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Author Topic: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?  (Read 865 times)

e.puschy

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We are beginning to get our feet wet "RVing" - so our first few trips will be in Rentals - I have 5 kids with food allergies, so we will be cooking all of our meals on a multi-week trip.  The Cruise America site made it very clear that the on board water was NOT for cooking or drinking....that made me think - would it be safe for washing hands or dishes or do I need to have alternate water for that as well?  I have no idea what might be lurking in a rental water system....any thoughts?

Thanks!!

Elaine

Tom

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2018, 06:42:32 PM »
All you need do is sanitize the fresh water system. From our forum Library, here's how.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

e.puschy

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2018, 07:01:56 PM »
Thanks!!!!

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 07:03:59 PM »
We are beginning to get our feet wet "RVing" - so our first few trips will be in Rentals - I have 5 kids with food allergies, so we will be cooking all of our meals on a multi-week trip.  The Cruise America site made it very clear that the on board water was NOT for cooking or drinking....that made me think - would it be safe for washing hands or dishes or do I need to have alternate water for that as well?  I have no idea what might be lurking in a rental water system....any thoughts?

Thanks!!

Elaine
Welcome to the forum. That is a good way to get some experience in a RV.
Like Tom said just sanitize the water system. They say not to use the water to protect from possible lawsuits. I would use Hydrogen peroxide as it will do a good job but won't leave as bad of aftertaste like bleach does.
I will do a quick sanitize if it has ben a while since I have had the coach out or getting started in the spring. Just saying it isn't a big thing.
Go have some fun
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

Oldgator73

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2018, 09:01:12 PM »
We take bottled water to drink and make coffee. Don't like the taste of water from a plastic tank.
Retired Air Force
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2016 Nissan Frontier

FunSteak

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Note that if you're not connected to "city" water, and are only using the on board tank, dishwashing can use up quite a bit of water if you're not careful.  We usually fill one side of the sink partway for the wash, and the other side for rinsing, and try not to turn on the faucet otherwise unless needed.  Really cut down how much a load of dishes requires.
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

Rene T

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We usually fill one side of the sink partway for the wash, and the other side for rinsing, and try not to turn on the faucet otherwise unless needed.

I'd be curious to find out how much water you would use when rinsing. I know when we wash dishes and rinse them, I'd be willing to bet we don't use anymore than a couple of quarts of water for rinsing. Maybe less than what you're putting in the sink for rinsing. Next time I do dishes, I'll shut the drain basket and see how much water we actually do use.
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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ArdraF

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The RV rental agencies don't know where their customers have taken on water for the fresh water tank and they are protecting themselves in case someone gets sick from bad water (I suspect it doesn't happen very often).  For example, we tend to avoid well water because we don't know how often it's been tested, but city water is chlorinated and therefore safe for drinking.

I wouldn't worry about dish washing and showers, but definitely sanitize the tank.  We do that when the motorhome has been sitting for a while (we keep a full tank for emergency use even when it's stored).  As long as the tank is sanitized you should be able to use your onboard water for everything, the main caveat being the water may taste different in each place you fill the tank.  There are many places where the water is fine to drink but we don't like the taste.  I always have some bottled water available in case we get to one of those places.  We like a relatively consistent flavor to our morning coffee so tend to use the bottled water for that.  Also, water is my primary beverage and I'm picky about the taste so we might purchase more bottled water than others in some parts of the country.  Other places have great tasting water and we use it for everything, so taste is a big factor in onboard tank usage.  Once the tank is sanitized, whether you use it for drinking is purely a personal taste preference.

ArdaF
ArdraF
:D :D

FunSteak

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I'd be curious to find out how much water you would use when rinsing. I know when we wash dishes and rinse them, I'd be willing to bet we don't use anymore than a couple of quarts of water for rinsing. Maybe less than what you're putting in the sink for rinsing. Next time I do dishes, I'll shut the drain basket and see how much water we actually do use.

I should clarify a little.  We use this method when we don't have a bunch of dishes.  If it's a lot of stuff to wash, the rinse water gets pretty soapy, and then we do run a bit of fresh to rinse.  We try to minimize that when possible, though. 

Our sinks are fairly small, so I'd guess that we don't put more than a quart and a half to two quarts in the sink. 

I can say with certainty that we use MUCH less than when we first started.  It required a significant habit shift as compared to how we do it at our sticks-n-bricks.  It makes you think about it much more, which happily has also translated to home use - we find ourselves not letting the faucet run like we used to.  Interesting to note how the RV techniques come home with you. 

JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

blw2

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another comment about dish washing....in my unit anyway, & I would expect the class c rentals are similar.... my grey tank is a limiting factor.  It fills up way faster than the black tank does.....so if you're not very frugal with the water in the kitchen sink.... and take a few showers. you'll be having to dump soon.
If I were renting for a week or more...I think I would plan on doing a quick sanitizing of the tank.  It might not make all that much sense for a short 1 or 2 night rental.  Hopefully your first night would be at a full hook-up site, or at least good access to water and a dump.  Do a sanitation just to protect the family, refill and rinse the lines...then refill again and roll on....
and I would plan on using paper plates for the most part, but wash utensils or whatever as needed
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Oldgator73

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2018, 09:22:03 AM »
Take along a couple cases of bottled water. You can get at Sam's, Walmart, etc for about $5 for two cases. Use that water for your coffee and drinking. Use your onboard water for dishes and shower. If the bathhouses are okay where you are staying you could shower there and not worry about how much water you use. I know this is blasphemy to some folks but you could put a plastic tub in your sink for washing dishes and then throw that grey water in the bushes. Save space in your grey tank.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2018, 09:24:20 AM by Oldgator73 »
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jackiemac

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 03:33:12 PM »
Take along a couple cases of bottled water. You can get at Sam's, Walmart, etc for about $5 for two cases. Use that water for your coffee and drinking. Use your onboard water for dishes and shower. If the bathhouses are okay where you are staying you could shower there and not worry about how much water you use. I know this is blasphemy to some folks but you could put a plastic tub in your sink for washing dishes and then throw that grey water in the bushes. Save space in your grey tank.
And try to recycle those plastic bottles.....
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

JudyJB

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 04:02:17 PM »
Way back when a lot of small restaurants did not have automatic dishwashers, the solution was to dump a couple of tablespoons of bleach into the dish water.  I keep my fresh water tank clean and sanitized, but because I have a slightly weak immune system, I still put a little extra bleach in the water I use to wash dishes, especially when I have company.  That also keeps the dishcloth and counters bacteria-free when I wipe them after doing dishes.  With five kids, I might want to do that to keep germs from spreading among the bunch! 
Full-timing for over six years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

Oldgator73

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2018, 07:00:42 PM »
And try to recycle those plastic bottles.....

Of course. And remember not to leave those bottles of water in a hot vehicle.
Retired Air Force
2016 Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Renting from Cruise America - can we use onboard water to wash dishes?
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2018, 10:26:40 AM »
Addressing the specific question about dishwashing, yes you can wash dishes with water that may be unsafe to drink.  The detergent that removes food residue will also kill off most common germs. That's it's real purpose anyway, making the dishes safe to reuse.  The detergent isn't 100% foolproof as a disinfectant, but it's darn good for all common stuff. If you want to be extra sure, rinse the dishes with water that has a bit of bleach added. One tablespoon of household bleach per gallon of water is plenty.  Then let the dishes completely air dry, which is another effective way to kill off many germs.

Personally, I would add a few ounces of bleach to the fresh water tank when I get the RV and fill the tank. I've never been one to be paranoid about drinking water and have managed to survive to age 73!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL