Thursday, October 4, 2012

Water world in an RV

There are so many things different about this new life.  In the Big House I would just turn on the water faucet.  I never gave any thought as to where it came from or where it went.  I had an inkling...but didn't give it too much thought.  

Here's how it shakes down in the RV world.

Water choices come in two ways.  You can hook up your hose to the water spigot in the RV park or campground or use the community water source to fill your tanks if you aren't fortunate enough to have water on site.  Each way has it's own considerations.

Hooking up at the source is our preferred method as you have a constant water source.  Since we never know what the quality of the water is or how clean the connection is, this takes extra consideration.  Having seen dogs (and possibly other small animals) drinking from a dripping connection, as well as people (and I use the term loosely for these idiots) who will wash their sewer hoses at the connection, we find it is a good idea to sanitize the faucet at the connection before attaching our water hoses.

Next comes the pressure regulator to protect your hoses and RV from weird water pressures since we are always in a different spot.  This restricts the water flow to prevent damage as well as to conserve water.  You can add a water filter also to assure cleaner water.  Our RV has this built in and we only need to clean or replace the cartridge.

We then attach our drinking water hoses (not just garden hoses) to the connection.  These hoses are always stored connected in our outside bays to keep both ends clean.  One end gets hooked to the outside faucet and one end gets hooked to our RV.  The remaining hose is coiled and stored under the RV to prevent damage from UV rays.

If this kind of connection is not possible then we must fill the water holding tanks.  You never want to do this before travel as it adds extra weight is is hard on the tires as well as decreasing gas mileage.  But you want to carry "just enough" water to be able to turn on the water pumps for flushing the toilets and washing hands.  If we are going to do any amount of dry camping (or boondocking) we will use paper plates to eliminate as much need for dish washing.  Not just because we're lazy (although that is a fair assessment), but to conserve water.

Then there is the matter of where the water goes.  We have two storage tanks - one for grey water and one for black water.  The grey water comes from the kitchen and bathroom sink as well as the shower.  The black water comes from...well, the toilet.  Use your imagination.  No wait!  On second thought don't!  It's just too disgusting to think about.

Being careful with water usage is really important when you don't have hook ups.  So the showers have a cut off valve at the shower head.  You get wet, shut off the water...shampoo or lather up (depending on if you have hair), turn on the water again to rinse, etc.

When boondocking it is common to use a dishpan for washing dishes so this can then be used to flush the toilet or thrown on any thirsty looking plants you might see.  Needless to say we never let the tap run while brushing our teeth or washing our hands.  But then we didn't do that before either. You can even install a straw like device that only allows water out when you push up on it, but we prefer to just turn it off and on.

When the tanks are full you need to drain them into a sewer facility.  Sometimes you will have this at your site (for an extra fee, of course) and we really like this.  Then we just watch the levels on the tank monitors and when both the grey and black water levels are getting high, you pull the lever first for the black water and then the grey water to help flush out the hoses.  The following video is NOT us and I hope is entertaining.  Due to a slower connection I was not able to get it run all the way through so I hope it's nothing overly offensive or with bad language. 

If you are not at a full hook up site you do this as you exit the campground and need to stop to hook up the sewer hoses first and then clean them afterwards.  Most dump sites will have a hose with non-potable water for cleaning up.  It's always a good idea to place a rock or your foot over the end of the hose going into the dump station to keep it from coming lose and spewing all over your shoes and clothes.  Not nice.  

For the best view of this, rent RV with Robin Williams because you're sure not going to find a You Tube video of the Queen and Left Brain reenacting this for you.  I'll do a lot for my readers, but I do have my limits.

Long Live the Aqua Queen

1 comment:

  1. I guess it takes special folks to live the RV way. I'm a forgetful sort, so maybe it's best if I stick to houses. Those guys on the video were having just too much fun!! You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.