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Camper Sewer Hose Guide: All You Need To Know About Sewage Hoses

(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)

'Stinky slinky'.

'Sludge snake'.

'Pooper mover'.

Whatever you call it, having the best camper sewer hose is essential (unless you have an RV composting toilet, duh).

It's a dirty necessity to have to dump your RVs black and grey tanks.

RV sewer hose in use

It's also a sometimes anxiety-inducing chore for the fear of doing it wrong or of something GOING wrong.

Ask pretty much any experienced RVer if they have an RV sewer hose hookup horror story, and you can just about guarantee that they have one.

This is the perfect reason to have a high-quality camper sewage hose-best-case-scenario- one that is the least likely to EVER leak in any way.

This page is here to teach you ALL of the ins and outs of using and maintaining your sewer system and hoses.

Let's get dirty!

Need a new sewer hose? Curious which one is best? Click the button below to read the camper sewage hose reviews.

Camper Sewer Hose Guide

It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it (yes, we probably could have not said that).

As simple of a task as it may seem to dump an RVs gray and black water holding tank, having the right tools for the job makes things go smoother.

Which means buying the right RV drain hose.

But what should you look for in a quality hose?

And what are the tricks to making sure everything goes down just right?

(OK, we'll stop!)

Things To Consider Before Buying A Sewer Hose

  • Thickness: How often do you take your RV out? In other words, how often will you be using your RV? The more you use it the more often you will have to use your sewer hose. The more you use it, the more sturdy and thick it should be. Thickness is measured in mils. A mil is one-thousandth of an inch, so a pretty small number.
  • Storage: Where do you plan to store your hose? Some rigs have bumper storage. The opening is normally about 4x4 (inches). This setup will require a hose with detachable ends if they are 90-degree fittings, or are too large to fit inside the usually 4" bumper. If you are storing it in your rig's 'basement', you may not be limited.
  • Cost: Think about it. This is a category where you do NOT want to skimp. Of course, the cheaper the unit, typically the cheaper the components and build are going to be. If you skimp in this category, it might come back to slap you in the face. It's not worth the risk. The average range in price for decent camper sewer hoses is between $40 and $150.
  • Black/Grey Tank Outlet Size: Most of today's RVs have a standardized tank outlet size. However, if you have an older rig, just be sure that your outlet size is the same standard size that most are sold in.
  • Length: How long is your RV? The longer it is, the longer your hose might need to be. Some campgrounds have the old style dump at the end or the back of the site. You should have enough so that you can reach any iffy length.

What Size RV Sewer Hose Do I Need?

Most RV sewer hoses come in either 15-foot or 20-foot lengths.

You can purchase a separate extension hose (generally come in 10-foot sections) if you need additional length.

But how long of a sewer hose do you need?

A good rule of thumb is to get at least the length from your RVs sewage dump outlet tube to the rear of your rig (plus a few extra feet).

Some RV parks have the ground sewer connection at the rear of the site, which can make for a long distance to drain your tanks.

While you might not always need the full length of all your septic hose sections, there will be the occasional times when you are glad you have enough hose.

Having several sections of sewage hose means you can use just the amount you need but will have more in 'reserve' if required.

RV Sewer Hose Accessories To Consider

There are a few things that you might want to go with your RV waste hose that can make your life easier and healthier. 

Here are some of those things:

Latex gloves: This should be obvious.

When you are dealing with fecal matter, it's best to keep things as sanitary as possible.

Always wear gloves.

Microflex Latex Gloves

Microflex Diamond Grip latex glove

Before becoming a nomad, Marshall used to purchase Microflex gloves by the case. They are thicker than normal gloves so they don't tear easily.


RV Sewer Hose Support: This is especially handy if you are parked for a long time in a campground. 

An RV sewer hose support keeps the flow of the materials moving so gravity can do its job.

Without a dump hose support, there may be some backup.

Also, the best camper sewer hose support is good to keep your hose off the ground and hopefully away from weed eater damage if you're on grass.

Camco Sidewinder RV Sewer Hose Support

Camco Sidewinder RV sewer hose support

Available in 10, 15, 20 and 30-foot lengths, the Camco sewer hose support tapers from a height of 7.25 inches down to 4 inches to let the sewer tank 'goods' flow nicely out of your RV.


RV Sewer Cap: A sewer cap covers the end of your RV's sewer outlet (what you connect your drain hose to dump your holding tanks).

An RV sewer cap keeps stuff out of the drainpipe, as well as keeps the 'juicy' bits in if your dump valves happen to have a slow leak.

Camco RV Sewer Cap

Camco RV sewer cap

The Camco RV sewer cap is a replacement for the one that comes with your RV. You know, the one that you lost a long time ago. Designed to fit a standard 3-inch RV sewer outlet, buy this and keep your drainpipe outlet covered. 


RV Sewer Hose Adapter: The connection between your waste hose and the sewer drain is critical to ensure your RV's gray and black water makes it into the right place without spilling everywhere.

Sometimes the sewer drain opening isn't user-friendly. 

It may be at a weird angle or the threads are messed up and don't allow for the sewer hose adapter to screw into it.

The result is a bad seal that lets odors out and has the potential for a nasty spill.

For Sewer Hoses With Bayonet Style Adapters Only

  • The sewer hose adapters listed here are for hoses with bayonet style fittings only. If you have a Lippert Waste Master sewer hose, these adapters are not needed, nor will they work.

The Camco Rhino RV sewer hose adapter solves the problem of making a secure, tight connection with a less than cooperative sewer drain.

See the below video to learn why you might need this RV sewer adapter.

Camco Flexible Sewer Hose Adapter

Camco flexible sewer hose adapter

The Camco septic hose adapter has a flexible 3-in-1 seal that fits most drain holes while providing an air-tight fit. It is easily removable with the included handles. The flexible hose allows for easy dump hose hookup at any angle.


Clear RV Sewer Hose Adapter: You will fall into one of two teams. 

  • It will either seem super gross to you/unimaginable to have
  • You may feel strangely satisfied watching the contents come clean

You'd be surprised to see how long it takes for your tanks to be truly empty and to run clear.

Clear water = clean tank.

We highly recommend getting a hose with one built-in.

If not, we recommend getting a clear RV sewer adapter.

There are three different versions of clear RV sewer hose connectors you can purchase:

  • Straight
  • 45-degree
  • 90-degree

Valterra 5" Straight Clearview Adapter

Valtera T1021 Clearview RV sewer adapter 5 inch straight

This 5-inch straight Clearview RV sewer hose coupler by Valterra mounts to the end of your RVs waste drain tube. Your drain hose then attaches to the other end. The clear section allows you to view the contents of your black and gray tank as they drain.


Valterra 45 Degree Clearview Adapter

Valterra T1026-1 Clearview RV sewer adapter 45 degrees

This 45 degree Clearview RV sewer fitting by Valterra mounts to the end of your RVs waste drain tube. Your drain hose then attaches to the other end. The clear section allows you to view the contents of your black and gray tank as they drain.


Valterra 90 Degree Clearview Adapter

Valterra T1023 Clearview sewer adapter 90 degree

This 90-degree Clearview RV sewer pipe fitting by Valterra mounts to the end of your RVs waste drain tube. Your dump hose then attaches to the other end. The clear section allows you to view the contents of your black and gray tank as they drain. Caution with this one- it can disallow proper connection if the ground is too close to the RV.


Flushing Hose: This is a hose you use EXCLUSIVELY for sewer purposes.

It can be a garden hose.

It really doesn't matter.

Whether it's to rinse out the sewage hose when you're finished or to back-flush your tank, you need a hose.

Just don't ever use this hose for anything else.

If you choose not to have a hose, have a gallon of water handy in case the dump station doesn't have any water and neither does your holding tank.

You can flush the sewage hose out by pouring water in it before you unhook it from the dump hole.

Gilmour Flexogen Hose 1/2 Inch x 25 Feet

Gilmour Flexogen Hose 25 Feet

Any decent quality garden hose will do. But it HAS to be dedicated to the job of tank and dump hose flushing. DO NOT use the same hose you use for fresh water. Do we really need to tell you why?


Macerators: What do you do if there are no dump stations around?

You may need to dump into a toilet or the sewer clean from your house.

In such a case, a macerator will crush everything (like a garbage disposal) so it is small enough to go through a regular-sized garden hose.

These are not NECESSARY, but some people use them for areas where a dump is not available or easy to get to.
Others so that they can dump at their house.

Flojet Macerator

Flojet 18555-000A RV sewage mascerator

This Flojet macerator attaches to the end of your RVs 3 inch sewer drain pipe so you only attach it when you need it. Plug it into a 12-volt source, attach a garden hose (NOT a hose you use to fill your fresh water tank with) and fire it up! It will chop up the 'goods' and pump it away to a sewer drain.

Complications Attaching Traditional RV Waste Hoses

Attaching/detaching the traditional bayonet style connector to your RV can be very difficult.

Some users, such as anyone with weak hands or those with arthritis in their joints, may have great difficulty in using the traditional system.

Rotating the hose end onto (or off of) the RV sewage outlet sometimes requires a lot of tork.

The low positioning of your outlet may make the job very uncomfortable, or even impossible if you are not very flexible and/or have a weak grip.

Camco RhinoFLEX sewer hose bayonet fitting

Bayonet Fittings

Also, the twisting motion of attaching the traditional bayonet fitting equipped hoses to your RV means that the o-ring that is supposed to seal this connection is rubbing.

This can result in wear on this seal and eventual leaking at this joint.

You can replace the seals, but there is a better system altogether.

A Superior RV Sewage Hose: Lippert Waste Master With Cam Lock Seals

This is where the Lippert Waste Master saves the day.

The cam lock system they use is the standard in the professional liquid transportation industry, be it sewage, gas, or similar. 

After decades of use in these industries, the cam lock system has proven to be a strong, reliable seal that is virtually leak-proof.

Lippert Waste Master cam lock fittings

Lippert Waste Master Cam Lock Fittings

If you have arthritis or just weak hands, OR you just want to guarantee a secure fit, consider getting the Lippert Waster Master.

It's the only RV septic hose system with a non-bayonet fitting.

Read the full Lippert Waste Master Sewer Management System Review to learn more about this revolutionary RV sewer hose.

How To Dump Your RV Tanks With A Traditional Hose

This is a very easy-to-follow video showing you how to dump your RVs tanks by Gone With The Wynns.

Below the video, you can download our step-by-step guide to dump your RVs gray and black water tanks.

How To Dump RV Holding Tanks

Click here to download our printable, mistake-proof guide (PDF) on how to dump your tanks, step-by-step.

Camp Addict is here to hold your hand!

Hard Lessons Learned (?) While Dumping With An RV Waste Hose

Camp Addict Kelly

Kelly

Camp Addict Co-Founder

Everyone has a dump station story. I am clumsy enough to have had 4. Though not all were my fault.


Only 3. Heh


The first one: I failed to get all the bayonets secured around the outlet from my RV.


Sewage poured out at the RV connection when I opened the valve (I failed to 'test' first with the grey tank - newbie mistake on my maiden voyage).


Since then, more than twice, my RinoFLEX has 'unscrewed' on me at the ends, and to me, that's the ONE JOB that a drain hose should perform successfully: DON'T LEAK or COME UNDONE. 


Therefore, to be safe, I am soon going to be getting a different hose.


It's going to be the Lippert Waste Master. This system has NO way of 'coming apart,' and I love the way it attaches to your RV.


So easy and foolproof! I have problems at times screwing the hose on or off the RV outlet with the RhinoFLEX I have at the moment. It can be VERY difficult to twist on/off.

Kellys Slingshot Disaster

The scene of the second to last crime. The water you see... washed away the yuck.

Yes, I learned my lesson about checking to make sure ALL FOUR of the bayonets are secured. Still, I am not a very careful person by nature, so why even have that mistake be a possibility?


I'm done with spills. It's going to be the Lippert for me!


Update: As of June 2019 Kelly happily has a Lippert Waste Master sewer hose. As predicted, she is glad to be done dealing with traditional bayonet fittings. The Lippert has not failed in any way.

Conclusion

We hope that now you are armed with the information you need to keep from having an accident out there, though it's still likely to happen, as we are all human!

Knowledge is power, peeps! 

If you're looking for a hose, read our RV sewer hose reviews to  find out which camper waste hoses we picked as the best overall, best budget, and best traditional sewer hose. 

Here's hoping to never have a sewage 'whoopsie' with your new hose!

Camp Addict Kelly
Kelly Beasley

Kelly Beasley is co-founder of Camp Addict and loves sharing her enthusiasm for the RVing lifestyle. As a full-time RVer since May 2015, Kelly's playful writing style helps make learning about the sometimes dull subject of RV products a bit more interesting.


Marshall Headshot
Marshall Wendler

Camp Addict co-founder Marshall Wendler brings his technical expertise to help explain RV products in an easy to understand fashion. Full-time RVing since April 2014, Marshall loves sharing his knowledge of the RV lifestyle.

  • Hi. Great site for newbies – I have a 2020 LTV Unity 24 Corner Bed RV. It comes with a built in (one 3 inch pipe connected to another 3 inch pipe containing the macerator). For the first time this morning I was setting off to drain the black tank via the macerator(at home). Seems there was a disconnect/ breakage of the connection between these pipes, that the RV service people didn’t notice, ( at the joint where black drain pipe meets macerator pipe). This morning when I pulled the black valve ready to start the macerator,, fluid started flowing out the opening, onto my driveway. Beautiful moment. This RV has been z nightmare thus far. Customer service is non-existant with Triple E, the maker of the RV.
    I live in Vancouver Canada & for the life of me, I can’t find an RV service center that does black tank related work – which is ridiculous. Looks like a pretty easy fix.
    I would attach photos as I am looking for any advice, but I don’t see such a feature here.

    thanks
    Jenny

    • Hi Jenny,

      Glad to hear that you find Camp Addict useful! Sorry to hear that you’ve had such a poor experience with Leisure Travel Vans, considered to be one of the best RV brands out there.

      We aren’t in the remote troubleshooting business as there are too many variables involved and we aren’t RV mechanics, so we prefer leaving this type of advice to the professionals.

      As your Unity is a 2020, is it not still under warranty? Any particular reason why you don’t deal with this issue via the dealer you purchased the rig from, or one of the Leisure Travel Van dealers in the Vancouver area?

  • I have a rhino sewer hose. With bayonet fittings that will not fit in the hose storage compartment of my 2013 Forest River Solera without removing the ends. The information for the rhino indicated 3” diameter. The storage compartment measures 3.75”. Apparently 3” refers to the measurement for the hose without the bayonet fittings. Is there any easy way to removed the bayonets or should I give up on the storage provided and store elsewhere or is there a smaller diameter hose bayonet that would fit my space.

    • Hi Mary,

      I feel your pain. My sewer hose storage compartment measures about 4.25″ in diameter and I had to trim one of the caps (the one on the 90º end) to fit in the compartment.

      Not sure what you mean by removing the bayonets, because if you do this, then you cannot connect the hose to your rig’s sewer outlet, right? Or am I misunderstanding what you mean?

      3 inches definitely refers to the hose diameter. And the RV sewer outlet diameter. All 3 inches. There isn’t a smaller diameter hose.

  • Hi Marshall – if I purchase the Lippert hose, do I still also need the Camco Flexible Adapter and the Clearview Adapter? Thank you, I appreciate your help!

    • Hey Balinda,

      Great question! Those adapters can only be used with a sewer hose with bayonet style fittings. The Lippert Waste Master sewer hose uses a different (and far superior) style of fitting so is not compatible with any adapter listed on this page, including the two you mentioned.

      You won’t need the adapters you mentioned as the Lippert comes with a clear view port, and a sealing ‘donut’ where it goes into the sewer drain.

      I’ve updated the sewer adapter section of this page to indicate the adapters are only compatible with bayonet fittings. Thanks for pointing this out!

      • I really appreciate your answer. Thank you! One last thing – I would like to support Camp Addict and I have clicked through to Amazon from some of your recommendations, but I try to always purchase at smile.amazon.com because then a portion of my purchases goes to my designated charity. I wonder if there is any way your links can also go to smile.amazon.com? I still have things to purchase!

        • You are most welcome, Balinda!

          Awww, thank you for wanting to support Camp Addict! Kelly and I greatly appreciate that.

          While it appears that at one time you could support both your favorite charity via AmazonSmile and a website (via their Amazon affiliate link) that is no longer possible. ***Insert sad panda here***

          Thanks again for the great question!

    • Hi Kent,

      Thanks for the tip!! If I didn’t have the Waste Master, I may have taken this tip and ran with it. I used to have such a hard time at times with the bayonet attachment.

      Slipping on the strap wrench before connecting the hose (Or leaving it there if you are permanently parked) would help a lot!

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