Best RV Portable Waste Tank in 2020
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
If you camp a lot and find yourself staying for an extended amount of time in a campsite without a sewer connection, an RV portable waste tank might be the solution for you.
A portable waste tank allows you to dump your gray and black holding tanks without moving your entire RV to the dump station.
What do you need when it comes a portable waste tank? Read on to find out which is the best portable tank to haul your waste away.
Portable RV Holding Tank Reviews
Portable blackwater tanks come in either 2 or 4-wheel versions.
2-wheel versions have the wheels in the back which means you get the 'pleasure' of lifting and supporting the front of a VERY heavy portable blackwater tank when moving it.
Oh, let's not forget that you get to stand it up on end while you dump out the contents. Did we mention a full portable black water tank is VERY heavy?
A 4-wheel portable RV waste tank rolls along without the need for you to hold it up.
When it comes time to dump, you leave the portable waste tank level with no need to heave it up vertical - a not so easy task with a large capacity tank that is full.
Why would you even consider a 2-wheeled RV portable waste tank?
They sure are cheaper. But speaking from experience, the 2-wheel portable waste tanks are a huge pain (in the back) to use.
They are hard to drag across anything but a smooth surface.
Spend the extra money for a quality 4-wheeled portable black water tank and you will be patting yourself on the back for years to come. You won't miss the extra cash it takes to keep your body safe.
So here's the golden question: Which one is the best portable sewage tank on the market?
Below are our RV portable waste tank reviews. Here you can find out which tote tank is the best option for you.
RV Portable Holding Tanks Compared
What About Thetford SmartTote?
You will notice that we haven't included any Thetford portable grey water tanks or portable blackwater tanks in the below RV portable waste tank reviews.
The Thetford SmartTote has been around for years and was recently redesigned (and renamed the SmartTote2) fairly recently.
While the older version of the Thetford portable waste tank got good reviews (but is no longer available), the new version isn't doing so well.
There are an alarming number of complaints about the handle breaking after minimal use and other components failing prematurely.
Also, there are some serious design flaws that the below RV tote tanks don't suffer from.
We find all of this unacceptable. Therefore, we completely eliminated the Thetford SmartTote 2 from our consideration.
Overall Best Portable Waste Tank
Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along
These tanks by Barker Manufacturing have a reputation for being incredibly durable while offering ease of use that's made the ugly chore of dumping your tanks simpler.
25, 32.42 Gallon (choose size)
Continue Reading Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along Portable Waste Tank Review
The Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along portable waste tank is available in 16-gallon size (has hard rubber wheels instead of pneumatic wheels) as well as 25, 32 and 42-gallon sizes.
Speaking from experience, there is nothing more frustrating than using a portable holding tank that has only two skinny wheels, which makes the 4-Wheel Barker Tote-Along worth its weight in gold.
2-wheeled totes mean you have to lift up one end that is very heavy when it is full.
You then have to drag it along, with its skinny wheels digging into soft dirt or gravel.
Finally, you have to heave it into the vertical position to drain as 2-wheeled totes can't be drained in the horizontal position.
The Barker 4-Wheel portable waste tanks solve all these problems.
Four wheels mean that it rolls along without you having to lift one end.
Four pneumatic (air-filled) wheels (16-gallon size has hard rubber wheels) on axles that have real wheel bearings (N/A 16-gallon size) means that gravel and other softer surfaces barely slows these portable black and gray tanks down.
And the 3-inch sewer valve (same as what your RV has) means the tank only empties when you want it to.
There is seriously no better portable holding tanks for RVs on the market today.
Do yourself a favor and purchase a Barker Tote-Along. It will be the last portable waste tank you'll ever buy.
Barker Portable Waste Tank In Use
Barker RV Portable Holding Tank (42 Gallon) Review
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, zinc plated steel and aluminum
- Large pneumatic (air-filled) tires allow for easy maneuverability on most surfaces (NOTE: 16-gallon size uses hard rubber wheels, not pneumatic wheels)
- Axles have ball bearings for long life and grease fittings (16-gallon size does not have wheel bearing or grease fittings)
- Included full tank indicator screws into 3/4 inch opening. It gives a visual indication as the portable sewage tank is getting full so you don't have a spill
- You can empty the portable sewage tank while it is in the normal, 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" bayonet cap, (1) 3/4" cap, (1) 3 inch by 5 foot sewer hose, (2) 3" bayonet hose adapter, (2) 3" stainless steel hose clamps, (1) gray water hose, (1) full tank indicator, (1) heavy-duty tow handle
- Made in the United States
- 2 year 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
Best 2-Wheel Portable Waste Tank
Barker Original Tote-Along
If you insist on purchasing a 2-wheeled portable sewage tank, then the Barker Original Tote-Along (aka Blue Boy) is your best bet.
Barker is known for their quality and durability, which is what you want when you are moving black tank contents around.
Choose Your Size
Continue Reading Barker Original Tote-Along Review
The Barker Original Tote-Along 2-wheeled tote is available in 10, 15, 22 and 30-gallon capacities.
Just be aware that 2-wheeled totes are a pain to move. Literally.
Larger size capacity tanks can cause pain in your back since you have to bend down, grab the handle, lift up and tug it along.
And you have to raise the tote completely vertical to empty it, which can be 'fun' when you have a full waste tank. (Not)
Why would you purchase the Barker Original Tote-Along (Blue Boy waste tank) instead of the much easier to handle and maneuver Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along?
Because you only need to occasionally use a portable RV septic tank and don't want to spend the extra money on the 4-wheeled version.
If you are going to be using the portable RV dump tank on a fairly regular basis, go with the much easier to use Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along.
You'll thank us later!
A 15 gallon Barker Original Tote-Along In Use
Barker Manufacturing Original Tote-Along Features and Specs:
- 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" bayonet cap and (1) 3/4" cap
- 15, 22 and 30-gallon sizes come with the following additional accessories: (1) 3 inch by 5-foot sewer hose, (1) 3" bayonet hose adapter, (1) 3" stainless steel hose clamps,(1) gray water hose, (1) tow bracket
- Optional full tank gauge to alert you when holding tank is getting full so you don't have a spill
- 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
Best on a Budget Portable Waste Tank
The 4-wheeled Tote-N-Stor is a good choice if you will ONLY be on hard surfaces. It's small, narrow wheels mean that if you venture off of hard surfaces, the wheels will likely sink, making it really difficult to move.
Continue Reading Tote-N-Store RV Portable Waste Tank Review
This portable RV waste tank is available in 18, 25 and 38-gallon capacities.
The 4-wheel Tote-N-Stor is by far a better option than a 2-wheeled RV tote tank. This is because with this tote, you don't have to lift up one end to move it.
Also, it can be dumped in the horizontal position.
While the Tote-N-Store is less expensive than the Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along, the Barker is an overall better choice.
Its superior wheels allow you to maneuver the portable waste tank on all types of surfaces - not just hard, smooth roads.
There have been some consumer reviews indicating that the front wheels of the 4-wheel Tote-N-Stor portable RV septic tanks are not very durable and can come off.
These front wheels are just small diameter, hard rubber caster wheels that are suitable only for smooth hard surfaces.
It is easy to see that if you take this portable blackwater tank 'off road' these small wheels may have issues.
Why would you purchase the 4-wheel Tote-N-Store over the Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along?
If you are certain that you will only be using your portable waste holding tank on hard surfaces (concrete and/or asphalt) the Tote-N-Store is a cheaper option than the Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along.
The Tote-N-Store is a MUCH better choice than a 2-wheeled tote (which you have to lift one end to move and dump), but you need to be certain that you never need to take the camper holding tank onto a soft surface.
If you do, go with the Barker and make your life easier.
Tote-N-Stor Portable RV Septic Tank
Tote-N-Store RV Portable Waste Tank Features and Specs:
- Available in the following (gallon) sizes: 18, 25, and 38
- Made from polypropylene
- Skinny, hard rubber wheels - very small diameter in the front which will make moving tote through gravel very difficult
- Translucent drain pipe acts as sight tube (when in stored position) so that you can tell how full the tank is getting as you are draining your gray and/or black tank into it
- Able to empty portable holding tank while in horizontal position
- Comes with the following accessories: (1) 3" bayonet cap, (1) 3/4" cap, (1) 3 inch by 3- foot sewer hose, (2) 3" bayonet hose adapter, (2) 3" stainless steel hose clamps, (1) gray water hose
- Made in the United States
- 3-year warranty
- 18 Gallon Dimensions & Weight: 14.5" High x 27" Wide x 33.5" Long - 38 pounds
- 25 Gallon Dimensions & Weight: 14.5" High x 27" Wide x 41" Long - 40 pounds
- 38 Gallon Dimensions & Weight: 14.5" High x 26.5" Wide x 51" Long - 44 pounds
A Better Portable Holding Tank Hose
While all the reviewed sewer totes include a hose, the hoses are really not great quality.
Camco has an affordable, better option. It's their 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 portable waste tanks.
See below video for more information. (Video shows older version with removable ends.)
Using A Portable RV Holding Tank
If you don't want the hassle of breaking your entire camp to dump your grey and black tanks, you can get yourself a portable RV holding tank.
These totes are on wheels for ease of use, and you can attach them to the trailer hitch ball of your vehicle to (slowly) drive to a nearby dump station.
Or, you can put it in the back of your truck to drive it to a dump.
However, you can't drive 55 (or even 15) down the road pulling a portable black water tank behind you. It's only made to tow very slowly. We're talking walking speed.
Otherwise, you will have to have the ability to put the portable black water tank in your vehicle. Then you must drive it to the nearest dump station.
As mentioned above, a portable black water tank is HEAVY when full. One gallon of liquid weighs around 8.3 lbs.
Multiply that by a fifteen-gallon tank (and that's a small holding tank) and that's about 124 lbs! Can you lift that? You will only have to lift one end if it's on 2 wheels.
You can pull it behind you like a wagon without lifting an end if you get a portable waste tank with 4 wheels.
A Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along In Use
What Size Portable Holding Tank Do I Need?
If possible, buy a portable blackwater tank that will allow you to drain the entire contents of your grey or black tank into it.
For example, if your black tank is 25-gallon capacity, purchase a portable black water tank that is greater than 25 gallons. This allows you to empty a full black tank into your portable blackwater tank without fear of spilling.
You will also need to consider the physical size of the portable waste tank since you are going to have to store it somewhere while not in use.
Dimensions and weights of the tote tanks can be found at the bottom of the "Continue Reading Review" section of each of the RV portable waste tank reviews.
Can't Lift 50+ Pounds? Problem SOLVED!
If you need to get your heavy full tank into the bed of your truck, and you aren't Arnold Schwarzenegger strong, a Rack Jack can help.
They come in three models.
The Magnum model is capable of the heaviest loads while the 4x4 model is the lightest.
Easily pick up your portable generator, portable waste tank, or any other heavy object using this tool.
The Rack Jack 'plugs' into the hitch receiver of your truck (or SUV) and lets you easily load heavy objects into the back of your vehicle.
Rack Jack Original
Rack Jack 4x4
Rack Jack Magnum
Thoughts on 2-Wheeled RV Portable Holding Tanks
Camp Addict Co-Founder
When I visit my parent's house I use their 2 wheel portable holding tank to empty my trailer's grey and black tanks. I have to haul this waste tote about 60 feet to their septic tank clean out, where I dump my waste.
This isn't a great distance, but it's a pain to do because I have to haul the waste tank across pea gravel. Did I mention that the tank only has 2 wheels? Yeah.
So I have to pick up the heavy (when full) front end and drag it as its tiny, hard wheels sink into the gravel. Ugh!
I'm not that old (I keep telling myself that), but I'm not 20 anymore either. Their portable blackwater tank is 25 gallons which means it weighs somewhere north of 200 pounds when full.
I have to heave the full tank into the vertical position to drain it. NOT FUN!
My back never likes me after that kind of a dump session.
The point of this story is the situation at my parent's place is ideal for a 4-wheeled portable holding tank so my back doesn't suffer.
Specifically the Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along with its pneumatic tires would be an ideal fit for this type of terrain.
Now you have everything you need for your arsenal against your black and grey tanks!
You should be able to make a decision on whether a portable waste tank is right for you or not.
If you have any questions, please read the comments below. If your question has not been answered, ask in the comments and we will answer it if we can.
Only relevant/complete questions will be answered, so please be thorough. We have likely been there and love to help our readers if answers aren't met after reading our guide!
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.