Monday, February 6, 2023


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.

##RVT810 ##RVDT1357


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Marissa B
2 years ago

We have a 22’ travel trailer with a waste pipe that is very low to the ground. We always have to lift and walk the slinky to empty it. I hate it! I saw a travel trailer in a campground with a tiny pipe about the size of a garden hose attached to the sewer drain. After some research, I found it was a Valterra Sewer Solution. I bought one on Amazon , including an extension hose. It is my favorite thing!! You attach a garden hose to it and it is like a macerator. It has a strong jet of water that breaks up the black tank contents as it drains and pushes it to the sewer- even uphill!!! It’s not as fast as a slinky so you don’t want to use it at a dump station but it is perfect for use at a campsite! Just turn it on, open the black tank, and let it run till the water turns clear. Then turn a little lever to shoot water into the tank to flush it out! Turn it back and it finishes cleaning out the hose. No muss no fuss! And no more walking the slinky in front of the neighbors.

Suzan Dowell-Glaser
2 years ago

I travel and work with Habitat for Humanity Care-A-Vanners and this last year stayed in one place for 5 months (New Mexico in Late Fall to Spring). I’m always hooked up as the sun when hottest is on the far side of the trailer. After 5 years of 24/7 RVing, with freezing weather and such I’m replacing my hose with a heavy duty one but cannot afford the Drain Master one and it would’t fit in my small trailer storage. I guess if driving one of the big boys I wouldn’t worry about price and that heavy clunky thing on the end. So I’m agreeing with # 1 except mine is Rhino brown not pretty red. 70 yr. old woman doing Construction.

2 years ago

One problem is getting to a campsite that has the dump higher than or level with the drain. Love to “milk” the hose every time I drain.

Sickened By It All ...
2 years ago

Oh my Oh my … The pictures, the ignorance (of the cheap & lazy & irresponsible sob’s), the excuses, the stories … WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP !!!!! (pun intended) !!

2 years ago

I wish I could tell if you thought the article was 100% correct or only 66% correct

Sharon B
2 years ago

#2 does keep the gases from the sewer from backing up.

2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon B

Was going to say the same thing. P trap.

2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon B

I do this but put the p trap at the rv end of the hose. I also make a much tighter U shape to ensure the trap is completely full of water. I leave the grey tanks open until the last 2 days. Then when i dump the black tank get rid of the trap, then flush the black tanks then dump the grey. I dont have to “milk” anything.

2 years ago

Does anyone know the reason WHY putting your sewer hose on the ground is not allowed in some places?

2 years ago
Reply to  Gord

Can spring leaks on the bottom and leak onto the ground without you seeing it. Especially if some people leave the gray water open.

Kay Markle
2 years ago
Reply to  Vanessa

Can you tell me which states require off the ground sewer hoses connections. Is Texas one of them?

2 years ago

With a drop in the line–#2– yeah U will get a trap–But with the trap U will still get a sewer smell with the fan running because the black tank is vented with its own vent….

2 years ago

So… I’d get a B+ because I didn’t invest $100 for a better sewer hose? If my set-up works and is off the ground (and doesn’t leak) it should be an A. And maybe an A in economics for not investing in a hose at 5x the price. Okay and loose a few “style points” for not getting the greatest and latest in sewer hose fashion.

2 years ago
Reply to  MrDisaster

You could also by 5 sewer hose to their one, my thinking is good job. 😊

Phil Atterbery
2 years ago

To the editorial staff, IMHO you can dis band this “slinky” review board. Most folks that paid attention in high school physics get the mechanics of gravity. After that, it’s preference. Your article does highlight one design flaw. Two black drains on one coach is poor, lazy design. Ok, I’m done.

Bob p
2 years ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

I see it all the time, the manufacturer is not going to run two bathrooms into one black tank that are 30’ apart and then run one dump line from a centrally located black tank. The runs can only be just so long to maintain proper drainage. If you want to put the blame somewhere blame the RVers who think they’re at home and must have two bathrooms. Manufacturers are more than happy to put as many “goodies” as people want because that raises the price.

Ron L
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob p

And that’s exactly why most rv’s that have two bathrooms have one situated directly over the black tank with the other being a macerator type that grinds everything into a liquid so that it will flow long distance to the black tank.

2 years ago
Reply to  Phil Atterbery

I have two drains but they are for gray and gray & black.

2 years ago

Whoever wrote this article certainly isn’t a plumber. They should have started the article…”in my opinion.” As I see it the only real issue is #3

Captn John
2 years ago

Sewer hoses have come a long way since I started in 1976. I bought a Drain Master hose long before mentioned here. Nothing works better! A few months ago CW had sale $75. Vets that order from the company get a discount.

2 years ago

Like most so called experts these days too much opinion and not enough facts. Ok the third picture {bleeped} is going on there. LOL I agree with that one. In the second picture like someone already said that is common if you let your gray tank open. And the first picture the red sewer hose is a good quality hose. Much better than most. Just because you like another over priced hose better does not make the red one bad quality. Been using the red one for many years with no problems.

2 years ago

I’m a plumbing contractor with 35 years of experience and #2 is the way to go as it makes a trap with water in it to keep sewer gases from going up the hose. If you have your bathroom fan on when you flush it will pull gases right up and into the bathroom WITHOUT the trap in the sewer hose. Lots of people saw this as well.

2 years ago

I’m one of those people that leave the gray tank valve open. I purposely use setup #2 because it acts like a sink trap, keeping those nasty sewage smells out of the RV. Got this tip from an expert’s article several years ago. It works. Of course, when I dump the black tank I straighten it out so solids flow out properly. Sometimes one should check facts more carefully.

Bill T
2 years ago

Regardless of where I stay or for how long, I only hook up the stinky slinky when I am ready to dump. Most campgrounds have the sewer connection high off the ground and I usually have to move the hose up and down to “help” the contents go down the sewer. We usually never stay in one place more than 7 days so I dump before I go.

2 years ago

In one mans lonely opinion I agree with setup #2. Just like everywhere else in plumbing one finds a “P” trap. We usually leave our grey water valve open until the day before the black needs dumping. Our grey tank is pretty small. Over the years we’ve had an occasional infestations of tiny flies in the bathroom. It seems to only have happened when we didn’t put a droop in the line.

5 years ago

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.

2 years ago
Reply to  Daniel

Great idea!

ThreeQuarter ton
2 years ago
Reply to  Daniel

Good idea, Will have to remember This!

steve peterson
5 years ago

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

5 years ago

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

5 years ago

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+ !

5 years ago
Reply to  ctanson

Are there not traps in your unit to prevent this? Mine has a trap on every drain.

5 years ago
Reply to  Snayte

My unit is a 2003 Sprinter 297bhs by Keystone and is fourth camper for us and the first one to have this issue. Yes, all of the drains have traps but for some reason, the bathroom would always smell if we don’t do this and have the grey open. We keep the black tank closed when on full hookups but always leave the grey open. I have a wife and three daughters, if I kept it closed, I’d be constantly out there draining the tanks so the “p trap” using the hose was a simple solution.

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