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.)
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
Valterra 5" Straight Clearview Adapter
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
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
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
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.
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.
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 Clearly 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.
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
Hard Lessons Learned (?) While Dumping With An RV Waste Hose
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.