Sewer hoses: Lacking honor — but we all gotta have one

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Here’s something without a lot of glory. It’s a lot more fun to go shopping for something with a little more bling — a smartphone maybe. But those things that have “a purpose lacking honor,” namely sewer hoses, are still necessary things.


On a trip back in the distance, we found ourselves in a commercial RV park (something that rarely happens) with a full set of tanks. I’m embarrassed to relate, however, that not only were those tanks full — the gray water was very full. Call it two inches of standing water in the shower. Sad to say, the layout of the site didn’t allow my 10-foot hose to reach the port, so we called on a friend to bring over his l-o-n-g ranger hose. With everything in place, I pulled the lever for black water, and quicker than you can miss a freeway exit, that horrific stuff was squirting out of a series of pinholes in the hose.

We quickly reevaluated the situation and decided it would be best to simply offload enough of the gray water to safely pull the rig within range of our 10-foot hose. After all, I was afraid the minute I put the throttle down, all that smelly gray water would slosh throughout the bathroom. When we got our own hose hooked up, I again started after that old black water tank. This time the evil stuff made its way out of our hose. Fortunately, by cramming the hose together and holding it carefully (with neoprene gloves), we were able to contain the stuff to the inside of the hose, but it was touch and go – in more ways than one.

The upshot of this wet and windy narrative is this: It doesn’t seem to matter what grade of sewer hose you buy, sooner or later the thing will give up the ghost and leave you wading around in unwholesome liquids. Experience does teach us that the less money you spend on your hose, the sooner you’ll be looking for another one. We bought a “single wall” budget hose for a trailer that we used for a week every few months. In less than the first week, the hose could have been used for irrigating the lawn. On the other hand, our “triple wrapped” expensive hose that gave up the other day has lasted a couple of years of fairly frequent service. My friend’s “no wires” hose, too, lasted far longer than the cheapies.

Over the years we’ve struggled with the sewer hose question. At one point we went to an industrial hose supplier and bought a length of self-flattening fire hose, put fittings on it, and hoped the thing would be just the ticket. After all, self-flattening hoses roll up tight, and this we figured would save lots of space. Save lots of space it did. The trouble is the outfall of sewage just didn’t provide enough pressure to “unflatten” the hose more than a few inches. Boy was that ever a mess! As my wife likes to remind me: Sewer hoses are like members of the opposite sex: Can’t live with ‘em; can’t live without ‘em.

Editor: Here is a link for everything to do with RV sewer hoses at Amazon.

##RVT761 #RVDT1224

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Michael McCray

There could be many causes of sewer hose leaks. In my case, I’ve lost 2 hoses… one to the park’s yard maintenance folks who hit my hose with a string trimmer and another to mice… that one had a couple of those pinholes. Seems the mice were climbing the hose to get into the water bay which provided a “interstate highway” into the interior. When they slip, they dig in with their little claws.*#!#$%

Alvin

WasteMaster will end your RV waste disposal fears -look it up.

In conjunction and as a backup in case of a “leak” we’ve bought all the fittings to adapt the WasteMaster system to regular fittings prevalent in most RV situations. I doubt I’ll ever need the backup for a number of reasons two of which are. We monitor our tanks a little better than the example in the editorial so they never get near as full (EVER)! and we do not hook up to connections at the campground until we need to.

Most folks don’t recognize the simple fact that the sun, the provider of all life is also on a 24/7 mission to reclaim everything too. The sun beats the hell out of your sewer hose laying there sometimes for days in 100 degree heat, and very few folks seem to understand its one of the prime reasons their sewer lines fail.
We also see many folks running very long inter connected lines, which lay directly on the pavement in better RV parks. There’re submitting those poor rubber (or plastic) lines to surreal heat damage. You get the message sun good sun bad.
Then there’s the way I see some folks treat the hose. I do not wonder why hoses fail.
After 50 years of RV’ing I’m pleased to be able to say I have NEVER had one single failure in this category.

Drew

A high quality sewer hose is an investment in safety, convenience, and dependability. In 12 years mine has lasted with just ordinary care. It cost $150.00 back then…enough to pay for 2 1/2 hoses from a popular competitor. You might have bought more than those in that time. Mine’s a Waste Master which was featured in this newsletter years ago I think.

Fred

Never pulled the trigger on the expensive hose purchase. I’ve had 2 of the Valterra (red ends) hoses that stay extended when you pull them out & stay collapsed when you compress them over the last 10 years of fulltiming. Price wise their in the middle. I don’t treat it very gently, but each one has lasted for years. I accidently hit my current one on a cold morning, trying to throw an electric cord under the rv, & it cracked the cold plastic tubing. I just got out my self fusing silicone tape & wrapped a couple of turns around the cracked area & it’s been as good as new for the last three months. I wouldn’t be without that fix-it-tape. I’ve used it on dozens of things over 10 years.

Barry

I could never understand anyone using work gloves of any other kind to empty the black and gray tanks. Isn’t the purpose of gloves to keep “stuff” off your hands? But what about the gloves. People take them off, their hands are relatively clean, BUT the contaminated gloves are thrown into the wet bay or some other compartment…it totally defeats the purpose!!! A friend of mine would use a big pair of welders gloves, take them off and gently lay them in the wet bay.

Disposable latex gloves are cheap. You pull them off just like the surgeon does, turning them inside-out, and throw them in the trash.

Sue Hoffman Losinger

I always run a little gray water through the hose first to check for leaks before the black water, saves some nasty clean up.

George G Winialski, CPA, Rhu

Why anyone would avoid the purchase of the SEWER SOLUTION is a mystery to me. It is easy, reliable, strong, convenient and safe. I bought my first one about 6 years ago and just bought a new one last year. Get rid of the stinky slinky. Have tried them all and was disappointed by them all.
This is not an ad, have no connection to vendor. You will; not be disappointed, I guarantee it. Best $100 you will ever spend.

Keith Manne

I don’t know whether to consider this an endorsement or not, but I’ve had one of the “luxury stinky-slinkies” for about 7 years of frequent usage. Mine is brown with orange fittings, and has NEVER leaked a drop. Ends seal tight on both ends. One detail: I carry mine coiled in a leakproof plastic bin, and NOT jammed into sharp steelbumper tubing… Non-abrasion helps longevity!

One device I *do* recommend is the 12V Flojet macerator-pump. Draining uphill 200′ with cheap common garden hose has saved a lot of frustration over the years, whether reaching inconveniently located/poorly designed sewer dumps, skipping long lines at dumps by draining at home, or just giving the tanks a GOOD backwash cleaning before winterizing.

Mack

Hey I’m still a novice I guess. My question: do you put the fancy angle connection in to drain gray & black water same as you do when hooked up to a drain? And what if gray water comes out as soon as you hook up hose & before you have hose in drain (oops, right?)

Charlotte

We would get those pin holes and finally figured out it was the corners of the wire clamps that went around the connections. No matter what type my husband insist on putting them on for extra protection (I agree). Solution: wrap tape over the wire. Holes were fixed with gorilla glue so our hose is dotted with yellow dots.

Kevin

Chuck I have a story for your collection. Let me know where to send it!

Vickie Aversman

One of the first things we learned RVing was to let a little of the gray water out first–just enough to make sure everything was fitted properly (and no holes in the sewer hose), then proceed with the black water tank. Much rather deal with a gray water leak than a black water leak.

Tommy Molnar

Have you ever noticed when you get together with fellow RV’ers, the topic always gets around to “black water stories”? Everyone has at least ONE good story!