While it’s not always something we like to think about, the wastewater tank is an essential part of RV living. Without it, you’d be at the mercy of rest stops and campground bathrooms for your entire trip, which is hardly practical.
We’ve tested several products and determined that Camco Rhino is the best portable RV waste tank on the current market.
An RV portable waste tank eliminates the need to visit a dump station every time your black water tank fills up. It also makes it easier to transport the wastewater when it’s finally time to dump it. When you choose the right product, your camping experience is bound to be more enjoyable.
1. Camco Rhino Heavy Duty Portable Waste Tank -Best Overall
2. Barker 42 Gallon Tote Tank -Best For Rugged Terrain
3. Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport -Best Design
4. Thetford SmartTote2 27 Gallon -Best For Weekend Campers
5. VINGLI 20-Gallon Tote Tank -Most Portable
As you can see, we’ve chosen the Camco Rhino as our top pick for an RV portable waste tank. This model comes equipped with sturdy wheels and a low-slung drain hole, both of which contribute to its superior design. Because of its durable construction, you won’t have to worry about leaks, even if the waste tank is sitting in direct sunlight.
Keep reading to find out why the Camco Rhino is our top pick for a portable RV waste tote.
1. Camco Rhino Heavy Duty Portable Waste Tank-Best Overall
The Camco Rhino is built from quality blow-molded and UV-stabilized high density polyethylene (HDPE). In practical terms, this means the material won’t deteriorate as fast as some lesser-rated models. As a bonus, the interior is completely smooth, so it won’t trap odors the way some materials can.
An integrated tank rinse function makes cleanup a snap, which is a huge plus when you’re dealing with wastewater. It also empties quickly, thanks to the smooth walls. The wheels are tough enough to withstand bumpy dirt roads without jostling the load too much.
At just 3 feet, the hose is a bit too short for our liking. However, that’s a minor concern when the product is this superior. We believe the Camco Rhino is the best portable waste tank that you’re likely to find.
If you’d like to see the Camco Rhino in action, take a look at this video review.
2. Barker 42 Gallon Tote Tank-Best For Rugged Terrain
If you’re camping in an area with rocky or sloping terrain, Barker’s 42 Gallon model could be the right pick for you. The tough rubber wheels on this tank allow you to maneuver it without worrying about spills or leakage, which is one of the top reasons to consider an RV portable waste tank to begin with.
Barker uses quality materials in the construction, too. The tank is made of blow-molded polyethylene, zinc-plated steel, and aluminum. This makes it easier to clean, especially with the aid of the 3-inch waste valve.
The 42-gallon capacity makes this the best portable waste tank for longer trips. Just be forewarned that some of the materials used for construction are extremely hazardous, so this tank should be kept out of reach of children at all times.
3. Tote-N-Stor Portable Waste Transport-Best Design
The Tote-N-Stor is a durable and reliable portable waste tank made of HDPE plastic. It comes with a built-in storage compartment that helps you keep track of all the accessories while you’re on the road—our favorite aspect of this model.
A steel tow bracket and rubber wheels help keep the Tote-N-Stor stable during transport. There’s even a wheel kit included to help you deal with any impromptu repairs. Bear in mind that this unit has only two wheels, so it’s better suited for smooth terrain.
4. Thetford SmartTote2 27 Gallon Waste Tank-Best For Weekend Campers
When it comes to mobile sanitation, Thetford is an industry leader. Their 27-gallon portable RV waste tote serves as a solid example of what the company does best.
The tote is designed with an extendable handle that makes it easier to maneuver. Because it holds only 27 gallons, it’s not as large as the Barker unit, but that contributes to its portable nature as well. It also means you won’t have to worry about finding enough space to store it.
Thetford’s RV portable waste tank is user-friendly, with a convenient design and an easy-to-read manual. Our main complaint is that the construction isn’t quite as durable as some of the other units listed here.
5. VINGLI 20-Gallon Tote Tank-Most Portable
Because its capacity tops out at 20 gallons, the VINGLI is another model that’s good for RVers who don’t plan to use their black tank that much. You also don’t have to worry about it getting too heavy, unlike the Barker unit.
This portable waste tank has 3 wheels that make it even easier to tote down narrow roads. There’s also a level indicator that lets you know how much wastewater is in the tank at any given time. Note that it uses HDPE in its construction, so you’ll want to keep it out of the sun and heat whenever possible.
Best Portable RV Waste Tank-Buying Guide
Here’s a quick look at how our chosen models stack up against one another:
|Model Name||Capacity||Wheels||Price Point|
|Camco Rhino||21 gals*||2||Low|
|Barker Tote Tank||42 gals*||4||High|
|Thetford SmartTote 2||27 gals*||2||Moderate|
|VINGLI 20-Gallon Tote Tank||20 gals*||3||Moderate|
*Product is available in other sizes
What Is An RV Portable Waste Tank?
These ingenious inventions are designed to collect wastewater and solid waste from RVs and travel trailers. They make it possible for you to dispose of your waste without driving your RV to the dumping station every time. The convenience factor makes them a popular choice for frequent campers who enjoy boondocking.
Types Of RV Portable Waste Tank
You want to make sure to find a tank that’s capable of handling black water. Some tanks are only designed to hold gray water, and the last thing you want is to end up with one of these if you’re intending to transport waste to a dumping station.
In case you didn’t know, gray water is runoff from the sink and shower—water that isn’t safe to drink, but not necessarily hazardous to one’s health. Black water, on the other hand, is waste collected from the toilet. That’s why it’s important not to mix the two up. Read the product description carefully before making a purchase.
If you want to use a separate tank for the black water and the gray water, you can use the gray tank to help clean out the black tank once the latter is empty. Bear in mind that if you do this, you’ll have to carry two tanks with you at all times. That’s why many campers choose to store all their wastewater in a single portable tank.
What To Look For In An RV Portable Waste Tank
While you don’t want to wind up with an inferior product, it’s important to choose a portable RV waste tote that you can afford. Take a look at the top-ranking models to get an idea of what you can expect to spend, and set your budget accordingly.
How much wastewater can the tank hold before it needs to be emptied? If you’re going on a long camping trip—or if you typically boondock for more than a couple of days at a stretch—you’ll need a tank with a generous capacity. We would recommend looking for a portable RV waste tote with a capacity of at least 20 gallons.
Bear in mind that bigger isn’t always better, especially if you’re worried about storage space. You might also need to transport the waste tank manually, which can be problematic with a larger unit. Solo campers should always look for a model that has built-in wheels to make it easier to maneuver.
Remember, too, that a single gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds. Wastewater usually weighs a bit more, owing to the fact that it also contains solids. That means a tank with a 20-gallon capacity will weigh over 160 pounds when it’s full. If you think you’ll have a hard time toting that much weight, you might want to buy a smaller tank.
Polyethylene is a popular material for waste tanks, along with plastic. However, plastic tanks can lead to odor issues, particularly if the walls are too thin. Tanks built from polyethylene are often more durable, not to mention easier to clean.
That said, polyethylene can also be toxic to humans, particularly when exposed to excessive heat or ultraviolet light. If you choose a tank with a polyethylene construction, be sure to keep it away from small children, particularly when the weather is warm.
Not all portable waste tanks come with built-in wheels. However, this feature makes them much more user-friendly, which is why most of our top-rated models feature at least two wheels in their construction. It’s also a good idea to look for wheels made out of rubber, as these make it simpler to navigate rocky or unstable terrain.
Ease Of Use
If the product comes with a flush valve, you’re in luck. These nifty features allow you to simply hook the valve to the hose and wait for the tank to empty out.
Should you happen to invest in a waste tank with no built-in flush valve, we would recommend buying one separately. Otherwise, you run the risk of the tank becoming clogged, which will ruin your trip in a hurry.
The Camco Rhino is the best portable waste tank for several reasons. It’s affordable, durable, and built by folks who know what they’re doing.
You might have noticed that the model we’ve chosen to review has a capacity of just 21 gallons. That might be a drawback if you’re planning a trip that will last more than a few days. However, for short-term use, the Camco Rhino is a great bet.
If you think the Camco Rhino Heavy Duty Portable Waste Tank could be right for you.
Best of luck, and happy camping!
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