Note: The article below is outdated, since I now use a 12 volt macerator (see here ) instead of this Sewer Solution. If you don't want to spend the money on an electric macerator, then I still would recommend the Sewer Solution. The only drawback to the Sewer Solution is the need for a water hose to power the macerator. Other than that, it works just as well as the expensive electric macerators.
Our Sewer Solution
One problem we found with the Roadtrek stems from the fact that it looks like a custom van. Because it sits low to the ground, the septic blackwater as well as the graywater tanks sit quite low. To drain these via gravity through a standard RV sewer hose does not allow for any rise or obstacles between the van and the sewer drain. This can become a hassle in certain situations. To help overcome this problem, I bought the 'Sewer Solution' from Camping World ( www.sewersolution.com⁄ ).
The Sewer Solution is a water powered waste macerator pump. In the picture above, the Sewer Solution twists onto the end of the built-in 3" sewer hose, which does not need to be pulled out (in other words, you do not have to modify your sewer hose arrangement at all and can still use it in the regular fashion if you don't want to use the Sewer Solution). I have the storage tube dropped down on its spring in this picture - the same position as if you were going to pull the sewer hose out. The green 1 inch flexible tubing you see on the left is what replaces the standard large 3" sewer hose. This is 10 feet long and I also bought a 10 foot extension hose. On the right is the water supply hose. This is a dedicated hose separate from the drinking water hose. I use a gray hose to distinguish it from my white drinking water hose. The yellow piece is an on⁄off valve for the water. The small black piece between the valve and the gray hose is a back flow preventer, to make sure water only flows into the Sewer Solution and not backwards to the water supply. Not wanting to take any chances, I use a second back flow preventer at the other end of the gray hose as well.
The Sewer Solution works by squirting a thin, high pressure stream of water across the end cap (the clear plastic part in the picture) into the green outlet hose. Sort of like when your spray nozzle on your garden hose is set to a thin high pressure stream. This high pressure stream does two things: 1) It creates a negative pressure inside the end cap, which pulls any liquids or particles into the green outlet hose. This negative pressure is quite strong. If you have your regular 3" sewer hose pulled part way out from the storage tube, the negative pressure will suck it right back into the tube (kind of neat to see!), and 2) the high pressure stream will break up any larger chunks of waste pieces into smaller particles that pass easily through the 1 inch diameter green outlet hose. I was a skeptic, but it really does empty the black water tank without any problems. Thanks to the clear plastic, you can see it working in all its gory detail.
Since the waste traveling through the green outlet hose is under a mild degree of pressure, it doesn't matter if the hose has to go over a curb or even uphill to the sewer drain. Some users routinely pump up a several foot hill. You can easily pump up to 20 to 30 feet using the flexible green hose that Sewer Solution sells. If you want to pump longer distances, they recommend that you use 1 inch PVC piping. One reason I bought the Sewer Solution was to dump from my driveway at home. My sewer drain is inside my garage, about 30 feet and slightly uphill from my Roadtrek. Using two 10 foot sections of 1 inch PVC piping and the 10 foot green flexible hose, I can empty my tanks with no problem. I cut one of my 10 foot pipes into two 5 foot sections, which can fit in the side storage compartment of the Roadtrek. Although I've never needed it, this will allow me to reach up to 30 feet when traveling (two 10 foot green flexible hoses plus the 10 feet of PVC piping). Regular 1" PVC connectors work well for hooking these together. Hand twisting them makes a water tight seal. I could probably use a little vaseline to make sure it's water tight. I also bought PVC end caps to cap my piping when not in use.
Here are the two 10 foot PVC pipes reaching into my garage. A 45 degree elbow connects the two.
This is the end drain cap that comes with the Sewer Solution. It has a rubber part of stepped circles of varying diameter that will fit snugly into most sewer drains.
As I said, the Sewer Solution actually did solve my problem of how to dump at home. Using it on the road is a little bit more hassle than simply pulling out the 3" sewer hose and dumping. The main hassle is hooking up a separate water supply just for dumping. Storing the flexible green hoses and the extra water hose are not much of a problem in the side compartment. Being an experienced "dumper", I would say it takes about twice as long to dump with the Sewer Solution as it does without it. Because of this, if I don't need to use the Sewer Solution, I just dump the regular old fashion way. In those situations where the sewer drain in not readily accessible due to a curb, uphill rise, high sewer drain opening, or long distance from my van, I break out the Sewer Solution and am thankful that I have it, because otherwise I would not be able to dump.
One other thing. Because of the way the Sewer Solution works, it is extremely easy to rinse out all the tubes and hoses with clean water. The high pressure spray nozzle inside the Sewer Solution can be rotated so that the water sprays back into the Roadtrek's 3" sewer hose. This will quickly fill up the hose with water to rinse it out. Turn the nozzle back to the green 1 inch outflow hose and all this water gets sucked out. I just repeat this several times and everything is clean (relatively speaking, I know the bacteria are still there).