Everything Starts with You
There are lots of sewer hose options, and for the uninitiated, making a selection can feel daunting. But the choice really depends on what type of RVer you are. Are you living in your RV and parked in a long-term spot? Or do you prefer taking quick trips on the weekend? Maybe you’re a full-time traveler. The point is, assessing your camping style is starting point in determining the right hose for you. Also consider the type of terrain you will be parked on. You’ll want to take your answers into account when assess the different purchase criteria.
Match Thickness to Your Use
This is a big one, because thickness of the hose material is the primary factor that sets one hose apart from the next. In fact, a hose’s thickness and price are often directly related. Manufacturers measure sewer hoses in mils, which is a unit of measure that equals one-thousandth of an inch or 0.001 inches. A sewer hose’s mil can range anywhere from 8 mil (alright for the weekend warrior) to 25 mil (for full-timers and cross-country travelers). The thicker the hose, the more durable they are. Next, let’s look at materials.
Choose a Durable Option
Back in the RV Stone Age, all hoses were vinyl. And those hoses were very susceptible to punctures and scraps. But in this present Golden Age, materials are more durable. Higher-end hoses are typically made of PP/PO (polypropylene/polyolefin), which can be more rigid to hold its shape, like Valterra’s Dominator or the Camco RhinoFLEX. Or they’re made of TPE (thermal plastic elastomer), which is more pliable, like Thetford’s Titan. Here’s the main difference: PP/PO hoses can be easier to store, but a TPE hose is easier to set up. Also check that your hose material is UV protected. This will prevent it from drying and cracking from sun exposure.
Consider Wire Compression
All hoses have a wire inside. In those aforementioned old days, this used to mean if you stepped on or drove over them, they were flattened and unusable. Not so today. Many newer hoses bounce back when compressed. Several top-of-the-line hoses have additional beading along the wire so you can drag your hose around without abrasions, like Valterra’s Silverback and RhinoEXTREME. If you are a full-timer that doesn’t change location, you need a thicker material, but no beading. But if you’re camping in crowded areas or boondocking in rough terrain, you will want the most protection you can get with beading and crush-proof wire.
Find a Flexible Fitting
Believe it or not, sewer hoses used to come without fittings. You had to hose clamp them on yourself. Now, nearly all come with preattached fittings on the ends of the hose. Some even rotate. Having a hose with rotating fittings means that when you twist them onto connection points the entire hose will still lay flat. No twisting, no binding, no problem. Some rotate on the interior of the fitting, and some rotate on the exterior. Ones with interior rotation have grooves on the inside that can trap gunk which will hold smells and make the fitting breakdown faster. Ones that rotate on the outside last longer and stay cleaner.