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Old 03-01-2017, 03:37 PM   #1
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Extremely basic question

Ok so I'm putting the "no dumb questions" statement to the ultimate test---my husband and I are renting our first motorhome to try it out with the dogs, etc. My really, basic question is--we will be staying in a couple of state parks that say they only have dump stations but only electric hookups at the camp sites. I understand that this means we will only be connected to electric while we are camped--no water or sewer--we dump when we leave if needed. When a state park just has a dump station, I understand that you dump at a central location in the park, but if you need a refill on water, do the dump stations typically have fresh water as well? If not, where and how does one typically fill up on water? Thanks so much!
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:53 PM   #2
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In my experience with state parks, there is normally water at the dump station but a lot of the times it states that it is not potable. Meaning you cannot use it as fresh water. Normally within the park there are fill spigots located randomly around the camping areas. You can pull up to one and fill up.
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Old 03-01-2017, 05:22 PM   #3
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Don't think I've ever stayed at a state park where there was electric only at the campsite. If they have electric, generally there is water also. Only the primitive, dry camping sites have neither water or electricity. I could be wrong but just have never run across it.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:09 PM   #4
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MirimarVA is correct to my knowledge. The water at the dump stations is usually marked non-potable. I half fill my water tank before entering the park for washing hands, dishes, showers, etc. I also carry a 2.5 gallon water jug in the fridge for coffee/tea etc.

Some parks may not even have power and limit your use of a generator to 10AM to 7PM.

You are camping. Have Fun!
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:09 PM   #5
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...or there is 'shared' water spigots between sites, or group of sites... if you have a long enough hose you can reach it to fill your tank directly while you are parked, or you can just keep it on the whole time you're there if not a lot of other people are needing it....

Joshua Tree NP was a good example of this, while no electricity either, they did have water throughout the camping areas... and bathrooms, etc.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:29 PM   #6
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I have dry camped from Florida to Alaska, California to Nova Scotia and in my experience, if a park has a dump station it will almost always have potable water in some form. Often the water at the dump site itself is not potable, but there will be a potable water spigot nearby. Even parks that do not have a dump station have potable water in some form or another more often than not. Even 3O miles inside Denali National Park while there was no dump station and only vault toilets, there was potable water. In that instance I had to transfer it in 5 Gallon jugs (why I always carry 2 collapsible ones). The Allstay app will tell you if there are hookups, dump station and water and they are generally correct. In 10 years of RVing, I have never had a problem with water. Most gas stations will also let you fill up if you buy gas for free or a nominal charge.
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Old 03-01-2017, 07:12 PM   #7
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Great Question and responses.... I try to look here everyday to learn and keep informed. Thanks everyone.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:05 PM   #8
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You might want to consider buying a water thief. Usually less than $10 at hardware stores. It converts a non-threaded hydrant bib to a female garden hose fitting. Some state parks have water to be shared at different spots throughout the park and often have a non-threaded faucet. Without one, hooking up a hose to fill your tanks is impossible.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:22 PM   #9
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Thank you all so much--sounds like I'm buying a water thief, collapsible water containers and maybe even getting the Allstays Ap! I'll also check the length of hose we will be getting with the rental. We are so excited to try this we want to be as prepared as possible! Thanks again! Love this forum!
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ozeek View Post


....cut..... I understand that this means we will only be connected to electric while we are camped--no water or sewer--we dump when we leave if needed. ....cut....
Not what you asked about, just a suggestion. Unless your holding tanks are almost empty, I'd go ahead and dump them even if not needed. It's better to have extra capacity later and not need it than need it and have full tanks.

What I'd look for, particularly if you have limited water or have been conserving it, is that you have enough water in grey tank to rinse hose enough so that you can disconnect it without making a mess. If the campground dump station has a water hose (which it should but likely not for drinking though) you can do final rinse with their water, thereby saving your valuable resource. At campgrounds with water at each site this isn't normally an issue because you can partly fill grey tank in order to rinse hose after dumping black tank.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:51 PM   #11
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Thanks Chance--so if I understand correctly, we dump the black tank first, then the grey tank AFTER the black since it goes through the same hose--the grey water "cleans" the hose (kind of)--then also run the nonpotable water through the hose when we are done with the grey--correct? Also thanks so much for the thought of dumping even if we are partially full--we definitely would NOT have thought of that! I am sure we will make plenty of mistakes since it's our first time, but this seems like a really good one NOT to make!
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:12 PM   #12
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We all go through the learning process one way or the other. Filling tanks because I didn't plan ahead is one I'd rather not repeat too often. In fact, at some campgrounds that don't have sewer at each site, you may also want to dump "before" you set up. At a state park in Colorado we had to disconnect in evening to dump, then reconnect. This happened because I didn't dump before setting up thinking it was just one night and I'd do it in morning on way out. That was a mistake.

To your question, yes -- dump black first. Then grey so it rinses your hose as much as possible. Then after you disconnect hose, use their non-potable water supply at dump station to rinse hose as clean as you want/need. It helps greatly to have disposable gloves (consider it a requirement), so buy a box before starting out.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:29 PM   #13
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There are systems where you install a tornado system "basically a sprinkler in the black tank" and hook it to the hose at the dump station. You can dump the black tank. close the valve, fill it up with the tornado which rinses the tank, then dump again. Then the water will be pretty clean and the grey water to finish it up.

A clear hose adapter helps you see how clean the tank is.

I will clean it out several times assuming there is not a line of RV's behind me waiting to dump. The potable water is often times right in the dump lane but you have to pull forward to get to it. this way while you are filling your fresh tank you are not holding up the dump line.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:30 PM   #14
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Another thing. Make sure after you dump to put a few gallons of water into the tank. if you don't the nasty stuff starts to pile up and dry out.
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Old 03-01-2017, 09:40 PM   #15
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Another common recommendation: Don't dump the black unless its 2/3 full or more. Otherwise it may not completely empty--when its closer to full you'll get more "flushing" action.

Unless, of course, the unit has a tornado as mentioned above.
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Old 03-02-2017, 12:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozeek View Post
Thank you all so much--sounds like I'm buying a water thief, collapsible water containers and maybe even getting the Allstays Ap! I'll also check the length of hose we will be getting with the rental. We are so excited to try this we want to be as prepared as possible! Thanks again! Love this forum!
HI ! I doubt there is much I can add to this conversation...however, this is what we do. We always bring along a case of bottled water and a couple gallon jugs of 'home tap water' for the cat. It has been our experience that our beloved pets prefer water they are used to. No one may agree with me...but it works for us. We make our coffee with bottled water rather than the RV Park water, regardless of where we stay.
We have a local city park next to the river, here at home...one of our favorite spots when not on the road..for a quick get away....the sites have elec. only...but there are 3 spigots in the park which dispense potable water.

Enjoy ! and enjoy your camping ! Remember...we all are here for you with many answers to questions !!

Kay
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Old 03-07-2017, 05:38 AM   #17
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If you like to watch movies.....

Being that this is your first rental RV trip, I highly suggest you watch two movies for inspiration and general preparedness:

The Long, Long Trailer (1953)
RV (2006)

And for good measure:

Meet the Fockers (2004)

Just a comedic way to quickly learn what to expect, and what not to do.
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