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Author Topic: How long will water stay fresh?  (Read 1181 times)

IowaNomads

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How long will water stay fresh?
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:14:07 PM »
This is a newbie question I know but haven't found anything in the search. I was wondering how long the water in the fresh tank stays usable for consumption.
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John Beard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 01:43:22 PM »
I don't consume on board water, I do use it for washing and cleaning purposes, but I will not drink it.
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Memtb

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 01:56:34 PM »
   Probably too many variables to give a definitive answer. How clean (sanatized) is the RV system, original purity of the water, etc.  When boondocking we have (though seldom) pulled water from a stream ( must feel pretty confident of source), through a filter, into a 55 gal. drum, with chlorine added. Allowed water to stay in the drum for about 24 to 48 hours prior to transferring to the RV.

   There are some extremely effective water treatment systems available, which would guarantee the potability of the water. You could... run the water from your RV through such a system prior to consumption. The good, high volume systems are "pretty pricey though!  Look on some survivalist forums, to see what is available.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 02:02:50 PM by Memtb »
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SeilerBird

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 02:21:31 PM »
I spent $300 and bought an RO system for my RV so I never consume water from the tap or the tank. System was $200, installation was $100.


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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 02:48:02 PM »
Too many variables to be definitive, but anywhere from a several days to a few months. Chlorinated water lasts quite well, many months if in a closed container, but the RV system is not closed/sealed. We routinely used water from the same tank all summer, filling from a chlorinated (city water) source and occasionally draining some off and replacing if we were not otherwise using the water from the tank. We sanitize the system once a year. If I'm not sure the "city" water source is reliable, I add a few drops of chlorine to the tank to make sure.

Some will be aghast at this, others never drink that tank water anyway, and the rest of it use just like water from the tap at home. Your mileage may vary...
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John Beard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 03:39:39 PM »
Even though I sanitize my fresh water tank regularly, I also aced Biology in University. Now I am not saying that every tank out there is contaminated, and I don't believe mine is contaminated it is in fact more than likely as clean as the water I put in it, but I am not going to drink it. Too many variables to risk illness or worse for a glass of water.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 11:36:09 AM »
One of the important factors here is the individual experience with drinking "contaminated' water. If you do so regularly, you have antibodies that cope quite nicely, but if you stick mostly to bottled water you are going to be susceptible to most any microbe in the water.  And there are always some...

Another major factor is the presence of giardia, which is much more common in the western US than eastern.
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Memtb

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 11:59:03 AM »
     Gary, a good point as is usual. And, with my limited knowledge, it's my understanding that chlorine/Clorox has minimal or no effect on giardia.
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RLSharp

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 12:26:10 PM »
     Gary, a good point as is usual. And, with my limited knowledge, it's my understanding that chlorine/Clorox has minimal or no effect on giardia.

One cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water is an effective disinfectant for Giardia cysts. ... Be sure to let the bleach sit for a few minutes to completely kill the Giardia cysts. See www.bestfriendsvet.com/library/parasites/giardia/

R
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Kevin Means

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 01:56:38 PM »
It's just my personal experience (nothing scientific) but our family has drank water from the fresh water tanks of our cab-over camper and three Class As, for more than 25 years with no ill affects whatsoever. I've used both green and white garden hoses to fill the tanks (mostly green) and used the water right out of the tap. Water has sat in our tanks for as little as a few days to, in one case, nearly six months, with no problems at all.

The only times I ever felt the need to purify the water systems was when we first took delivery of our RVs, but I don't think it would be a bad idea to purify fresh water systems annually. In storage, water keeps longer when it's treated and kept in the dark (Like many RV tanks.)

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blw2

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 02:50:02 PM »
I echo Kevin's take....
I did research it once though.  Found a few references, one particular was something form the CDC regarding chlorine levels necessary for safe water storage in a fridge (as in like a pitcher).  I was surprised to learn that the level found in city water out of the tap were not high enough for storage very long.  I tested my water using my pool kit and it wasn't enough based on that reference.
I wish I could find that....
Anyway, I do a cursory sanitize roughly every year or so...nothing too careful or scientific... and I store it with water full (mostly for emergency prep)
if it's been sitting maybe 6 weeks or more...I'm not strict about it...and IF time permits I'll usually drain it and refill fresh before a trip...but that's mostly just for taste.  Family mostly drinks bottled on trips, but I use it to drink when brushing teeth or making coffee.  No problems yet...knock on wood....
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Sun2Retire

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 05:55:02 PM »
I echo Kevin's take....

X3. In fact, in my first several RVs the most I ever did was drain and refill. Always drank the water, never had a problem. Now, I drain and refill prior to a trip if the rig's been sitting for more than a month. If it's been a couple months (which fortunately doesn't happen too often,) I treat, drain and refill. Sitting in the AZ sun I figure warm water is slightly more at risk.

Our rig has a carbon filtered drinking water tap at the kitchen sink, and primarily that where we get the drinking water.
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John From Detroit

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 06:09:33 PM »
I don't consume on board water, I do use it for washing and cleaning purposes, but I will not drink it.

And I am exactly the other way around.. I filter all the water on board through Activated Charcoal and cold drinking water through a PUR filter.. (used to use a Brita but it broke).

Never had a problem, I go thorought 80 gallons fast enough it never goes stale.

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dabrown

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2017, 05:10:13 AM »
same here use a britta for coffee,  and usally bottled water to drink, have drank from from the filtered water with no bad effects, when back home I complety drain water system incul water heater if rv going to set more than 3 or fore weeks.  if I don't the hot water smells real bad might be ok but the smell is terrible. we are on city water at home.  dabrown

Rene T

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2017, 06:20:48 AM »
To think, the other day, I drink out of my black garden hose. And from time to time, if walking in the woods and I come across a brook, I'll drink from that too. I can see I'm short lived. My days are probably numbered.
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John Beard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2017, 06:58:27 AM »
So, my plumber friend was over yesterday and we did a water test of both my tap water and the tap water from the coach (water in tank less than 24 hours). It was as I thought, both are safe to drink; however, our water, which comes from a well is hard, hard, hard. I haven't in many, many years drank tap water from home either.

I use an R.O. System in the S&B, and I don't need to drink out of the tank in the MH. I have other sources to drink and stay hydrated that do not give me pause.

I had a friend some years ago that ate raw meat and drank out of Lake Mead regularly. He boasted of drinking stream water, and never taking "extra" water with him. He's dead now, I don't know if there was a correlation between his eating & drinking habits and his early death, but...

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2017, 08:00:55 AM »
Quote
He's dead now, I don't know if there was a correlation between his eating & drinking habits and his early death, but...

LOL. All our friends have died, or will die, sooner or later.  Some people drink white lightning, smoke cigars every day and live to 100+. Others die as infants for inexplicable reasons. The fact that somebody died isn't evidence of anything.
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Memtb

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2017, 09:03:42 AM »
     Gary mentioned something in an earlier post, that made me remember something that pertains to everything health wise and not just drinking water. Several years ago I heard a report from a doctor ( of course that doesn't guarantee it's validity), That if the average American were suddenly placed into a third world situation, that (I've forgotten the approximate %) a very high percentage would die from disease. The reason is because of our extremely high use of antibiotics has destroyed our natural immunities we as humans developed over our existence.
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blw2

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2017, 12:42:35 PM »
     Gary mentioned something in an earlier post, that made me remember something that pertains to everything health wise and not just drinking water. Several years ago I heard a report from a doctor ( of course that doesn't guarantee it's validity), That if the average American were suddenly placed into a third world situation, that (I've forgotten the approximate %) a very high percentage would die from disease. The reason is because of our extremely high use of antibiotics has destroyed our natural immunities we as humans developed over our existence.

I'm no doctor, but that doesn't smell right.
antibiotic use leads to stronger antibiotic resistant bacteria...but I don't figure it harms the immune system.  Not directly anyway.

Rather, I'd guess what was meant is that since we live in relatively clean environments, have access to soap, have cleaned a lot of nasties such as polio and many other things out of our environment, that our immune systems have not built antibodies for a lot of the junk that is still common elsewhere in the world....so we might get attacked by multiple different nastiest at the same time that our bodies can't easily fight
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garyb1st

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2017, 12:50:23 PM »
We sanitize the tank yearly but still don't drink the water.  Brush my teeth and wash my face with water from the tank and so far no problems.  But if there is ever an emergency (Earthquake or whatever) and a consequential water shortage, those 50+ gallons in the tank are going to be used.  We'll probably boil the water but, if that isn't possible, my thinking is pretty clear, we'll live longer with contaminated water than not having any. 
 
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Boonieman

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2017, 07:04:31 PM »
We usually bring bottled water to drink, but I make coffee straight from the tap. Water doesn't really go "bad", unless something externally contaminates it. I personally agree with Gary's view that people can adapt to their situation. Originally, the term "hay fever" had a different meaning. Back then, folks would help each other during hay season bringing in and storing hay. Each family had their own water source, a spring, a hand dug well, etc. The families that lived there adjusted to the particular water, bacteria and so on and could drink their own water supply with no ill effects. Families that came to help would bring their own water because drinking from a different water source could make them sick. If they drank water from the neighbors they were helping, it could lead to stomach problems, or worse, thus the term hay fever. Filling your tank with water from somewhere you aren't used to can always risk having adverse affects but normally not serious, just inconvenient. But we don't worry about it much. We have a split system at home and usually on well water, but can switch to spring water if we have a problem with the well. We do use a UV system to purify our water, mainly for the spring water. Anyway, to me worrying about water in your fresh water tank is overrated as long as you take reasonable precautions.
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John Beard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2017, 07:10:47 PM »
LOL. All our friends have died, or will die, sooner or later.  Some people drink white lightning, smoke cigars every day and live to 100+. Others die as infants for inexplicable reasons. The fact that somebody died isn't evidence of anything.

There is the truism, every person who drank milk in 1800 is now dead.
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John Beard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2017, 07:11:33 PM »
LOL. All our friends have died, or will die, sooner or later.  Some people drink white lightning, smoke cigars every day and live to 100+. Others die as infants for inexplicable reasons. The fact that somebody died isn't evidence of anything.

Where is your sense of irony... got ya.
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Tom

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2017, 07:14:49 PM »
After sanitizing per our Library article here, I usually add a small amount of bleach to maintain the water in the tank, but I usually add too much bleach, and Chris complains.
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JudyJB

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2017, 11:35:45 PM »
I have been drinking my motorhome tap water for over the five years I have been full-timing.  I bought my rig new and take good care of my fresh water tank, adding chlorine every few months.  I also have a whole-house filter that I change regularly.  You can use carbon filters, but there are more expensive ones that catch things like giardia, and those are the ones i use.  Change it about every 4 months.  I also will use up all my tank water if it has been sitting in the tank for a couple of weeks and then refill it with fresh water. This happens if I have been connected to city water at some campgrounds. 

Occasionally, if I do not like the taste of the campground water (namely in Florida) or distrust it for some reason, I will use an extra filter on the hose I use to fill my tanks.  I also trust national and state park water much more than commercial campground water because I know the governmental sites test more often.  Grand Canyon, by the way, has the best water in the country because it comes from Roaring Springs in the canyon on the north side! 

I also fill from my tank several reusable water bottles that are freezable so when I go out I take one.  It will slowly melt as I walk or sightsee.  Anyway, I am still alive and relatively healthy. 
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Peggyy

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2017, 07:20:09 AM »
My husband got very sick once from drinking the water coming thru our camper.  Probably due to something we did or did not do, but We dont drink it now.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2017, 09:31:39 AM »
The main point here is that it makes little difference whether the water "comes through the camper" or from elsewhere. When you travel to different locales, you get exposed to different microbes. Water is a very common source of different microbes (though hardly the only one) and modern Americans seem quick to blame the water for anything that results in tummy distress or diarrhea. As stated previously, the more you avoid exposure, the worse the vulnerability to microbes gets. It's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In most areas these days, campground water supplies are subject to the same health regulations and monitoring as restaurants and public water systems. The glass of water you get in the local diner is just as risky as the water in the campground. Or not.
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prfcdoc

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2017, 09:49:09 AM »
The main point here is that it makes little difference whether the water "comes through the camper" or from elsewhere. When you travel to different locales, you get exposed to different microbes. Water is a very common source of different microbes (though hardly the only one) and modern Americans seem quick to blame the water for anything that results in tummy distress or diarrhea. As stated previously, the more you avoid exposure, the worse the vulnerability to microbes gets. It's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In most areas these days, campground water supplies are subject to the same health regulations and monitoring as restaurants and public water systems. The glass of water you get in the local diner is just as risky as the water in the campground. Or not.
X2 and:
I'm no doctor, but that doesn't smell right.
antibiotic use leads to stronger antibiotic resistant bacteria...but I don't figure it harms the immune system.  Not directly anyway.

Rather, I'd guess what was meant is that since we live in relatively clean environments, have access to soap, have cleaned a lot of nasties such as polio and many other things out of our environment, that our immune systems have not built antibodies for a lot of the junk that is still common elsewhere in the world....so we might get attacked by multiple different nastiest at the same time that our bodies can't easily fight
Blw2 is right on.
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butchiiii

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #28 on: September 23, 2017, 12:20:52 PM »
I'm no doctor, but that doesn't smell right.
antibiotic use leads to stronger antibiotic resistant bacteria...but I don't figure it harms the immune system.  Not directly anyway.

Rather, I'd guess what was meant is that since we live in relatively clean environments, have access to soap, have cleaned a lot of nasties such as polio and many other things out of our environment, that our immune systems have not built antibodies for a lot of the junk that is still common elsewhere in the world....so we might get attacked by multiple different nastiest at the same time that our bodies can't easily fight

I think what he is referring to is that not allowing yourself to be exposed to common microbes in
our everyday environment will keep you body from building up a natural immunity to them. Vaccines
help our systems build immunity to serious stuff. Antibiotics are just a remedy and don't help the
system build immunity.

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Memtb

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Re: How long will water stay fresh?
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2017, 12:57:08 PM »

    There are numerous sources to be found showing that early and/or continued use of antibiotics contribute to the "Lessing" of our natural ability to fight common diseases !   Of course, none of these studies are from the major pharmaceutical companies or health providers.

     So, I'll avoid antibiotics whenever possible. Also, Haven't taken a flu shot in 40 plus years....nor have I had the flu!  Maybe a coincidence.... but it's working for me!
Todd and Marianne
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