The RV lifestyle is not always as glamorous as it may seem. There are many ins and outs when it comes to your home on wheels. Having the ability to travel and experience true freedom comes with a tiny drawback, RV plumbing. Luckily, the RV community is ready to help with useful information online (and in real life too.) Understanding how your plumbing works in your rig doesn’t have to be a complicated process. We’ll break down how this system works and everything you need to know to stay on top of the most prized room, the bathroom.
Let’s Tank About It
Let’s talk about how the system works. The majority of RV’s operate with three tanks for the plumbing system. You are going to have a freshwater tank, a black water tank, and a gray water tank. It’s important to note that each tank has a purpose and they each require a unique level of attention.
Your freshwater tank is where all of your clean water will be stored. This water will be used for your RV’s sinks, shower, and toilet. You may also choose to use this as your drinking water but, be aware of how clean and filtered this water is, in order for you and your family to not get sick. If you choose to use your freshwater tank for drinking water, you will want to make sure proper sanitation is done.
Your gray water tank is where used kitchen and bathwater are stored. This tank will have to be dumped and emptied at a dump facility.
And finally, you have your black water tank. As you can imagine, this is the tank where all of your toilet waste will be stored. This too requires to be dumped at a dump facility.
The Nitty & Oh So Gritty
When the time comes to dump, there are a couple of things to keep in mind to make this process as easy as possible. The first thing is to always make sure your tanks are at least two thirds full. This ensures that your sensors are indicating the correct lights. Electrically speaking, the contents in the tank need to ground the sensors. If you would like more information on this semi-complicated process, click this link.
Next, is sanitation. This process will definitely be the most tasking and least cleanly. To ensure that you are protected from harmful bacteria, be sure to use gloves, a mask, and clothing that covers your entire body. You should also make sure to change out of these clothes after dumping as well. Protecting yourself during this process is very important. You will also need your disinfectants and cleaners at arm’s length. Now you’re ready to dump!
First, access your sewer hose and thoroughly attach it to the dump station hole. Ensure that it is deep enough and secure with no chance of popping out. Proceed by attaching the sewer hose to the tank drain hole and once secured you can open the valve to the black water tank. When the dumping process has ended, you’ll want to rinse out the now empty tank. A common cleaning process is to hook up a normal garden hose to the water source at the station and insert it at the toilet. Begin to pour in water and once the tank has reached the two-thirds mark, dump once more. The same instructions will apply to your gray water tank.
Once you are done, it is recommended that you rinse out the sewer hose with water before detaching. You don’t want any unwanted spillage, yuck! After you finish this step, close up the RV drain cap and add a minimum of two gallons of freshwater to your black tank and RV tank chemicals. It’s important to keep the system in good health with the necessary tools and chemicals. This step also pertains to the gray water tank. Next, confirm that all of the water tank valves are closed, then detach the sewer hose from your RV tank. To learn more about keeping your RV water tanks fresh, check out this blog from our friends over at RVshare.com
The Sanitation of Fresh Water Tanks
Have a clean system is crucial for keeping any unwanted smells and bacteria out of your rig. Sanitizing your freshwater tank is essential for your health, even if you’re not drinking from it. Having a clean water source ensures maximum maintenance on your rig. One good way of cleaning your tank is by using
a diluted amount of bleach and vinegar. Both of these hold amazing cleaning properties, whether you choose to use a chemical or a more natural approach. Once your tank is filled with the cleaning solution(s), turn on your water pump and run the water through your faucets and shower. You can leave some of the solution overnight for a maximum clean, then dump the next morning.
If you have any more tips and tricks when it comes to dumping, leave them in the comment section below! The RV community is always happy and willing to help their fellow RV’ers. It takes time and patience to become an RV pro and Wholesale Warranties is always here to help you along the way. Happy travels, and happy cleaning!
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Bob Luff says
No one discusses sanitizing the fresh water hose or cleaning/ storing that hose you/ others suggest you run through a RV window to refill the toilet.
The main fresh water hose can sit for months of non-use often in a hot bin. I first add a little bleach to the hose and slowly fill it… and let it sit for 4+ hours.
As for the toilet fill hose, I use the new type of very flexible hoses and after the toilet refill process, carefully insert the toilet end in a trash bag and remove the hose back out the RV the way it came. Once outside I soak the last 3-4 feet of the ‘toilet hose’ in a bucket of water with few ounces of bleach that was near the toilet opening during the refilling process that could have been contaminated by airborne particles/ mist coming up out of the toilet opening. (Both ends of the toilet hose is sprayed with orange spray paint to avoid ANY chance of mixing up the hoses!)