RV Macerator Pump Pros and Cons (Ultimate Guide)


Nobody likes emptying waste tanks on an RV. It’s smelly and can be messy. This has some people wondering whether they should purchase a macerator pump. So let’s look at the RV macerator pump pros and cons.

Here’s what I discovered:

RV Macerator Pros:

  • Great if you are parked downhill from the sewer drain
  • Less messy
  • Can also pump into any nearby toilet sewer drain or septic tank

RV Macerator Cons:

  • Not as quick as using a standard drain hose
  • Pump pressure can cause worn gaskets or fittings to blow, spraying waste everywhere
  • Uses a larger amount of water
  • Requires more maintenance and monitoring

A macerator pump is similar to grinder pumps that can be found on some houses. It both grinds up waste and pumps it, which allows it to be pumped uphill if necessary.

So, in this article, we’ll dive a lot deeper into those pros and cons. But we’ll also look at how easy it is to install one and whether the benefit is worth the cost and downsides.

Just keep reading to learn more!

Ready to buy one?

Flojet makes the #1 best-selling RV macerator pump on Amazon. Just connect any length garden hose to it to run the waste. Connects directly to the RV’s waste connector, so no need to use your gravity tubes.

Well over 2,200 reviews on Amazon, and almost all are 5-star!

It’s made of stainless steel and comes with clips to connect to the nearest 12volt battery for power.

CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.

What is an RV Macerator Pump?

An RV macerator pump is an automatic grinder similar to a garbage disposal that pumps the waste out of the RV with pressure instead of relying on gravity to drain the waste.

An RV macerator pump, sometimes called “the blender”, is a portable device used for dumping RV black and gray waste tanks.

Those large flexible gravity-fed RV dump hoses that we are all familiar with work great for many applications.

But macerator pumps are handy for situations where you need to pump the waste uphill or long distances. They’re also handy for pumping through smaller hoses.

As the two words in the name reflect, the “macerator” literally chews up the solid waste. 

The “pump” uses pressure to push the slurry discharge through a smaller hose to its ultimate sewer or septic destination. This is great for people who need to pump uphill or through smaller hoses.

It’s also handy if you want to help eliminate blockages since it grinds everything up.

A macerator pump could be handy if you live in your RV full-time, especially if you will be boondocking or staying on property that may not have appropriate dump facilities.

Living in an RV full-time gives you a chance to explore lots of different places, climates, and scenery.

It also means having to be creative with your storage options. To read more about the pros and cons of full-time RV living, check out this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Are RV Macerators worth it?

RV macerator pumps are worth it for those RVers that do not have sewer hookups but are close to a toilet or sewer cleanout. It is also very beneficial if frequently parked at campgrounds where the sewer drain is uphill from the RV.

Macerator pumps get pretty pricey and can run upwards of $300 or more. But if you like to boondock where a sewer (not a storm) drain is nearby, or you need to dump at a home, they are absolutely worth it.

And they work great.

But if you usually camp at a campground where they offer full hookups, then a macerator pump probably isn’t worth the price. You don’t need anything other than your gravity-fed dump hose.

Regardless of whether you use an RV macerator pump or dump at a designated dumpsite, you should consider using biodegradable toilet paper.

While technically, all toilet paper is biodegradable, those specifically manufactured for RVs are faster-dissolving. This helps ensure there are no clogs in the plumbing or sensor errors.

To learn more about biodegradable toilet paper and the benefits of using it in your RV, check out this recent article. What really surprised me was the one type of toilet paper NOT labeled for RVs that is acceptable to use (and cheaper!)

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How do you use an RV macerator pump?

Here are the steps to use your RV macerator pump:

  1. If your hose attachment has a cap, remove it before you begin. Otherwise, you could have a messy disaster on your hands.
  2. Attach the macerator pump to your RV sewer drainage connection. Be sure to wear gloves, just like you would if you were using your gravity hose.
  3. Attach the exit hose to the pump.
  4. Run the hose to the dumpsite – toilet, cleanout drain, etc.
  5. Connect the pump to a power source. Connect to an open outlet or connect it directly to your battery.
  6. Open your tank drain valve.
  7. Start the pump.
  8. Run it until the flow stops. Wait for the waste flow to stop before shutting off the pump. 
  9. Turn the pump off. Backflush for 30 to 40 seconds.
  10.  Turn the pump back on.
  11.  Repeat. Repeat the last two steps until you see only clean water coming through.

That’s it. The overall process is pretty straightforward.

Keep in mind that you should always turn the pump off after the flow stops. Otherwise, you risk burning out your pump.

While they aren’t necessary, you may want to consider purchasing clear elbows to connect the sewer hose to the RV waste valve fitting. These will allow you to see any signs of backflushing or clogging. It will also let you see if your macerator pump is working and how well it’s working.

When dumping your tanks, be sure to dump the black water first. Dumping the gray water last will help clean out the hoses of any black water residue.

If you’ve been camping for any amount of time, you know that black water is the water that drains from your RVs toilet. So, the black water tank holds all of the water, urine, and solid waste from the toilet.

Gray water is the rest of the used water. It’s water that comes from your shower, bathroom sink, and kitchen sink.

To learn more about black water, what it is, and how to take care of your black water tank, check out this recent article. There’s also 1 minor maintenance trick in keeping those sensors clean and preventing errors.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Ready to buy one?

Flojet makes the #1 best-selling RV macerator pump on Amazon. Just connect any length garden hose to it to run the waste. Connects directly to the RV’s waste connector, so no need to use your gravity tubes.

Well over 2,200 reviews on Amazon, and almost all are 5-star!

It’s made of stainless steel and comes with clips to connect to the nearest 12volt battery for power.

CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.

RV macerator pump pros

Now that you know how macerator pumps work, you should know the benefits of using one. 

  • Pump liquified waste uphill. If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to pump up an incline, you can do it with a macerator pump.
  • Pump waste longer distances. For when you are far away from the dump station.
  • Easier to reach in-ground sewage pipes and drains. You can dump just about anywhere.
  • Dump waste in toilets or city sewage lines. If you are staying on private property, and they don’t have a dump station, you can pump in their toilet. If the city allows, you can pump straight into the sewage lines.
  • Lower potential for mess. A hose smaller in diameter means you’re more likely to notice if a mess is about to happen.
  • Less smell. Again, a smaller diameter means less room for any escapes of messes or smells.

RV macerator pump cons

Macerator pumps are great, but they have their limitations:

  • Increased time spent draining your tanks. While smaller hoses keep messes and smells at bay, they also take longer to drain.
  • More maintenance. Things can get stuck in the blades. It needs to be cleaned out at least once a year to check the condition of the pump and to check for blockages.
  • Excessive pressure can cause it to blow. You have to be careful with this. Too much pressure can cause the hose or fittings to blow.
  • Expensive. Initial cost and setup is expensive compared to standard gravity RV hoses.
  • Increased water consumption. Because it takes so much water to use it and to backflush, you’ll use more water.
  • Requires close monitoring. You can’t just run the drain hose and walk away. You must watch it closely to prevent burning up the motor.

Emptying black water tanks with or without a macerator can be a hassle. If you find yourself boondocking or parked in an area where dump tanks aren’t an option, you may find yourself hanging on to that black water longer than you intended.

You shouldn’t leave matter in your black water tank for more than a week. It can lead to all kinds of disgusting things.

To read more about how long you can leave black water in your tank, check out this recent article. If you’re always at a full-service campground, it’s no big deal. But if you boondock a lot, there’s 1 key to keeping the mess and smells at bay!

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Ready to buy one?

Flojet makes the #1 best-selling RV macerator pump on Amazon. Just connect any length garden hose to it to run the waste. Connects directly to the RV’s waste connector, so no need to use your gravity tubes.

Well over 2,200 reviews on Amazon, and almost all are 5-star!

It’s made of stainless steel and comes with clips to connect to the nearest 12volt battery for power.

CLICK HERE to see the current price on Amazon.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about the pros and cons of a macerator pump?

If you always camp at places with full hookups, a macerator pump probably isn’t worth the investment.

But if you boondock or stay on private property often, a macerator pump can really make the job easier. They are simple to use and allow you to dump waste just about anywhere, even uphill.


Photo which requires attribution:

Still image taken from video RV Life | Sewer Solution | Game Changer | Macerator Pump by Liz Amazing and 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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