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Ways to make your RV sewer hose last longer

“Newbie” RVers recently complained about having to replace their sewer hose. Again! It seems they’ve had three different hoses in the last year alone! Yipes! We talked together about some tips to help an RV sewer hose last longer. Here are the highlights:

General care

There are things to avoid if you want your sewer hose to last:

  • Do not step on, drive over, or overstretch the sewer hose. Keep children and pets away from the hose, too, so they don’t accidentally trip, rip, or otherwise damage the hose.
  • Avoid dragging the hose over rocks or other debris that may puncture it.
  • Take care not to crimp or fold the sewer hose. This includes while it’s in use. We’ve all witnessed RV sewer hoses that are set up with hills, valleys, loops, twists, and turns. It’s best to position your sewer hose so that you have a continuous slope toward the campground sewer opening. Not only will your black and gray water run better, but it will also mean less wear and tear on the sewer hose itself.

Storage

There are several different ways to store your RV sewer hose when you’re not using it. RVers consider the pros and cons of each storage solution and choose the one that’s best for them.

  • Bumper storage. Some RVs feature bumpers that can store your sewer hose. Many RVers prefer this method because it takes up no space inside the rig’s basement. Just make sure both ends of the bumper cap are tightly secured. Otherwise, your hose may jiggle out of the bumper storage as you travel down the road. (Don’t ask me how I know. Sigh!)
  • Sewer hose bags. Bags are lightweight and easy to maneuver. They are also affordable and can be folded up when not in use. The downside to using a bag is that they do little to protect your sewer hose from damage.
  • Plastic bin. A hard-sided plastic bin will provide protection for your sewer hose while you travel. The downside? It will take up valuable space in the RV basement area.

Cleaning

Before we put our RV into storage, we thoroughly clean the components. This includes the sewer hose. We place the hose into its plastic storage box and add enough water to cover the hose. We stir in some household bleach, let it sit overnight, and then thoroughly rinse the hose and storage box. When the hose is dry, it goes back into its clean and dry storage bin. We use the same procedure for any sewer connection parts.

Extreme conditions

As you travel with your RV you may need to protect your sewer hose from additional damage.

UV rays. Friends who stay for extended periods in the Desert Southwest say the harsh conditions (heat and UV rays) damage their sewer hose. To help protect the hose, they park and set up so that the sewer hose is shaded as much as possible by their RV and slides.

When we have extended work-camping stays, we forgo the sewer hose altogether. Instead, we use PVC pipe for a more permanent solution.

Freezing. Extreme temperatures can negatively affect the life span of your sewer hose. Some hoses tend to become brittle in cold temperatures. To prevent our hose from freezing, we simply close our tanks and remove the sewer hose altogether. When tanks need to be emptied, we hook up the sewer hose and, when finished, the tanks are closed, and the hose goes back into its storage box once again.

Another way to keep the sewer hose from freezing is to heat and insulate it. You can purchase heat tape and pipe insulation for this at your local hardware store. Place the heat tape on the bottom of the sewer hose. Wrap the insulation around the hose and then follow up with a layer of cold-temperature duct tape or construction plastic to keep the insulation dry.

Best sewer hose?

Everybody has their own favorite. We’ve used this hose and it’s performed really well. We pair it with the Sidewinder hose support system and have been very happy with the results.

Can you offer additional suggestions for preserving the life of your RV’s sewer hose? Please do so in the comments below.

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SDW
12 days ago

I use the Rhino hose too. For 10 years now, same hose. When I finish dumping I disconnect it from the rig and raise it up and use a spray nozzle to rinse it out. Then I shake as much water out of it as I can and stick it back in the holder on our fifth wheel, that I made out of 4, 1×6 cedar fence pickets put together with wood and glue in a long rectangle box mounted under the 5’ver and that’s it. no problems after 10 years of use. The problem with bumper storage is that the rhino-flex hose has a 90 degree end on it and won’t fit in the bumper without disconnecting it, and reconnecting it every time I dump. Which I prefer not to have to do.

J J
12 days ago

“Avoid dragging the hose over rocks or other debris that may puncture it.”

While I agree with that, I was expecting so see a recommendation to always use a sewer support holder such as the Camco Sidewinder but nope, not recommended.

If you watch your sewer hose while dumping you’ll see it wiggling and vibrating. Some expand out even more due to the pressure. All while the hose is lying on concrete, gravel, or stones and the ground. All of that movement on an abrasive surface is slowly eroding the hose itself with each dump. Put the hose on the plastic supports and that failure mode goes away.

As for soaking the hose in bleach-containing water overnight before long-term storage, say what? If you’re that concerned about bacteria or {bleeped} monsters growing inside the hose, buy a new hose each year. No one drinks out of their sewer hose.

Gail
11 days ago
Reply to  J J

JJ, you may have missed it, but the Sidewinder support was recommended in the last section of the article, along with the sewer hose recommendation. Have a great day!

Tom
12 days ago

I have traveled over 300,000 miles in a 4 Motorhomes and have used several different sewer hoses. Since 2014 I have used the same Lippert Waste Master sewer hose it’s still in excellent shape. In addition, we have lived full time in our coach for the last 3 years, which means we use the hose often. After using several brands I consider the Waste Master the best.

Kevin
14 days ago

Similar to other comments and just a FYI, while storing a sewer hose inside the bumper works, there is one thing that you need to be aware of. Very often only the outside of the bumper is painted. The inside is just bare metal. All that YUK dripping out of a hose, even after it’s been flushed out, will rust the bumper from the inside out. Painting the inside of the bumper may prove challenging and spraying oil in it may not be in the best interest of plastic pipes. Silicon may work better, still good luck with that. If the bumper is big enough it’s best to install some kind of liner, like pvc drain pipe or similar. Good luck.

Scott
10 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

That was what drove me to do the fence post install on the under portion of the trailer just in front of the bumper. I saw some light rust forming in the bumper. No more issues with the sewer hose storage.

Thomas D
14 days ago

I wore out a couple of hoses and finally discovered that rust inside the bumper storage was wearing holes in it.
I put a 4″ PVC pipe above the bumper and never had a bad hose again.

Cecilia
14 days ago

I’d love to know why you would need to replace three times in a year. We keep ours in a plastic box in the basement.

Primo Rudy's Roadhouse
14 days ago

common sense, nothing new here

Andrea
14 days ago

Our first, inexpensive, sewer hose lasted less than a year. We discovered that “handy” bumper storage was tight and had some sharp protrusions. We changed to the Valterra PVC carrier, attached to the top f the bumper, and upgraded our hose. That one lasted ~7 seasons before beginning to intermittently leak at a connector.

Jim Johnson
14 days ago

Our RV TT is stationary in south-central Texas for years at a time and used as a winter residence. The sewer line stays in place year around.

Minimal movement reduces stress and increases lifetime. But two things help – a lot.

We bought the Rhinoflex version with the external slinky coil. Having the coil outside rather than inside the hose makes for a smoother interior and better flow. The external coil helps protect from snags against the membrane.

The second and biggest item is we run the slinky through the perma-shade under the trailer. We use rigid elbows and straight bayonet sections to make the transitions from shade to sun (waste gates and park’s septic input)

Dale Rose
14 days ago

The ends of my Rhino Hose will not fit into the 4 inch rear bumper, so I bought a 5 inch square vinyl fence post and end caps. I put a hinge onto the caps, and mounted it under my trailer.

John Irvine
14 days ago

Just rub it with Vitamin E

Gordon den Otter
14 days ago

I’ve had the same sewer hose for 12 years with no trouble. I leave it in the bumper until I need to dump, hook it up, dump my tanks, rinse it, put it back. I do this even if I’m in a full hookup site. I guess that saves it from UV etc.

Bob M
14 days ago

I’ve had my sewer hose for almost 4 years and haven’t damaged it yet. Maybe I don’t use it as much as some people.

Tommy Molnar
14 days ago

I’ve been storing my hose in the bumper for years. I slide a piece of plastic rain gutter into the bumper, then slide the hose in. Works like a charm.

Bob p
14 days ago

Don’t store your sewer hose inside the rusty bumper the rust will cut small pin holes in the vinyl. Buy a section of 4” PVC sewer drain line, cap one end and put a screw on cap on the other, hang it under the RV with plumbers perforated strap near the wheels and it will be protected from damage going over higher inclines. I’ve been doing this for 40 years and haven’t destroyed a sewer hose yet. Before I would go through 2 hoses per season. Manufacturers could rust proof their bumpers at the factory but that would add $15-20 including labor to their cost and at the prices they charge for new RV’s we know they couldn’t afford that. Lol

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