RV sewer hose explosion scenes are the stuff Hollywood movies are made of. Who didn’t laugh in when Cousin Eddie dumped his black tank down Clark Griswold’s sewer outlet in the movie Christmas Vacation? Or when Robin Williams’ sewer hose exploded like a volcano in RV: The Movie?
Odds are good that not a single RVer has managed to avoid some kind of RV sewer hose catastrophe. Every RVer wants to avoid a mess and empty their waste tanks cleanly and easily. But whether you find a crack in the sewer hose or a leaky valve fitting, coming into contact with holding tank waste is inevitable. Even RVers who prefer the advantages of Macerator pump units have their own dump station disaster tales. Whatever type of system you prefer as a full-time RVer, these easy steps can minimize the number of times it happens to you.
Regularly inspect your RV sewer hose
There are many ways to simplify the process of dumping your waste tanks. But a typical “stinky slinky” RV sewer hose will degrade over time and may cause a headache in the long run. UV light damages plastic and the accordion-style creases eventually spring pinhole leaks.
If your sewer hose is constantly exposed or laying on gravel during lengthy stays, be extra vigilant. When you dump your gray water, carefully look for water leaks around the creases and underneath the hose. If you see any, you might want to think twice about pulling the black tank lever.
Buy the hose that other RVers rave about
Cheap RV sewer hoses are fine for the casual RVer, but they don’t last long. Expensive hoses seem like they’ll deliver, but even those tend to fail as well. Always read online reviews for the best RV sewer hoses. Pay for the best one you can and you’ll avoid being the butt of a campfire joke.
Keep your hose away from sharp lawn maintenance tools
When springtime hits, RV park maintenance crews are mowing lawns all afternoon. You won’t probably know that a trimmer line has sliced your hose until you pull the lever to dump. To avoid this, keep your hose elevated. Many full-timers make a RV sewer hose riser to keep their hose off the ground while they sit for long periods of time.
Check the fittings
Fittings commonly fail with cheaper RV hoses. Periodically check the connections for leakages when you’re dumping.
Watch for animal damage
Rodents and mammals tend to have fun with RV sewer hoses. Look at your hose before you dump to ensure a critter hasn’t munched on the plastic.
When in doubt, throw it out
When you RV the good times can last forever. Unfortunately RV sewer hoses just don’t. Even if yours looks fine, it’s a good idea to crack open your wallet every few years for a new hose.
Always wear gloves when dumping
When that moment arrives and your casual dump day culminates with a RV sewer hose explosion, you’ll want a clean set of hands to grab cleanup tools. In the interest of sanitation, use disposable surgical gloves when you pull the valves.
As full-time RVers, we’re exposed to dumping far more than the casual weekender. If you want to be a full-timer you’ll need to put your squeamish nature behind you. Be one with your holding tank waste and when the inevitable happens you’ll be ready for anything.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.