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What Is An RV Macerator Pump (And Do You Really Need One?)

rv macerator pump

RV Sewer Hose Versus RV Macerator Pump (What’s Better?)

Arguably one of the worst parts of RV life is the black tank. If you have ever had issues emptying your black tank and everything not coming out “smoothly” then you should really learn more about RV macerator pumps.

What is an RV macerator pump?

An RV macerator pump is a portable device used for dumping black and gray water tanks. Think of it as a garbage disposal for your RV tanks. A macerator pump grinds up any solid waste making it easier to dispose of.

RV macerator pumps work by breaking down the solids in your black tank through mechanical means (like a blender). The second action is pumping the slurry contents through a smaller hose using pressure. You can even use a standard garden hose!

By pumping the mixture, the macerator pump is able to push the contents of your tanks a further distance.

RV macerator pump
Flojet 18555-000A Portable RV Waste Pump from Amazon

The Flojet 18555-000A RV macerator pump is highly rated on several best-of lists. If you are in the market, this is a great pump to consider.

Do I need an RV macerator pump?

If you have been living in your RV for any period of time (or are a weekend warrior), then you are probably familiar with the standard gravity fed dump hoses – “stinky slinky”.

Not familiar? Check out this industry standard hose kit.

In flat locations where your dump connection is close by, a large sewer hose is going to be adequate. However, if you experience any of the following, you might want to add a RV macerator pump to your tank draining regime:

  • Dump connection is uphill
  • Dump connection is a long distance away (too far for gravity fed hoses)
  • Tank contents are not pumping smoothly
  • No dump connection nearby but you have access to a sewer cleanout or toilet

In these instances above, you could use a RV macerator pump to effectively dump your RV tanks.

It’s important to note that just because you have a macerator pump does not mean that you can dump your tanks wherever. Especially with the last instance—double check the local regulations or facility owners to make sure you are allowed to dump into the sewer cleanout or toilet.

Check out this video from Steering South and their RV macerator pump set up.

Pros & cons of an RV macerator pump

Before you make a decision, check out the pros and cons of the RV macerator pump.

Pros:

  • Ability to pump waste up an incline or over a distance (as compared to a gravity drain hose)
  • Lower potential for mess and less smell (this is because of the smaller diameter hose)
  • More options for dumping locations because you can reach further and you can dump into sewer connections or even a toilet

Cons:

  • Increased time spent draining your tanks (smaller hose diameter equals slower drain)
  • More maintenance
  • Excessive pressure can cause the hose or fittings to blow
  • Initial setup is expensive in comparison to your standard drain hoses. Curious about a less expensive, non-motorized RV macerator pump? Check this out!
  • Increased water consumption to process and empty tanks
  • Requires monitoring when using the pump

Want a DIY macerator pump? Check out this video from Sky Management:


If you are camping with full hookups or easy access to the dumping station, then the RV macerator pump might not be a necessity. However, if you are camping with inconvenient drain connections or where there aren’t proper drains, a macerator pump might make a smelly job better.

Are you ready to add an RV macerator pump to your tank dumping regime? Read more:


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