Life on a recreational vehicle – RV – has its fun moments. You are not hampered or tethered, and so you are free to roam the world. Home is where you can park your RV for the night or the week. This life is certainly freeing and would be perfect save for a few things – nature calls that would otherwise not be an issue if you lived in a house with good drainage. But now, should that stop you from living your best mobile life? No. With the best portable waste water tanks, you can take care of your hygiene needs without worry.
Portable waste tanks make it possible to veer off a campsite when you feel like being alone, and you also don’t have to drive to a dump station every few miles. There are lots of online brands on the market, and sometimes it gets hard to decide which would work for you and your family. We compiled a buying guide and review of five products that are ideal and available online.
Table of Contents
- Portable Waste Tanks – Review & Buyer’s Guide
- 1. Camco Rhino Heavy Duty 28 Gallon Portable Waste-holding Hose
- 2. Tote-N-Store 20122 Portable Waste Transport 4-Wheeler
- 3. Thetford – Smart Portable Waste Tote Tank
- 4. Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank – 25 Gallon Capacity
- 5. Tote-N-Stor 25608 Portable Waste Transport
- Buying Guide – Portable Waste Tanks
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Portable Waste Tanks – Review & Buyer’s Guide
These five are some of the best portable waste tanks for 2021.
1. Camco Rhino Heavy Duty 28 Gallon Portable Waste-holding Hose
If you’re living the RV life, then you need a reliable waste water tank such as the Camco 39000 Rhino. It holds up to 15 gallons, which means you will enjoy your activities without worrying about it filling it. Weighing 41.5 pounds and measuring 16 x 47 x 25.5 inches, this tank fits well in tight spaces, and it is also made of durable material that will not wear out due to frequent usage.
It has large wheels with bearings to make it easy to transport since it is a little too heavy. Their size allows them to move sturdily even on rough terrain. Integrated ladder hook and tie-down grooves that are available at the bottom of the tote will enable you to hang it for storage when not in use, while a removable steel tow adapter makes it possible to move the tank when it is too heavy to transport manually even with the large wheels.
The top of the tote has two main features; an integrated tank rinser with a comfortable grip connector and backflow preventer that drains gray water out of the tank. The other is a male connector that is used with an included 15” female-to-female hose.
The tote comes with a manual letting you know how you should fill, connect, clean, and store it. It is tipped forward to make it easier to empty, and it also comes with all the hoses you will need. An oversized handle at the top makes towing quite easy, and the bearings on the wheels are made of stainless steel. This package comes with several accessories that you will need; sewer tote tank, storage caps, sewer hose, water hose, elbow adapter, and a tow adapter. The entire package is covered by warranty. This tote is ideal for a family living in a recreational vehicle.
- This tank has a generous capacity that can accommodate a family’s needs.
- The wheels make it easy to transport, especially when full.
- It is made of durable material.
- Because of the low drain-hole on this tank, it empties completely.
- Easy to clean.
- It is heavy when empty and more when full.
2. Tote-N-Store 20122 Portable Waste Transport 4-Wheeler
When shopping for a waste tank that you want to last a long time, you want a combination of sturdy material and reasonable weight that you can haul without straining too much. The Tote-N-Store tank meets both these needs because it is made of heavy-duty plastic that is also not too heavy. Weighing 37.5 pounds when empty and measuring 36.2 x 27.6 x 14.6 inches, this tote fits perfectly at the back of a recreational van, and you can haul it easily through its handle. It also has a hook on the top to hang it when not using it. Its rugged look also fits an adventurer’s life, making it quite a popular purchase.
The tote, which is a built-in storage compartment, comes with a ¾-inch garden hose cap, 15-inch garden hose, 3-inch straight hose adapter, and clamps that you could otherwise have bought separately. Its 5-inch caster wheels move smoothly over any terrain, but even they can struggle on thick sand sometimes. Its built-in tow handle is longer than what you would find on most totes, making it easy to tow it without hitting your heels. It is easy to clean too, thanks to the hoses that are part of the ensemble.
It may be difficult to put everything together, which is why the manufacturer sells this piece with a manual to explain how every part fits. Plus, it comes with a three-year warranty that covers the tote and every other accessory that is part of it.
Part of the package is a wheel tool that has everything you need to fix your tote. It also has a steel tow bracket for when it is too heavy to move manually. Its capacity – 18 gallons – is reasonable for a few users. It may not be enough to handle a family travelling on an RV for a while. It is reasonably priced and a good investment for those planning to be on the road for a while.
- The large wheels can handle any terrain.
- It is heavy-duty, and so quite durable.
- Comes with a 15-inch garden hose and a drain hose.
- Has a hook for storage.
- Reasonable capacity – 18 gallons – for a family on an RV.
- Though the caster wheels are large, they can get stuck on think sand.
3. Thetford – Smart Portable Waste Tote Tank
This tote is made using lightweight polypropylene materials that are both light and durable, a combination that is not very common. It has a simple yet functional design – lengthy and easy to store even in smaller RV vans. It has two transport rubber wheels that are large enough to handle difficult terrain. Being quite light, it is easy to haul to the dump station when full. Still, the maker includes a tow bracket that you can hook to a trailer just in case you need help transporting it. It has an 18-gallon capacity that is ideal for a small family moving in an RV over short distances. The handle on this tote is long to make it easy to pull behind you without hitting your feet regularly.
One of the most appealing features of this tote is the AutoStop level gauge that prevents overfill and spillage when the tote is full. It also makes emptying a breeze and gets rid of odor. The extra vents make cleaning easy and also help in eliminating odor. This tote is easy to clean, thanks to the accessories that are part of the package, and it comes with a manual that tells you how everything needs to be used. Each of the accessories, as well as the tote itself, is covered by a warranty. The central sewer hose for the tote is self-storing – at the bottom – making the entire piece compact and easy to haul around.
How does the Auto-stop fill shutoff work? It indicates the level of liquid in the tank and lets you know when it is almost filled up. The air valve in the tote then shuts off to prevent any air movements, which in effect prevent spillage. At this point, you know you have to dump the waste water because it has nowhere else to go.
This tote is a little pricey, but many like it for its innovative design and features. It is a good investment for a small family.
- Though this tote is made of durable material, it is quite light – 10.5lbs.
- An auto-stop feature that prevents spillages.
- It has a self-storing sewer hose that connects at the bottom.
- Has four caster wheels to haul over rough terrain.
- Comes with all the hoses needed to connect it.
- The package does not include a discharge hose.
4. Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank – 25 Gallon Capacity
The Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank weighs 35 pounds and measures 37 x 24 x 11.5 inches. It is heavier than most models, but that is partly due to the material used to make it. The maker has used blow-moulded polyethylene, zinc-plated steel, and aluminum to ensure that this tote serves as it should and totally stands out from the competition. You can tell from its rugged build that this tank is durable.
With a 25-gallon capacity, this tote can handle the needs of a small family traveling in an RV wit few stops at dump stations. It is already quite heavy when empty, and so you can expect it to be unmanageable with 25 gallons of water. To make emptying more manageable, this tote comes with a 3-inch conventional waste valve that empties right into the dump station whenever it’s full. Caster wheels that can handle gravel and other challenging terrain are part of this ensemble, and they make this tote much easier to move around. The front-mounted double wheel-swivel are reinforced with an extra-large mounting plate to make them more durable and to make them more navigable.
The handle at the top is extended to prevent you from hitting your feet each time you move the tote around. You don’t ever want your tank to overfill and start spilling its contents, which is why a bobber gauge on this model alerts you when the tank is almost full. It is easy to clean, has valves for aeration to prevent odors, and it comes with all the hoses you will need to install and start working with it.
A manual that is part of this package lets you know how to use and care for it so it can serve you for long. Everything, including the accessories in this package, is covered under warranty by the manufacturer. Note: as much as this tote is made of durable material, it is still plastic that needs proper care. You want to use and store it in temperatures that are not extreme.
- This tote is made of high-quality material – blow-moulded polyethylene, zinc-plated steel, and aluminum.
- It has an emptying valve, so you do not have to lift to empty.
- 4 caster wheels for maneuverability.
- It has a generous capacity – 25 gallons.
- Bulkier than most models
5. Tote-N-Stor 25608 Portable Waste Transport
When you don’t want to keep making trips to the dump station, this 25-gallon waste water tank is the ideal companion to bring on board. It weighs 22.3 pounds and measures 35.2 x 24 x 11.6 inches, which is manageable when empty. When full, this tote is a little heavy and so you may need the two bracket that is part of this package. It is also made of durable material so that you won’t have to go back to the shops for a long time after making this initial purchase.
This tote is quite simple as it needs no assembly. After unpacking it, you simply need to hook it up and start using it immediately. It comes with all the hoses, you will need to make it work, and if you are uncertain of how things work, just refer to the manufacturer’s manual. Everything in this package – tote and all the hoses – is covered under warranty.
For ease of transportation, the Tote-N-Stor 25608 Portable Waste Transport has two large wheels that can maneuver harsh terrain. It is built of sturdy, durable material that will last long only if you take good care of it. In the end, plastic cracks if left outside in extreme weather. You want to store it ideally, especially during winter.
Some of the accessories that come with this package include a wheel kit to fix broken wheels, an accessory kit with hoses and clamps that you need to make this tote work ideally, and adapters. It also features a storage compartment for all your accessories. This tote is just the right size to fit in an RV, and the parts are all as high-quality as the tote itself.
25 gallons may not be enough for a large family, but two people on the road and with no access to dump stations every few miles will undoubtedly find it sufficient. It has a rugged build and design that also makes it easy to empty. Overall, it is a worthy investment.
- This tote is ready to use from the get-go – no assembly is required.
- It has a tow bracket for lifting it when full as it can be too heavy.
- 25 gallons is a reasonable capacity for a small family.
- The wheels are a little small when towing long distances.
Buying Guide – Portable Waste Tanks
These are the primary factors to look at when buying a waste water tank.
Plastic and polyethylene are the most popular materials used for portable tanks with good reason. While you want to be durable, you also want a tank that is light to handle. Plastic holds well, but it can crack under extreme weather if proper care is not taken. At the same time, it is light and will not corrode. Hard plastic will last years and give you a good return on investment.
Type of Tank
Some RV tanks are made to hold both gray and black water, while others only handle one. Usually, gray water is okay for either tank, but you would have a problem working with one that is only meant to handle gray water but has been made to hold black water too. Before spending your money, ask the manufacturer how the tank works.
Depending on number of users and the amount of time you will be on the road, you are to be concerned about a tank’s capacity. If you only plan to be on the road for a weekend, then a 3-gallon tank will do just fine. If you are likely to take more than three days on your trip, then you want at least 40 gallons to avoid having to stop at a dumpsite every few miles. The more the number of users, the large the tank should be.
Most totes are heavy because they are made of durable material, and they get heavier when full. You want one with extended handles that you can pull at when going to empty. Also, an emptying valve would be a bonus as it makes your work so much easier. Some totes are too heavy to haul even with caster wheels, and thus a towing bracket is ideal in this kind of situation. Before purchase, also make sure that your tote has caster wheels that are easy to maneuver and preferably made of rubber for durability.
Budget and Warranty
This one varies from one person to the other. If you’re looking for a portable tank with all the bells and whistles and one that will last long, then you may have to spend more cash than you would on a simple one that isn’t guaranteed to last over two years. Most manufacturers give warranties that extend up to three years – to cover totes and accessories, but after that you are alone. A good investment will be expensive but worth every penny.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you are buying a portable for the first time, you may be seeking answers to the following questions.
Conclusion – Wrapping Up
Let’s face it; dealing with waste is probably the worst part of mobile living, but it is absolutely necessary. It gets easier when you stop treating it like a task and start accepting that it needs to be done if you are to enjoy your trip. Also, you don’t really have to do it that many times, and so over time, it becomes manageable.
Getting the right gear is the first step towards cleaning up without a mess. The portable tanks we reviewed have hoses to make the cleaning process less daunting.