By Greg Illes
After years of leaks, failures and various disappointments, I’ve finally gotten a “kit” of hoses in my RV that I’m happy with. Well, yes, I’m only happy until something better comes along. I admit it — I’m a compulsive fixer and fiddler, but my wife likes that we always have the best solutions available — so I stay at it.
There are three general types of hoses used in an RV:
• Freshwater (clean water supply)
• Utility (washing and cleanup)
• Sewer (draining black and gray tanks)
These are often characterized by color — white for “clean” water; gray, green or black for a utility hose; and, of course, the unmistakable 3-inch monster sewer drain hose. You definitely want to keep that freshwater hose sacrosanct and uncontaminated by the other hoses or fittings in your kit. For this reason, I recommend against using a second white hose for your utility hose.
The biggest problems are, of course, leaks. Leaks themselves are of differing importance — if freshwater leaks onto the ground, no biggie. If it leaks into your RV storage bay, not so great and you have to dry it out or water damage may result. Same in general goes for non-potable water in your utility hose. Non-potable water won’t hurt you on contact (but don’t drink it), so it’s just another wipe-up chore. But if that sewer hose leaks anywhere, you are in for a messy and annoying cleanup.
So obviously, my years-long search for leak-free hoses was a noble quest, and here’s what I’ve found based on my personal results. Also note that these results are “so far” — I might come up with a new set tomorrow.
Best white hose: the Colorite WRHC8120025 self-coiling 25-foot. It’s easy to store, easy to use, and it’s been dry as a bone for more than a year of nearly constant deployment and storage cycles.
Best utility hose: the Flexeel PGH6025GS 25-foot slender profile. It’s easily half the stored size and weight of a normal garden hose, but has nearly the same flow rate. The fittings are stainless steel and the strain reliefs are actually effective (unlike the useless springs on some hoses).
Best sewer hose: the Viper series by Valterra. I’m using the #04-0475 20-foot kit (two ten-footers), but there are also 15-foot and 5-foot choices. This hose beats the others so badly it’s laughable. It is flexible, leak-proof, and crush-proof. It stores as easily as any of the Anaconda-size hoses, and the flexibility makes it a snap to use.
All of these hoses are available on Amazon (where my wife thinks they know me by my first name). I hope you have experiences with them as positive as my own.