What Is the Best Way to Hook Up a Sewage Drain to an RV Permanently?

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Equipped with sinks, toilets and showers, many RVs provide all the comforts of home. Contained in large holding tanks, RV waste water is usually emptied into a sewer drain with a flexible plastic hose. However, when setup for extended living in a campground or RV park, the holding tank drain may be permanently connected to a sewer drain; this procedure saves the hassle of attaching, removing and cleaning the hose every time the tank is emptied.

Things You'll Need

  • RV sewer hose adapter
  • 3 inch diameter PVC pipe
  • Tape measure
  • Hacksaw
  • 200 grit sandpaper
  • 4 inch long 3 inch diameter rubber hose
  • 2 3 inch hose clamps
  • Screwdriver
  • Dish soap
  • 2 3 inch PVC pipe elbows
  • Fine grade steel wool
  • Cloth
  • PVC pipe cement primer
  • PVC pipe cement
  • PVC pipe hanger
  • Twist a sewer hose adapter onto the RV holding tank drain with your hands.

  • Cut a vertical section of sewer pipe. Take a measurement between the bottom end of the sewer hose adapter and the ground and subtract 2 inches. Cut a section of 3 inch diameter PVC pipe equal to the measurement, minus the 2 inches, with a hacksaw. For example, if the distance from the ground to the bottom of the adapter is 2 feet, cut the pipe to a length of 1 foot 10 inches. Clean the burrs from the cut ends of the pipe with 200 grit sandpaper.

  • Attach a 4 inch long section of 3 inch diameter rubber hose to the end of the sewer hose adapter with a hose clamp; tighten the hose clamp in place with a screwdriver. Rub a few drops of dish washing liquid onto one end of the vertical section of pipe and work the pipe into the bottom end of the rubber hose attached to the sewer drain adapter. Fit a 3 inch diameter PVC elbow to the bottom of the vertical section of pipe; do not glue the elbow to the pipe.

  • Cut a 6 inch section of PVC pipe with the hacksaw. Clean the ends of the pipe with 200 grit sandpaper. Scuff one end of the 6 inch section of pipe and the inside of a 3 inch diameter PVC elbow with a piece of fine grade steel wool. Wipe the scuffed surfaces clean with a dry cloth.

  • Apply PVC pipe cement primer and PVC pipe cement, according to the product directions, to the scuffed areas on one end of the elbow and one end of the 6 inch pipe. Push the 6 inch pipe and elbow together. Twist the pipe one quarter turn to distribute the cement evenly around the contact surfaces of the pipe and elbow. Place the 6 inch section of pipe into the sewer drain opening.

  • Cut a horizontal section of sewer pipe. Measure the distance between the bottoms of the two collars on the open ends of the PVC pipe elbows, with the tape measure; cut a section of pipe to fit between the elbows with the hacksaw. Test fit the horizontal section of pipe into the elbows. Remove the pipe from the elbows and make any minor adjustments in the length of the pipe with the hacksaw, if necessary.

  • Clean the ends of the horizontal pipe section with 200 grit sandpaper. Scuff the ends of the pipe and insides of the elbow sections with steel wool and wipe with a cloth. Apply primer and cement to the ends of the pipe and fit the pipe into the elbows, twisting the pipe one quarter turn to spread the cement.

  • Work the vertical section of pipe up into the section of rubber hose attached to the hose adapter so the elbow connecting the vertical and horizontal pipe sections is 2 inches off the ground. Secure the rubber hose to the vertical pipe with a hose clamp and screwdriver. Place a PVC pipe hanger upside down under the elbow connecting the vertical and horizontal pipe sections, for support.

Tips & Warnings

  • Leave the holding tank drain closed until the tank is full, and then empty the tank as usual. This allows the weight of the waste water from a full tank to completely flush out the tank and the sewer pipes, preventing solids from becoming lodged in the tank drain and sewer pipe. Rinse the tank as usual after emptying.

References

  • The RV Handbook: Essential How to Guide for the RV Owner; Bill Estes
  • Plumbing 1-2-3; John Holms
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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