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32v: Septic and Water

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Black Tank Flush Valves

RV black tank flush hoses

On our coach, the two bathrooms each (apparently) have a separate blank tank.  They each have a separate waste dump valve.  
The RV is also equipped with a black tank flush connection, to make things easier at the dump station.  The idea is to hook up the fresh water hose there to the black tank flush and let it run for a few minutes.  We found a few problems with this:

  1. Many campgrounds we’ve visited don’t have a threaded fitting on their fresh water hose – it is a wand or just cut off.
  2. Both our black tank flushes operate off the same line, at the same time.  Meaning we need both dump valves open at the same time.  

Having both valves open means having two dump hoses connected (or you will have some very upset campers!), which means a “Y” adapter to put both into the single waste pipe.  I’m no expert with the Stinky Slinkies yet, but wow was that a challenge!  Getting multiple hose lengths to make that work, plus trying to “walk” out the water remaining in the hoses when you are done, wow what a job!  

To the left is a picture (taken from the ground, looking up at the bottom of the trailer) of the black tank flush hose.  You can see where it “T”s into the front black tank, then continues back to the rear tank.  

I added this rats nest of hoses to our RV to fix the problem.  =)

The whiter looking hose at top is the original RV hose, coming from the front (where the water panel/hookup is).  I disconnected it from the black tank “T” connector seen in the picture above, and slid it through a pre-existing hole in the frame.

That white feed hose runs into the new “T” (seen to the left of the picture), which then feeds the two valves.  I attached these to the frame with screws running through hose clamps, which in turn clamp the valves in place.  

Both valve “out” hoses then run back through the same hole in the frame (tight fit).  The top one goes into the first black tank with a straight fitting (replacing the original “T” fitting).  The second (bottom valve) connects to the original hose running to the rear tank.

Now I can open one valve at a time to flush just that tank (or both open to match original operation).  I have to assume that also means I am getting better water pressure to each tank since I am not running them in parallel, but I have no way of testing that.

RV black tank flush system valves

Pressure Regulator

An adjustable RV water pressure regulator

Our RV came with a pressure regulator that is pre-set to 45(?) psi. I wanted the option of being able to turn the pressure up a bit if I wished, and I wanted to know what the campground pressure was coming in at (if below 45).
We bought this Measureman model and usually set ours to our 55 if the campground supports it. I was troubleshooting water issues at one campground and this unit saved me some time (turns out someone had damaged upstream pipe).

Sewer Hose Supports

(stock image from Amazon)
(stock image from Amazon)

The Camco Sidewinder sewer hose support (picture on left) is very common.   We bought the 10 ft size without realizing we are frequently more than 10 ft away from the sewer hookup AND without considering that it was a max of 10 – meaning that you can buy a 30ft version (for example) and just leave a lot of it collapsed to reach a drain less than 30 feet away.


This shootout article (hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t use the term “shootout” when discussing sewer!) does a decent job of comparing some of the different types of sewer supports available.  I’m betting there are others too.

We ended up buying the Lippert Flow Down system later on.  It’s expensive and I’m not 100% sure it is worth it?
The main drivers for me were:

  1. Wanting something that held the hose in place better.  When adjusting the hose length it wants to twist and roll around.
  2. Wanting something that was height adjustable – wether on a hill, using a very low (or very tall) sewer drain, etc.

What I don’t like about this one:

  • Sections are 30″ long (each), so fitting exactly to the drain is unlikely.
  • Solid sections don’t allow drips to fall through, so cleaning (and/or storage) becomes an issue.
  • Takes a lot longer to set up than the Sidewinder

Overall:  Glad I have it most of the time.  I sometimes use boards to bump up extra height when I need it, and that works better on this system than on the Sidewinder.

Sewer Caps

Sewer caps can be added to your sewer hoses in storage to keep them from leaking and keep the smell down.  

I store our hoses in a plastic bin so this just keeps things a bit tidier.  Necessary?  Absolutely not!  But for $6/pair I didn’t see why not.

Sewer Sponge

Sponge is another word that probably shouldn’t be used when talking sewer stuff.  

This little guy helps with connections that are not threaded (or if you don’t use a 90 degree angle that is threaded).  We’ve only been to one campground so far that absolutely required them but maybe not a bad idea to always have/use.