Product Review: Thetford SmartTote 27LX

If you stay at any park without sewer hookups or boondock a limiting factor to your stay is the capacity of your rig’s waste holding tanks. Once they are full, you either have to move your rig to the dump station or have the dump station (honey wagon) come to you. One is a real inconvenience, the other can be costly depending on where you are and what they charge for the service of pumping out your tanks.

The other option is to have a portable tank that you can haul to the dump station to empty the tanks yourself. There are several brands, styles and capacities of portable waste totes on the market. We recently acquired Thetford’s SmartTote 27LX which has a 27 gallon capacity and has four wheels and a handle which you can use to pull or tow the tank back and forth to the dump station.

20140508_103324ecv6So far I like using the SmartTote with one exception which I will explain in a moment. The SmartTote came fully assembled and ready for use. I just had to slip it out of its box.  Since my gray tank was nearing full it was the perfect time to make a test run with the SmartTote.

The instructions are easy to understand and there is a nice video on the Thetford website explain its features and how to use it too.

Hooking it up to the waste drain in my wet bay was easy.  I will warn you of one thing. There is a small valve cover that you must open to fill the tote. It has a nice little red indicator that lets you know when it is full and time to close the blade valve on the RV. Just so you know…as the liquid fills the tank, air rushes out of that vent…straight up. It stinks! So don’t have your head and face hovering over it while filling!

20140508_103856e6As you can see in the picture I added a length of rope to make it easier to pull, I’m tall and wagon handles never seem to be long enough either. Dumping at the dump station is just as easy, however I am glad I started with gray water for this test run. Normally I would use a 90 degree elbow to hook up my rig when dumping. There is an adaptor that wasn’t included with my SmartTote. It is part #40540-Double Pin Termination Adaptor which you use to connect the tote to the elbow. See picture below. I am investigating whether or not it was suppose to be included but was removed by the dealer that sold it to me. If it wasn’t included I will have one in hand before I dump the black tank!

20140508_152033ex6The SmartTote empties almost as fast as it fills so your stay at the dump station is a short one. Other than the adapter missing or not included I think this tank will serve our needs very well as we have planned stays this summer at places without sewer connections for lengthy stays. I can tow this over behind the car or walk it if the distance to the dump station isn’t too far.

Question: Where do you stow/haul it when traveling? My initial thought is to hang it on the bicycle rack on the back of our motorhome along with or without the bicycles. I have another possible location in mind but I have yet to investigate whether it will fit and if its feasible or not. If it is, it will be out of sight and not take up any valuable storage space under the rig. You could put it up on top of your roof and secure it there…it will look just like another air conditioner only gray in color. ;0)


UPDATE: The adapter arrived and it works great. See for yourself.


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Gerald Voigt

Gerald's interests are wide and varied. His work career started in the United States Air Force and since then has worked in logistics management, retail & service management as well as manufacturing. He's an author, photographer, pilot, radio show host and marketing consultant who enjoys RVing which allows him greater freedom to explore, meet new acquaintances and serve his clients.