5 Essential RV Hose Tips

There are probably plenty of other RV-related topics that you would rather talk about than sewer dumping. However, if you are going to take advantage of the bathroom that you have available in your RV, you are going to need to get familiar with the hose that removes your waste and safely disposes of it. Once you understand how the hose works, and how to properly maintain it, you should be able to successfully keep your sewer tank clean even on the longest of trips.

Following are five secrets that you should know regarding the use of your RV sewer hose. If you are able to put these tips into use during your RV camping trips, you should enjoy a clean and hassle-free experience when it comes to waste disposal.

RV Hose Tip #1 – Gravity is Your Friend

If you want your hose to successful evacuate the contents of your tank, make sure you are using gravity to your advantage. Do you think setting up your hose to run uphill to the campground sewer is going to be an effective strategy? Probably not. Instead, use a sewer support when necessary to set the necessary downhill angle into the sewer. This is an RV accessory that should be considered required equipment for all owners. When you are forced to camp in a location that doesn’t offer you a great slope to use down to the sewer, the support can be just the thing you need to put gravity back on your side.

RV Hose Tip #2 – Don’t Skimp on the Hose

When you think about the job that your sewer hose is doing for you, it only makes sense to spend enough money to get a quality product. It is hard to think of a worse time to get cheap than when purchasing the hose that will be draining your waste away from the RV. Carefully browse the hoses available on the market and read reviews from those who have already purchased the models on your list. You shouldn’t need to break the bank to find a quality RV sewer hose, but you shouldn’t buy the cheapest model on the market, either.

RVing.how - sewer hose

RV Hose Tip #3 – Proper Off-Season Storage is Essential

Even the best hose can be damaged by poor storage practices in the off-season. When you park your RV for the winter, don’t make the mistake of leaving the hose out in a position that will allow it to be weathered by the elements. Instead, keep it in a safe and dry place, such as your garage. Obviously, it should be thoroughly cleaned prior to storage, and you should check its condition before putting it back into use next season.

RV Hose Tip #4 – Purchase a Clear Attachment for the Hose

Okay – you probably don’t want to watch the waste that is coming out of your tank. That is understandable. However, if you are going to be able to keep track of the condition of the tank throughout your trip, you will want to know what is draining into the campground sewer. A clear plastic attachment for your sewer hose will give you a ‘window’ into your sewer draining process. This is a great way to gain peace of mind in knowing that everything is working as expected.

RV Hose Tip #5 – Avoid Creating a Trip Hazard

Laying your sewer hose across the campsite is a potential trip hazard for those in your traveling party, so you want to be sure to set up camp in such a way that limits the chances of an injury. If possible, you always want to position your hose so that foot traffic will not be passing through the area. When that can’t be achieved, consider getting a set of small cones to set alongside the hose. The bright orange color of the cones should be plenty to alert anyone nearby that they need to watch their step.

To be sure, draining the sewer tank of your RV isn’t the most glamorous part of a camping trip. It is a necessary step, however, and it all starts with proper use of your sewer hose. Take advantage of the information contained in the ‘secrets’ above and you can check one more item off of your RV to-do list.

What are your tips for the sewer hose? Let us know in the comments.


  • Drain the black water tank first then the gray water tank. The soap in the gray water will help to clean the drain hose and not smell so bad. it makes a quick flush too.

    • We do the black tank then the grey tank also! We’ve never had a problem getting our flush out this way! 🙂

    • I’ll modify this just a bit. Open the gray drain first, for just a moment. This will allow you to see any leaks or disconnects before things get gross. Ok, then go ahead with the black, flush a time or two, then close it, and clean with the gray drain to wash with soapy water. Finally, a little hot (or warm, if your heater is off already) water to rinse the system and hose. Close all valves, disconnect, and done!

  • We have been Fulltime rvers for many years. When we travel we use our Porte Potty in a low tray so we will NOT have to find a place to dump. With this way we can just take it into a bathroom and dump when ever needed. With that way we can just put a small amount of water and good cleaner, RidX in the black water tank so while we are driving the tank will be “Self Cleaning” This way works GREAT!

  • Get rid of the stinking slinky
    Only keep it as a backup
    Install a macerator “poop pump”
    Cost of macerator pump $100.00 on sale
    Plumbing, switch and wire $50.00
    Your labor is FREE unless you pay someone to install the macerator
    Ten years of use
    Only one problem ” a butt wipe” jammed the blades
    On the way home dump in a bag of ice in to the black water holding tank if you think you may have a build up.
    We only do the ice trick at the of our RV season
    PS don’t buy the add on macerator that hooks on the your drain. Over priced and it can brake off your drain.

    • I’m missing something I guess, but if you get rid of the “stinky slinky”, how are you getting rid of the ‘macerated’ effluent?

  • Another tip would be to drain your black tank first. When empty lift and kink off your hose at the connection and then open your grey tank. The soapy water will back flow into your black tank. Then close grey tank and let the black empty again. This will help give you an extra little clean out of your black waste tank. Close off your black tank then let your grey water go to flush your hose.

    • You can make this a little easier by installing an inexpensive bayonet mounted valve before the hose. Closing that will force the gray into the black. This has another advantage, you can keep the third valve closed, and put half the gray liquids into the black tank during your stay.

    • I’ve been doing it this way for the past forty five years. If ever I learn of a better way I’ll change my method, but until then………

  • Speaking of sewer hoses make sure you have a good connection on the hose to the camper. I actually did this one time. I had bought a new blue dumping tank (portable) because some off the places we camped didn’t have drop sewers you had to haul your own waste to the dump site. I told my girl friend to go to walmart and get some screw clamps like you use on radiator hoses > Well they didn’t have the screw clamps so she brought me dryer vent clamps. Thinking that might work I hook the sewer hose up to the camper and to the blue tank! When you pull the lever to open the camper tank )PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND OPEN IT SLOWLY)theres a lot of pressure in the tank when its full! NO LESS I PULLED THE LEVER OPEN FULL FORCE AND YES THE HOSE BECAME DISCONNECTED AND WAS SWIRLING AROUND LIKE A COBRA SNAKE . AND YES I GOT WASTE ALL OFER ME! NOT A GREAT EXPERIENCE BUT A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!

  • Slightly off the topic
    But when traveling and your tank gets full where an you stop and drain your tanks?
    Are there designated stops on highways?

    • A lot of communities have dumping stations. Just watch fro signs or ask someone local. Here in Canada they are often at Canadian Tire parking lots.

      • Houghton Lake MI Camping World doesn’t have a dump station. Some Waste Treatment Plants have a dump station. Not in Houghton Lake MI though. In winter there a zero place to dump in that town. I live there and have had to travel down to Clare, MI for a place to dump.

        • 4 Mile Truck stop has a dump. No idea what the cost is.
          If you have a Michigan state park sticker (Passport), you can dump at any state park / campground.

    • Great question- Most Flying J’s and Pilot gas stations have a place to dump black/gray water and fill up on fresh water. Last one I was at had dump for $10 and fresh water was free.

    • Some rest stops have dump stations. FREE! Also, some of the Pilot/Flying Js have RV fueling locations with dump stations. Dump while you refuel. It used to be free but; I believe I’ve saw a fee posted the last time I stopped there.

    • Most Flying J truck stops have RV dump station facilities right at the RV fuel island. You can dump for a small fee.

    • We installed iPhone apps for several truck stop chains. Some of them have dump stations, and the apps tell you which one do. You can also identify the ones with LP tank fill services, too.

    • The only app I have ever paid for on my phone is one that lists RV dump sites. I use ‘Allstays’ app but I am sure there are others. It is definitely worthwhile and tells you the cost to dump or if they are free. I highly recommend it!

  • Can’t leave a comment. Too busy laughing at John Combs. Reminds me of the movie, RV…sorry, just too funny.

    • There was a movie entitled”The RV”or something similar starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Really funny and close to real if you have ever traveled with your RV. I would highly recommend it if you can find it. It every bit as funny as the Robin Williams version.

  • Looking for my first Motorcoach, so my question on this topic is: do chemicals added to the black holding tank (I assume I should shop for the largest tank available) help dissolve toilet paper? I saw a video once where a superstar was riding in a Prevost Motorhome and said she had to throw away the tissue in the garbage. Really?!!

    • Only buy TP made for boats and rvs. It is bio degradable, but use as little as possible. Lots of water and a little TP.

      • Been using Scott’s TP for ten years. I read years ago of some sort of test to see how biodegradable TP is. Something about putting water in jar w/TP (clean), cover and then shake and leave for a timeframe. I forget specifics but Scott’s passed test for me. Never had a problem. Just don’t skimp on water when flushing toilet and you will be fine IMHO.

  • Everything around the sewer tank is just fun.
    To make the discharge easier, separate the paper,
    and collect it in a containment.
    Buy the 1 inch discharge system, all clear plastic , and connect
    it to a garden hose, the pressure of the Garden hose water will
    force all the good stuff out ( No Macerator ).

  • To answer a couple questions. Most campgrounds will allow non campers to dump their tanks for a fee. As for toilet paper in the tanks just use lots of water to keep it soaked up and not too sludge like. No sense using the over priced paper or worse putting it in a separate container.

    • An alternate to a flush king is to use an 18L water bottle, like you use for drinking water and dump down your toilet after the initial flush of black water. It’s the perfect shape to fit in the bowl of the toilet and the neck holds the flap open while the contents drain away.

  • As some stated, drain the black tank first, then gray. I have a Black tank flush inlet, so I flush it every time, not just when leaving a RV park. I also have a long flexible rinse wand to go down the hole. I do this when leaving after an extended stay. The clear swivel connector is great so you can see when the tank is clean. A little extra maintainence pays off. I also buy a new hose and connections once a year. The cost is well worth it. Do not use cheap toilet paper that is not designed to break down quickly, unless you want clogs, or to throw it in a separate container. (Nasty).

    • what is really nasty, is this gal emptying her waste water using bare hands. Shame on her!
      wondering if she went inside and made her kids pop tarts for dinner!

      PS…I’ve tried posting a comment twice now and its not showing up…I haven’t read anything regarding my comment being screened prior to posting it…so I don’t understand why its not showing up here.

  • always a good idea to have a pair of gloves and a bottle of hand sanitizer in a seperate bag with the hoses, and always completely wash hands after.

  • I find it odd that so many people have issues with using a trash can for TP…have you not ever changed a diaper? Have you forgotten how to wash your hands?

    We do the Black water then rinse with the grey water and after emptying and rinsing with the water thru the flushing system, we put in a gallon of water, a 1/4 cup of soap and driving agitates and provides a cleansing of the tank which we can eliminate with our next dump. Rubber gloves, a tank of water with soap and bleach to soak the hoses when we are finished for the season and the hoses are clean, sanitized and checked out for the next trip.

  • No one mentioned the fact that a lot of truck stops offer dump stations for a small fee. I just paid $5.00 at Loves Truck stop. You may want to keep this in mind.

  • This is the best hose on the market. I put on the ends 4 inch cam lock fittings so there is a tight fit and never will break. Can get them at tractor supply

  • The very first thing you should do is put on a pair of DISPOSABLE gloves. Then deal with your black and grey water. Final step is to toss the disposable gloves in the nearest waste can and sanitize your hands. I see so many folks either not wearing any gloves or wearing gloves that they reuse – totally gross. Disposable gloves are so cheap to buy and will protect you from all the nasty biological stuff in your RV’s waste tanks – you know things like E Coli and more.

    PS- thanks for the tip about the ice cubes. I’m going to try that one out for sure next camping season.

    • Yes I agree. I see in the photo in top #3
      The women is installing the hose with no hand protection ( rubber gloves).
      Bad photo.

  • I keep a box of disposable clear plastic glove in the motorhome. When I’m done I peel them off inside out and throw them away.

    When the motorhome is parked between trips, I fill the tanks with clean water and split a container of CLR septic treatment between them. The tanks stay clean and the sensors work much better.

  • Get a box of disposable latex like gloves at Walmart. And all the women that camp with me know not to flush to unless it’s brown all the rest goes in a plastic bag dumped daily. Also bought one of those kits that lets In a little chemical each time you flush

  • My hubby put 4″ square black plastic fender above trailer fender and we store hose in there. End caps attached and water drains out after cleaning. No more storing in bag in side starge container! Works great.

    • We store Susie’s in a 4″ PVC pipe with end caps. This is attached to the ladder about chest high with a couple of clamps. I also attached a cord to the cap and the pipe so we don’t lose the cap and marked the cap and pipe with a permanent marker to make sure the threads line up and are tight, but, not overly tight! It shouldn’t be but a couple of inches longer than the compressed hose and just a tad lower on the far end (with a tiny hole) so any water we don’t get totally drained isn’t going to “surprise” you when you open it!

  • When we stay at a campsite for a longer time, I will run our garden hose into the toilet inside for a time while watching my clear hose fitting until it runs clear. Helps keep the system clean.

  • Use toilet paper designed for septic tanks,, it dissolves in just moments when wet, comes in large packages at Cosco..

  • I usually buy my TP at Walmart, they have an RV section where TP, tank additives, water filters and other things are available and they re all over the states and Canada. We use the wand occasionally to flush out the black tank and often fill the grey water up and use some vinegar for deordorizing both and leave setting a while. Sometimes add bleach if we are not on a septic system in the camp but on the community sewer system. About once every 6 months we add a boxCalgon bath with about 5 gallons of water for a long travel day and it keeps the asides and the tank slippery enough so nothing sticks to them.

  • I always have a problem setting up my hose(s). I have a galley tank in the front and have to run a hose to a Y to drain and it’s always a hassle to get the flow right.

    • My husband made a cheap track for our septic hose out of vinyl gutter cut into two lengths with differing heights of wooden blocks screwed on the bottom. he sets the gutter up in line from the camper to the septic hole and lays the hose in it, voila! He is a genius and all mine!

  • I have no problems with getting “waste water” on my hands. Hands are very easily washed. I tried disposable gloves, but one still needs to wash well afterwards, especially when the gloves tear. I tried some sturdy reusable gloves, but they never dry off, and one still has to wash well afterwards. I am not terrified by germs and microbes and other nastiness…I know exactly where it came from, jeepers! Soap and water is the simple remedy, the soiling is temporary, after all! We are, if you will realize, the minority occupants of our skin, normally covered in and filled with microbes of every sort.

    • Well said Tom. Just because its “icky” or “gross” doeant mean you need to wear a hasmat suit to dump. I had a friend get the lower half of his body covered in waste from his MH. He took a shower and survived

  • Trev: Well said. After being in the plumbing business all my life and not always able to wash my hands immediately after unplugging a toilet or drain. I am still healthy at 80 yrs old and still Rving. I read of a baby falling into a septic tank and survived.

  • Many good comments, and some I could not decipher for the life of me? 😉 As far as using gloves, I use the Largest Rubber gloves I can find! Usually in the Dish Soap area of Supermarkets. I never touch the outside, and always wash them thoroughly before taking them off too! I have a place I put them, in the dump valve area inside, and then wash my hands with soap!

  • Gloves are not necessary unless you have open cuts or sores, or someone in the RV is highly contagious. After all, there is nothing in the tank that hasn’t already been on or in your body, or your travel mates’, and you probably don’t wear gloves to wipe yourself or handle your spouses’ laundry. Having a little dip in the hose doesn’t matter either, as long as you dump the grey tank last and “walk” it out before unhooking. In fact, a dip can act as another trap to keep odors out of the RV. Just don’t leave the black tank open so solids don’t collect in the dip.

  • This last trip ( a month ) we constantly had a back up in the toilet….would not go down???why did this happen. Use the RV toilet paper, etc.

  • We wish we had known what Donna Dr Reno now knows when we bought our first 32′ motor home. When having it serviced and winterized at a new shop we were informed to keep the black tank closed and use plenty of water when flushing. We’re now working on getting hardened sludge dissolved.

  • I once knew a guy who lived in a tight row home got the Rv in the backyard realizing he needed to empty sewar tank did it in trash bags then carried them in the house to empty you guessed it it broke on the living room carpet

  • If you ever have your sewer replaced at your house have a clean out placed in your yard our of the way where you can access it. it works great to dump your motorhome when dumps are not available

  • 1-Double Check all of your connections just to make sure that they are tight. All it takes is one connection that is loose and you will have a mess EVERYWHERE.
    2-Practice your sewage removal technique prior to dumping at a public dumping station. Nothing is worse than pulling up to a dump station and they guy in front of you can’t find something or forgot how to connect something.
    3-If you are going to say hi or shake my hand while you are dumping your tanks…Wear Gloves!

  • Some nubees need to remember not to leave the drain valves open when on site and hooked up to sewer. People may not realize how the system works thinking that everything goes down the tubes instead of into a tank. While the liquid goes, the solids stay leaving a hard pile in the tank.

  • We are full time RVers..We have our grey tank open all the time. When I know it’s getting close to doing black tank, we will close grey and allow to fill.
    EVERY time we empty tanks we backflush. Keeps everything clean. We also use the attachment to hook hose up at black tank and flush that way too. Once black flushes clear and nothing like TP comes out, we empty grey..
    We use Angel Soft TP. We were using Scott but was having to use twice as much for same job. We don’t have an issue with TP cause we backflush EVERY time we dump tanks.
    We also do our about 2 capfuls of liquid RidX into tank via toilet after we empty black tank. Helps dissolve stuff in tank..

  • I religiously spray silicone on the hose seal before hooking the hose, that keep the seal in good shape

  • I’ve learned that the rubber seals on all waste tank valves stay in good working condition for years when I pour a cup or so of “vegetable oil” in the toilet and down the shower drain every couple of days. It keeps the tanks lubricated, the valve seals lubricated, everything works great!