Sewer hose 101: the good, the bad, the ugly


Okay, it’s sewer hose education 101 time. Here are three RV sewer hoses spotted at RV parks. Our panel of sewer hose experts commented on each setup. Their conclusions:

This is a good hose setup. It’s sloped nicely for good flow. The hose is off the ground, which is a requirement in some states. So the owner of this hose gets a B-plus. He would have received an A if he had a higher quality hose like the one from Drain Master the RV Travel staff uses for dispatching its nasty contents to the sewage portal at campgrounds across America.

This hose has a bad case of droop. You might say it “pooped” out at the end, not quite making it to the finish line in proper fashion. It gets a C-minus for inefficiency.

This hose, or hose setup, gets an F. The long hose to the left, from the forward bathroom, is okay, although it has far too many connectors where leaks could occur, and its shoddy appearance does not help the overall ambiance of the neighborhood. But the hose on the right, from the rear bathroom, is a disaster. You wonder why the RV owner couldn’t pop for $10 to replace it. How many drip, drip, drips of sewage have seeped out of this?

That’s your lesson for the day.


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As most everyone says dump black tank first. I disagree -My method is gray, black, gray. Why by doing a little gray I can observe is all my connections are tight, no pinhole leaks etc.It is much easier to clean up dishwater/bathwater than the other.
So first dump a little gray determine your connections are tight and working correctly then do the black and finish with the grey to clean out the hose.

steve peterson

I agree that the Drain Master is a nice hose, but unless you are full timing $130+ for a sticky slinky is a lot!
The argument that picture 2 is best is like asking which truck pulls best – to each their own!!
I think any good hose in good condition works fine – just keep them inspected!

Happy camping


Regardless the last setup is a disaster waiting to happen! Plus I never thought about the homemade p trap for the sewer. That makes sense and it looks like when he is ready he has some excess sewer hose stand available at the end


You gave the hose with a droop a C-. Have you ever thought that this may have been by design? When fully hooked up, we like to leave the shower grey tank valve open and the black closed. If we don’t create a water trap with a droop in my hose, then we have had unpleasant sewer gasses in the bathroom. If we purposely leave a droop in the hose, this does not occur. When it comes time to pull the black valve, I’ll simply remove the droop at the same time. Never assume that you know it all, your C- is my A+ !


We travel full-time throughout N. America. The biggest problem that we’ve seen is that the park’s sewer connection is often too high to get a smooth flow when you factor in the height of the angle connection at the end of the sewer hose. This seems to be the norm.


“The hose is off the ground, which is a requirement in some states.”
Why? I don’t understand why the sewer hose can not be on the ground.


Several people already commented on the P-trap in number two being CORRECT so I won’t beat that horse again…

That said I would actually take points off all three for leaving a hose connected at all. Since I am not leaving my valves open to dry out my tanks, I am thereby dumping deliberately when I do. If I’m pulling and closing valves, it’s not that much extra time to take the hose out at that point. By leaving the hose deployed, the sewer is open to release gas, and the hose may be damaged by cumulative sun, someone tripping or whatnot.

If I were staying somewhere long enough to want to leave hoses out, I’d jump to making a stiff connection with PVC pipe. Smooth pipe supports itself and flows massively better.


What I didn’t see on #1&2 is something holding down the end of the pipe. #3 seems to have some sort of make shift system to keep the end down.

Stuart Syme

I give marks to #2. Obviously – look at the quality product, the completely sealed connection, and the carefully arranged supports. This RV-er has thought about his connection and put some effort into getting it right. His p-trap is neater than mine, but we agree on the need and solution.


Actually the second picture has the droop that would act as a trap to keep out the sewer gas so I would give it a much higher grade.


I actually arrange our sewer hose like #2 with a droop near the city connection. That acts like a trap that fills with liquid and prevents sewer gas from the city system backing up in my unit. We normally have the valves closed on both grey and black, but old habits die hard and sometimes the grey is open.
That could have been my hose in the photo except the coach colors are wrong.