It was like a scene out of the Robin Williams comedy film, RV. We had just spent the weekend camping with family and friends. All of the girls had used our bathroom over the weekend, so the waste tanks in our camper were full, really full. We had already located a great dump site on Sanidumps.com and had made a beeline to it after breaking camp. I paid the fee, pulled up to the dump station, and got out to do the dirty business that all RV owners hate.
The afternoon temperature was 93 degrees—hot, but tolerable with the light breeze. With a three-hour drive home ahead of us, I wanted to get this nasty business done and over with quick. I put on a set of disposable gloves, pulled out the Stinky Slinky sewer hose, and hooked it up to the camper’s dump outlet. After inserting the other end of the hose into the dump station’s sewer inlet, I walked back to the camper, reached into the dump valve access port, and yanked up on the handle to the black tank termination valve. A split second later the welcome sound of rushing water was heard as the sewage began draining into the sewer inlet. So far, so good.
Three or four minutes later the black tank was close to emptying out. At this point the flow rate had slowed quite a bit, so I lifted the hose to help move the sewage along. I was in the middle of doing this when to my horror it happened—Mr. Slinky pulled loose from the bayonet fitting and flopped straight to the ground. With the hose a gallon or two of the nasty, foul smelling liquid hit the asphalt and splashed up onto my legs and my feet. With sewage still pouring out of the dump outlet and a few choice words blurting out from my mouth (insert your choice of expletive here), I frantically grabbed the end of the hose and successfully reattached it to the bayonet fitting. Robin Williams would’ve been proud. But, alas, the damage was done. My ego was bruised and my shoes were soiled. Mr. Slinky had beaten me again.
Yep, this wasn’t the first time. We had a similar run-in with this sinister hose a few years earlier. In each case the point of failure was the bayonet fitting. The main problem is the bayonet fitting’s design. The portion of the fitting that slips inside the Slinky is smooth. There’s nothing for the hose clamp to grab onto when it’s tightened over the fitting, so no matter how tight you get it the hose can pull away from the fitting with a good tug or twist. This is especially true when the hose is fully extended and full of waste water like it was for me during this latest mishap. I checked the tightness of the clamp before I used it this time around and it was snug as a rug, but it made no difference. A better solution than the troublesome, unreliable Stinky Slinky had to be out there and we were determined to find it.
Fortunately, we did. The good folks at Camco make what they call the RhinoFLEX 15-foot Sewer Hose Kit, a patented RV dumping system with specially engineered hose fittings to prevent mishaps while dumping. The RhinoFLEX sewer hose is sold as a complete kit with everything you need to dump your RV’s waste tanks. The kit includes a 15-foot hose, a swivel bayonet adapter, a 4-in-1 translucent elbow (yes, you can view the waste through the elbow while dumping), two locking rings, and two storage caps. The translucent elbow comes with a detachable adapter that fits all dump-station inlet sizes, including 3-inch slip or 3-, 3-1/2- and 4-inch. Camco sells kits with hose lengths of 15 feet and 20 feet. The best price I could find online for the RhinoFLEX 15 foot version was $30 through Amazon.com.
When you first remove the RhinoFLEX hose from the box, it looks like your normal, everyday Stinky Slinky. Unlike the others, however, the RhinoFLEX hose “clicks” into the shape you want and remains rigid, meaning it can be extended or compressed like an accordion and can hold it’s shape when bent like a drinking straw. No other sewer hose on the market can do this. For storage, the 15-foot-long hose compresses to an amazing 56 inches with the end fittings or 43 inches without them. Need additional length? No problem. Extension kits can be purchased in 5- and 10-foot lengths. Need a shorter hose for those extra short storage tubes like the one on my truck camper? Cut it to the length you need.
The RhinoFLEX end fittings are well-made and offer some neat, innovative features. The fittings are reverse threaded and are attached by rotating them onto the hose in a counterclockwise fashion. The locking rings, which are placed onto the hose first, are also threaded and are tightened by turning them clockwise until the locking tabs on the ring engage. Together, the two result in a hose connection that won’t fail during use. Moreover, each fitting is designed so that they can swivel a full 360 degrees while connected, thus if any adjustments to the hose needs to be made while you’re dumping you can do so confidently without mishap. We should note that the fittings come greased from the factory and that you’ll need to grease them periodically to keep them limber and loose.
Are there any negatives with the system? We can think of only two. First, because of the size of the end fittings you’ll need a storage tube with a 4-inch diameter to store it. Unfortunately, not all RV’s have a storage tube with a diameter that large, so you’ll need to either remove the fittings or find another place in your RV to store it. Second, the removable 4-in-1 inlet adapter is too bulky to fit in a standard 4-inch storage tube. This means you’ll need to detach it from the translucent elbow and store it in another location. This can be a pain, for sure, but it is what it is (We store ours in a small plastic container with a lid). As you can see, neither issue is what I would call a “show stopper” and in no way detracts from what I think is an outstanding product.
How well does the RhinoFLEX actually work? We’ve been an RVer for 12 years and the RhinoFLEX is simply the quickest, easiest, most sanitary dumping system we’ve ever used. The bayonet adapter attaches easily to my camper’s dump outlet and stays firmly secured while in use. The hose is flexible, yet firm, and holds its shape no matter how much waste water is rushing through it; no need to place a large rock on the inlet side of the hose to keep in in place. The translucent elbow allows you to see the rate of flow at a glance and helps take the guesswork out of dumping. The hose is easy to clean and compress, while the storage caps make storing the RhinoFLEX a joy, no more messy spills while placing the hose in the storage tube. We can’t say enough good things about the RhinoFLEX. Our only regret is that we didn’t buy one years ago. It works that well.
Now you may think it’s lame for an experienced RVer to get excited over a sewer hose. We can understand that. But the simple fact of the matter is that if you own an RV, waste tank dumping is a smelly, unfortunate fact of life that we must all deal with. Wouldn’t you rather dump confidently each and every time without worrying about an embarrassing “Robin Williams” mishap? If you’re still not convinced that the RhinoFLEX system is for you, check out the reviews on Amazon.com. Hundreds of testimonials have been written by RV owners stating that it’s a superior product. So if you want a clean and reliable RV dumping system, and you’re tired of Mr. Slinky getting the best of you, give the RhinoFLEX system a try. Your ego and your shoes will thank you. What rating would we give the RhinoFlex? Without hesitation we give it a rating of 5 stars. It’s that good.
I solved the problem of storing by filing down the “ears” of the fitting so it would fit in the round tube. Easy to do with a file, rasp, or sandpaper.