How To Choose The Best RV Portable Waste Tank

Two RV portable waste tanks are shown as the best RV portable waste tanks.

There comes a time when boondocking or camping without hookups where you have to break camp to dump your tanks. Quite the “stinky” chore! Eliminating that task would enable you to keep your primo boondocking spot and get back to enjoying your campsite faster. But how do you do that? With a portable waste tank, of course! 

Let’s dive into the details – and be sure to check out our recommendation of the best RV portable waste tank at the end!

What Is a Portable Waste Tank?

An RV portable waste tank is exactly what it sounds like. It’s an external, portable tank that exists to help you dispose of wastewater without moving your RV. 

Portable waste tanks come in different sizes and have many manufacturers. Typically, they all have wheels, a handle for toting to the dump station, and a spout for more straightforward dumping. 

You may hear RVers refer to their portable waste tanks as a “blue boy” or “honey wagon.” 

A blue boy type RV portable waste tank is on wheels with a wastewater hose attached.

Using A Portable RV Holding Tank

Using a portable waste tank is similar to using an RV dump station. You connect your RV waste water hose to the waste tank, open the vent, and fill the waste tank. 

It’s essential to keep in mind the waste tank’s capacity versus your RV’s holding tanks’ capacity. If your portable waste tank is smaller than your RV’s waste tanks, only fill it about 3/4 of the way and then close your RV waste tank. This is because your sewer hose will still have wastewater in it – and the last thing you want is a stinky overflow.

Once your tank is full, simply wheel it (or drive it) to the nearest dump station and dump it like you would your RV.

Portable Waste Tank Usage Scenarios

There are many situations in which you might want to use an RV portable waste tank. The first usage scenario is boondocking. Using a portable waste tank will allow you to stay in your boondocking spot longer without breaking camp to go dump every few days. It’s like an added layer of freedom! 

Another usage scenario would be when you’re in a campsite without sewer. Many campgrounds have sites without sewer hookups – especially in state parks. When you’re set up at camp and having a great time, the last thing you want to do is break camp to go dump in the middle of the day. Having a portable waste tank eliminates that headache.

An RV is set up at a boondocking location in the desert with deep blue skies during sunset. A large cactus is in the foreground.

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

Capacity

First and foremost, when you’re choosing the best RV portable waste tank for you is its capacity. How much wastewater can it hold, and how much does your RV hold? The bigger, the better, but you also have a few other things to consider. 

Build Quality

Read reviews on portable waste tanks. You want to be sure that what you’re getting is built to last – especially when it comes to something that’s carrying wastewater. 

Portability and Ease-of-Use

All portable waste tanks should be mobile, but some of them are better at it than others. Whether it be the handle or the wheels – some waste tanks have better portability features than others.
Another thing to keep in mind is ease-of-use. Does it seem like it will be easy to fill, haul, and dump? 

Storage

Lastly, consider where you will keep your portable waste tank. Keep in mind the size and storage capacity that you already have! It’s not uncommon to see an RV driving down the highway with their portable waste tank affixed to the rear ladder. This is perfectly acceptable, of course! Just make sure you have room for your new tank.

What Size Portable RV Waste Tank Do I Need?

The size of your portable RV waste tank will come down to a few different things. First – what are the capacity of your RV grey water tank and black water tank? Ideally, your waste tank would be the same size (or a bit bigger) than your RVs waste tanks. 

But, you also need to keep in mind your storage capacity. If you don’t have room to keep a bigger storage tank, a smaller one will work. It will just require more vigilance when dumping and more trips to the dump station. Even then, it’s usually more convenient than breaking camp to go dump. 

How to Clean an RV Portable Waste Tank

Like with an RV, it’s recommended to dump your black water first, then gray water. That process alone will help remove most of what’s leftover from the black water. 

Then, cleaning your portable RV waste tank is similar to cleaning your RV’s waste tanks. Use the water spigot at the dump station for filling and rinsing out your portable waste tank. You can choose to add soap and shake it and swish it around, which you can’t do with your RV. 

After your tank is all rinsed out and clean, you will want to sanitize all the exterior parts you touch. Including the caps, vent, exterior, and handle. Always be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after using, just like after you dump your RV waste tanks. 

An RV dump station with the flushing water location labeled to clean the best RV portable waste tank.

Best RV Portable Waste Tank Recommendations

There are many portable RV waste tanks on the market today – so we want to help you cut through the noise. This is our recommendation for the best portable RV waste tank you can get for portability, durability, and ease-of-use.

Barker 4-Wheel Tote-Along

The Barker 4-wheel tote-along is a classic “blue boy” portable waste tank. This tank comes in many sizes and rolls flat. The front wheels are on a swivel for better ease-of-use – many other waste tanks just have rear wheels.

What we like about this tank is that you don’t have to lift it to empty it. 25 to 42 gallons of wastewater is heavy, and many portable waste tanks need to be tilted to empty. Not this one! 

This waste tank has a low-point drain with a gate valve that’s as simple as connecting your hose and pulling the valve, just like on your RV. 

Barker 4-Wheeler Tote Tank - 32 Gallon Capacity (27844)
  • Constructed from blow-molded polyethylene, zinc-plated steel and aluminum
  • Front-mounted double wheel-swivel engineered for easy maneuvering and mounted on a heavy-duty, extra large mounting...

RhinoFLEX Tote Tank Sewer Hose Kit

You’re going to need a short sewer hose and attachments to empty your portable waste tank. RhinoFLEX makes the best sewer hoses on the market – and they’ve even got a kit for a portable waste tank. 

This tote tank sewer hose kit comes with a 3ft length of hose, a swivel elbow attachment, and caps. Everything you need to dump your portable waste tank! 

Camco 3 Foot 39768 Rhinoflex Tote Tank Hose Kit
  • Connects your portable waste tank to any lug sewer fitting
  • Assembled kit is 3 feet long extended; 19 inches compressed

Budget Option – Rhino Portable Waste Holding Hose and Accessories

If you’re looking to save a few bucks, this Rhino tote tank and accessories is the perfect option. It still comes highly rated on Amazon and you get everything you need in one purchase.

This comes with the accessories you need and offers many options for tank capacity, ranging from 15 to 36 gallons. You can add on additional accessories, like a mounting bracket, wheel kit, and steering kit.

Camco 39000 Rhino Heavy Duty 15 Gallon Portable RV Waste Holding Tank with Hose and Accessories - Durable Leak Free and Odorless RV Tote Tank
  • Ready to use kit includes everything needed to transport waste from your RV or trailer to a dump station when you're...
  • Large, heavy duty, no flat wheels with bearings make transporting the tow tank smooth and effortless

RV Portable Waste Tanks Make Life Easier

If you love boondocking and staying in state parks, having a portable RV waste tank is a no-brainer. The ability to dump your tanks without having to break camp is a literal game changer! And as all RVers know – anything that makes the RV life more comfortable is a worthwhile investment. 

Last update on 2021-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. Yes, I have the 42 Gallon Barker waste tote. I also have the Flojet portable macerator that twists on the the RV discharge. I simply pump the Black and Gray waste through a dedicated garden hose to the Barker tote sitting in my truck bed. This eliminates the need to tow the tote behind the truck, it also lets gravity do all of the work at the dump station. I also have the 60 gallon fresh water bladder. I have been using both of these to Winter camp in Michigan with only electric hookup.

  2. I like the theory behind the tote but not sure about the execution. We boon-dock a fair amount. We have stayed at the same place in Quartzite as well. I can see towing the tote to that dump station and being successful. My concern is what about a lot of other places you may have to go10- 20+ miles to dump? and down rocky roads or freeways ? Is placing it in the back of your pickup and using a macerator / pump the answer? I assume once you have 20+ gal’s of liquid its going to weigh over 200#’s so picking it up and lifting it into the truck bed is out (?). Any other ideas ?

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