You can’t even imagine using an RV without proper holding tanks, can you? Just like an RV without beds is useless, its bathroom and kitchen will be useless without the holding tanks.
A typical RV consists of two kinds of holding tanks:
- One that stores freshwater
- Other kinds of holding tank stores the wastewater
Those familiar with the use of these tanks might be interested in knowing, ‘What is the typical RV holding tank size?’ And for those who’ve just started taking interest in these recreational vehicles, don’t skip the next section.
So, what is the average RV holding tank size? Expect a holding tank to be between 25 and 100 Gallons. A class A RV will average 80 Gallons, Class C will average 30 Gallons, and as class C will average 70 Gallons. Travel trailers will be around 40 Gallons.
Types of RV Holding Tanks
Before I go into RV holding tank sizes, bear in mind that there are three separate holding systems. Let’s look at these systems and their purposes:
Gray Water Tank
When you take a shower, wash your face or hands, the residual water goes through the pipes and is stored in a gray water tank. This water usually contains soap residue or food particles.
Black Water Tank
The flushed-out toilet water is stored in a wastewater tank called a black water tank.
This is a storage tank that holds fresh water, allowing water to flow through your RVs plumbing system when you don’t have access to your city’s water supply.
All three tanks are separate from each other and require proper maintenance to function efficiently.
What Size are RV Holding Tanks?
Tank capacity can have a significant impact on your RV adventures.
Just picture this.
You’re on a fun trip with your loved ones. Everyone is sitting around a campfire enjoying snacks. Your RV is parked just a few feet away.
Someone decides to take a quick trip to the bathroom, only to return in a panic because the RV’s waste tank has reached full capacity, and freshwater is running low.
Disturbing, isn’t it?
In such a situation, there’s no choice but to pack up and find the nearest city sewer to dump the wastewater. That’s not it; you would need to locate a water hookup to refill your freshwater tank.
So, what you need to do is get a holding tank size that fits your requirements. Typical RV holding tank sizes are quite decent.
You may find 15 gallons or so for black water tanks, and 32 gallons or more capacity for greywater. Generally, larger RVs have larger holding tanks.
However, the amount of time your tank takes to reach full capacity depends on personal use. For example, if you’re traveling alone, you might make your tank last for a week. But, the same water won’t last that long while traveling with other people.
How Do You Know When Your Holding Tank has Reached Full Capacity?
Most RVs have an inbuilt system that allows you to check the capacity of each tank separately. This feature is available in newer models. For older and smaller trailers, a clogged up RV toilet may indicate that your tank has reached maximum capacity.
How Do I Drain my RV Holding Tank?
Before you begin emptying your holding tank, make sure you have a sewer hose and a pair of gloves for yourself.
Next, identify the different valves on your RV. There will be a clear indication or labels for both grey water and black water.
Now, hook your sewer hose into the valve, and secure the other end into the sewer. Make sure both ends are fastened securely.
Allow the tank to drain by pulling the valve.
You can start by emptying the black water tank. As black water contains human waste, you must dump it into the designated station. You will find that dump stations are usually clearly marked.
Draining the grey water tank after the black water tank helps dump any solid waste that is stuck into your sewer hose.
Take extra care to ensure the valve is closed completely after you’re done with draining.
How Do I Clean my RV Holding Tank?
There are specific cleaners and chemicals available that are effective for cleaning your RV holding tank.
You must use proper cleaning and deodorizing chemicals for cleaning your black water tank, as these chemicals help break down solid waste. They also keep bad odor away from your RV toilet.
10 Best RV Waste Tanks
Now that I’ve laid down some basics regarding holding tanks, let’s look at some of the best waste tanks available in the market.
Usually, RVs have in-built tanks. However, if you want additional support or if your RV doesn’t have a holding tank, you can invest in a portable RV waste tank.
Barker (30844) 4-Wheeler Tote Tank
Available in different sizes, this portable Barker tank is perfect for all sorts of recreational vehicles.
This tank is durable due to the polyethylene material used for its construction. In addition, it is plated with zinc and aluminum. So, you don’t have to worry about leaks or bad odors.
The wheels and the pulley allow you to transport this tank easily. In addition, the front wheels can swivel, making it easy to maneuver the tank.
The best part about this tank is that you don’t have to lift it when draining. It has a 3-inch wide valve, to which you can attach a sewer hose. You don’t need to worry about lifting it or about waste blocking the valve.
Barker (31342) Tote Tank
Barker (31342) Tote Tank comes with a storage capacity of 30 gallons, which, depending on your usage, might last you for quite a few days.
Like the previous model, this one comes with zinc plated brackets as well, which keeps away bad odor. The aluminum embedded in its structure makes it lighter and easier to transport.
Moreover, maneuvering becomes easier because of the extra-large rubber wheels and the high-quality tow handle.
This tank is pre-assembled and is ready for use! Along with the 3-inch sewer valve, it also comes with a 5-foot sewer hose.
Tote-N-Store 20123 Portable Waste Transport 4 Wheeler
This Tote-N-Store Tank is compact, yet provides a lot of storage space. With a capacity of 25 gallons, this tank weighs around 39 lbs when empty.
It has a low-profile design and an extra-long built-in tow handle. The rubber wheels on this tank add to its portability.
This durable tank is pre-assembled and has well-engineered vents that allow easy filling.
Want to know the best feature of this tank? It comes with an indicator system that allows you to monitor the capacity of the tank.
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about getting into accidents with the tank as it comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Camco Rhino (39002) Tote Tank
This Camco Tank is another high-quality product on this list. The heavy-duty design, combined with a leak-free design makes this one of the best tanks in the market.
Like most tanks on this list, the Camco Rhino tank comes pre-assembled and ready to use. In addition, it comes with a kit that includes cleaning, maintenance, and storage accessories.
Made of high-density, UV stabilized polyethylene; this tank can survive the harshest weather conditions. To go with that, it has a storage capacity of 21-gallons.
Barker (27844) Tote Tank
The Barker (27844) Tote Tank, is the third Barker on our list, which is indicative of the quality products the brand produces.
With a tank size of 32 gallons, storage is not going to be an issue. As with the previous models, the 27844 includes aluminum and zinc plates in its structure, which make it light, rust-free, yet sturdy.
This tank includes bayonet fittings and a five feet sewer hose.
Tote-N-Store 25609 Portable Waste Transport
The Tote-N-Store 25609 is another tank that offers a lot of storage capacity. It can store up to 32 gallons of wastewater.
The rubber wheels on this tank are not only smooth but also don’t make a lot of noise.
You can get a lot of additional accessories with this tank as well; it includes a drain hose, hose clamp, garden hose cap, adapter, and a 15-inch garden hose. All of which are extremely useful when draining the tank.
Thetford SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tank
Next up is the durable Thetford SmartTote2 Portable RV Waste Tank. Its rugged body and wheels add to the sturdy structure, making it a tank that will last you a long time.
The SmartTote2 comes with an Auto Level Gauge, which prevents the tank from overfilling.
Besides, the four wheels on this tank make it really easy to move.
Draining this tank is quite easy due to the study hose with the bayonet fitting. Furthermore, the 900 Elbow Nozzle combined with the large drainage port allows you to empty the tank without any blockage issues.
Tote-N-Store 20129 Portable Waste Transport 4 Wheeler
The Tote-N-Store 20129 Portable Waste Transport 4 Wheeler has the largest storage capacity on this list. With a whopping 38 gallons of storage, we’re sure you’ll have no issues with storage.
Another great feature is the fast drainage system; you only need a matter of minutes to empty the drainage tank. Thanks to the efficient design, you don’t have to worry about lifting the tank when draining it.
Then, there are additional accessories such as a ¾ inch and a 3-inch garden hose cap and a 3-inch straight hose adapter.
Alpha Systems VB22548H Holding Tank
The Alpha Systems VB22548H Holding Tank is highly durable and can hold up to 33 gallons of wastewater.
This tank meets the international standards set by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the Canadian Standards Association.
The versatile tank can be attached to any type of RV. Moreover, you can use it for black water or grey water, depending on your preferences and needs.
SmartTote Portable RV Waste Tote Tank
If you’re used to traveling alone on your RV, then the SmartTote Portable RV Waste Tote Tank is the one for you. With a storage capacity of 12 gallons, this model is great if you’re on the hunt for smaller tanks.
This SmartTote tank may be small in size, but this does not mean it lacks in terms of quality. Made of polypropylene, this tank is quite sturdy. It is very easy to move thanks to its rubber wheels and tow bracket.
Moreover, the AutoStopTM Level Gauge prevents overspilling and ventilates the tank by making drainage smoother.
By this point, I hope you know not only the typical RV holding tank size but also the importance of tank capacity.
Assess your needs and preferences when deciding on getting an RV holding tank. Once you’ve found the right tank size for yourself, you can enjoy all your RV adventures without worrying.