Vinyl Fence Posts for Sewer Hose Storage

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Historically, sewer hoses were stored in the bumper. Newer hoses have bigger ends on them and don’t always quite fit. I can definitely say that my last rig, this wasn’t the planned design as the bumper had pointy screws through it; simply putting the the hose into the bumper would have torn it up.

A couple of rigs come from the factory with a few built-in solutions. Some worked, some didn’t. The solution for many has been to add their own storage mechanisms. From commercially available products like the EZ Hose Carrier by Valterra to the equivalent made out of PVC pipes.

Another solution has floated around RV forums for a while and I’ve actually implemented it on both RVs that I’ve had. Longest story shortest, it’s a 5″ vinyl fence post cover that gets mounted under the camper at a spot that’s convenient.

Ingredients

Now, let’s get down to the recipe for one. You may find that these are convenient and handy and you want to make more than one- just double everything. When I built mine, I was doing 2 at a time.

Parts needed for building sewer tubes

Here are the parts you’ll need:

Tools

Tools needed:

  • Hack saw
  • Drill
  • Socket for drill to match self-drilling screws
  • Pop rivet gun
  • Pop rivets (6)

Assembling the Tube

On my first set of sewer tubes, I made both sides able to be opened. In over 5 years of use, I never once opened the side facing the camper’s door. So when I remade the tubes for this new rig, I decided we didn’t need it.

To start, we’ll cap off the one side. This is pretty simple, just pop one of the vinyl end caps, drill a hole through it and the tube, and then secure it with a pop rivet.

For the opening end, I secure this with a piece of bungee. In the video, I have a piece of bungee that has proven out to be a little too thick. I have bought lighter/thinner bungees but haven’t gotten around to installing them yet.

Knotted inside

To secure the caps, I drilled a hole in either side of the sewer tube and two holes across the top of the end cap. I tied off the bungee inside of one side of the sewer tube. I threaded the bungee through the cap (outside, inside, outside) and then back into the sewer tube where I tied it off again.

And that’s it, this gives you the most basic sewer hose holder. But, let’s fancy it up a little with a drawer!

Assembling the Drawer

The drawer is a simple structure, just a piece of half round vinyl gutter and two end caps.

These are sold in 10′ sections, so you have to cut them shorter than the vinyl fence post itself. It’s 8′ (aka 96″) so I cut the gutter at 93″ or so. The actual amount doesn’t matter, just so that it’s shorter and there’s some space on either end. Doing this, I’ve learned that I can’t cut a straight line to save me!

Tube complete, showing the drawer in place

After the ends are cut, line up an end cap so that it’s aesthetically please to the eye. Once you’re ready, drill through the gutter and end cap. Pop rivet these in place.

If you really want to get fancy, pickup a couple extra end caps and pop rivet them to make “compartments” sized to hold your sewer accouterments (clear elbow, campsite 90 degree elbow, etc.).

Viola, you’re done with the drawer!

Mounting Brackets

This was the part that I mentally struggled with the most and ultimately settled on a simple flat aluminum straps. Now, I was fortunate that I didn’t have any obstructions in the way on this current rig (where the last one, I had to avoid a propane line).

To make the brackets, I cut two 23″ pieces of flat aluminum bar. I then made 90° bends at 4″, 5″ from the prior, 5″ from the prior, and 5″ from the prior (leaving the last bend at 4″ from the end of the piece). Basically, I started with a 4″ bend and then made bends around the piece of vinyl fence post and ended up with a squared U-shape with wings.

Installation

The installation isn’t very difficult, just a little awkward. The tubes are long and annoying to maneuver and you’re working on your back under the camper. Since I didn’t have a helper the day that I installed my pair, I used a bottle jack on top of LynxLevelers to support the tubes. I used a metal bandsaw guide (long story, it’s a great straight edge and guide) and a couple pieces of scrap wood to spread the bottle jack’s load.

Once they were held up against the frame, I fitted one of the mounting brackets around it and then used the self-drilling screws through the bottom of the “I” beam.

Alternative Bracket/Installation

I mentioned briefly that my first camper had a hard-propane line in the way. We (my father-in-law and I; which is really him and me playing the role of “helper”) had to devise a way to mount the tubes lower than the propane line. We couldn’t use the simple aluminum mounting brackets I described above. Instead “we” took a piece of 1″ steel square tube and cut it into 4 sections (a top and bottom for either side).

Alternate installation

To tie the top and bottom square tube, we used threaded rod and lock nuts to tie it all together.

In Use

The sewer tubes are incredibly convenient for storing sewer hoses, expandable hoses for the black tank flush, accouterments, and even our yucky down the toilet sprayer hose.

As I mentioned, I had a few years of the first set. This new set is only a few months old but I have about 2,500 miles on them. So far so good. Before this, I had a large bin in the fairly small basement hatch.

My first round of sewer tubes after quite a few years and many thousand miles.

I expect to get a few years and many more thousands of miles out of them.

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