The Best RV Portable Waste Tanks in 2020

Comparisons, Reviews and Guide

A recreational vehicle or camper is like a home away from home. The difference between an RV and a second home is you can take it with you while you travel. Furthermore, the RV isn’t connected to the grid like most homes. The downside of this is that you aren’t connected to utilities in most locations. This is where water and wastewater tanks come in. And you can add on to the existing capacity of the wastewater tanks that came with the RV. The best rv portable waste tank allows you to wash your hands, do the dishes and take showers just like you would at home with minimal inconvenience.

What is the Best RV Portable Waste Tank?

The typical RV has wastewater tanks for grey water and black water. Grey water comes from the shower and sink. Black water comes from the toilet. It is named for the dark human waste in it. The average RV has one tank for each, though they may be connected.

For example, it is common to be able to empty the grey water tank into the black water tank after draining the black water tank. This helps purge the black water tank without having to use additional clean water.

You can add to the capacity of one or both of these wastewater tanks with a portable waste tank. An RV portable waste tank may be called a black water expansion tank, because it is generally used to increase the capacity of the black water tank.

Note that the same tank can be used to empty grey water, as well.

Here are Top 11 Best RV Portable Waste Tank Full Reviews

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01) Camco Rhino Model 39002 21 Gallon Portable Waste Tank

Editor Rating: 4.7 Out of 5

We’re recommending the model 39002 waste tank because it has seven more gallons of capacity than the size smaller, but it has a similarly low profile. The cart has a roughly twelve and a half inch height.

However, its intake port is a little over 14 inches above the ground. Make sure the unit will fit under the RV to get proper drainage, especially for the grey water tank.

Check the ladder distance before you buy this, because it is a tight squeeze on some RVs. The unit has a ladder hook so you can connect it to the camper ladder for storage, so you don’t need to use various ties to hold it in place.

Not all manufacturers give you this for free with the waste tank.

The unit is durable. It is relatively lightweight when empty. Note that this greater capacity makes it heavier when it is full. It is odorless and generally leak free. It may start to leak on the bottom after six months of heavy usage, especially if the bottom has been dragged on the ground a lot.

What is the downside here?

It relies on two wheels and a pull handle. Fortunately, the rugged plastic wheels cannot go flat. One downside of this model is the strength of the plastic. The handles sometimes break. In other cases, the body forms hairline cracks, especially if dropped on the ground.

Does it come with accessories?

It comes with accessories to allow you to clean the inside of it. For example, it comes with a tank rinser. The low drain hole ensures it empties completely. This unit also comes with a three foot sewer hose, fittings, fifteen inch water hose adapter, several elbows and adapters and caps for the hose.

The Rhinoflex hoses that come with the portable waste tank are as prone to leaking as conventional Rhinoflex hoses. There is conflicting information on whether other Camco hoses will connect to this Camco brand portable waste tank. This may be the best rv portable waste tank if you already own several Camco sewer hoses.

  • Comes with ladder connections for storage
  • Moderate capacity in a tight package
  • Comes with a number of accessories out of the box
  • Rhinoflex hoses tend to leak
  • Tight fit with many RVs

02) Barker Model 27844 4 Wheel Tote Tank - 32 Gallon Capacity

Editor Rating: 4.6 Out of 5

This RV portable waste tank by Barker has a pull-handle and four wheels to make it easier for a single person to take to the dump tank. There are occasional complaints that the axel pops off, and you can’t move the load until you put it back in place.

You might lose both wheels when this happens. If you tried to pull the tank along without restoring the wheels, you could wear a hole out in the bottom of the tank.

The tires themselves are inflated, and they can go flat over time.

One problem is that the sewer hose is hard to assemble. The instructions even admit this. Some people get it on. Others buy a different brand of hose to connect the Barker waste tank to the RV.

A related problem is that the manufacturer hose rarely connects to the dump station. This means you may want to use a different brand of hose and connectors to empty it into the dump tank. The bobber gauge inside the tank is rarely accurate.

A downside of this type of fill indicator is that it will get nasty gunk on it just by sitting inside the mess. And it needs to be cleaned periodically along with the rest of the tank.

Why are we recommending this portable tank?

The tank has a massive capacity, and it can be handled by one person. In fact, it is one of the few RV waste tanks that a smaller adult could pull and maneuver. The lack of grab handles can make this more challenging.

It doesn’t drain entirely on its own. The Camco unit is better in that regard. You can solve this in part by rinsing it more often.

The tank itself is quite rugged. It won’t crack because it was exposed to the sun or dropped a short distance.

  • Massive capacity
  • Can be used by a single person
  • Rugged tank
  • Wheel problems
  • Hose connections are terrible

03) SmartTote2 Brand RV Portable Waste Tote Tank - 2 Wheels - 35 Gallon -Thetford Model 40503

Editor Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

This is the best RV portable waste tank for someone on a budget, because it is one of the cheapest mid-capacity models on the market. It is a 35 gallon capacity unit.

The manufacturer also makes 12, 18 and 27 gallon sizes.

The low profile of the 35 gallon unit means it can be used with almost any RV or camper despite its massive storage capacity. The unit is roughly 14 inches tall.

Note that if your trailer is not taller than this, you can’t use it. (The unit has a hose on top.)

The smaller, 2 wheeled 35 gallon unit does have more maneuverability challenges than the four wheeled units shown in advertisements.

You can solve this by not waiting until it is completely full to empty it. This also reduces the risks of one of the only two wheels coming off while you’re maneuvering it.

Is there any issue?

The vent cap sometimes comes off. You may want to tape it into place, if this happens to you. On the other hand, there are no reports of trouble getting hoses connected to the unit. The hose coupler may collapse. On the other hand, the built-in auto-stop level gauge is intended to prevent you from over-filling it.

The tote itself is sturdy. You have to buy a separate tow strap to hook it onto the back of the RV.

  • Automatically stops filling when at capacity
  • Affordable
  • Doesn’t come with tow strap / ladder storage strap
  • Vent cap leaks

04) Barker Model 31342 Tote Tank - 30 Gallon Capacity

Editor Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

Barker makes 5, 10, 15, 22 and 30 gallon portable RV waste tanks. We’re recommending the 30 gallon tank, because this gives you the best overall value.

At 12 inches, it has a lower profile than most. That makes it a better choice for those who can’t get the other portable waste tanks on our list under their RV.

This Berker has two large wheels that cannot go flat. It has standard bayonet fittings. You get the necessary drain hoses, a garden cap hose, hose adapters, clamps and other essentials. 

The unit has a basic pull handle you can use one-handed. One point in favor of this unit is that it comes assembled. The wheels are press-fit into the body, so they will not stay on the tank on rough, uneven ground.

Is here any problem in it?

The unit may leak, especially after several months of regular use. It may leak around the cap seals or on the bottom. However, the leaking cap seal may appear as soon as you use it. If the seams start to crack, stop using it because it is about to pop apart. If the plastic is warped or deformed, it is likely to leak or break apart, as well. This means you don’t just have a minor leak of human waste but everything spills out of it, if this happens.

  • Low profile
  • Already assembled
  • Prone to leaks
  • Can suffer catastrophic failures

05) Thetford Model 40505 SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tote Tank - 12 Gallon Capacity

Editor Rating: 4.4 Out of 5

The model 40505 waste tote tank by Thetford is smaller than the others on this list. That makes it a good choice for someone who wants to park their RV and leave it there, while they make one or two runs a week to the dump tank depending on their usage.

The smaller size makes it easier to store. It also means that you don’t need to be very strong to move the full tote tank.

This tote tank is not unusual for leaking at the connection point for the connection hose. A periodic complaint with this model is that it is supposed to come with a hose, but it doesn’t always. You might not have a wash out hose, an intake hose or even a pull handle.

It has a fitting that lets you rinse it with a garden hose, but that fitting isn’t tight. That means it can accidentally spray you with semi-poopy water while you’re trying to clean it.

What does the manufacturer say?

The manufacturer says the unit has a level gauge that should shut off flow when it starts to peak. That’s a feature you often only find in larger or more expensive units. In reality, that’s only something you find in Thetford’s larger units – not this one. This unit is cheaper than some of the others on our list simply because of its smaller size and lower capacity.

The unit is harder to completely empty than average without tilting it over. The smaller size and lighter weight makes that more practical than larger, heavier units.

The tank itself is durable. There aren’t reports of it cracking on impact or during standard usage like some of those on our list.

  • Relatively lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Leaky
  • Doesn’t always come with the necessary hoses

06) Tote-N-Stor Model 25609 Portable Waste Transport - 32 Gallon Capacity

Editor Rating: 4.5 Out of 5

This 32 gallon tank by Tote-N-Stor is one of the largest practical models you can find on the market today. More importantly, it is one of the more affordable large RV tanks.

This is the best portable waste tank for rv owners for the value, if you need a larger capacity unit.

This unit is almost unique for having a tow bracket on the back. You could pull it using your car or RV to take it to the dump tank instead of doing so manually. (A full 32 gallons could approach 300 pounds.)

The discharge hose is surprisingly short. It also doesn’t have a handle or elbow adapter. There are basic fittings, but you may not get instructions on how to use them.

Nor does it have an overflow protection. This means you want to stop filling it at around 30 gallons, if you don’t want to make it nearly impossible to empty or risk spilling.

It has some great features

The unit has inflated tires. This makes it easier to pull on rough groups, but it also means the tires can pop or go flat. If the tires go flat when you’re pulling it behind your car, the rims could be damaged.

The heavy duty plastic body does not leak. It is also incredibly rugged. However, you need to be careful going over speed bumps pulling this thing. The body won’t crack, but the wheels breaking will make it hard to use afterward.

Tote N Store is unusual for selling replacement tow brackets, wheel retainer kits and other replacement parts for their waste tanks. That also means you can get spare tires, if necessary, from the manufacturer.

  • Comes with tow bracket
  • Good overall value
  • Rugged body
  • Replacement parts available
  • No overflow protection, and so requires visual monitoring
  • Short hose is hard to use

07) Barker Model 30844 4 Wheel Tote Tank - 42 Gallon capacity

Editor Rating: 4.4 Out of 5

This 42 gallon tank by Barker has a capacity that rivals the black water tank that is built into many RVs. This could easily double the length of time you have before you have to visit the dump tank.

It also allows you to stay a week in the RV with six or eight people in the RV without having to empty the tanks. Barker makes similarly shaped 25 and 32 gallon models.

This unit is pulled like a wagon using a less than ergonomic handle. It is pulled along the ground on three wheels because no one could manage a full tank on just two wheels.

The tote weighs roughly fifty pounds when empty and exceeds 300 pounds when full. Yet it has a relatively low fourteen inch profile. The hose connects on the edge of the side of the tank, so you don’t have to worry about being unable to fully empty it.

How is Its wheel?

The front of the tank has a single wheel. This wheel is very maneuverable. It is also the failure point for this unit when there is a heavy load. In some cases, it is the wheel breaking off. You can reduce the risk of this by emptying the unit when it isn’t entirely full. In other cases, leaks form at the connection point of the wheels and handle to the storage tank.

The rear axle is more stable. However, it may come off due to major altitude changes. If this happens, it is nearly impossible to fix. Barker does not make it easy to get replacement parts. At least its tires are durable.

What does company provide?

The company provides caps for the waste hoses. The hose is normally a three inch wide model. You can replace the hoses with RhinoFlex hoses, if necessary. This unit is not made to be towed behind your car like the Tote N Store.

Barker does not offer any hardware to let you modify their existing units to be towed, either. It can be stored in an RV storage area or bound to the ladder. You may need to buy additional ties or binders to do so.

It is rarely going to fit between the RV ladder and the RV body.

  • Massive capacity
  • Relatively low profile
  • Provides hoses and clamps
  • Tends to fail on the front end

08) SmartTote2 Model 40518 LX Portable RV Wastewater Tote, 27 Gallons

Editor Rating: 4.3 Out of 5

The model 40518 RV waste tank by Thetford (SmartTote2 model) has two wheels connected to an axel and pull handle. This makes it more reliable than the Barker unit when fully loaded.

The unit is relatively easy to use. You don’t have to mess with a lot of clamps and clips to fill it or empty it. The attachments like the hose and clamps leak about as much as average.

There aren’t customer complaints that this unit failed to come with the necessary components.

At 27 gallons, it has a moderately large capacity. One issue with this unit is that it fills from the bottom. That means it may not fill entirely. The capacity indicator does not always work. Furthermore, it is gravity fed, and it doesn’t have a valve to stop the flow when it is almost full.

The plastic shell is not as rugged as you’d expect. It is possible for the top to cave from pressure. The handle itself is somewhat flimsy, too.

  • Easy to use
  • Can be managed by a single person
  • No stop valve and gravity fed = high risk of overflows if near capacity
  • Not as durable as expected
John S.

Hello guys! I'm a 37-years-old author, traveler, writer, blogger, and a camper. I enjoy life as much as I can and love to visit beautiful places in my RV. That's why while traveling I have decided to dedicate some time to share my experiences with everyone that might be interested in traveling, camping, and RVs.