When you do not have your RV waste tanks connected to a sewer line, you will eventually find the need to empty them. You only have a couple of options to complete this task. You could take your RV to the dump station which will work when you move from one site to the next. However, if you plan on staying at a location for an extended period, you might want to consider a portable RV waste tank.
Choosing a Portable RV Waste Tank
There are several portable RV waste tanks to choose from and several factors that we considered when we were choosing our tote tank.
When it comes to finding the right portable RV waste tank size does matter. The last thing you want is to have spillage because your portable waste tank is too small. It is best to find a portable RV waste tank the is slightly larger than your holding tank. We have three holding tanks on our 5th wheel. Each waste tank has a 40 gallons capacity, so we wanted to find a portable waste tank with a capacity of 40 gallons.
Once you figure out the size of your portable RV waste tank, you will want to consider what type of wheels the tote comes along with how many. The larger the portable RV waste tank, the more critical the wheels will become. Consider that each gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds. If you multiply that by 40 gallons, you get 332 pounds. Having the wrong wheels will make moving your tote more strenuous.
2 vs 4
We only found one portable tank that has a capacity over 40 gallons which comes with four wheels. However, if you choose a smaller tank, you will find several wheel options. Surprisingly there are several portable tanks over the 20 gallons capacity that only have two wheels. While two wheels may work for a tote under 20 gallons any tote over that, I would recommend you find one with four wheels.
Solid vs Pneumatic
Depending upon the type of terrain you will be using your tote on will determine the type of tires you need. If you know that you will always be on smooth blacktop or concrete, then solid tires should work fine. Since we knew that there would be times that we would be on gravel and in the grass, we wanted something more all-terrain, so we opted for one with the pneumatic tires.
The inlet and outlet on most portable RV waste tanks are dependent on how many wheels it has. Most of the two-wheel totes we saw while searching for our portable RV waste tank you use the inlet as the outlet. Which means you fill this type of portable tote tank in the horizontal position. Once you get to the dump site, then you attach the hose to where you just filled it. Then rotate it to the vertical position to empty its contents. Some larger two wheel totes they have designed, so you use a gate valve to drain them.
The 4-wheel totes, we found there are two methods to empty them. The one we use has the valve similar to what is on the RV. The other design you get to press your luck with the hose, trying to keep it elevated enough while connecting to the drain.
There are three manufacturers we considered when looking for our portable wastewater tank; Thetford, Barker, andCamco. The largest capacity offered by Camco is 36 gallons so we knew that it would not work for us. Thetford highest capacity tank is 35 gallons. That left Barker, the only manufacturer that makes a portable waste tank over 40 gallons.
If we did not need a tote tank over 40 gallons, then we have gone with the Camco Rhino Portable RV Holding Tank. The only drawback with Camco Rhino Portable RV Holding Tank was that it only has two wheels. Thetford, on the other hand, did come with four wheels. However, it does not use a gate valve; instead, you need to keep the hose elevated as you connect to the drain.
The Baker 4-wheeler 42-gallon Tote-Along claims to be the highest quality, ruggedly built and the best performance. That they make RVing easier, after using the Barker 42-gallon Tote-Along for two to three trips a week for the past year lets evaluate their claims.
I have only been able to physically compare the Baker 42-gallon 4-wheeler Tote-Along to the Thetford SmartTote2 LX. The quality of the tanks seems relatively close. Thought the Thetford reminded me of a Little Tikes wagon. The majority of the Thetford is plastic and uses plastic wheels covered in hard rubber while the Barker has a metal handle and metal wheels with pneumatic tires.
The accessories the Baker came with I would not say they are the highest quality of the three after two uses of the supplied sewer hose developed a pinhole. I was able to cut the tube down to eliminate the leak. Within two months of use, a bayonet broke rendering the hose useless. Of the two 3” caps that are supplied only one the year and the other just made it nine months.
The Baker 42-gallon 4-wheeler Tote-Along I would agree with their claim of ruggedly built. We have pulled this tote through gravel, dirt, mud, grass, over branch, and curbs. The bottom has some light scratches from going over the curb. So far the tote tank has held up well.
I will say that the Baker 42-gallon 4-wheeler Tote-Along performance has been flawless to this point. The inlet or outlet has never clogged. The Barker 42-gallon 4-Wheeler Tote-Along has performed its function as a portable RV tote tank as I expected it would. Since I have not used its competitors, I can not say they are the best. I will say that it performed as I expected a portable RV tote tank to function.
Made RV Life Easier
The Barker 42-gallon 4-Wheeler Tote-Along has made our RV life easier. We do not need to hookup the RV every week to take it to the dump site then set everything back up. I will agree with them that it can make RV life easier.
The Baker 42-gallon 4-wheeler Tote-Along comes with two 3” bayonet caps, a 3/4” cap, a 1/2×1’ hose with two female ends so you can flush the tank, a 3”x 5’ sewer hose, two 3” bayonet hose adapters for the sewer hose, two stainless steel 3” hose clamps to clamp the hose onto the adapters, and the bobber gauge full tank indicator kit. The Tote-Along does not include a sewer hose to drain the tank at the dump site like Thetford or Camco so you will need to bring the sewer hose that you would typically use at the dump site. I would recommend that you do not use the sewer hose, hose adapters, or the hose clamps as your primary. I suggest that you use the Camco RhinoFLEX 3’ Tote Tank Sewer Hose Kit.
The Baker 42-gallon 4-wheeler Tote-Along has made our RV life easier and there have no major issues with the tote tank. Until I broke the handle on the gate valve when I loaded it into the back of the truck (find out more here). The tote has allowed us to empty our holding tanks without having to move our RV. The four pneumatic tires allow it to roll across all types of terrain. Though pulling it through thick grass when full can be a bit strenuous but it can be done. Other than improving the quality of the sewer hose the only other improvement is making a handle more comfortable when pull it by hand. Overall it has been a great accessory for RVing and will be around for years to come.
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