Fresh Water Tank

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Zwalt

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May 13, 2006
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Being new to this, can anyone give me an idea as to how often to change/keep the fresh water in the tank between trips?

Should it be changed/drained and sanitized between trips if we go out, say, every two weeks?

Would bacteria growth be a problem over that time.

I guess what I'm asking is should we start out with fresh water each trip.

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

Walt
 

Tom

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Walt,

If you don't object to the taste and smell of chlorine, put a capfull (not cupfull) of bleach in the tank with each fill and you shouldn't need to worry about it.
 

Carl L

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Zwalt said:
Should it be changed/drained and sanitized between trips if we go out, say, every two weeks?

Would bacteria growth be a problem over that time.

I guess what I'm asking is should we start out with fresh water each trip.

Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

Walt

I will assume you are on city water which is chlorinated as opposed to well water which is not.  Just drain your tank before using and refill.  Sanitation is not necessary except as annual or semiannual maintenance. 

To sanitize, use 1? oz. of plain sodium hypochlorite bleach per 10 gallons of tank (40 gallons = 6oz or 3/4 cup of bleach).  Dilute in a gallon of water and pour into empty tank.  Fill tank.  Run hot water faucet until chorine smelling water comes out.  Let the trailer sit overnight or at least 2-4 hours.  Drain.  Refill.

To stabilize water add ? oz of bleach per 10 gallons and fill as above.  Don't drain.  Stabilization is needed only if you intend to store the water in the tank possibly as an emergency supply.
 

Steve CDN

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The single most significant health threat to RVers is water borne illness.  Your fresh water supply should be cared for diligently.

  Aside from sanitizing the tank as described by Carl, I would not store water in a fresh water tank between trips.  Perhaps if the tank were filled to capacity, theoretically eliminating any air in the tank the risk might be reduced, but why take the risk?

When we park our coach, I empty the fresh water tank and fill what I need for the next trip just prior to departure.  When filling the tank, I allow a few gallons to pour out the drain to flush any water that may have pooled at the bottom of the tank.

In addition to always using fresh clean water, I triple filter my water in the coach.  Any water that enters the coach is first filtered through a 30 micron filter for sand or rust particles then through a charcoal filter to eliminate any taste or odor.

Finally our drinking water is filtered through a diatemacious earth (ceramic) filter to remove bacteria, viruses and cysts.
 

Carl L

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Aside from sanitizing the tank as described by Carl, I would not store water in a fresh water tank between trips.  Perhaps if the tank were filled to capacity, theoretically eliminating any air in the tank the risk might be reduced, but why take the risk?

I leave a full tank between trips, but then I live in earthquake country, and forty gallons could come in handy some day.  I do stabilize the water as I described above.  That stabilization procedure comes from emergency management instructions -- I was in facilities management for a while before I retired.
 

Carl L

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As I remember, 6 months, but that is in a sealed drum.    I dump and refill every time I take the trailer out of storage so the 6 months is no more that 2 months, ever.  In an emergency, water a month old beats the hell out of no water is the way I figger it.  If all else fails you can boil the water before drinking.

Like I say, earthquake country.  Unlike hurricanes, quakes do not send out notices of arrival time.
 

GypsySooners

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Ocklawaha, FL
Now I don't know if I'm doing it right or not, but we live in hurricane country.

I like to know we'll have plenty of water if we lose the local source so I fill the frest water tank the first of every month along with checking batteries and other maintenance.

Then, at the end of the month, I empty the tank and let the frest water run ten or fiteen minutes with the drain still open before refilling for the next month.

We've never noticed any problems with the system.
 

John From Detroit

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That actually sounds like a good plan Gypsy. If your water supply is not clorinated you might add a bit of sanatiser to the tank, I'm not sure what the proper dose is though,  I know the pre-fill santize formula, but not the keep fresh formula
 

Carl L

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John In Detroit said:
That actually sounds like a good plan Gypsy. If your water supply is not clorinated you might add a bit of sanatiser to the tank, I'm not sure what the proper dose is though,? I know the pre-fill santize formula, but not the keep fresh formula

Use the stabilizing dosage I mention earlier in this thread:   To stabilize water add ? oz of bleach per 10 gallons and fill as above.  Don't drain.  Stabilization is needed only if you intend to store the water in the tank possibly as an emergency supply.
 

Ronn Trenaman

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this sounds like a dumb question, but how do you add the sanitizer/bleach?  doesn't the water come in via hose?
 

Just Lou

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Ronn, you mught be confusing the fresh water hookup with the fresh water tank.  Yes you fill the tank with a hose but you have access to pour in a little bleach as well.  Treating water that is supplied from a campground hookup is another matter indeed.
 

Carl L

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RVs have a filler port for the fresh tank.  You dilute the bleach in a gallon jug and pour it in the tank, insert the hose, and fill the tank.
 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Ronn Trenaman said:
this sounds like a dumb question, but how do you add the sanitizer/bleach?  doesn't the water come in via hose?

If you're RV doesn't have a filler port as Carl mentioned. Just pour the sanitizing solution into the hose before you connect it to the faucet. When you turn on the faucet the incoming water will force the solution into your fresh water tank.
 

Lou Schneider

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Don't try to pour a gallon of diluted bleach into your hose - it won't fit.  However, a few ounces of straight bleach will fit inside an empty hose just fine.

Before you do this you might want to clean your fresh water hose first.

What I do is about once every 6 months is pour a couple of ounces of bleach into my empty fresh water hose while it's coiled-up.  Now swish it around so the bleach runs throughout the length of the hose.  An easy way to do this is connect the ends of the hose to each other so the hose is closed.  Now rotate the loops in your hands so the bleach travels throughout the hose as it's pulled to the bottom by gravity.

Let the hose sit for a couple of minutes, then connect it to a water faucet and flush it out.  You might be surprised by what comes out the other end.

Once the hose runs clear, you can drain it and put in the proper dose of chlorine to disenfect your tank.
 

Karl

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If you're RV doesn't have a filler port as Carl mentioned. Just pour the sanitizing solution into the hose before you connect it to the faucet. When you turn on the faucet the incoming water will force the solution into your fresh water tank.
And, you'll have a sanitized fresh water hose :)

Added: Run it through your shore water lines and water filters too, but NOT if you have an R.O. system - it destroys the membrane.
 
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