we recommend getting a heated RV sewer hose. This will keep the hose from freezing and allow you to dump your black water tank. The H&G lifestyles hose we mentioned previously does a great job keeping your gray and black water flowing in frigid temperatures.

How to use San-T-Flush system?

Most newer RVs have the San-T-Flush system installed, making it easy. All you do is connect a fresh water hose to the inlet connector on the exterior of your camper. Once it’s on and snug, turn the water on, and you’ll hear the water spraying inside your black water tank.

What if the dump station has a lockable sewer cap?

Some dump stations will use a lockable sewer cap to prevent unauthorized use of the station. Most campgrounds don’t have this problem, so you probably won’t see a lockable sewer cap very often. However, if you do, simply ask the campground host to unlock it. Sometimes they’ll lock up the sewer line if there’s a maintenance issue as well. We’ve ran into that a few times.

What is the best RV sewer hose storage?

The ideal RV sewer hose storage is the built-in storage on your camper – if equipped. These storage solutions are designed to keep your hose isolated. However, if you don’t have that, the next best RV sewer hose storage is a plastic tote. This is because you can put your hose in there as well as all of the additional components to your hose system. You don’t want all of your elbows, connectors, and hose to mingle with everything else in your storage compartment.

You’re now a pro with your RV sewer hose!

That’s it! We’ve covered everything you could possibly want to know about RV sewer hoses. We hope this guide helped you become a pro with your sewer hose setup and that you can now enjoy the convenience of campground dumping! Just remember to always keep it clean, inspect regularly, and store properly.

MattGlamperGear

Matt Johnson


Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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