RV Sewer Hoses 101

I get asked lots of questions about RV sewer hoses and RV holding tanks, so today we are going to start with RV sewer hose basics. This is not a topic people want to discuss, but there are lots of tips and tricks that can make RV waste-water chores easier to deal with. I don’t know if you ever gave much thought to the RV sewer hoses you use when you empty the holding tanks, but not all sewer hoses are created equal. Let’s start there.

Most of the RV sewer hoses you use or purchase are constructed with a coiled wire and a plastic or vinyl wrap over the wire. What you might not know is the vinyl wrap used over the wire comes in different thicknesses. It might be 15 mil, 18 mil or 26 mil. What this tells us is the thicker the vinyl wrap, the better the sewer hose will hold up to wear and tear at the campground.

Next, some RV sewer hoses you buy require you to install the sewer hose fittings on the ends of the hose. If you ever tried to install these ends you know how difficult it can be. The sewer hose pictured, by Valterra products has a sizing ring that really makes the job of installing fittings easy. You just remove the sizing ring and the hose fitting you want to use slips right on the end of the hose, and all you need to do is secure the fitting with a hose clamp.

To make the job of connecting sewer hose fittings even easier, you can get threaded fittings like the EZ coupler sewer hose fittings pictured. The fittings simply thread onto the end of the sewer hose. When it gets tight it is sealed, for a leak-free connection. There are several variations of EZ coupler sewer hose fittings available. Some connect to the RV, some connect to the campground sewer drain and some connect two hoses together when you need a longer sewer hose.

Possibly the easiest sewer hose fitting to work with are the factory installed bayonet fittings. Not only are they already installed on the hose, they rotate to make all of the connections easy and secure. The rotating fittings ensure there are no twists or kinks in the hose, and the hose lays flat after making your sewer connections.

Now that we know how RV sewer hoses are constructed and the different types of sewer hose fittings available let’s look at some variations of RV sewer hoses.

We’ll start with the shortest hose. This is what is referred to as a 2-foot compartment hose. It works really well on tight offset drain outlets in a sewer compartment.
Next are hoses referred to as extension hoses, they come in various lengths like 5-foot, 10-foot and 20-foot hoses. I always recommend keeping extension hoses in the RV so you can always reach the campground sewer connection.

Another product I recommend is a sewer hose kit. You can purchase kits with different length hoses and all the fittings necessary to connect to the RV and the campground sewer drain.

That brings us to the different variations of fittings and adapters. Depending on how your RV waste valves are designed you can purchase fittings and adapters to help make connections easier. You might need a 45-degree fitting, or a ninety-degree fitting to make RV sewer hose connections. Some fittings are made of clear see-through plastic so you can see when the holding tank is clean when you rinse and flush the tank.

One of my favorite sewer hose fittings is the universal 90-degree sewer fitting. It is designed to work in six different types of sewer connections providing you with a gas tight fit. It works in both threaded pipe and smooth pipe campground sewer drains that are 3”, 3-1/2” and 4” diameters.

As you can see, not all RV sewer hoses and fittings are created equal. I only touched on the various hoses and fittings that are available. It’s a good idea to keep an assortment of RV sewer hoses and fittings in your RV so you are prepared for any campground sewer connection.

To learn more about RV waste-water systems and the other systems on RVs visit our RV Online Training Center to see what RV video training courses and e-book training courses we have to offer.

Happy Camping
Mark J. Polk

RV Education 101

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