How Often Should You Replace Your RV Sewer Hose?

replace RV sewer hose lg

Let’s face it. An RV’s sewer hose gets nasty. And most of us don’t really want to clean it. So eventually, they get so gross it’s best to get a new one. So how often should you replace your RV sewer hose?

A good rule of thumb is to replace your RV sewer hose every 2 to 4 years. But for full-time RV living, it is best to replace it every 2 years. But for infrequent use, replacing it once every 4 years is sufficient.

It is important to note that this is a general rule.

The lifespan of your RV sewer hose also depends on its make and how well it was installed. Let’s have a look at how you can maintain your RV sewer hose to make it last a long time.

When should you replace an RV sewer hose?

If you notice that your RV sewer hose is cracked or leaking, you should replace the hose. You can visually inspect the hose for damage. Make sure to look along the full length of the hose and at the fittings of the hose too.

Sometimes, if the RV sewer hose is damaged, you will be able to smell the raw sewage outside of your RV. This is rare and is usually a result of the RV sewer hose not being fitted correctly and sewage leaking out.

There are many instances of RV sewer hoses leaking at the connection to the trailer. This is not always the fault of the one that installed the sewer hose. If you have been driving for a long time in your RV, sometimes the small vibrations of the road can cause the sewer hose fittings of your RV sewer hose to come a little loose.

Generally speaking, you should replace your RV sewer hose after every few hundred days of camping.

The amount of sewage in the hose does not really matter. Your RV sewer hose is designed to carry raw sewage and not get damaged by it. What causes damage to your RV hose is when you step on it, knock it, or drive over it. Sometimes your RV hose can get damaged by UV rays.

This is because RV sewer hoses are made of polymers. Sometimes these polymers can have chemicals added to them to make them more resistant to UV rays. However, in the case of RV sewer hoses, this is rarely the case.

Sometimes you will get a smell of sewage from outside of your RV.

Before replacing the hose, check to see if your RV has rubber gaskets at the ends of the sewage line. The rubber gaskets can rub and twist against each other and start to leak. This is more of a problem with older RVs.

What goes inside the hose does not matter. If you damage the hose by stepping on it, driving on it, folding it, or something, change it. Also, if UV rays damage the hose, change it. And finally, if you have traditional rubber gaskets, they twist against each other and will start to leak.

How do I clean my RV sewer hose?

Let’s have a look at the best way to clean your RV sewer hose.

When cleaning your RV sewer hose, you should go to an RV dump station. A dump station is a place where you can get rid of your old RV sewage. To do this, you are going to need a connection called a clear elbow.

A clear elbow is basically a rigid, 90-degree pipe that is see-through. You attach your sewage hose to the pipe. The benefit of the hose being see-through is that you can see whether your sewage is blocked as you are trying to empty the pipes.

There are some RV parks that have something known as full hookups. This is where an RV site has fresh water, electricity, and its own sewage system. This means you don’t have to store all of your raw sewage onboard your RV, which is great. RVs usually have two septic tanks.

One is a black tank, and the other is a gray water tank.

It is a good idea to start off by flushing the black water tank. The sewage in this tank will come out of the black water hose. We start off with the black hose, as it contains the dirtiest raw sewage.

Now that you have emptied your RV sewage, you should now clean the hose using bleach. What you do is connect either end of the hose together. This will make a circle with the hose. After that, you have to fill the hose with some bleach and then a few gallons of water. Join the ends of the hose together.

This will trap the bleach and water inside the hose.

Leave the bleach to rest inside the hose for a few hours to kill the germs. When you open the hose again, make sure you wear safety goggles. Sometimes, if you have put too much bleach in there, pressure can build up.

So, you get some splashes of bleach and water spit out when you release the pressure by opening the hose. After that, leave the hose open to air dry outdoors for a couple of days.

How do you clean the fittings of your RV sewer hose?

To clean the fittings of your RV sewer hose, simply remove them from the sewer hose. After that, you need to spray the fittings clean using a regular hose and water. If you want, you can prepare a bleach solution in a bucket and put the fittings in the bleach to soak.

Leave the fittings in the bucket for a few hours.

Then remove them, rinse them with the hose again, and leave them to air dry. This method can be used for bayonet fittings and cam lock connectors. With bayonet-style fittings, you have to make sure the thin rubber seal is firmly in place.

If the rubber seal is not fitted correctly, then you risk leaks and contamination at your RV site. You should clean the fittings of your sewer hose on a regular basis.

Some people wonder if you can put bleach in the holding tanks of your RV.

This recent article on my site explains just that. I talk about whether it is a good idea to put bleach in the freshwater or wastewater tanks of your RV. I cover what ratio starts to risk damaging your components. But I also get into safer alternatives.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How do I protect my RV sewer hose?

To protect your RV sewer hose, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures. If you use your RV in the desert, then the heat will cause the plastic of the hose to expand and shrink at night. This constant expanding and shrinking can cause the seals of the hose to become loose.

This leads to dreaded sewage leaks. Also, don’t buy a cheap hose, to begin with. They are often made of poor-quality materials that will get cracked, bent, and will certainly leak.

A practical tip to protect your RV sewer hose is to make sure the RV sewer hose is well fitted. If the fitting is loose, then it can come off while you are driving. Some RV owners have damaged their sewer hoses because it was dragging on the ground while they were driving.

When you are not using your RV sewer hose, it is important that you store it correctly. There are a few ways you can store your RV sewer hose to protect it:

  • Use a sewer hose bin – this is an easy storage solution. It is basically just a big plastic box that you put the sewage hose in. The good thing is that the box is rigid and protects the hose. The bad thing is that the box takes up a lot of space in your RV.
  • Bumper storage – Some RVs have tubes welded to the bottom of their bumpers. You can put your hose in here. This is good because you don’t have to put the hose on board.
  • Sewer bag – sewer bags are just fabric bags that you can put your hose in. They are not as protective as RV sewer bins, but they can be folded and stored easily when you are not using them. These bags can be bought at an affordable price.
  • DIY storage – some RV owners choose to make their own storage system. They make their own tubes and boxes and weld them to their RV. This is great if you don’t have much storage space on your RV and want a custom storage option.

How do you replace an RV sewer hose?

Replacing an RV sewer hose is gross, but it does not have to be a dirty job. If it’s your first time doing this job, make sure to follow these instructions.

First, remove the old sewer hose. Do this by following the instructions I mentioned earlier in this article about how to clean the sewer hose.

Once you have done that, get your new hose and a clear elbow. You need to screw the clear elbow into the new hose. This can be difficult. What I suggest is that you pour some warm water on the end of the new hose.

The warm water will loosen up the plastic a little, making it less rigid. It will then be easier for you to screw the clear elbow into the hose.

Once you have done that, attach the hose back to your RV exactly the same way your old hose was fitted.

How long should my RV sewer hose be?

Standard RV sewer hoses are between 15 and 20 feet long. However, you can get 10-foot hoses if you have a smaller RV. When deciding on the length of your sewer hose, think about how far you are going to be from the sewer system of the RV park.

If you are going to be a few feet away from the sewage connection, then you can have a shorter hose.

If you are going to be a little further away, or if you have an RV that is high off the ground, you will need a longer hose. This is so that you can reach the sewer outlet.

Also, think about storage space. If you don’t have the space to store a 20-foot hose using the storage methods I mentioned earlier in this article, then don’t get one. 20-foot kits have long hoses and are only really useful if you have an RV that is high off the ground.

You need to check how large your hose needs to be. The last thing you want is to spend all that money on one of the shorter hoses that won’t do the job.

If you want, you can look for collapsible sewer hoses. There are some RV sewer hoses that can shrink to about 3 feet in length. This makes them great for storage and transportation.

If you are going to be staying at a particular RV park for a long time, consider getting a PVC pipe for your sewage system. It will be a lot more durable than a normal, flexible RV sewer hose.

What is the best RV sewer hose?

The Camco RV 20′ Rhino Flex sewer hose is an excellent choice. It is a 20-foot hose, so it’s the perfect hose length for a large RV, such as a class A motor home. It has durable 23mm thick walls. It can also be collapsed to a small size and comes with a 90-degree clear elbow.

CLICK HERE to check the current price on Amazon.

It can be crushed if you accidentally run over it though. It also comes with the old-style bayonet fittings that can be hard to connect and disconnect.

The sewer hose extension fits a wide variety of dump station drains and the transparent elbow connects to the 4-in-1 adapter, which fits a 3-inch slip or 3, 3-1/2, and 4-inch threaded dump station pipes.

Comes in two 10′ sections, and each 10-foot section compresses to 39 inches with fittings for storage.

CLICK HERE to check the current price on Amazon.

RV 101® - Everything you need to know about RV Sewer Hoses & Fittings


You should replace your RV sewer hose every 2-4 years, depending on how much you use it. To increase the lifespan of your RV sewer hose, keep it clean, and avoid damaging it. You should also clean the fittings of your RV hose.

Make sure that you store your RV sewer hose in a sewer hose bin if you can.

Using a sewer hose bag offers less protection. Your RV sewer hose should be between 15 and 20 feet in length. It depends on how far you will be from the sewer outlet of your RV park or dump station.

If you want to learn more about how to use the toilet in your RV without damaging the sewage system, check out this recent article on my site. I talk about how the sewage system of your RV works and how to make it last a long time.

Photo which requires attribution:

Still frame taken from video RV Life | Sewer Solution | Game Changer | Macerator Pump by Liz Amazing is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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