Why You Should Consider Buying an RV Waste Tote
Even if you do not camp in a secluded location, an RV waste tank might still come in handy. Unless you remain especially vigilant concerning your RV’s waste capacity, you may need to empty its waste on the fly.
Having an RV waste tank allows you to empty your RV’s waste without having to stop at a specific location. Conversely, an RV waste tank can provide a little bit of extra capacity, acting as a backup tank until you can reach a proper disposal area.
Further Reading: If you want to know the ins and outs of your RV’s plumbing, then check out our guide here.
Things to Consider When Buying an RV Portable Waste Tank
Type of Tank
The type of RV waste tank refers to the kind of water that the tank can hold, with the two main types being gray and black holding tank. Gray water waste tanks hold RV water used for other purposes like taking a shower or other washing tasks.
RV waste tanks designed to be a portable black water tank can handle sewage exclusively without suffering any durability concerns. Keep in mind, manufacturers often design RV waste tanks for a particular purpose, and they may not withstand the use of another purpose.
Because RV waste tanks hold liquids, they need to be made out of materials that resist rust or corrosion. In general, most RV waste tanks are made out of durable plastic with polypropylene (PP) and heavy-duty polyethylene (HDPE) being the two most common.
Both of these materials do not have to worry about water or other liquids ruining their structural integrity. On top of that, neither of these materials leach environmental hazards, making them non-toxic.
Between the two, PP is more durable and rigid than HDPE and also has a higher melting point. On the other hand, HDPE is lighter than PP, which is especially important when emptying a full waste tank.
It is also worth noting that HDPE is often a little bit less expensive than PP because of PP’s superior durability.
Ease of Use
This is easily one of the most important factors to consider, especially if you use a portable tank to hold and dispose of black water. While a couple of stages can be made more or less difficult, emptying the waste tank cleanly is likely a top priority.
Waste tanks with standard size ports are a must unless you are okay with purchasing an adapter or looking for a non-standard sewer hose. Some tanks even include a hand valve to help you flush the waste from the tank.
Outside of emptying the tank, cleaning the tank to prevent the development of odors or buildup of bacterial hazards is also incredibly important. Most RV portable waste tanks provide instructions for how to clean and disinfect them, but some are more effective than others with a single cleaning.
Finally, keeping track of how much waste is in the tank is also essential, with many options employing anti-overflow features. That said, plenty of portable waste tanks also include different types of capacity indicators, but this is not the most important thing to look for.
Along with ease of use, portability is just as important, especially once your tank is filled. While all portable waste tanks come with wheels, some of them come with 4-wheels while others only come with 2.
Even with the 4-wheeled models, you can find portable waste tanks that use separate casters to offer a bit more stability. Alternatively, some 4-wheeled portable waste tanks use axles, so there are fewer parts to have to worry about.
Outside of the wheels, the handles also come into play with some handles designed more for you to pull the portable waste tank. Other handles feature particular designs or are made out of metal, which makes them better suited for being towed behind your vehicle.
Of course, you do not only move a tank while it is full, so its overall weight helps determine how easy it is to store when not in use. Also, consider whether or not the tank has handles or hooks designed to make picking it up while empty easier.
Length of Your Trip (Size)
Portable waste tank capacities are rated in gallons, though you may not necessarily need the largest model available. If you go on a longer trip and do not expect to camp in or near RV parks, you will likely want to use a tank with a larger volume.
On the other hand, if you tend to stay in RV parks or near camping grounds, a smaller portable waste tank is usually sufficient to get by until you reach a dumping area. That said, unless you have unusually low capacity needs, you should probably look for a tank with at least 20 gallons but preferably 25 gallons or more.
Best RV Portable Waste Tanks: The Results
Camco Rhino Heavy Duty Portable Waste RV Holding Tote Tank
Best Portable Waste Tank with Full Kit
The Camco Rhino offers solid solutions to most of the main issues with RV waste tanks, mainly durability. While not PP, the Camco Rhino is still made out of UV-treated HDPE, which means that you do not have to worry about it in the cold or sun.
Though it may only have two wheels, this waste tank still uses rubberized plastic, so you do not have to worry about flats. On top of that, the Camco Rhino comes in second on our list with a maximum volume of 36 gallons.
It is worth remembering that the Camco Rhino is a gray water RV portable tank, so do not use it for black water. That said, the various ports are positioned in convenient locations to make filling and emptying the waste tank easier than some of its competitors.
The Camco Rhino comes with a complete kit for hooking up to your RV and emptying at a disposal area. That said, you may want to purchase separate hoses as the included hoses are not noted for the best seals or the longest lifespan.
- Has a 36 ga volume
- Has an RV ladder hook
- Comes with a complete kit
- Is easier to use
- Not the best sewer hose
- Has a high minimum waste hookup
Bottom-Line: If you need a solid, convenient gray water waste tank, the Camco Rhino offers everything you need.
Barker (30844) 4-Wheeler Tote Tank
Largest Capacity Portable RV Waste Tank
The Barker 30844 tops our list with a massive 42-gallon volume, which makes it ideal for use on longer camping trips. On top of that, the Barker 30844 is one of the tank that can be used for both black and gray water with a carrying capacity to match dual purpose use.
This portable RV septic tank is also a bit more convenient than some of the others we came across with a full-tank indicator to help prevent overflows. The Barker 30844 also comes with four wheels, allowing you to transport it easier than some of the other models.
The Barker 30844 also boasts impressive general durability with a body made out of the superior PP material. On the other hand, the front axle for the second set of wheels is not that durable, so you should probably transport it by hand rather than tow it behind your vehicle.
It is worth considering that the Barker 30844 is also one of the more expensive models on our list. However, it is also one of the few waste tanks we reviewed, which includes a port valve to prevent accidental spills.
- Has a 42 ga large capacity
- Has four wheels
- Has an extended tow handle
- Has a full-tank indicator
- At the more expensive end
- The front axle is not the most durable
Bottom-Line: If you have an extremely large waste load and need the ability to carry gray and black water in one, the Barker 30844 is ideal.
SmartTote2 40518 LX Portable RV Waste Water Tank
Best RV 4-Wheeled Portable Waste Tank
One of the more difficult parts of using a tank is transporting the tank once it is heavy and full. Thankfully, the SmartTote2 40518 LX not only comes with four wheels but uses a superior axle design that makes it more reliable to tow than some of the other 4-wheeled models we came across.
Aside from the solid second axle, the SmartTote2 40518 LX also comes with an extended tow handle to make moving it that much more convenient. Still, this model is even easier to use thanks to the included kit that hooks up for filling and dumping purposes without the mess of some other products.
To help ensure that you do not accidentally overfill the SmartTote2 40518 LX, it comes with an Auto Stop level gauge. The SmartTote2 40518 LX can also be used for black or gray water, but run the grey water tank first.
However, the fill design of this product makes using it as a black tank is a bit trickier since it fills at the bottom. You also should not try to fill it with both tanks at once due to an average-sized volume of 27 gallons.
- Has four wheels
- Has an extended handle
- Has a venting port
- Has an Auto Stop level gauge
- Has a smaller capacity
- Has a poor fill design
Bottom-Line: For easy travel to and from the waste dumping site, the SmartTote2 40518 LX is an excellent and convenient option.
Tote-N-Store 20129 Portable Waste Transport 4 Wheeler
Best Towing Portable Waste Tank
Tote-N-Store 20129 distinguishes itself with one of the best handles that we found. The handle is not superior for towing by hand but is made of metal and includes two sizes of rings to make it ideal for hooking up to a gooseneck hitch and towing behind a vehicle.
It even comes with four wheels that are made out of rubber to further complement towing it behind a vehicle. Beyond the handle, the rest of the Tote-N-Store 20129 uses zinc-plated steel brackets to keep the different parts securely locked into place.
The Tote-N-Store 20129’s body is made out of PP, which is the more durable plastic commonly used.
That said, the Tote-N-Store 20129 has a great maximum volume of 38 gallons and can be used for both black and gray water. This model also comes fully assembled, unlike some of the other 4-wheeled models we encountered.
- Has a 38 ga volume
- Rugged construction
- Has four wheels
- Has an extended handle
- Has a storage compartment
- Higher price point than some other models
- Not the most durable
Bottom-Line: With the second-largest capacity on our list and some of the best towing features, the Tote-N-Store 20129 is excellent for transporting behind your vehicle.
Barker (31342) Blue Boy
Best Mid-Level Portable Waste Tank
While it does not do anything better than all of its competition, the Barker 31342 offers a good mix of specs that make it a solid mid-tier option. For example, this is the only product on our list that comes with a traditional trailer hitch.
Not only does this make hooking the Barker 31342 easier to your towing vehicle, but it is also made out of durable steel. To further help towing, the Barker 31342 uses rubber wheels, though it only comes with two wheels instead of four.
On the other hand, the Barker 31342 is not ideal for moving to a dumping ground by hand.
The Barker 31342 is made out of standard PE does not come with any volume indicator. This can lead to the product overfilling which can be especially troublesome in hotter climates where the body may bulge
- Has a 32 gallon volume
- Has a solid tow bracket
- Has zinc-plated steel brackets
- Comes fully assembled
- Not the best body design
- Does not have a volume indicator
Bottom-Line: So long as you keep it out of the sun, the Barker 31342 is a solid mid-tier option with decent specs across the board.
VINGLI RV Portable Tank
Most Versatile RV Portable Waste Tank
VINGLI’s offering is perfect if you have a smaller camping group that goes out for shorter trips. This is the lightest models that we reviewed at 16 pounds when empty, making it especially easy to move and store when not in use.
On top of that, this is the only one on our list that offers a wide range of different ports, depending on your hookups and preferences. For both filling and emptying, the VINGLI waste tank includes fast and slow options, as well as the largest cleaning port that we saw.
This unit also comes with an integrated anti-splash emptying spout for even more options. However, the anti-splash emptying spout is not a standard size and will require an adapter to use with most RV hoses.
Regardless, the VINGLI continues to be convenient as one of the few models with both a fullness indicator and an air release vent. Even better, it uses PP for the body and HDPE for connections, so it is durable where it needs to be as well as lighter and less expensive.
- Has numerous ports
- Has dual indicators
- Is more portable than most
- Is made of HDPE and PP
- Has a smaller capacity
- Has non-standard ports
Bottom-Line: The VINGLI breaks away from the standard approach to offer numerous features that none of the other options have.
SmartTote2 Thetford Portable Waste Tank
Best Budget RV Portable Waste Tank
SmartTote2 makes a second appearance on our list, this time with a fairly basic model that is also one of the least expensive that we found. However, even the SmartTote2’s basic models still come with some of the best features found on flagship models.
For example, this product includes and AutoStop level gauge that is not included on some models that cost more than twice as much as the SmartTote2. This model also has rubber wheels, which means you do not have to worry about them going flat.
To complement the wheels’ durability, the SmartTote2 is made out of PP, offering a little bit more ruggedness to the body than some of the HDPE options on our list. It is also lightweight than many of its competition, making it easier to move and store when not in use.
Unfortunately, this model also has the smallest capacity we reviewed at just 12 gallons, though that is part of what allows it to be so light. You will also need to purchase a connecting hose, as this particular model does not come with one.
- Cheaper option
- Has rubber wheels
- Has an AutoStop level gauge
- Is more portable than most
- Has a smaller capacity
- Does not come with a hose
Bottom-Line: For pop-up campers and shorter trips, the SmartTote2 is a great way to save some money while still getting a solid product.
Last update on 2021-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API