Project Niagara: Sewer Line Storage

Because our new PUP comes equipped with a sink, shower, and flushing toilet (!), it has both gray-water and black-water tanks. This means, among other things, that when we’re done camping we need to stop by a dump station to dispose of all the waste.

To connect our holding tanks to the dump station we bought ourselves an RV sewage line and the requisite attachments. There were several everything-you-need kits available at our local Camping World to choose from, but we bought the one that was not only very highly recommended by the staff, but also happened to be on sale: The RhinoFLEX Swivel kit.

For very obvious reasons, once this lovely piece of equipment has been used once, you don’t want to store it where it might come in contact with, well, anything. As a result, these kinds of sewer lines are designed to fit in a 4” square bumper, which is essentially the standard size in the RV industry. Pop a little rubber cap on the end of the bumper, and you should be able to slip the sewer hose inside it, thus simultaneously storing the hose away from everything else and making efficient use of otherwise wasted space.

I say “should be able to slip” because, as it turns out, either our 4” bumper is no longer a 4” bumper — due to warping, rusting, or whatever — or the housings in the RhinoFLEX kit will not let it fit, as it advertises, in a 4” bumper. Regardless of the explanation, the fact of the matter was clear: our PUP’s sewer hose wasn’t going in the bumper.

Putting the hose inside the PUP was out of the question. But if not in the bumper, where?

In a vinyl fencepost, of course! It’s the first thing you thought of, right?

From vinyl fencepost to PUP sewer hose storage!

In the picture above you can see the white vinyl fencepost — which actually measures 4.75” square instead of the standard 4” square (more on why in a bit) — installed under the PUP, just behind the tires. It looks rather exposed down there, but part of this is the color difference: just about everything else that’s been slung under the trailer’s body is black, but the fencepost only came in white. I may eventually paint it, but mostly I wanted to get it installed for now.

RhinoFLEX coupler (and hose behind it) inside the fencepost.

In this picture you can see the uncapped fencepost in place beneath the trailer. The black pipes to the left constitute the sewage draining system: the round black cap at far left is the attachment point for the sewer hose I’m trying to store. My mounting location, therefore, is actually closer to the “business end” of the sewage system than the bumper is.

The main sewer hose is stuffed inside of the fencepost, behind that orange thing you see sitting inside. That orange thing is a dump station coupler that came with our RhinoFLEX kit. It’s a very clever little piece of equipment that fits into the dump station inlet to form a solid elbow joint with our drainage hose. So it will get every bit as dirty as the drainage hose itself (if not more so). Alas, the dimensions of this coupler ensure that it will not fit in a 4” bumper, even if the hose will supposedly do so. So while all the other ickiness was heading to the bumper, this icky little coupler was going to need to be stored elsewhere.

Since I was starting from scratch, I opted to get a 4.75” fencepost — $22.97 at Lowes — which is big enough to fit the coupler in addition to the hose. Score!

Secured cap on storage. Note holes drilled in the end for "airing it out."

Here’s the full length of my fencepost sewer hose storage system. I currently have it mounted to the outside frame (not the inner “box” frame) with four simple corner brackets. I think this will be sufficient — even loaded with the hose this whole contraption doesn’t weigh much — but I’ll be watching these mounts closely for signs of cracking and loosening. The passenger-side fencepost cap is permanently affixed to the post using screws, but the driver-side cap seen here is attached with two basic safety pins (also from Lowes) angled through the top-right and bottom left corners. It’s a very solid fitting. I’ll probably eventually tie off the pins to the frame somehow so that I can’t lose one or drop it on the icky ground around the dump station.  Or maybe I’ll come up with a better capping system.  This works for now at least.

I couldn’t get the camera to focus on the black parts beneath the PUP, but I think you can sort of see that my storage post fits right between the gray-water tank — the rectangular black mass visible beneath the post on the left side — and the gooseneck of the shower drain — the black loop visible against the post on the right side partway down. Between these features and the stabilizing jacks, this storage unit had very little effect — if any — to my PUP’s already pathetic angle of departure.

So another modification is in the bag. I might take a break for a bit now.  Some other matters are pressing, and this was the last of the items on the “must-do” list prior to the next camping trip.

Speaking of which, we’ll be out in the PUP in two weeks. So I’ll get to test these modifications and get started planning on the next round, too!

7 Comments

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  4. I used to have a trailer exactly like that one. Ours had some major issues though so now it’s sitting my grandparent’s house not being used.

  5. Sorry you had troubles with yours. We’ve had nothing but great luck with ours.

  6. Hello, I just came across these postings about your Niagara. These are great mods! I’m especially interested in the sewage hose strage mod. Is this still working well for you? Any updates? I’m about ready to go and do the same to mine if it still works for your Niagara. Thanks for the postings! -Dane

  7. @Dane thanks for writing. While we sold the Niagara a few months ago, I can report that up until that point this storage modification was working superbly. Best of luck with it!

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