An RV is like a second home; the only difference is that it’s mobile. And while you go on a trip on your RV, you can’t bring the sewer system with you. This is a great problem as you’re bound to feel nature’s call every now and then. The good thing is that you can invest in the best RV portable waste tank so that you don’t have to think about how and where you’re going to dump your dirt.
With RV portable waste tanks, you no longer have drive to a dump station in order to eliminate the waste. Also, you can stay in places other than a campsite. But which one should you buy? With so many options in the market, it’s easy to get confused. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of top RV portable waste tank:
Table of Contents
- 10 Best RV Portable Waste Tank Reviews 2018
- 1. Barker 42 Gallon Tote Tank
- 2. Camco Rhino Heavy Duty Portable Waste Tank
- 3. Barker 32 Gallon Tote Tank
- 4. Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport
- 5. Barker 30 Gallon Tote Tank
- 6. Thetford SmartTote2 27 Gallon Waste Tank
- 7. Tote-N-Stor 4 Wheeler Waste Transport
- 8. Thetford SmartTote2 35 Gallon Waste Tank
- 9. Thetford SmartTote2 12 Gallon Waste Tank
- 10. Alpha Systems Holding Tank
- What to Look for When Buying an RV Portable Waste Tank
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best RV Portable Waste Tank Reviews 2018
1. Barker 42 Gallon Tote Tank
This is one of the smoothest rolling tote tank I’ve ever used. I love its 3-inch conventional waste valve as it makes the tank easier to use and more dependable. I do not have to worry about lifting the tank in order to empty it. To do this, the valve only needs to be opened.
If you are going on a long road trip, I suggest that you get the 42-gallon tank capacity. It’s constructed of zinc plated steel, aluminum, and blow molded polyethylene. Thus, it is easy to clean. A little warning though: Some materials used in the construction of this tank is highly hazardous. You should not, for whatever reason, keep it within a child’s reach.
I got the Barker Tote Tank with plastic wheels. However, since they’ve upgraded into air-filled rubber wheels, I have had mine changed. With the new wheels, it’s much more durable. Also, it’s easier to maneuver it over rocks. I always hear people worrying about leakage and spillage. However, I’ve never had that problem with the Barker 42 Gallon Tote Tank, and I’ve been using the same model for more than five years now.
2. Camco Rhino Heavy Duty Portable Waste Tank
This remains to be one of the most top rated portable waste tanks in the market and for a good reason. It comes with many great features including its heavy-duty wheels and low drain hole. However, what I love most about it is its construction. Cam Rhino Waste Heavy Duty Portable Waste Tank is made from durable blow molded and UV stabilized HDPE material. It is designed to be tough from the inside out. This means that you won’t have to worry about leaking and deterioration even when the tank is often exposed under the sun.
Because the inside of the Cam Rhino Waste Heavy Duty Portable Waste Tank is smooth, it does not trap any stink. When you clean the waste tank, you can easily remove the smell. It also comes with an integrated tank rinser, which can assist you in cleaning it. This also means that liquid and solid waste can easily slide down from the tank. Emptying it can be done quickly.
3. Barker 32 Gallon Tote Tank
Barker is one of the most trusted manufacturers of RV waste tank. Thus, it’s hard not include another one of its product in this list. Unlike the 42 Gallon capacity tote tank, this one can only hold up to 32 gallon of waste. This means that you might have to go back and forth the dump station more frequently. On the other hand, it’s smaller and takes less space.
Like other Barker tote tanks, this one is made from zinc plated steel, aluminum, and blow molded polyethylene. It has wheels in front and at the back. Thus, pulling it towards the dump station is easy. Its sewer hose is 5 feet long. There’s also a tow handle.
I’ve only used this gallon tote tank once or twice because I prefer the bigger one for my long trips. As those experiences have taught me, it can function almost exactly as the other Barker product. However, I don’t think the sewer hose is made from the same material. The hose that came with this tote tank was obviously cheaper. I had no problems using it, but I knew it will not last long.
4. Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport
The Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport may look rugged, but it’s a highly reliable portable RV septic tank. It is made from the thick and solid HDPE plastic. It also has all the good features– completely assembled, steel tow bracket, quiet rubber wheels, and more. But what makes it different from the rest of the RV waste tanks in the list?
I should say that the Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport has a genius design. It has a special storage compartment where you can store all accessories. If you are like me and you always misplace your things, this compartment is a great addition. In this compartment is the accessory kit including the 3-inch sewer hose, hose clamp, 3-inch cap, 15-inch garden hose, and straight adapter.
This waste transport comes with wheel kit. If you encounter any problems with your rubber wheels, you can replace some of its parts. If you don’t like personally pulling your waste tank, you can tow it with the use of the towing bracket. Unlike other waste transports, Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport only has two wheels. This said, it is not suitable to move this item in some types of terrain.
5. Barker 30 Gallon Tote Tank
I have the Barker 40 gallon tote tank, but I have to admit that it is too big to bring on weekend trips. I have thought for a long while before I’ve finally decided to buy the 30 gallon. I have expected this to be exactly the same as the other one except for its size. In other words, it’s made from zinc plated steel, aluminum, and blow molded polyethylene.
This is more convenient for a 2 or 3 days of trip. You can also use it to hold gray water. However, if you are going away for a longer time, I don’t recommend this. You’ll only end up making lots of trips from the RV and to the dump station, which is both time-consuming and tiring.
Unlike larger Barker tote tanks, this one only comes with two rubber wheels. Still, it’s easy to pull or tow the tank to the dump station. I don’t have problems emptying it as well. However, four-wheeled Barker tote tanks can get you to the destination more quickly. It also comes with a pull handle and flushing hose, which are handy. When I want to lift or reposition the wheel of the tank, I only have to pull the handle. This helps prevent straining my back.
6. Thetford SmartTote2 27 Gallon Waste Tank
Versatile, accessible, convenient, and innovative– these are the words I’d use to describe this portable waste tank. The rugged design with its extendable handle are what I really love about it. It can hold up to 27 gallons of waste, so it’s quite small. And because you can also fold the handle, this thetford portable waste tank can be easily stored when not in use. It’s obvious that Thetford spent a lot of time thinking about its design.
Right after you get the product out of the box, you can directly use it. There’s a comprehensive manual that comes with the waste tank, which definitely helps. The tank is easy to fill and tow behind a trailer. However, I prefer to store it in my RV and manually pull it to the dump station when I need to empty it.
I’ve used this tote tank about 6 times during my previous road trips, and it still works great until now. The only reason I’ve bought another portable waste tank is because this one does not hold a lot of waste. I had to go back and forth the RV and the dump station to completely empty my holding tank. I also find the tank quite flimsy, so it’s surprising that it has not been broken after being used for too much.
7. Tote-N-Stor 4 Wheeler Waste Transport
Tote-N-Stor promises to provide a waste water storage that is easy to use and maneuver, and they do not disappoint. It is made from plastic, so you can be sure that it’s less susceptible to corrosion and cracking. Meanwhile, it has four wheels made from rubber, making an easy and quiet trip to the dump site.
Like other Tote-N-Stor waste tanks, this one comes with a low-profile design and a compartment storage. In here, you’ll find the complete accessory kit include two garden hose caps of varying sizes, a hose adapter, garden hose, a waste drain hose, and some clamps. The tow bracket of this waste transport might not be the best in the market. However, it is interesting that it never touches the ground. Thus, it’s always kept clean. Also, you don’t have to completely bend down in order to get it.
For a portable waste tank, I’d say that Tote-N-Stor 4 Wheeler Waste Transport does its job quite well. You don’t have to exert much effort in using or pulling it. Its stable design greatly helps. With a capacity of 38 gallons, you can also take it with you when you are going on longer trips. It is durable and can last for months.
8. Thetford SmartTote2 35 Gallon Waste Tank
Thetford Corp. is known to be one of the leading manufacturers of mobile sanitation products. I think they’ve managed to live up to their name. Thus, they earned another spot in this list. Made from polypropylene, this portable waste tank can work with almost any types of RV. It comes with impressive features– universal bayonet, retractable discharge hose, AutoStopTM gauge, and more.
The first time I’ve used this waste tank, I found that it’s easy to use. It can be filled and emptied quickly, which is a huge advantage. When I was transporting it from the camp to the dump station, the discharge hose, which is retractable, is kept in place by a rubber strap. Is it weird that the hose is already attached to the tank? I did not find it so. In fact, I’m pleased as it has made things easier for me. I don’t have to connect, detach, and reconnect the hose every time I’m using the tank.
I’d like to put more emphasis on the AutoStopTM gauge of this portable waste tank as well. It’s inventive of Thetford to add it in the construction of the tank. The AutoStopTM gauge and the 90-degree elbow nozzle work together in order to improve the speed in which the tank is emptied.
9. Thetford SmartTote2 12 Gallon Waste Tank
If you’re going out for one-day or two-day trip, then this waste tank might be sufficient for your needs. Although I usually don’t recommend smaller tanks as they don’t give you much leeway for extra waste, I have to add this one because, like other Thetford products, it comes with amazing features. This tote tanks is made from polypropylene. You can use it to empty your gray water or black water holding tanks so that you don’t have to drive your RV to the dumping station.
When I received this waste tank, I immediately noticed that it did not come with a hose. Thus, I’ve only used it for gray water. If you’re planning to use it with black water, you might have to buy your own hose. This said, I’m assuming that the Thetford 12 gallon waste tank is meant for gray water.
The tank comes with two rubber wheels and a handle, so you can easily pull it to the dump site. It also comes with a tow strap, which you can use to hook to a trailer. However, this is optional, and I haven’t used it so far.
What do I love this product? It is small and does not come with as many accessories as other Thetford products in this list, but it works. It works because it is designed to do so. I had filled the tank fully and pulled it across an undesirable terrain, but it was able to withstand the incursion. This left a great impression on me as it said a lot about the portable tank’s durability.
10. Alpha Systems Holding Tank
You might think that the Alpha Systems holding tank is misplaced in this list. However, it has rightly gained its place here.
Being advertised as an RV waste holding tanks, it has a thickness that makes it highly durable. This tank can hold up to 33 gallons of waste. It is made from blow-molded HDPE and is built to meet the standards of the Canadian Standards Association and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO). This said, you can trust in this waste tank’s reliability and functionality. I’ve been using it for a long time now, and it’s still in the best condition.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Portable Waste Tank
There’s a lot of things you have to consider when buying an RV portable waste tank. You don’t want to end up with something that you actually can’t use or is an inconvenience to you. So before you make a purchase, consider the following things:
Type of Tank
Most tanks can hold both gray water and black water. However, there are specialized RV tanks that can only hold one of them. Be sure to check the description of the product before you buy it. While buying the wrong tank might not make a big difference if you’re going to transfer gray water, it’s a big deal if you are handling black water.
Portable waste tanks can be made from several different materials. However, the most common ones are plastic and polyethylene. Plastic is less prone to cracking and corrosion, which is often the problem with metal tanks. Meanwhile, polyethylene has the optimal usage capability as it provides the right thickness and prevents odor from reeking through its walls.
Ease of Use
Most RV waste tanks come with flush valve, which you can hook to the hose and run. This will automatically flush waste out of the tank. In its absence, you have to do the labor manually or buy a separate tank flush valve. It’s important that the tank does not clog, so read reviews about the ease of emptying the tank.
Portability should be one of your top priorities when buying a tote tank. There are tanks that come with no wheels, two wheels, or four wheels. The more wheels that tank has, the easier it is to tow it. However, you also have to consider the wheel material; rubber wheels are much preferred.
Length of Your Trip
If you are going on a trip for more than three days, then you should bring with you a portable waste tank with at least 40 gallon capacity. If you are only going to be out for the weekends, a 30-gallon waste tank is good enough.
You can’t spend too much money on a waste tank especially if it’s not going to last long. An expensive product does not always mean a durable one. Check the reviews to gauge the product’s durability and determine whether or not it’s worth the price you’ll be paying it for.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an RV portable waste tank?
There are two types of water that you want to dispose of while you are in travelling in an RV– gray water and black water. Gray water is wastewater from the shower, sink, etc. Meanwhile, black water is collected waste from the RV toilet. There are several ways to dispose of gray and black waters, but the most effective on is using an RV portable waste tank.
An RV portable holding tank collects both waste liquids and solids from the RV. You can easily attach it to your RV and fill it up until it’s almost full. If you don’t want the tank to stink, you can add tank treatment chemical. Because it is portable, you can tow it towards the dump station, where you’ll dispose of the waste. This tank is in demand among people who frequently go on road trips because it’s convenient and easy to use.
You can use two different tanks for gray water and for the black water. The advantage of doing so is that you’ll be able to use the gray water in cleaning the portable black water tank. However, you’d have to tow two tanks at the same time. Of course, you can also store all your waste in a single tank.
What are the benefits of RV portable waste tank?
Admittedly, emptying a septic holding tank is not an appealing task. So why should you do it instead of camping in a place with public bathroom facilities?
For one, there are destinations that simply don’t have an established camp. You can’t simply dump your waste in random areas. There’s also the chance that you have to go to the bathroom even when you are still far away from the camp. In both cases, an RV holding tank becomes handy. If you’re still not convinced that you need one, here are three benefits of a portable waste tank:
Convenient: Imagine waiting in line the sewer trap even if you really have to go to the bathroom already! The wait can be excruciating. However, you can avoid it if you have a holding tank with you. Yes, emptying its contents later on can take time, but you can at least do it at a time of your choice. Nature’s call, on the other hand, is not always in your control.
Environmentally-Friendly: There is a considerable amount of water that you can save as you learn to limit the amount of water you use according to the size of your waste tote. Also, it’s easier for you to measure water used if you do so by counting the trips you make to and fro the dump station. If you are to buy a waste tank, just make sure that it’s made from environmentally friendly materials.
Clean: Nobody likes a mess. You particularly have to be careful when you are camping with other people. Luckily, the waste tank can keep gray water and black water in a single location. As for the smell, you can control it by using a treatment chemical. Cleaning the tank comes easy as well. You have to empty the black tank before the gray tank so that you can use gray water to clean the first tank.
So you have a holding tank, why should you buy an RV tote tank? The primary reason for this is that bringing your RV to the dump station is not always convenient. Sometimes, the road gets too narrow. With a portable waste tank, you can easily navigate your way there.
If it’s your first time buying and using a portable waste tank, it’s natural that you have questions you want answered. Here are commonly asked questions as regards this product and their answers:
How to choose the right size?
When deciding the size of your portable waste tank, you must consider the length of your trip and your bowel health. How often do you have to go to the bathroom? How long will you be on the road trip? As much a possible, you have to buy a portable tank that will allow you to drain all the content of your gray and/or black tank into it.
If you want to be on the safe side, you can simply buy the biggest waste tank. However, this will add weight to your RV. Weigh in your options carefully.
How to use a portable waste tank?
First of all, wear hand gloves. Then, connect the sewer hose of the portable tank to the holding tank of the RV. Make sure that you are connecting it to the right valve; check the “gray water” and “black water” labels. Fasten the hose carefully. Then, you can start draining the tank.
Once the portable waste tank is full or after you’ve drained the RV holding tank, it’s time for you to close the portable waste tank. Pull or tow it to the nearest dump station.
After which, you can empty the waste tank. How to do it usually depends on the tanks manual. For standard waste tanks, you have to turn on the flush valve and let the tank drain. Wait until no more waste, liquid or solid, is coming through the hose.
Lastly, before you shut the portable waste tank back, you have to carefully clean it.
Note: If there are any spills during the transfer of waste from the holding tank to the portable waste tank, check all equipment. You might need an RV holding tank replacement or a better portable waste tank.
How to clean RV portable waste tank?
Cleaning a portable waste tank can easily be done. First, you have to add bleach and water to the RV holding tank installation. Run the water until the bleach has completely mixed with it. Allow it to sit for 24 hours. Then, drain the bleach water. Keep the tank open until the bleach smell is gone. Add treatment chemical to hide the smell of the waste that you are soon to fill the portable waste tank. A couple drops of the chemicals will be sufficient to hide the smell.
Dealing with waste is one of the few unpleasant parts of a road trip. Once you get used to it, you’ll realize that it can easily be done and does not really take too much time. You only have to have the right equipment. Thus, a reliable portable waste tank is necessary.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you pick the best RV portable waste tank to buy for your own needs. Knowing your travel and bowel habits can greatly aid you in making your decisions. Of course, you should also take into account other factors as well. Once you have bought one, it’s important that you learn how to clean and maintain it. If you don’t, it can easily break.
We would like to thank you for reading this article. Find out more about how to choose the best RV toilet papers and best RV toilets with our reviews and ratings. Furthermore, please take a look at the best RV sewer hoses and best RV holding tank treatments to choose the best one for your RV waste water and sanitation.