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Best RV Portable Waste Tank In 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

A portable RV waste tank lets you stay longer at campsites without sewer drains or campgrounds where you would have to move your rig to drain. These portable tanks are essential for anyone boondocking often, and they let you stay in one space for a more extended period.

While ‌not everyone needs a portable RV waste tank, anyone that buys one cannot skip on quality. Moving waste is not a fun task, but it gets even worse with an inferior tank that leaks or, worse, break while moving.

We’ve listed 5 of the best portable waste tanks for all situations below to take the stress out of research and shopping. Keep reading to find one that works well for your rig, as well as basic information about use and maintenance.

best rv portable waste tank cover

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Camco Rhino Heavy Duty 21 Gallon Portable Waste Holding Hose and Accessories-Durable Leak Free and Odorless RV Tote Tank (39002) , Gray 1. Camco Rhino RV Heavy Duty Portable Waste Holding Tank
  • Brand: Camco
  • Capacity: 21 gallon
  • Dimensions: 20.5 in. x 13 in. x 40 in.
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Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank - 42 Gallon Capacity (30844) 2. Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank
  • Brand: Barker
  • Capacity: 42 gallon
  • Dimensions: 14 in. x 24 in. x 45 in.
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SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tote Tank - 2 Wheels - 12 Gallon - Thetford 40505 3. SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tote Tank
  • Brand: Thetford
  • Capacity: 12 Gallons
  • Dimensions: 10.5 in. x 18.5 in. x 30 in.
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Camco (39006) Rhino Heavy Duty 36 Gallon Portable Waste Holding Hose and Accessories-Durable Leak Free and Odorless RV Tote Tank , Gray 4. Camco (39006) Rhino Heavy Duty 36 Gallon Portable RV Tote Tank
  • Brand: Camco
  • Capacity: 36 Gallons
  • Dimensions: 15.5 in x 25 in. x 46 in.
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Tote-N-Stor 25608 Portable Waste Transport - 25 Gallon Capacity , Gray 5. Tote-N-Stor 25608 Portable Waste Transport
  • Brand: Tote-N-Stor
  • Capacity: 25 Gallons
  • Dimensions: 11.63 in. x 24 in. x 35.25 in.
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Camco Rhino Heavy Duty 21 Gallon Portable Waste Holding Hose and Accessories-Durable Leak Free and Odorless RV Tote Tank (39002) , Gray

Features

  • Blow-molded using UV-stabilized HDPE
  • Multiple size models
  • Plastic no-flat tires
  • Steel tow adapter
  • Integrated tank rinser with backflow prevention and multidirectional spray
  • Drains through inlet
  • Anti-corrosion and rust-free hardware (zinc-plated or stainless steel)
  • Includes: tote, handle, oversized wheels, tank riser, ladder hook, 3-inch sewer hose, 15-inch female-to-female hose, clear elbow with 4-in-1 adapter, clear double bayonet window, three storage caps, steel tow adapter

Specifications

  • Brand: Camco
  • Capacity: 21 gallon
  • Dimensions: 20.5 in. x 13 in. x 40 in.
  • Weight: 34.5 lbs

What We Like

Camco is the name you see recommended most often, and there are plenty of reasons‌. These Rhino Portable Waste Holding tanks come in a variety of sizes to accommodate any needs, and you don’t need to worry about buying any additional accessories.

It’s not just that Camco includes the necessary equipment, but they’re all high-quality products. You don’t need to replace hoses or adapters immediately after purchasing or even soon down the line.

The tank rinser features a multi-directional spray for more effective cleaning, and you don’t need to worry about backflow through the rinser.

The Rhino is also expertly contoured to move waste down toward the drain holes, leading to more efficient and faster draining.

What We Don’t Like

While everything else on the Rhino is high quality, we have a few issues with the wheels. You don’t need to worry about flat tires, but we would like to see thicker tires at least. The thin plastic wheels struggle on soft surfaces.

Depending on the size you choose, you’ll find other annoyances. The smaller 15 and 21-gallon tanks need a riser to drain, but Camco includes this with your purchase. It would be nice if all models had side dumps, not just the larger 28 and 36-gallon sizes.

Pros

  • Includes everything you need to get started
  • High-quality materials
  • Efficient rinser
  • Well-designed contours
  • Ladder hook and molded hold-down strap grooves
  • No flat tires
  • Ergonomic handle

Cons

  • Skinny plastic wheels struggle in soft substrate
  • The taller design shows an issue with lower RV sewer drain pipes
  • Pay attention to features by size (not all include side dump, and some require a lift to dump)
  • Assembly required

2. Barker 4-Wheeler Tote TankBest 4 Wheels

Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank - 42 Gallon Capacity (30844)

Features

  • Blow-molded polyethylene with zinc-plated steel and aluminum
  • Front-mounted double-wheel swivel
  • Heavy-duty, extra-large mounting plate
  • Side-mounted waste valve
  • Rubber inflatable tires (50 PSI 10-inch and 30 PSI 6-inch)
  • It comes completely assembled with a two year extended warranty
  • Includes: 2 3-inch bayonet camps, 1¾ inch by 5-foot sewer hose, two 3-inch bayonet hose adapters, two 3-inch stainless steel hose clamps, heavy-duty tow handle, filler hose assembly, full tank indicator

Specifications

  • Brand: Barker
  • Capacity: 42 gallon
  • Dimensions: 14 in. x 24 in. x 45 in.
  • Weight: 47 lbs

What We Like

Barker’s “blue boy” is another staple portable waste tank. This tried-and-true model specializes in the four-wheeled design, and we appreciated the heavy-duty mounting plate on the front. This double-wheel swivel is not only dependable but easy to maneuver and great for a trek across the camp.

The air-filled tires may seem like a flat tire risk, but Barker did not skip out on quality. Not only are you unlikely to run a flat, but these tires work effortlessly on all surfaces.

What We Don’t Like

For a major name in portable waste tanks, we’re shocked that Barker doesn’t have an integrated hose rinse adapter. We’ve also found that the liquid level gauge does not vent, so you need to be careful to vent the tank when using this piece.

The Barker is slimmer than other tanks of similar capacity, but it will be more difficult to mount. There is no ladder mount hooks or tie-down grooves included.

Pros

  • Move and dump horizontally
  • High-quality wheels compatible with all-terrain
  • Side-mounted 3-inch sewer gate valve
  • Shorter height works with most RVs
  • Comes fully assembled

Cons

  • Lacks an integrated hose rinse adapter
  • The liquid level gauge does not vent
  • Difficulty mounting due to lack of strap grooves
SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tote Tank - 2 Wheels - 12 Gallon - Thetford 40505

Features

  • Compact polypropylene construction
  • Durable rubber wheels with solid center hubs and high strength bearings
  • Built-in handle
  • Locking tabs on bayonet
  • Retainer strap

Specifications

  • Brand: Thetford
  • Capacity: 12 Gallons
  • Dimensions: 10.5 in. x 18.5 in. x 30 in.
  • Weight: 10.56 lbs

What We Like

Thetford’s SmartTote2 is a fantastic compact option for anyone looking to supplement their waste capacity. It’s incredibly lightweight with dimensions that allow for easy storage pretty much anywhere.

The SmartTote2 features rugged polypropylene construction and heavy-duty hybrid rubber wheels, ensuring you can use and transport with no leaking issues.

If you worry about handles breaking off, it might be nice to know that the SmartTote2 handle is integrated with the design of the tank. This increases handle stability and ensure it will not fail while transporting.

What We Don’t Like

In most listings, we’ve found that the SmartTote2 item description is inaccurate. This is a barebones waste tank model, and you need to have your own discharge hose and rinse hose, as well as any higher-tier valves you desire.

The tote also has a compatible tow harness. It’s small enough to walk wherever you need, but if you want to tow it behind your vehicle, you need to use a tow strap.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to stow away
  • Integrated handle

Cons

  • Base design
  • It does not come with attachments or exceptional features
  • No dedicated harness
Camco (39006) Rhino Heavy Duty 36 Gallon Portable Waste Holding Hose and Accessories-Durable Leak Free and Odorless RV Tote Tank , Gray

Features

  • Heavy-duty blow-molded UV-stabilized HDPE
  • Integrated ladder hook to attach to the ladder when not in use
  • Removable steel tow bar
  • 4-wheel model available
  • Ready-to-use kit
  • Include: 3-inch rhino extreme sewer hose with bayonet and lug fittings, 15-inch water hose rinse adapter, clear elbow with 4-in-1 adapter, three storage caps, two caps with lanyards for rinse attachments, steel tow adapter

Specifications

  • Brand: Camco
  • Capacity: 36 Gallons
  • Dimensions: 15.5 in x 25 in. x 46 in.

What We Like

This specific size model of the Camco Rhino is worth pointing out for a large tank. There are plenty of customizable features that we like to see, including the options for a two- or four-wheel tank model.

Like all other Camco products, the 36-gallon Rhino comes with everything you need, including a steel tow bar, all hoses, adapters, and storage caps.

Gate valves make it easier to empty the tank, and the blow-molded UV stabilized HDPE construction means this larger tank holds up to the test of time.

What We Don’t Like

Camco does not have many issues to point out, but we wish these tanks had a gauge to help you determine how full the tank is. A 36-gallon tank can hold out for quite a bit, but it’s easy to set it and forget it at this size.

The larger size does not come with any higher-quality wheels, so you’re stuck with the same skinny plastic ones we had issues with on the smaller models. You can only expect more problems when they bear more weight.

Pros

  • Large capacity with plenty of options
  • Integrated ladder hook
  • Removable steel tow bar
  • Includes everything you need
  • High-quality construction

Cons

  • It lacks a tank gauge
  • Rear wheels struggle under higher stress
  • High profile does not work well with lower rigs
Tote-N-Stor 25608 Portable Waste Transport - 25 Gallon Capacity , Gray

Features

  • Compact design
  • Rubber wheels
  • Arrives completely assembled
  • Integrated accessory compartment
  • Includes 3 foot 3-inch drain hose, one hose clamp, tow bracket, garden hose cap and strap, 3-inch cap with garden hose fitting, straight adapter, 15-inch garden hose

Specifications

  • Brand: Tote-N-Stor
  • Capacity: 25 Gallons
  • Dimensions: 11.63 in. x 24 in. x 35.25 in.
  • Weight: 22.3 lbs

What We Like

If you’re on a budget, the Tote-N-Stor gives you high quality at a lower price than most. The Tote-N-Store offers you a compact design with an integrated accessory compartment, something that even larger models lack.

The compact design doesn’t force you to compromise on capacity. The 25-gallon tank is standard for most applications, but the slimmer design is much easier to store.

If you’re just getting started, the included accessories will help you get around with what you need.

What We Don’t Like

Many of these features we love come with stipulations.

The accessory compartment is great, but it will not fit all the accessories you need for your portable waste tank. The included accessories will also work to start, but you’ll likely need to replace them early on.

This tank can be difficult to drain, and it works best for gray water applications. Otherwise, you’ll need to get creative with maneuvering the tank to rid that last ½ gallon of wastewater.

Pros

  • Quality construction at a lower price
  • Wheels and hitch stand up to consistent use
  • Does not leak
  • A great option for low-profile rigs

Cons

  • Included accessories are lower quality
  • The accessory compartment is not very spacious
  • Difficult to drain fully

What Is An RV Portable Waste Tank?

An RV portable waste tank – also known as an RV blue boy or RV waste tote tank – is a container used to store black water, gray water, and sewage from an RV. Think of it as an overflow for your onboard tanks that allow you to easily empty your waste.

Without a portable waste tank, you would have to move your rig to the nearest dump station every time your tanks are full. If you’re staying on a campground without full hookup facilities, you would need to pack up camp, drive to the dump station, empty your tanks then set up camp again.

Now imagine having to do that at least twice a week. It’s not the most convenient way to empty the waste.

A portable waste tank allows you to more easily transport the waste to the dump station without the need to decamp every time.

Benefits Of An RV Waste Tote Tank

One of the handiest things you can have when RVing is a tote tank for your waste. This is especially true if you are boondocking or dry camping where there are no hookups for water or sewer.

A tote tank allows you to store your waste until you can properly dispose of it. This means you can extend your waste capacity and visit the dump station less frequently. If you’ve ever been boondocking in a popular location, you’ll appreciate how important that is so you don’t lose your ideal spot.

There are many different sizes and styles of tote tanks available on the market, so you can find one that fits your needs.

What Size Portable RV Waste Tank Do I Need?

The most straightforward use of a portable RV waste tank is to drain the complete contents of your holding tanks. This requires a capacity that matches the holding tank completely (i.e., a 30-gallon blackwater transfer tank for your 30-gallon holding tank).

Going for a perfect match lets you empty both your black and gray water tanks without worrying about spillage or any other messes, but this is not always possible.

You should also consider what options you have to store the tank and whether you can maneuver it when full. Not everyone has room for tanks with larger dimensions, and because these tanks get so heavy, a larger tank may not be ideal if you need to walk the tank to dump it.

Some may recommend you partially empty your holding tank into a smaller tank, but in these cases, it is just easier to choose a smaller tank to accommodate your gray water holding.

Partially emptying black water can lead to debris clogging or blocking your valve and preventing a proper seal. Blackwater does not fill up as quickly, and you should not need to empty it as often.

Also Read: DIY Campervan Water Tanks for Van Conversions

How Do You Transport a Portable Waste Tank?

If your portable waste tank is not too heavy and the nearest dump station is within walking distance, you can use the integrated handle to walk the tank over. Make sure your wheels will function on the surface–skinny plastic wheels will sink on loose, uneven ground. 

These tanks can get up to 300 lbs when completely full, and bearing a portion of this weight to roll on two or even four wheels is stressful and difficult. This is not ideal, but it works in a pinch.

More often, you’ll transport the portable waste tank by hooking it up to your vehicle’s trailer hitch ball and slowly towing it. The keyword here, slowly, means you still need to maintain a walking pace of around 5 miles per hour, but you don’t worry about bearing the weight.

Some portable waste tanks don’t include a trailer hitch, or the one they come with does not work well. A good workaround is using a tow strap, but this offers less control and requires more attention.

If you need to transport a full tank over an extended distance, you will need to find a way to put it in the back of your vehicle (and also have a vehicle capable of accommodating the full tank). This works best with smaller tanks, even if you have a ramp or can lift the tank.

Transport empty tanks by securely mounting them to your rig or stowing them away in basement storage. Many tanks come with hooks or contoured bodies to accommodate mounting. 

How Do You Empty a Portable Waste Tank?

Start by moving the tank to where you will empty it, such as a campground or authorized dump station.

Attach a drain hose to the 3-inch sewer drain connector on your portable RV waste tank.

If the drain outlet is on the top of the tank, you need to lift the tank vertically to direct the waste to the drain. Side outlets open and empty the contents from a horizontal position.

Make a note of any venting requirements for your tank; improper venting will disrupt the process and can lead to issues down the line.

Also read: 9 RV Sewer Hose Storage Ideas To Keep Your Hoses Tidy & Easily Accessible

How Do You Clean a Portable RV Waste Tank?

You should at least rinse your portable RV waste tank every time you empty it. Most portable waste tanks feature a threaded port that accepts a standard garden hose, allowing you to attach the hose with minimal worry or mess.

Make sure you don’t use a drinking water hose to clean your waste tank. Many tanks include a 15-inch garden hose to prevent cross-contamination, and you should keep track of this hose.

If this is a straightforward filling port, let some water accumulate and then rotate the tank, so the water rises all the sides. You should then drain the water into the same dump receptacle.

Higher-quality waste tanks usually have a port with multi-directional spray, leading to easier rinsing.

Raise the outside of the tank as needed, and use a mild detergent with a brush to take care of tougher messes. You can also use specially formulated treatment powder to achieve a deeper clean and prevent odor buildup inside the tank.

Check the gate valves often to make sure they operate properly and are not blocked by debris. Lubricate periodically to keep up with performance.

Also Read: The Complete Guide on How to Sanitize RV Water Tank

Conclusion

Buying a portable waste tank is not a decision to make lightly. The wrong tank can, quite literally, create a messy situation that no one wants to deal with.

The Camco Rhino RV Heavy Duty Portable Waste Holding Tank sits at the top of our list for quality and ease of use, but you should make sure it fits under your rig and will roll on the surfaces you frequent.

Take the time to learn how to use and clean your portable RV waste tank to ensure it lasts for a long time. This is one of the best investments you can make to keep trips comfortable, and choosing a higher quality prevents it from becoming a chore to deal with.

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