Barker Tote Tank Review
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
By Marshall Wendler
Last Updated: August 15, 2022
A Barker portable waste tank is an excellent choice for dumping your RV's tanks when you want to stay in a place that doesn't have a sewer dump.
In other words, the line of Barker tote tanks helps you stay longer at your favorite boondocking spot or keeps you from moving your entire rig when you are at a campsite that doesn't have full hook-ups.
Without moving your rig, you use the portable waste tank to transport waste water from your RV to a suitable dump station.
The Barker Tote-Alongs come in 2-wheel (original Tote-Alongs) and 4-wheel (4-Wheel Tote-Alongs) options and capacities ranging from 10 to 42 gallons.
For most circumstances, we recommend 4-wheel portable waste tanks, so we will start with those first.
Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Alongs
25, 32, 42 Gallon (choose size)
While we feel the Rhino tote tank is a better overall choice if you need a portable tank, there are a few factors that set the Barker holding tanks apart:
- Any size of the 4-wheel barker waste tank can be emptied while horizontal (on all four wheels) thanks to the included 3-inch side gate waste valve. Only the two larger capacity Rhino tanks have this valve.
- The overall height of a Barker tote tank is 1.5 inches lower than the Camco tanks, which can make a difference if your RV's wastewater pipe is lower to the ground.
- All but the smallest (16 gallons) Barker waste tote has pneumatic tires that perform well on most types of surfaces (the Rhino has skinnier plastic wheels).
If any of the above sway you towards Barker totes, great! If not, seriously consider a Camco waste tank.
Barker Tote Tank Construction
This heavy-duty holding tank is made from blow-molded polyethylene plastic in the color blue, which lends to the name 'Barker Blue Boy.' (OK, I have zero idea where the 'boy' comes into the picture and probably don't want to know!)
Zinc-plated steel, as well as aluminum, are used in the metal portions of the portable tanks.
The Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along is available in a 16-gallon size (has hard rubber wheels instead of pneumatic wheels) as well as 25, 32, and 42-gallon sizes.
A heavy-duty tow handle allows you to pull it behind a vehicle from your RV to the dump station. The handle is also used to maneuver the Barker holding tank with your hands.
The handle is attached to a front-mounted double wheel assembly, mounted to the plastic tank via a large metal mounting plate.
Speaking of wheels, the rear wheels and tires are 10 inches in diameter, and the front tires are 6 inches in diameter. Pneumatic (air-filled) tires are included in all but the 16-gallon size (which has hard rubber wheels).
The pneumatic wheels have axle bearings and grease fittings so you can lubricate the axles.
There are a pair of three-inch waste openings on each Barker RV tote. You use the one on the top to fill the tank and a side-mounted gate-style waste valve that you use when you empty the tank at a dump station.
These 3-inch openings are equipped with industry-standard bayonet-style fittings for your RV poop hose to attach.
Finally, there is a garden hose attachment at the top that serves multiple purposes:
- As a vent when you are filling the tank.
- As a port to flush the tank (you attach a garden hose to it).
- A place to screw in the full tank indicator. (Note, there is no way to vent the tank when filling when the tank indicator is installed. Whereas the optional Camco fill indicator has a built-in vent.)
Dumping Your Barker Tote-Along
Once you have filled up your Barker portable holding tank with your RV's wastewater, you have to dump it unless you want to keep gallons of gray or black water sitting around your campsite just in case. (In case of what? I'm afraid to ask.)
Barker makes it pretty easy to get the tank to a dump station with the attached tow bar that fits over a hitch ball mounted to the back of a vehicle.
Drag your tote over to your vehicle, slip the tow bar over the hitch ball, and slowly (no more than five mph per Barker) tow it to a dump station.
The Barker RV portable waste tank isn't designed to be towed on public roads or long distances. It is made to be pulled within a campground, from your site to a suitable dump station.
Thanks to its side-mounted three-inch waste valve once you've arrived at a dump station, the Barker is easy to empty. This allows you to empty the tank while it remains horizontal on all four tires.
Roll the tank close to the dump station, attach the included drain hose to the tank and the hole in the ground (dump), open the gate valve, and drain away.
It's good to rinse the tank with freshwater via the top-mounted garden hose connector (the vent).
A Better Hose For Your Barker
The hose that comes with Barker Tote Alongs is not the best quality. Also, they have no way for you to see the flow of waste going into the tank (no, really, seeing it is a good thing!).
Camco has an affordable, better option - the RhinoFLEX Tote Tank Sewer Hose.
This kit gives you a 3-foot collapsible high-quality hose with a clear 90-degree elbow that eliminates the hassles associated with the cheap hoses included with the Barker tanks.
See the below video for more information.
This is where the Barker portable waste holding tank falls short when compared to the Camco Rhino. There is a definite lack of included accessories, and what is included aren't the best quality.
It would be great if they included a clear elbow you could use at the top 3-inch hole so you can monitor the flow of waste into the tank, as well as an RV hose adapter so that you can 'fit' the drain hose into the dump station when emptying the tank.
(This adapter is pretty much mandatory, so they require you to provide your own. Granted, you should have one with your existing drain hose, but there are times when have multiples would come in handy.)
The Camco Rhino comes with both of these accessories that are missing from the Barker tanks.
- 5-foot sewer hose that has two separate bayonet fittings that are attached via included stainless steel hose clamps. (This is the equivalent of the cheap sewer hoses an RV dealer may include when they sell you a rig - not even close to the best quality option available.)
- 12-inch garden hose with two female ends that connects to the vent hole and is used to rinse the tank (by connecting a garden hose to it).
- Two 3-inch bayonet caps for the top and side dump holes.
- 3/4 inch cap for the vent hole.
Barker Manufacturing 4-Wheel Tote-Along Features and Specs:
- Available in the following (gallon) sizes: 16, 25, 32, and 42.
- Made from blow-molded polyethylene (plastic), zinc-plated steel, and aluminum.
- Large pneumatic (air-filled) tires allow easy maneuverability on most surfaces (NOTE: 16-gallon size uses hard rubber wheels, not pneumatic wheels). 10-inch rear tires and 6-inch front tires.
- Axles have ball bearings for long life and grease fittings (16-gallon size does not have wheel axle bearings or grease fittings).
- Included full tank indicator screws into a 3/4 inch opening. It gives a visual indication as the portable sewer tank is getting full, so you don't have a spill.
- The top water inlet/vent is used to rinse (flush) the tank after use and vent it when filling. This is where the above tank indicator attaches.
- You can empty the portable RV tank while it is in the standard, horizontal position eliminating the need to lift it vertically (like you have to with a 2-wheeled tote).
- Comes with the following accessories: (1) 3-inch bayonet cap, (1) 3/4 inch cap, (1) 3-inch by 5-foot sewer hose, (2) 3-inch bayonet hose adapter, (2) 3-inch stainless steel hose clamps, (1) gray water hose, (1) full tank indicator, (1) heavy-duty tow handle.
- Made in the United States
- 2-year extended warranty
- 16 Gallon (Barker p/n 28191) Dimensions & Weight: 11.5" High x 17" Wide x 37" Long* - 30 pounds
- 25 Gallon (Barker p/n 25895) Dimensions & Weight: 11.5" High x 24" Wide x 37" Long* - 32 pounds
- 32 Gallon (Barker p/n 27844) Dimensions & Weight: 11.5" High x 24" Wide x 45" Long* - 37 pounds
- 42 Gallon (Barker p/n 30844) Dimensions & Weight: 14" High x 24" Wide x 45" Long* - 47 pounds
* length is with handle removed and front wheels rotated 90 degrees
Camco Tote Tank Gauge
While the Barker 4-wheeled tote comes with a fill gauge (the 2-wheeled tote does not), there is a significant issue with it.
When the Barker fill gauge is screwed into the vent port (the only place it goes), the tank itself isn't vented from the port. This port is the primary way to vent the tank.
This may cause issues as you go to fill the tote tank. Fortunately, there is a solution if you want a tank fill gauge.
Camco's tote tank gauge has a vent built-in so that when in use, it doesn't stop the tank from venting the usual way.
This gauge is compatible with both the 2-wheeled and 4-wheeled version of the Barker Tote-Along.
Barker Original Tote-Alongs (2 Wheels)
There are two choices for those looking for a 2-wheeled holding tank: the Camco Rhino comes in 2-wheeled versions and the Barker Original Tote-Along. It's called 'Original' because it was the original 'Blue Boy' waste tank.
OK, maybe that's not the reason, but instead, it was the original of the two styles of the Barker waste water tote. It has also been around for years, so it is one of the overall original portable tanks.
But is it the best choice for you? Let's find out.
Choose Your Size
Why would you purchase the Barker 2-Wheeled Tote-Along instead of a 4-wheeled tote?
Because you only need to occasionally use a portable tank and don't want to spend the extra money on a 4-wheeled version.
This may not be a great reason as several factors make a 4-wheeled tote SO much better than a 2-wheeled tank that you have to consider if a 2-wheeled version is worth minor cost savings.
Check out why 4-wheeled totes are superior to 2-wheeled totes to learn more.
The Barker Original Tote-Along 2-wheeled sewer tote is available in 10, 15, 22, and 30-gallon capacities.
They are made from blow-molded polyethylene plastic, just like the 4-wheeled Barker portable RV wastewater tank, but differ in 3 main ways:
- They don't have front wheels, so you have to pick up the front of the tank and support that weight as you maneuver it.
- There is only one 3-inch sewer open, which is at the top of the tank. You have to use this to both fill and drain the tank. More below on why this is an issue when draining.
- The tires are not pneumatic (air-filled). Instead, they are skinny plastic wheels that don't do well in loose gravel or dirt.
This version of the Barker Tote-Along portable holding tank is pretty basic otherwise.
It has an integrated handle that you use to pick it up and pull it along (30-gallon size doesn't have this handle).
30-gallon size has a tow bar that doubles as a handle.
The single, top-mounted 3-inch sewer hole has the standard bayonet-style fittings to accept sewer hose connection.
However, since there isn't a side-mounted outlet like the 4-wheeled Barker, you must fill and dump the tank by this hole. Learn why this is less than ideal in the dumping section below.
Also, on top is a threaded hole that accepts a garden hose. This hole is used to vent the tank when filling and emptying and rinse out with fresh water to flush the tank.
As mentioned above, the wheels are plastic and pretty skinny. This isn't an issue if you only use the tote on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt.
It becomes an issue if you drag a fully loaded tank through softer surfaces such as gravel or dirt- the skinny wheel dig in rather than rig on the top of the surface.
Not an ideal all-terrain wheel. The 4-wheeled Barker tank is a much better option for all surface types.
When it comes time to empty these tanks, you will find out why having a single 3-inch port on the top doesn't make your life easy.
Unlike tanks with a side-mounted sewer outlet, these tanks with only an outlet on top cannot be emptied when in the horizontal position.
Instead, you have to lift the front of the tank to the vertical position to empty the tank of fluids.
This means you have to be strong enough to heave a heavy (when full) tank vertically. Doing this is not an easy task for smaller people, or if you have a bad back.
For this reason alone, buying a 2-wheeled tote makes very little sense except for the smallest tank sizes, which aren't too unwieldy when full.
To get the tank from your RV to a dump station, you can use the included tow bracket to connect the tank to a vehicle ball hitch. The tow bracket 'inserts' into the handle are and fits over the tow hitch (see below for 30-gallon tow setup).
Not the greatest of setups or the easiest to use. But it gets the job done (while tending to hurt your hands as you lift and drag the tank to the tow vehicle).
The 30-gallon size uses a steel tow bar that doubles as a handle. The end of the bar is a metal loop that fits over the trailer ball hitch so you can tow the tank to dump it.
All but the 10-gallon sized tanks come with a 5-foot sewer hose. All sizes come with a 3-inch bayonet cap and a 3/4 inch cap for the vent hole.
Just like with the 4-wheeled Barker, there are a couple of key accessories missing:
- A clear elbow so you can see the waste going into the tank (and monitor how full it is getting)
- An adapter so that the end of the hose fits into the dump station when emptying the tank.
Both of these accessories are included with the Camco Rhino tanks.
Barker Manufacturing Original Tote-Along Features and Specs:
- The 2-wheeled tanks share many of the features explained in the 4-wheeled tank section, so the features listed below are not complete.
- Available in the following (gallon) sizes: 10, 15, 22, and 30
- Made from blow-molded polyethylene and zinc-plated steel
- Extra-large, heavy-duty wheels
- All sizes come with the following accessories: (1) 3-inch bayonet cap and (1) 3/4 inch vent hole cap
- 15, 22, and 30-gallon sizes come with the following additional accessories:
- (1) 3-inch by 5-foot sewer hose, (1) 3-inch bayonet hose adapter, (1) 3-inch stainless steel hose clamps, (1) tow bracket
- Made in the United States
- 2-year warranty
- 10 Gallon Dimensions & Weight: 8.75" High x 15" Wide x 30" Long - 11 pounds
- 15 Gallon Dimensions & Weight: 11.25" High x 15" Wide x 37" Long - 13 pounds
- 22 Gallon Dimensions & Weight: 11" High x 20" Wide x 37" Long - 16 pounds
- 30 Gallon Dimensions & Weight: 11.75" High x 24" Wide x 37" Long* - 19 pounds
* length is with handle removed
Author: Marshall Wendler
As the co-founder of Camp Addict, Marshall Wendler is a seasoned expert in the world of RVing, with years of hands-on experience living the full-time RV life in his travel trailer. From 2014 to 2020, Marshall learned the ins and outs of the lifestyle and has enjoyed sharing his knowledge and expertise with others. After a brief hiatus as a part-time RVer in 2021 and 2022, Marshall is back on the road full-time, embracing the vanlife and all the exciting possibilities it brings. He particularly enjoys the freedom and flexibility of boondocking and is excited to share his technical insights with the Camp Addict community. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the RV world, Marshall has valuable insights and information to share, and is here to help you navigate the exciting world of RVing with confidence and ease.