The 5 Best RV Portable Black & Gray Waste Tanks in 2020


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RVers need a safe and effective way to transfer black water and gray water from the on-board storage tanks to the campground’s dump station without having to break camp.

A portable RV grey and black water waste tank solves this problem. It allows you to simply connect it to one of the full tanks, safely draw down the necessary volume of gray or black water, and transport it yourself.

However, finding the right portable waste tanks for an rv or camper can be a little bit of a challenge.

While they might seem like simple storage tanks that lug around unwanted fluid, there are some features that matter. 

To help take the guesswork out of your RV portable sewer tank purchase. In this article we review 5 of the best portable RV waste tanks, and the features that help separate these sewer tote from the competition.

This will help you dial in the waste that that’s right for your RV and family’s needs.

Product Name

Image

Price

Best Overall Portable RV Waste Tank: Camco Rhino 39002

Heavy-duty polyethylene thoughtful design and it includes all the necessary accessories.

Best Budget Portable RV Waste Tank: Tote-N-Stor 25609

A high-capacity portable septic tank with a very friendly price point infused with thoughtful engineering concepts.

Best 2-wheel portable RV sewer tank: SmartTote2 40505

A lightweight 12-gallon capacity portable RV waste tank by one of the industry leaders in RV equipment.

Best 4 Wheel Portable RV Waste Tank: Barker 30844

A large capacity 42-gallon portable septic tank designed to stay on the ground.

Best Large Portable RV Waste Tank: SmartTote2

A 35-gallon capacity RV portable waste tank with safety and storage filters built-in.

Below Are The 6 Best RV Portable Waste Tank Reviews

Which portable sewer tank is best for your RV? With so many different models and sizes to choose from, picking the sewer tank for your needs can be tough. We’ve done the hard work for you.

Read on to enjoy our in-depth review of the 5 best portable RV waste tank on the market today.

Best Overall

1: Camco Rhino 39002 Heavy Duty RV waste tank

Camco is one of the most trusted names in RV products and accessories Their Rhino 39002 Heavy Duty portable RV waste tank was built from highly durable High-density polyethylene that’s been blow molded into the 21-gallon tank form.

Also known as HDPE this type of polyethylene is prized for outdoor use in a wide range of products, like RV portable sewer tanks and even things like security fence slats.

This is because it’s UV stabilized to prevent photodegradation from excess sunlight exposure.

The blow molding also means it’s virtually seamless, which translates into superior leak resistance.

TheCamco Rhino 39002 comes as a completeready-to-use kit designed to make it easy for you to transport waste from your RV’s black water tank to the nearby RV dump station.

It includes the hose as well as all the accessories you need to clean, maintain and store the portable camper sewer tank.

It also has large heavy-duty “No-Flat” wheels with bearings that make it easy to move.

There’s also a removable high-strength steel tow adapter that lets you move it along like a luggage trolly, or towing it behind a UTV.

If you want the perfect blend of quality materials, thoughtful engineering, and a complete ready-to-use kit, then the Camco Rhino 39002 is the best overall portable RV waste tank for the money.
Things We Like
  • No-Flat WheelsThey have the heavy-duty construction and smooth running bearings to let you move the sewer tote manually or when towed.
  • Complete PackageThis kit comes with everything you need, so you don’t have to worry about buying extra accessories just to use it for the first time.
  • HDPEHigh-density polyethylene is known to be heavy-duty and won’t break down due to photodegradation like a lot of other plastics. The fact that it’s blow-molded also translates into superior leak resistance.
Things We Don't Like
  • CapacityFor the price, 20-gallons seems a little small. Especially if your RV has a 30-or-more gallon black water tank.

Best Budget

2: Tote-N-Stor 25609 32-Gallon Portable RV waste tank

Tote-N-Stor maybe isn’t a household name, but they still infuse a lot of quality construction and materials into the 25609, 32-gallon portable RV waste tank.

The capacity itself makes this a good option for somewhat larger RVs with 30-gallon black water or gray water tanks.

Included in the initial purchase is the 32-gallon portable sewer tank for rv with heavy-duty wheels.

This rv sewer tote also comes with a collapsible 36-inch long, 3-inch diameter of 3 inches drain hose, as well as asingle hose clamp and a tow bracket.

The plastic-rubber wheels are also textured to help you get traction.

Though they are a little on the small size for a 32-gallon capacity tank, and could become prone to chipping or digging in-to soft terrain.

The Tote-N-Stor 25609 also has a convenient storage compartment to hold all the necessary accessories.

Not only does this make this portable RV sewer tank easy to take everything with you on the road, you can also rest assured that you will still have everything together in the spring when you take your RV out of storage.

If you are working with a somewhat limited budget, but you still need a camper waste tank, then the Tote-N-Stor 25609 is the best portable RV waste tank for a bargain price tag.
Things We Like
  • The PriceAs our budget pick you have to like that you get everything you need in some low-priced purchase.
  • The CapacityAt 32-gallons, you can conveniently empty a 30-gallon black or gray water tank without worrying about spills or overflow in the portable waste tank.
Things We Don't Like
  • Cheap WheelsThis is arguably a little bit of a cut corner. The plastic-rubber wheels are weak and potentially prone to breaking off. If you have a hand truck that you’re not using, you might want to strap the waste tank to it. Especially if you are going to be moving it over rough terrain to get to the dump station.
  • Small Breather Port – As you know the volume of air going into the tank will directly affect the volume of black or gray water coming out at the dump station. While it’s arguable, the breather port on the Tote-N-Stor 25609 is a little on the small side. Still, it’s only adding a minute or two to the final dump-out process.

Best 2 Wheel

3: Thetford SmartTote2 40505 RV waste tank

The SmartTote2 40505 2 wheel Portable RV Waste Tote Tank By Thetford was designed to be rugged.

Made from durable polypropylene it has a 12-gallon capacity, which puts it in range for smaller RV black water tanks.

It has a pair of durable rubber wheels as well as a built-in handle.

You can also set it up with an optional tow strap, which let you attach it onto a trailer hitch to take it to the dump station manually, or behind a UTV.

This portable sewer tank can be a convenient way to move what could be a 90+ pound load without having to lug it yourself. Especially over uneven ground.

The SmartTote2 40505  has an“AutoStop” level gauge to help prevent overspills which is great when you are filling the tank directly from your black or gray water tanks.

It was also engineered with a large air vent built-in for a highly efficient air exchange that Thetford calls a “Rapid Purge Process.”

This is especially handy if you are going to be staying at an RV park where there might be a line to use the dump tanks.

If you have a relatively small black water RV tank of 12 gallons or less, the SmartTote2 40505 By Thetford is one of the best two-wheeled RV waste tanks on the market.
Things We Like
  • Large Vent – The air exchange rate with the SmartTote2 40505 allows you to quickly purge any stored black or gray water without any sort of “Glug” or delay.
  • AutoStopThis leveling gauge is especially important for smaller totes when you might be drawing out a portion of a larger tank or the black water tank you are draining is near the 12-gallon capacity. 
Things We Don't Like
  • No Hose IncludedThe initial purchase doesn’t include a hose.
  • CapacityThe 12-gallon capacity gears it toward smaller black water tanks, and smaller RVs. This isn’t the sort of portable waste tank that you would prioritize for a large Class A motorhome.

Best 4 Wheel

4: Barker (30844) 2 Gallon 4-Wheeler RV Tote Tank

Barker is one of the more trusted names in RV products and waste tanks.

Their 30844 4-wheel portable RV waste tank were designed to hold up to 42-gallons of black water which makes it a good option for larger RV’s or RV travelers who want to empty small gray water and a small black water tank at the same time.

It was engineered to be a "Tow-On-The-Ground" portable RV sewer tank which spares you having to lift or lower what could be a tank that could weigh over 300 pounds when full.

The four wheels consist of two robust 10-inch pneumatic wheels inflated to 50 PSI in the back and a pair of 6-inch pneumatic wheels in the front, which are attached to yoke to help you steer the tank.

Each set of wheels has lubricated axle bearings for smooth towing.

The Barker 30844 also comes fully assembled and with all the accessories you need to use it right away.

This portable septic tank includes a pair of 3-inch bayonet caps, a¾-inch cap, a 5-foot long sewer hose,two bayonet hose adapters, two stainless steel hose clamps, a heavy-duty tow handle, and a tank indicator. It’s also backed by a comprehensive two-year warranty.

If you have large black water or gray water tank and you need a way to dispose of wastewater without having to lift or lower a heavy object, then the Barker 30844 is one of the best four-wheeled portable RV waste tanks on the market.
Things We Like
  • The AccessoriesYou get everything you need right away without having to invest in simple things like hose clamps and sewer hose.
  • The Rear WheelsAt 10-inches in diameter and 50-psi the rear wheels with their lubricated axle bearings are great for moving across uneven terrain.
  • Tow On The Ground DesignWith a 42-gallon maximum capacity this RV portable waste tank could weigh over 300-pound when filled to the maximum. Being able to move it without having to lift or lower it is a priority feature.
Things We Don't Like
  • The Front WheelsThe steering yolk and 6-inch wheels are sometimes awkward when the sewer tank is full, and you need to move it across uneven ground. Matching 10-inch wheels with the back would have been helpful.

Best Large

5: SmartTote2 35-Gallon 4 Wheels portable sewer tote

The SmartTote240519 by Thetford is a large capacity 35-gallon portable RV waste tank that comes with everything you need in one convenient box.

It’s made from polypropylene and has four heavy-duty rubber wheels installed.

The front wheels are attached to the extendable handle that easily hooks onto most standard trailer hitches.

It was engineered to articulate with the handle, so even if you don’t have any sort of ATV or UTV to tow it along with you can still move it by hand.

Though at 35-gallons it is possible for this portable RV waste tank to weigh in near 300 pounds when filled to the max.

You should also bear in mind that the axles are only rated for a maximum speed of 5 miles per hour.

The mouth and vent port are large. Not only does this make for a rapid purge at the dump station, but it also makes it easy to clean out and sanitize the tank before storing it away.

This portable sewer tote comes with Thetford’s AutoStop level gauge.

It’s designed to activate when the tote reaches full capacity to prevent overfilling. There is also a “PermaStore” compartment that will hold the heavy-duty hose, 900 elbows, and cap.

If your RV has a black or gray water tank over 30-gallons, the SmartTote2 40519 rv sewer tote by Thetford is one of the best large portable sewer tank for rv on the market.
Things We Like
  • The AutoStopOverfill issues can be a major hassle, especially with high capacity tanks like this 35-gallon unit.
  • PermaStoreBeing able to keep everything together in a compact place is handy when you consider that portable RV waste tanks aren’t necessarily a frequently used item.
Things We Don't Like
  • Small Hard WheelsIf you are going to be taking this portable RV waste tank over soft, uneven ground the wheels will have a frustrating knack for digging in. Consider the fact that at full capacity this tank could weigh well over 250-pounds, it would have been nice to see pneumatic wheels.
  • Maximum SpeedIf you are going to pull this portable RV black and gray water holding tank behind an ATV or UTV, or you need to take it down a hill with gravity helping, the axles are only rated to handle a maximum speed of 5 miles per hour.

Things To consider When Choosing The Best Portable Waste Tanks For RV

At first glance, a portable waste tank probably doesn’t seem all that special.

It’s certainly not the sort of thing you want to dwell on to the point of losing sleep! Still, there are a few things that you want to factor into finding the best portable waste tank for your RV or camper.

What Size Portable RV Waste Tank Do I Need?

Size matters in two ways when it comes to a portable grey water tanks or portable black water tanks. First of all, portability itself is a factor.

Just how large of a septic tank you want to lug around with you will become a big deal.

Especially when it’s full of liquid, which can weigh in the neighborhood of 8-pounds per gallon.

One way that some portable septic tank manufacturers address this is by putting wheels or some type of portable cart base that lets you move it around without necessarily having to carry it in your arms.

This can be a big factor if there’s going to be a fair amount of distance between your RV’s site and the nearby dump station.

What the wheels are made out of can also be a factor. You want them to be robust to handle what could be a potentially heavy load.

The last thing you want is for cheap plastic wheels to crack and break at the worst possible time.

While you’re at it, take a look at the axle and any other connectors that help hold the wheels in place. If they get bent the wheels themselves will be useless.

Assuming the wheels and any support frame give you confidence, you should then move to the fastening system.

Some might use straps or another type of mechanical fastener to hold the tank in place on the mobile cart base.

If you’re concerned, you might want to also consider investing a couple of extra bucks in some ratchet straps.

Of course, the other way that size matters in an RV portable waste tank is in overall liquid capacity.

A lot of people use portable camper sewer tanks for emptying or transferring the waste of their RV’s black water tank.

So, if you have a 20-gallon black water tank in your RV, you likely want to get a 20-gallon portable wastewater tank.

An Easy To Use Flush Valve

As you can imagine, the flush valve on a portable RV wastewater tank is important. Though not all models have one.

The tanks that do tend to be a lot easier to use, as you can simply insert the drain hose and let gravity do its thing.

An RV wastewater tank that doesn’t have a flush valve will need to be manually purged. This is certainly more work and can potentially be a little messy.

At the same time, you might also want to keep an eye out for an RV wastewater tank that either has some kind of feature to reduce the risk of clogging or one that has a reputation for being clog-free.

The Build Quality’s Influence On Cost

Let’s face it, some potable RV grey or black water tanks are more robust than others.

The better the build quality the less likely you are to experience inconvenient leaks. 

Of course, this will also factor into the price, which is something you should be okay with.

Of course, robust construction and overall size can add up. Still, this isn’t the place to be a stickler. One prevented leak is worth its weight in gold!

For the most part, the best portable RV waste tanks are made from either polyethylene or polypropylene.

Each one has specific characteristics that might matter to you in the long run.

With a polyethylene RV waste tank, you get a lot of durabilities, which makes them very popular with a lot of RV travelers.

They’re even popular with things like Tiny Homes and remote seasonal cabins.

However, they do tend to cost a little bit more, and some have a reputation for occasionally letting out foul odors as they start to fill.

Polypropylene waste tanks tend to be lighter than a polyethylene RV waste tank of the same size.

While they do tend to endure temperature changes rather well polypropylene still doesn’t have durable as polyethylene.

With thoughtful engineering, they do also tend to do a slightly better job of keeping unpleasant odors from escaping.

Another benefit of polypropylene is that these RV waste tanks tend to cost less.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need A Portable RV Waste Tank?

The answer to this question can vary depending on where you are most often using your RV.

Not all RV parks have a drive-up dump station or if they do it might not be with an on-demand schedule.

When your black water tanks get full, you might not want to wait to take your turn at a crowded dump station.

At the same time, rustic campgrounds that are off the beaten trail might only have a dump station somewhere in the area.

With these, it’s usually very inconvenient to move your RV over rough roads, when a portable tank is much easier.

Ultimately, an portable RV waste tanks give you the ability to empty the contents of your RV’s black water tank without the time loss or inconvenience of having to move the entire base camp.

Not to mention the hassle of then backing a cumbersome RV up to the dump station.

Given these scenarios, while a portable RV waste tank might not be “Necessary” it certainly is incredibly convenient.

Especially when you factor in the relatively low cost to purchase one.

What’s The Best Way To Use A Portable RV Waste Tank?

This is a little bit of an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people. I mean you’re dealing with a pretty significant amount of human waste.

So, right off the bat, you need to take precautions. This starts with waterproof gloves, and other things like protective eyewear or a face shield is also a good idea.

In the event of an accidental spill, you should also be conscious to keep your mouth closed.

Once you feel thoroughly protected, you can connect the sewer hose to your portable RV waste tank.

Then connect it to the RV’s black water holding tank. Double-check the connections to make sure they are all secure.

At that point, you can open the valve to let the black water flow out. If you have some sort of pump, you can use that to help purge the black water and transfer it to the portable waste tank.

Once it’s empty you can carefully disconnect the hose and spool it up.

This is exactly one of those times when you might end up with spatter. So, don’t let your guard down on the safety precautions.

Double-check to make sure the portable RV waste tank is secured to the cart, trolly or means of transport.

Then you can take it to the local RV dump station. With most portable waste tanks you just need to switch on the dump valve and let it drain naturally.

At that point, you might want to flush the tank again with a little bleach water. This will help eliminate any residual debris.

Depending on where you are the RV dump station might have procedures and hoses available to help you do this.

What Are The Most Reputable RV Waste Tank Brands?

There are a few RV waste tank manufacturers that have a strong reputation built on years of experience providing RV travelers and outdoor enthusiasts with the storage or transport tanks they need.

It can help to keep an eye out for them. Though they’re not the only names worthy of your hard-earned dollars.

  • Barker – Has been around for over seven decades, and they have worked hard to develop a reputation for providing quality products backed by strong warranty programs and quality customer service. They are also proudly “Made In The USA.”
  • Thetford – Has earned a reputation for providing high-quality mobile sanitation products for boats, camping, trucks and especially RV travelers. They pride themselves on thoughtful engineering and quality materials designed to meet the demands of their broad client base.
  • Camco – Has a wide range of products for outdoor enthusiasts and RV travelers. They have spent decades getting their name out in the industry and striving to build customer loyalty.

How Do I Clean And Treat An RV Portable Waste Tank?

Depending on where you are, the RV dump station might provide access to water hoses and have specified rules about how you can purge your portable waste tank at their facility.

Most of the time, you will need to take care of this yourself.

The easiest way to clean a portable RV waste tank is to add 1-part bleach to 20 parts water. Then fill the tank and let it rest for 2 to 24 hours. You can then drain the bleach into the dump station or other wastewater facility. If you are going to be putting the tank away in storage for any period of time, you might want to also add a chemical treatment.

This will go a long way toward eliminating odors until you use the tank again.

The process calls for adding a few drops of the treatment along with the manufacturer’s recommended amount of water.

Where Can Empty My Portable RV Waste Tank?

There are a lot of federal, state and even some local regulations that require you to empty your portable RV waste tank only at a designated camp or RV park dump station.

Most campgrounds and RV stations have them and they are specifically designed to hold black or gray water waste to prevent it from entering the local water table.

Some RV parks will charge for this service or work the cost of emptying your waste tank into you site rental fee.

This essentially covers the cost of maintaining the tanks according to clean water standards, as well as contracting septic and water treatment contractors to safely haul the waste water away when the dump station storage tanks are full.

How Do I Prevent Black Water Tank Clogs And Waste Tank Clogs?

Physical matter that sits in your RV’s black water tank as well as toilet paper can potentially cause a very unfortunately clog.

Two ways to keep this from happening include using RV toilet paper which breaks down easily, then also introducing additives directly to the tank that are designed to break down organic matter.

Not only will these two simply methods help prevent RV black water tank clogs, it will also help prevent any significant clogs from making it to the portable waste tank.

Which could save you some major headaches if a clog makes it to the tank, but then interfere’s with the purge process at the dump station.

Conclusion

The best portable RV waste tank for you shouldn’t be all that difficult to find. Start by taking stock of volume or capacity you need.

Make sure that your portable tank can accommodate what your onboard black or the gray water tank is capable of holding.

Afterall making multiple transfers can be quite a headache, not to mention potentially messy.

For a larger RV black or gray water tank you might want to put either the Tote-N-Stor 25609 Portable Waste Transport Tank or the  Thetford 40519 2-wheel portable RV sewer tank at the top of your list.

If you have a pop up camper or a travel trailer with a somewhat smaller black or gray water tanks, it might be better to lean toward the Camco Rhino 39002 Heavy Duty portable waste tank or the SmartTote2 40505.

Whatever your tank size and transportation requirements, chances are that the best portable RV waste tank for you is somewhere on this list.

2 thoughts on “The 5 Best RV Portable Black & Gray Waste Tanks in 2020”

  1. I am looking for a tank that has a lightweight design so I think Thetford 12-Gallon SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tote Tank is suitable for me. I will get it to change for my old tank. Thanks for sharing!

    • I got Thetford 12-Gallon and surprisingly it worked pass over my expectation. I had the right decision. By the way, thanks for sharing, I very like your article.

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