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Old 09-18-2015, 06:52 AM   #1
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THOR #2814
Best Practices For Water Usage, etc

Hi all,

I am new to RVing and plan on making our maiden voyage soon. I'm sure the answers are likely somewhere throughout these forums but I didn't see them yet. Can you tell me what are the best practices for handling/using/storing etc water on board? How long should I keep it before flushing/refreshing? How do I sanitize? How do I manage/maintain drinking water (do I need a separate filter)? I read something somewhere about sanitizing the water when you first pull in and connect to the park water. What is that all about?

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jpaschich View Post
Hi all,

I am new to RVing and plan on making our maiden voyage soon. I'm sure the answers are likely somewhere throughout these forums but I didn't see them yet. Can you tell me what are the best practices for handling/using/storing etc water on board? How long should I keep it before flushing/refreshing? How do I sanitize? How do I manage/maintain drinking water (do I need a separate filter)? I read something somewhere about sanitizing the water when you first pull in and connect to the park water. What is that all about?

Any advice would be much appreciated.
You don't say what kind of RV you have or whether or not itt includes a whole house water filter.

Sanitize the fresh water system before first use. This is done with a mixture of 1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water. The amount of this mixture you will need depends on the size of your water tank. My Challenger requires 6 1/2 gallons for the 100 gallon water tank. You manual should give you the specifics.

I did a mod to my Challenger's water tank drain which allows me to sanitize my water hose at the same time I sanitize the tank.

Since the water filter (whole house) should be removed for sanitizing, I replace the filter when sanitizing is complete (I have whole house filtration). I also use an external filter at the source just for the heck of it.

I sanitize the system when the coach is new, at the beginning of each season and when the coach has not been used for a month or longer.

Hopefully this helps.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jpaschich
I read something somewhere about sanitizing the water when you first pull in and connect to the park water. What is that all about?
Many people keep a spray bottle on hand with the same bleach concentration solution that Dave mentioned (1/4 cup per gallon). Before connecting to the water spigot at the park they spray down the threads with the bleach solution to sanitize the fresh water connection (think about it, the previous person probably connected up and flushed their black tank before leaving and likely disconnected the hose with their hands after messing around with the sewage stuff).
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:28 PM   #4
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I follow the same routine as Dave and never have had a problem. Just make sure once you the sanitizing solution in the fresh water tank, run all of the taps, hot and cold, until you smell bleach. Don't forget the outside shower. After all of the taps have been run, let it sit for 4 hours before you drain and flush out the solution. If you can still smell bleach after 2 flushes, try adding a little baking soda to the flush.

Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of rving.

Fred
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
Many people keep a spray bottle on hand with the same bleach concentration solution that Dave mentioned (1/4 cup per gallon). Before connecting to the water spigot at the park they spray down the threads with the bleach solution to sanitize the fresh water connection (think about it, the previous person probably connected up and flushed their black tank before leaving and likely disconnected the hose with their hands after messing around with the sewage stuff).

Wow. I've been RVing for years and never gave that a thought. Excellent idea. I use disposable gloves when working with sewer hose so I didn't think about what could be happening. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:16 PM   #6
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Those are all good suggestions, but.... especially if you travel to rural areas and even if you don't, you are going to get bad water sometime when you fill up. I got bad water twice in 4 and 1/2 months to Alaska this summer, once in a state park and once in a private. You are usually drawing from wells and you never know. My wife has a very sensitive stomach so we drink bottled water.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:28 PM   #7
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We drink and cook with bottled water as well. We only use city water or the onboard fresh water tank for toilet, showering, and washing dishes. Although if we are washing dishes with it, it's probably no different than drinking it. LOL
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:50 PM   #8
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Theoretically you are right about the washing dishes, but the concentration of what you get is so much smaller that it has to make a difference - I hope. Our issue always seem to be brushing teeth. I always seem to get the empty bottle in the bathroom. We spent 15 years bouncing around the Bahamas in the summer in our sailboat. So we are still very water conscious. When you have to pay 25 cents a gallon to fill up your 80 gallon tank, it make you careful with water.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:51 PM   #9
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wow, 1/4 cup per gallon.... that seems like a lot!

One source I found suggests 1 oz of Cloroxģ for every 8 gallons of water

It really just boils down to having enough hypo in the water to have "free chlorine".... which means it's free to kill the bad stuff....

A layman's way to tell if you have enough bleach is to use your nose..... put enough bleach in the water tank, so that when you run the faucets inside you can smell bleach. Let that sit in the system for the prescribed amount of time, and then rinse.

Laundry Clorox contains some soap (surfactants). It's not pure hypo, so you may see the soap bubbles.....

I thought I read on some forum once that some folks figure there's enough free chlorine in the city water coming out of the tap (assuming you fill with city water occasionally) that just by filling with the city water, they figure they are doing a bit of sanitizing. I reccon that this logic is somewhat sound, but not too long ago I was thinking about this....
So I used my swimming pool test kit to check how much free chlorine I had coming out of my house kitchen faucet (city water).
Then I did a bit of research and found the cdc guidelines
here's a link to a thread I posted about it
to sanitize, or just let the city water do it....

My read on the CDC guideline is that we should be treating the water everytime we fill the tank with water intended to be stored for more than a day or so, to ensure safe drinking water ....
Now that doesn't mean it's not safe if we don't.... but to ensure that we do
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:59 PM   #10
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Good link.. Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:29 PM   #11
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The standard is a 1/4 cup for every 15 gallons of water. Let it set or at least 2 hrs then drain and flush.
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:04 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the great information!!! I think I am ready to ROLL!

Since you have all been so helpful, do you have any recommendations for a filtration system so we can drink the onboard water? We just planned on drinking bottled water for the time being until we earn our RV wings and have everything else figured out. We have a 2014 Chateau 23U.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:56 PM   #13
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Thank you all for the great information!!! I think I am ready to ROLL!

Since you have all been so helpful, do you have any recommendations for a filtration system so we can drink the onboard water? We just planned on drinking bottled water for the time being until we earn our RV wings and have everything else figured out. We have a 2014 Chateau 23U.
Go full R/O!
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:00 AM   #14
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Great suggestions one and all. I am a practicing Dentist and we have to be very sure of what we spray in our patient's mouths. So, you can get a small Britta Filter that fits on the facet head and it has a little on/off slide switch. If you are going to drink the water, or brush your teeth flip the switch on and your water will pass inspection. We use it for water that goes into the little intra-oral "squirt gun" we rinse your mouth with.

If you are really sensitive there is another filter that you can place inline on each sink (replace once a year @ $100 each) that takes everything but the wet out of the water. I'll have to check at the office for the name on that one.

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Old 09-20-2015, 03:39 AM   #15
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We've been RVing for more than 20 years and the only time I have sanitized the fresh water system was because I left well water (not treated) in the fresh water tank and it smelled terrible.

We used the on board water for everything except drinking. We carry a couple one gallon plastic jugs for drinking water. One jug at a time will fit nicely on the right side of the top shelf in the refrigerator. I keep the other in an outside storage compartment.

We have never had a smell problem with treated city or county water. And we've never gotten the hebie-jeebies.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:41 AM   #16
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My wife likes bottled water. I buy gallons and refill the bottles using a funnel.
Our onboard fresh water is used for everything except drinking
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:01 PM   #17
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In this neck of the woods we have some problems with Bacterial Iron in the water and this is especially true for campgrounds using well water. I have through the years noticed some of this substance beginning to cake on my whole house water filter element. The way to get rid of it from the system is to shock the source with Chlorine (sanitize) or through an expensive filtration systems.

I will continue to play it safe and sanitize my system when not used for a month and at the beginning of every season. 3.00 for a gallon of bleach which will last a year is a cheap insurance policy.

I forgot to mention in the first post that I use Lysol spray disinfectant on the hose bib connections at the campground before connecting the hose.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:31 PM   #18
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Our problems this summer came from a state park and a private park both with well water, both out in the boonies. City water is seldom if ever a problem. However, we still use bottled water to drink and cook with an I still sanitize with bleach several time a year. I like DocMikes inline filter suggestion. I would be willing to pay $100 a year for the piece of mind
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Old 09-20-2015, 02:41 PM   #19
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I don't think it is overly cautious to protect yourself. I always sanitize the water system with a bleach solution. It is cheap insurance. We also use bottle water for drinking, but still use the water from the tank for washing dishes, hand washing etc. What really concerns me is the shower. You are breathing in the steam which is just like drinking the water! We also use an inline filter and disinfect the hose connection before hooking up. Never hurts to be careful.

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Old 09-20-2015, 05:15 PM   #20
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That's a good idea to disinfect the hose connection before filling.
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