When you love to RV, having the best sewer hoses and connection devices makes the chore of emptying gray and black water tanks so much easier.
Without high-quality sewer hoses and fittings, expect cracks that leak or connections that slip loose that often leave you covered in sewer-water spray. Disgusting!
To help you avoid these issues, stick around to learn about what RV sewer connection fittings you need and the best brands to consider.
As a full-time RVer, I have first-hand experience with all types of sewer hoses and connection devices, and I know what works and what doesn’t, so let’s start!
RV Sewer Hoses and Accessories – What You Need to Know
A basic RV sewer hose kit will come with a 3-inch diameter flexible hose with fittings on either end to connect to the end of your RV sewer discharge pipe and an adapter that goes into a sewer drain.
There are many excellent adapters and connection devices that you can add to your basic kit to improve drainage and ease of use.
Types of Sewer Hose and Adapter Connections
Depending on the brand, you’ll find some sewer hose components with cam lock mechanisms or bayonet connections that quickly and securely hold sewer parts together.
There are also less expensive straight connections that require a pipe-clamp to hold a portion of the hose to the fitting.
From experience, I can tell you always to choose bayonet connections on all your fittings and ends of your sewer hose, as these are much easier to use and leak less.
Another factor is that using straight adapters or fittings will often entail needing to cut your sewer hose line, which is extremely difficult without a strong pair of metal cutters and a razor knife.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the various sewer hose components for RVs and why they are essential to own.
Sewer Hose Length and Type – What Features Are Important?
Sewer Hose Length
RV sewer hoses come in 5, 10, 15, and 20-foot lengths.
Most recreational vehicles house the sewer hose for storage inside the back bumper, limiting the length of hose that will fit. Check out these alternative sewer hose storage options if you don’t like using your RV bumper.
In general, the best length to get is the 15-foot sewer hose.
Why? The hose is long enough to reach most sewer drains at campsites and dump stations.
Expert RVers always carry a backup sewer hose, usually in a 10-foot length, for extra-long hookups or when their main hose incurs damage and becomes unusable after setting up camp.
Sewer Hose Material
Most RV sewer hoses have an inner metal coil and an outer vinyl, but the material’s thickness varies widely.
The more expensive brands use thick vinyl with coatings to protect from deterioration from UV rays and rain or snow.
Inexpensive sewer hoses use a thin vinyl layer over cheap metal coils that easily rusts, tears, or cracks under everyday use.
Continually replacing a cheap hose isn’t worth the time or money, so invest in a quality hose that will last much longer.
Sewer Hose Storage Size
The best RV sewer hoses collapse accordion-style so that you can fit a much longer hose into the rear bumper of your recreational vehicle.
Collapsible hoses have the metal coil inside the vinyl outer layer that snaps open and shut between loops, so the hose is much easier to store and shape to fit the distance to your campground’s sewer drain.
You always want to keep the hose length between the RV and sewer drain as short as possible for fewer drainage and damage issues.
If your 15-foot hose doesn’t collapse and your camper is only six feet from the drain line, you’ll have to snake the hose around on your site, which can cause a trip hazard and breaks from people accidentally stepping on the hose.
A collapsible sewer hose lets you keep your site tidier and safer for foot traffic and leaves less distance for clogs to form.
Most inexpensive RV sewer hoses don’t offer a collapsible feature, which is another reason to skip them and pay for a better quality product. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a hose about 8-feet long as that is all your RVs bumper can hold.
Sewer Hose Fittings and Adapters – the Ones You Need
Adapters for the End of the RV Sewer Discharge Pipe
There are adapters that fit on the end of your RV’s sewer discharge pipe. Your sewer hose will hook to the end of this adapter to make sewer water discharge easier.
90-degree swivel fittings are common to direct water flow and hose direction where you want it to go instead of straight out from the camper. These fittings prevent sharp turns in your sewer hose line that can impede waste flow and cause nasty clogs.
Some fittings also house a valve, so it’s easier to start and stop the fluid flow if your main valve is in an awkward location.
Some fittings may incorporate a pump and macerating unit for campers who use a portable waste tank to dispose of gray and black water if their campsite doesn’t have a sewer drain.
How to Use a Macerator Pump And A Portable Waste Tank To Empty RV Holding Tanks
Sewer Hose Adapters for Mid-Line Use
A second type of RV sewer adapter fits between different sections of the sewer hose line.
A Y-fitting is the most common connector RVers carry. Like mine, many RVs have separate sewer discharge lines for the gray water tank and black water tank.
Running two shorter sewer hoses from the camper and connecting them via the Y-fitting adapter allows you to empty both your tanks at once through one hose that you connect to the sewer drain.
Sewer Drain Connectors
Some fittings and adapters go onto the sewer drain. You then attach the end of your sewer hose to this fitting before draining your RV’s waste tanks.
Be aware that properly fitting sewer connections are high on the list of essential things campground staff will inspect, as county regulations place fines on RV parks that don’t follow safe sanitation rules.
Also, campgrounds don’t want to upset other guests by having sewer stench permeating the area because one camper isn’t using the correct fittings to prevent smells.
Unfortunately, you can find campsites with sewer drains that range from 4-inches wide down to 3-inches wide. Without a “universal” adapter, you’ll need to carry around individual size fittings for each scenario, which takes up storage space.
Universal sewer adapters either screw or slip into the sewer drain and have incremental sizes so you can achieve a good fit on a range of sewer drain pipe sizes.
Don’t waste money on any other type of sewer drain connector. Buy a durable universal style and move on.
What if your RV sewer hose is straight and doesn’t have bayonet connectors?
There are “donut” sewer connectors that you squeeze into the open end of the pipe. You place the straight end of a sewer hose into the hole in the center, which snugly holds the hose in place as you empty the camper’s tanks.
Other adapters that go onto this end of the sewer hose set up are 45-degree or 90-degree fittings to help the fluid flow remain unobstructed.
Why Are Some RV Sewer Adapters and Fittings Clear?
New RV owners may find clear fittings to be strange, but there’s an excellent reason they’re transparent.
Emptying your waste tanks and cleaning them during routine maintenance requires you to see that the hose contents finish flowing or the fluid running through it is clear of debris.
Peeking through these clear fittings lets you see at a glance that the above tasks finish to your satisfaction.
I know it sounds gross to “see” sewer waste, but it really isn’t as bad as it seems, and it’s a practical and hands-free way to ensure your sewer tanks and pipes are clean.
Always buy see-through fittings and adapters when available. They are very helpful.
RV Sewer Hose Supports – What Are They and Do You Need One?
RV sewer hose supports are expandable stands that keep the hose up off the ground.
Some county health departments require RV support stands at campgrounds, so any leaks from the hose are evident and stopped before sewer waste contaminates the ground.
Aside from helping prevent ecological damage from leaky sewer hoses, the supports are also fantastic for keeping your hose in better condition and creates a nice angle aiding in draining out hoses fully into the sewer.
You absolutely should own and use a sewer hose support at all times, even if the law doesn’t require one.
Why Paying For High-Quality RV Sewer Components is Worth It
Spending a few extra dollars on RV sewer components means you can expect them to last for years without failure.
Nothing is worse than pulling out your sewer hose to find the abrasion during storage and travel has worn holes in the vinyl rendering it useless. Or that one step onto the hose tears a huge hole you can’t patch.
Avoid this problem by paying for a sewer hose made of thick vinyl and additional exterior buffers to keep damage at bay.
Cheap plastic adapters become brittle quickly, and you’ll have the plastic nubs for the bayonet fittings snapping off or the tabs bending or cracking, leading to parts slipping apart and leaking.
You should instead pay the extra five or ten dollars upfront for an array of quality adapters and fittings that will remain in excellent condition for the entirety of your camping life.
The Best Brands for Reliable RV Sewer Hoses and Accessories
Best Sewer Hoses
The Camco RhinoEXTREME RV Sewer Hose Kit is a favorite of serious RVers and comes complete with a universal sewer connector. The hose is super durable and should last for many camping seasons without failure.
The Thetford Titan 17853 is another top choice in sewer hose that holds up well to even intense sun without deterioration. This kit’s best feature is the universal sewer drain adapter with a handle that makes the installation and removal of the drain-line part much more straightforward.
The Lippert 359724 Waste Master RV Sewer Hose is very durable and is a great choice for those who utilize dump stations or sewer drains and immediately put their hose away. The donut-style drain fitting is attached to the 90-degree end adapter that also features a convenient valve to control fluid flow.
Best Sewer Hose Adapters
The Camco Dual Flush Pro Holding Tank Rinser with Gate Valve adapter fits onto the end of your RV’s sewer drain pipe and allows you to stop the flow at the fitting and use the intake nipple to attach a hose for tank cleaning.
The Camco 39491 Revolution Lug Fitting slips onto the end of the sewer hose to make attaching to bayonet fittings a breeze instead of fighting against a hose that doesn’t have enough flex to twist.
The Valterra T1026-1 45° Clearview Adapter can fit either end of your sewer hose to observe waste flow easily.
The Camco RhinoFLEX RV Wye Fitting with 360 Degree Swivel Ends is the best fitting to connect several sewer hoses for drainage, and the handy translucent material lets you observe the fluid flow.
Valterra T1020-5VP Gray Water Drain Adapter is a handy adapter that allows you to use a garden hose to empty gray water to a sewer drain or water nearby plants (if permitted).
Best Sewer Drain Fittings
Camco 31398 Flexible 3-in-1 Sewer Adapter Hose Seal features two side handles to make insertion and removal quick and clean. The flexible rubber seals at the bottom fit securely into any size sewer drain to create a tight seal.
The Camco 39736 RhinoFlex RV Bayonet Elbow Fitting features a 4-in-1 universal connection and a 90-degree hose connection that enables easier connection and drainage.
The Valterra F02-4600 Soft Sewer Sponge Ring is a top pick for RVers who need a “donut” style sewer drain connection that creates a tight seal.
Best Sewer Hose Supports
The Camco Sidewinder is sturdy and adjustable to any configuration. I use this model myself and have not had any issues in over six years of use.
The Thetford 17919 Sewer Hose Support is a stable stand ideal for that odd and long transition of your hose at the RV connection to the ground so it won’t incur too much stress. While bulky, it’s an excellent accessory for RVers who have the space to store it.
RV Sewer Hose Wrap Up
Even the best sewer hoses will need replacement every few years, depending on how much you go camping. Having a quality hose and adapters allows you to camp in comfort without worrying you’ll create embarrassing smelly leaks when emptying your black and grey water tanks.
When you start your RVing adventures with the right equipment, you’ll be able to take on standard tasks such as emptying the RV waste tanks quickly and efficiently with little to no mess.
Take the information above and use it to prep your camper with the best RV sewer hoses and connection devices, and go out and camp with confidence!