War of the Hoses
March 1, 2010
Filed under Gear Reviews
Motorhoming offers freedom to roam and enjoy new places. It also requires a number of chores on a daily basis to keep things working smoothly. Hooking up to utilities is one of those chores. My least favorite part of that process is dumping the holding tanks, especially the black tank. It’s not that I’m squeamish, it’s the wrestling with the hoses and fittings that put this task on my dislike list.
It seems like it’s a constant battle with couplers and fittings, not to mention hoses that end up crushed or leaking. Thanks to Thetford, the usual trip to the boxing ring with sewer drain hoses and adapters can be put to the wayside. The company has recently introduced a new drain system called SmartDrain. The SmartDrain system includes everything necessary to replace your current dinosaur technology with easier to use components.
Starting at the tank valve, the SmartDrain couples to the standard 3-inch bayonet fitting via a proprietary adapter that remains on the pipe. The fit here is snug and dry, utilizing an internal seal. Once in place, the expandable, crush-resilient 15-foot hose locks onto this adapter using the pre-attached SureLock fitting. The SureLock is comprised of a special sealing and locking design, which uses air-hose-like quick couplers and two easily operated aluminum tabs for a strong hold. From here, the super tough, super pliable, abrasion-resistant, polymer coil-constructed SmartHose can be stretched and connected to the sewer utility using the company’s creatively designed 90-degree nozzle and universal sewer adapter. The remaining hose end is connected to the 90-degree nozzle by simply popping the coupler in and latching down the SureLocks. The 90-degree nozzle, with handle, is positioned into a universal sewer adapter, which is placed in the sewer opening. Storage of the system is also easier and more sanitary because of the SmartHose’s ability to lock into itself, totally sealing it.
Although the SmartDrain is very innovative, exhibiting great functionality, I’d like to see Thetford improve the flimsy cap that’s designed to seal off the adapter that remains on the end of the motorhome’s dump pipe. Also, the fittings at the ends of the hose do a good job connecting the components, but they are a little tight at first, which may make it difficult to seat from the get-go. After a few uses, though, they seem to break in, making the process very simple and quick. Suggested retail price is around $80.
For more information, call 800-543-1219, or go to www.thetford.com.