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Correct portable waste tank

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  1. 1. My portable holding tank is

    • 15 gallons or less
    • 25 gallons or less
    • 30 gallons or less
    • 38 gallons or less
    • Over 38 gallons


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They make several different sizes and names out there.  Trying to get the biggest one that I can handled easily.  I’m looking at buying the Camco Rhino 21 gallon one.  It has good reviews.  

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I have a Thetford SmartTote2 LX 4-wheel 27 gallon tote that gets the job done for us. I did notice the bushings in the plastic wheels were wearing pretty quickly though, so I swapped the wheels for steel rubber tired wheels with ball bearings. The full tank rolls easily enough that if the dump station is within a couple hundred feet of our site, I usually pull the tote by hand instead of with the car.

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If you want one that will last get the Barker and make it the largest you can handle. My Barker has stood up for 10 years 9 of which is full time and mostly in parks without full hookups. It is a 32 gallon and I wish it was the 42 gallon. Cost is a little more than the others but worth it. I have a friend that went through 3 Thetfords in almost the same time before finally wising up and getting a Barker.

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There are several things that I learned when using the various versions of portable waste tanks over the years. First is that if your RV waste tanks are larger than the portable and you fill the portable completely full, that will leave you with a hose full of sewage that has nowhere to go! Some of the waste tanks have a float level indicator available that will screw into the vent opening and that can be very helpful if your portable holds less than the RV tanks.

The next issue for us was where to store the empty tank when traveling? The larger tanks can be nice but they take a lot of space when not in use. In addition, consider what it takes to empty the one that you choose when you get it to the dump station if that station isn't user-friendly. Keep in mind that the full tank will weigh close to what it would with water at 8.3#/gallon. If you need to lift the tank at all to empty it.................

I found that I prefer to use one of the smaller tanks and use it more often.

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15 gallons works for me, heavy enough.  I never tow it, I carry it on a hand truck.

Edited by hemsteadc

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16 minutes ago, hemsteadc said:

15 gallons works for me, heavy enough.  I never tow it, I carry it on a hand truck.

The last park I used our tote at, it was about 1.5 miles to the dump station... :)

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50 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

There are several things that I learned when using the various versions of portable waste tanks over the years. First is that if your RV waste tanks are larger than the portable and you fill the portable completely full, that will leave you with a hose full of sewage that has nowhere to go! Some of the waste tanks have a float level indicator available that will screw into the vent opening and that can be very helpful if your portable holds less than the RV tanks.

The next issue for us was where to store the empty tank when traveling? The larger tanks can be nice but they take a lot of space when not in use. In addition, consider what it takes to empty the one that you choose when you get it to the dump station if that station isn't user-friendly. Keep in mind that the full tank will weigh close to what it would with water at 8.3#/gallon. If you need to lift the tank at all to empty it.................

I found that I prefer to use one of the smaller tanks and use it more often.

Our tote tank has a built-in gauge, and shutting off the flow when the gauge first starts to raise leaves enough room to empty the attached hose. The tank has a 27 gallon capacity, the same as our grey tank, and a few gallons larger than our black tank, so overfilling isn't really an issue for us. It does mean two trips to dump when both tanks are full though.

For traveling, our tote currently rides laying on edge in the back of our toad. I'll probably move it to a ladder rack when I get a "roundtoit". For less than friendly dump stations, I just connect an extension hose to the built-in hose and keep the tank in a better spot. It empties from the bottom at one end, so I usually only need to lift the off end to drain the last half gallon or so.

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3 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

The last park I used our tote at, it was about 1.5 miles to the dump station... :)

Yeah, that can happen.  Should the need arise, I'll macerate into the tank placed on the truck bed.  I rarely need to do this.

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How big are your tanks now?  Do you 'really' need one or can you conserve and make it before time to leave?  When boondocking we can go 10-14 days without having to dump.  By that time we're ready to move on anyway.  If you're boondocking on public lands you will normally have a long drive to find a dump station.  ……. just another thought. :)

 

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I have a DRV MS, so I have 50 gallon of black and 75 gallons of gray.  I am in California now and the places I will be staying at for a while have dump stations not sewer at the sites.  I do not have a ball on my Ram 3500 as I tow a 5th wheel and do not number pull.  So my thought was to walk the waste tank to the dump station.  Most of them lined up right now are no more then 100 yards away.  I’m 50 and in good shape.  So the one I am looking at would be estimated about 200lbs full.  

Edited by rynosback

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The Camco is a 2-wheel tank, meaning you'll be holding up almost half the weight for the distance to the dump station. I think that would get old really fast. You might consider fabricating a bracket for your bumper to haul it, or if you have a step bumper, just install a ball... 

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We have the Barker 42 gallon tank.  We are full timers, and spend a lot of time in COE parks where there aren't sewer hookups at each site.  When staying 2 weeks at a time, the 42 gallon comes in quite handy to haul the grey water to the dump station.  I carry it in the cargo bay, and even though it takes up a lot of space, we still have room for all our other stuff we need when full time traveling.

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7 hours ago, Dutch_12078 said:

The Camco is a 2-wheel tank, meaning you'll be holding up almost half the weight for the distance to the dump station. I think that would get old really fast. You might consider fabricating a bracket for your bumper to haul it, or if you have a step bumper, just install a ball... 

It comes with a metal attachment that connects to the tank so you can attach it to a 2 inch ball

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6 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

I have this one.  It is a 42 gallon Barker and I have been happy with it.

From reading about this one.  I show it is 14.0" tall x 24"wide x 45"long.  Does the handle fold up for easier storage?

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8 hours ago, rynosback said:

It comes with a metal attachment that connects to the tank so you can attach it to a 2 inch ball

Yes it does... You mentioned you didn't have a ball on your truck though, so I was suggesting remedying that so you could tow the tank instead of walking it when it's full. Even if your bumper doesn't have a spot to install a ball, a slip on bracket could likely be fabricated that the tank adapter would attach to.

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8 hours ago, rynosback said:

It comes with a metal attachment that connects to the tank so you can attach it to a 2 inch ball

That is what the 15-gallon tank that we use has also. How much do you expect to use the tank? We use ours very rarely and I find the storage of it the biggest issue for us. I have never been fond of hanging things on the outside of our RVs, whether on a ladder or some sort of rack that shows. Pam says it makes us took too much like Jed Clampett's family.  

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

 I have never been fond of hanging things on the outside of our RVs, whether on a ladder or some sort of rack that shows. Pam says it makes us took too much like Jed Clampett's family.  

That's funny :) I've seen and used some exterior storage methods for spare tires, jerry cans, shovels, totes, etc., but I think the line has been crossed with the hanging of unmentionables out back to dry while traveling :) 

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13 hours ago, rynosback said:

From reading about this one.  I show it is 14.0" tall x 24"wide x 45"long.  Does the handle fold up for easier storage?

The handle has a pin in it that allows you to remove it at the base.

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8 hours ago, Kirk W said:

That is what the 15-gallon tank that we use has also. How much do you expect to use the tank? We use ours very rarely and I find the storage of it the biggest issue for us. I have never been fond of hanging things on the outside of our RVs, whether on a ladder or some sort of rack that shows. Pam says it makes us took too much like Jed Clampett's family.  

Not really sure.  A lot of places in CA that we will more then likely only to have a dump station.

My wife is the same way.  There is no way should would allow anything hanging off the ladder.

Edited by rynosback

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47 minutes ago, rynosback said:

A lot of places in CA that we will more then likely only to have a dump station.

While we don't have a lot of CA experience, but we have not run into that as a problem. A dump station should be sufficient unless you are planning to stay longer than your waste tanks last between dumping trips. If it were me, I'd wait to see how often you need one since you can drive to the dump station if you must.

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2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

While we don't have a lot of CA experience, but we have not run into that as a problem. A dump station should be sufficient unless you are planning to stay longer than your waste tanks last between dumping trips. If it were me, I'd wait to see how often you need one since you can drive to the dump station if you must.

I would be staying for a couple weeks at each place.  

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I have notice a lot of complaints on the Baker 42 gallon tank on Amazon.  They all seem to be

1. The sewer hose that comes with this unit is beyond cheap.

2. The wheel assembly/axle keeps falling off.

3. It does not vent properly.  When filling the tank, the flow stops as the pressure builds up in the tank.

I know that some of them will have issues, but these seem to be a real common theme.  There are a few other complaints, but these are the main ones.  2 and 3 worry me the most.  And at the price tag and how long they have been making them, I would think that they would be bulletproof.   Makes me think of getting that smaller rino tank that I was first thinking of.

Edited by rynosback

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10 hours ago, rynosback said:

I would be staying for a couple weeks at each place.  

Where do you plan to stay that won't have sewer? Do you plan to dry camp for 2 weeks per stop? If dry camping you will also need to be able to carry water to the rig if you don't plan to move the RV. 

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I think we have the 30 gallon Blue Camco. We have had it for many years and used it a lot when we were doing a lot of fairgrounds. We never had a problem with it. We rarely use it anymore but keep it just in case.

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