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Now that we are in the swing of writing RV experiences on our blog, and since some readers that find this story may be new to the necessities of operation of an RV, it is time to discuss the sewer hose. I'll leave the topic of actually dumping the tanks for another post.
The sewer hose is used to dump the grey and black tanks, and thus probably, well most definitely, contains lots of
bacteria. Because of potential smell, we didn't want to store it in the storage cabinet of the RV. We also didn't want to have to dig through the other stuff in our storage to get it each time we needed to use it.
A Storage Tube and My Misconceptions
The answer was clearly a storage tube. Some RVs have a small storage area on the dump side of the RV that is
separate from the other storage, but our RV model does not.
Storage Tune with screw open end
My original plan was to make my own from some PVC pipe. Here are my experiences:
My first misconception was that a standard dump hose would fit inside a common 4" PVC pipe. I learned that it doesn't fit, and even if it did, it would just barely fit. You need to have a little space so the flexible hose can slide in easily and be twisted a little. (The end of my sewer hose has a 90 degree bend in it. I usually turn it so that the cup side is up.)
No problem, I'll get a 5" PVC pipe. Well, I could not find one at several Home Depot or Lowe's stores. Apparently a 5 inch PVC pipe is not common. Perhaps it can be found at a plumbing supply store, but I think it would be expensive.
Five inch Diameter Storage Tube
My second misconception was that I was going to attach it underneath the RV going side to side. I thought I could mount it in front of the trailer wheels to keep the bumper space available. As I looked under there, I realized that the bottom of the RV is not flat, and mounting a rigid straight pipe there would not work. (The bottom of my RV is not flat because of the thermal insulation and sealed bottom which bows down in the middle.)
A Store Bought Storage Tube
I realized that I had to go with the obvious answer and mount a store bought sewer storage tube on the bumper. I looked on Amazon to get one.
To avoid putting screws into the bumper, I strapped it on with hose clamps. The storage tube is not as rigid as the PVC pipe that I intended to use, so I had to be gentle when attaching it, because it compressed easily and could crack.
Strapped To Bumper
This setup allows me to easily get the sewer hose out when at the dump station or setting up with a sewer at the
campsite. I try to always wear at least one glove when touching the ends of this thing. (See the gloves intended for this job, below)
RV Sanitation Gloves
Once, we had some strong odors in the RV and we didn't know the source. When I dumped the tanks the next time, I realized that the black tank valve was slightly open. I don't know how the smells got inside the RV, but I think the two occurrences are related. Even after closing the black tank valve, when I opened the cap on the tank dump pipe, a more than normal amount of gunk came out. I was glad to be wearing at least one glove when I
hurriedly tried to attach the dump hose in an attempt to minimize the mess on the ground. Oops - I wish I was
wearing both gloves! (After I was done, we hosed down the area to clean it as best we could.)
Sewer Hose Extension
Later, I had a need for a sewer hose extension since my hose wouldn't reach when we were at a campsite where we wanted to hookup. Fortunately I only need to use it on rare occasions, but the unfortunate thing is that the only place that I have to store the extension is in a plastic bag in the RV storage cabinet. (You can bet that I rinse it really well before putting it in the bag!)
Finding the Parts
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