Filling Water Storage Tank

Discussion in 'Campground Etiquette' started by Indy, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. badgamuss

    badgamuss Member

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    I usually fill my tank at the campground. So far, the water has been pretty good. I do this instead of hooking directly to the camper. The water pressure is all over the place, so I like to play it safe. Then I will drain the tank before I leave. It is a 10 gallon tank so it drains fairly quickly. [;)]
     
  2. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    I sometimes travel with my tanks full, if I'm going to stop en route and no water is readily available. However, if we need to climb a steep mountain grade, such as the one to the Chisos Basin at Big Bend, NP, or go over long, very bumpy roads, (which we often do) we will travel with empty tanks for safety sake, as I tow with a 4 cyl car with a class 1 hitch, that is pushed near its max capacity.

    If I am boondocking or camping in a CG with a common spigot, I fill a blue 7 gallon Aquatainer (with usually no more than 6 gallons as it weigh about 50 lbs) and carry it to the camper. Rather than lifting it (as I'm old and it's heavy) [;)] and pouring it into a small funnel - a time consuming 2 person job, I bought one of these and let battery power do the work.

    [​IMG]

    It empties the Aquatainer into my fresh tank in about 30 seconds. I usually need to do this twice to fill my 10 gallon tank and replenish my 6 gallon water heater on shower day (usually every other day when boondocking.) If I need to draw water from a stream to bathe, we won't drink from the tap until we disinfect the system. We don't drink from the tap anyway, preferring the taste of bottled water, though we sometimes use it for cooking or coffee making (which will be suspended if stream water is necessitated.)

    Chip
     
  3. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    BTW, most fresh water holding tanks are NOT closed systems. Many have a vent near the water inlet to allow air to escape during filling and draw air in as the water is used. There is only a small screen across it, large enough to block most insects but it is not a filter of any kind. Is it practical to expect much stuff to come in through there? Not really, but it certainly is access to the water system even when the cap is on.

    It is visible in this example as the dark circle in the upper left hand area.
    [​IMG]

    As for sanitizing, most municipal water systems use chloramine instead of chlorine as a disinfectant in tap water. It is decidedly more stable and lasts longer. However, it will dissipate within weeks, especially if allowed contact with UV and air.

    I am not a germophobe by any stretch but with the really warm summers and enough downtime between camping to freshen up that water, I would have an algae farm on my hands if I didn't also address sanitizing issues but once a year. Mine came with a lovely green algae farm from sitting over the winter and barely spring with just a little water in the tank when I bought it.
     
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Where did you by the pump?


    Most bottled water I have had, has had no taste what so ever, unless it has been flavoured..
     
  5. Sushidog

    Sushidog Active Member

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    Mine is a Rule iL280. I forgot where I got it, but I ordered it online. Zodi used to market it under their brand name with the addition of a threaded hose connector (so you can attach it to a garden hose.) I think I paid about $60 for mine.

    This one would work if you are on a budget and it is about 1/2 the price. It is a Rule iL200. It's only rated for intermittent use, but I only run mine for less than a minute at a time anyway. I believe it has slightly less output (200 GPH vs 280 GPH) but that's not really that much difference for the big price difference. If I had it to do over again, I probably buy the cheaper 200 GPH pump.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rule-iL200-Marine-200-GPH-Inline-Submersible-Pump-12-Volt-Intermittent-Duty-/330834078390?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d073f6ab6#ht_1015wt_1399

    Chip
     
  6. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

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    We always fill up the tank at the SPs spigot with a white hose. It is our personal preference not to drink the water, we just bring bottled water for drinking and for coffee making. When we are camping for a greater period of time and we need to refill the tank, we got 4 five gallon mylar bags that we take over to the spigot and fill up. They virtually take up no space and have used them many times over. We got them from Emergency Essentials and they have come in handy many times. DW also got the super syphon hose so we just jiggle a few times and the water flows in to the tank. Below is a link to the site. I think we paid something like $5 for it.
    http://www.shammysolutions.com/site/1618064/product/100-23
     
  7. Mickeyrv

    Mickeyrv Week day camping is great

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    [TV] [HYC] If and When one is uncertain about the water in their camper tanks. Purchase a gallon or two of the bottled water at you friendly store and use that for consumption. Leave the water in the RV tanks for washing, dishes, toilet, etc.
    My DW and I always carry a bottle of 50-50 water-vinegar for wiping off the table, etc, We like to purchase the 24 bottle pack of 16 oz. bottled water for consumption and leave them in a cooler w/ice in the back of the TV. Our camper water is used for the shower, toilet, dishes, etc. We have a store here in Dayton, Ohio that sells a 24 pack of bottled water for $2.29 and one pack will last us about a week. We can spruce up the bottles by adding a spoon full of kool aid powder and shaking on an individual basis. We throw the empty bottles with caps back in the cooler and then dispose of them when we can.

    Water is about 8 lbs per gallon and if you want to haul it in your pup then it becomes a weight - MPG problem. go camping with empty water tanks, and fill the camper at the CG. Empty when you leave but carry enough bottled water for consumption with you.
     
  8. webhannet

    webhannet Member

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    I have always traveled with the fresh water tank FULL - because I might end up stranded somewhere. This has actually happened to me twice, and I was grateful I had the water. Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon, so my 20 gallons weight 160 pounds. As was said earlier, if I knew I had too much weight for the road I was about to travel - I would empty the tank - but some of that water might be needed for the radiator or for convenience while sitting on the side of the road.

    I agree with drinking bottled water - it's easy to get, so you don't have to carry much as you drive. I've only ONCE seen a campground owner or staff actually test the water - just sayin'.
     
  9. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Last year was the first full season with our TT, which has a 20 gallon fresh water tank. Since we seldom camp with hook-ups, we usually travel with at least a partial tank, usually we fill it at home. That way, we can use it as needed on the road, and we don't have to fill the tank as soon as we arrive at camp. Our TT actually seems to pull better with water in the tank, since it apparently lowers the center of gravity.
    Even before we had the TT, we carried at least a 5-gallon of water from home, more if we knew water was in short supply at our destination.
    We sanitized it at the start of the season, and just before a trip if it had been a while since the previous one. While we have a PUR counter water dispenser for most drinking water, we do use the water from the tank for cooking and a few other food-related purposes. So far, so good. Even with using the PUR for drinking water, we can need to refill the tank if we're base camped for a week or so. I bought a siphon, which drains the 2-gallon jug I can use to transport water from the nearest spigot in no time flat. (The 2 gallon is more manageable for me than anything larger, and packs well.) Its actually almost easier than running the long hoses we need to fill the tank from the hose bib home.
    http://beprepared.com/emergency-siphon.html

    We have seen water being tested at campgrounds. Once, they took a pump out of service about 15 minutes before we'd planned on using it. The last test had been not to spec. On another (group) trip, people came to test that source, and told us it was very safe, but high in chlorine due to treatment earlier in the week. We found a notice posted at one campground about a "water quality" issue - on closer reading the issue was that someone had filled a form in incorrectly, the water itself was fine.
    We have seldom resorted to bottled water in the more than 25 years we've been camping. When we have bought water, it has been due to quality/taste, not concerns over safety.
    We do have two forms of water purification in our supplies. A chemical one "just in case" and the filter for backpacking.

    We are seeing more notices in campgrounds that filling RV water tanks (includes pups and TTs) with a hose is not permitted at the common spigots. In some cases, the explanation "to prevent contamination: (i.e. backflow) has been included.
     
  10. HiFiDave

    HiFiDave Singin round the campfire

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    QUOTE from RV Basics site:

    "A friend and fellow full time RVer, Bill Randolph told me how he uses something other than household bleach which works well for him and I also started using it. I think it is worth passing on to you. Before he retired, Bill spent twenty years in the swimming pool business. He's an expert when it comes to sanitizing swimming pools and spas and says the same rules apply to RV fresh water systems.

    Bill uses Chlorinating Concentrate (Sodium Dichloro-s-Triazinetricone or Sodium Dichlor for short). Sodium Dichlor contains 62% available chlorine. Compare that to household bleach which has something close to 3%. One pound of Sodium Dichlor is equal to 8 gallons of bleach! Also, household bleach contains other stuff, including a lot of salt, and that salt and other stuff is what causes the bad taste and why you have to flush the fresh water tank so well.

    Bill says it takes only 1 teaspoon of the concentrate per 100 gallons of water to initially sanitize the system. Remember to run water through all the faucets. It's okay to use the full teaspoon even on smaller tanks because you will be flushing the tank before adding the water you intend to drink but it seems wasteful.

    Like most of us, Bill travels with a near empty tank to reduce weight. So if he arrives at park where he plans to stay and they have well water, he drops a half teaspoon per 100 gallons of the concentrate into the fill tube and fills his water tank. This insures the system will always be sanitized. No, you do not have to flush again. It's the equivalent to drinking chlorinated city water. If you are filling your tank from a source that is already chlorinated then you don't need to add the concentrate.

    That said, if you don't like to drink chlorinated water, don't add the concentrate to the water you intend to drink. Assuming, you fill your water tank from a trusted source you should be safe. Or, you can add the concentrate and then filter the water you drink or cook with.

    Truth is I almost always seem to be filling the fresh water tank from a chlorinated source (city water supply) so I seldom need to to use the concentrate. And we do filter our drinking water.

    This is not a case where more is better. This stuff is concentrated and it's best to use just what Bill recommends.

    Because Sodium Dichlor is so highly concentrated you only need to carry a very small container... buy the smallest container available. And it is dry crystals so there is less chance of a spill. However, because it is so concentrated it is highly corrosive so you do have to be careful how you store it and use it. You should be able to find Sodium Dichlor (Chlorinating Concentrate) at any pool supplies or spa store. Bill says there are several brands to choose from but brand should not be a factor in your choice... it's all the same stuff."

    While we bring drinking water, I do hit the trailer potable water tank with about a 1/8 teaspoon of this. Best I can tell, our system appears very clean always and if we do drink from it, I've found it's just fine. We fill with a white water hose and all. I have a 5 gallon water bottle dispenser in my office. Darn thing is by the window and by the time I drink half of it, it's starting to get a slight green tint in the bottom. I drop in about 3 or 4 grains (grains mind you) of Sodium Dicholor and the next day, clean as a whistle and no taste problem at all. Yup, stuff works with no YUCK bleach taste, work or waste.
     
  11. Jughed

    Jughed Member

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    With gallons of water costing less than $1 - we typically bring 3-4 gallons for a weekend trip.

    Having 3 young kids with the squirts or worse while staying in a small camper is something I try to avoid at all costs.

    We typically keep the tank empty - this allows for 175#'s of extra gear to be stowed in the camper.
     
  12. Samseta

    Samseta New Member

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    Is it possible to remove and clean the clean water tank?

    I'm not even sure where it's located or if it's accessible. This will be my first year using my new/old pop-up.
    I have a 1999 Starcraft
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, someone did remove a really icky fresh water tank to clean it. You might read through this section:
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?board=59.35
    If you don't find an answer, that would be the section to ask your questions about cleaning the tank.

    It would be helpful to the rest of us if you add the make, model and year of your camper to your signature line. Then we know what you have and someone may have already solved the issue in the same pup. I'm not familiar enough with the Starcraft line in general to guess where a tank would be in any 1999 model.

    Some popups, particularly small ones, have "removable" tanks, basically 5 gallon or so jugs located under the galley. Those are very easy to remove; we actually just removed those (both our pups had that style) and the sinks ti give us more counter space, which was lacking in our pups. Built in tanks are often under the camper, sometimes in the storage space under dinette seats.
    If the tank only needs to be sanitized, there are products to do it; some people use a process with bleach. Just today, I have been sanitizing the tank on our TT with this product: http://www.thetford.com/product/fresh-water-tank-sanitizer/
     
  14. rambus

    rambus Member

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    We typically buy one or two cases of bottled water and use that. We don't have a shower and the potty is a cassette type with its own water tank. We hook up the water at the cg and use it to clean but only drink bottled water.

    Just on a safety note towing the camper with a full tank adds a lot of weight. Also if the tank isn't filled to the top the sloshing of the water can add to the sway if you have one.
     
  15. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Sway all depends on the location of the water tank....
     
  16. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    As Snow said, it does depend on the specific pup and location of the water tank. I was leery of toting water in our TT, but we found that it actually lowers the center of gravity a touch (which is a good thing) when we do.

    After sanitizing our system, on our first trip this year, it is going to be just a bit too cold to want to chance using it. (Lows under at or under 30.) We're reverting to how we camped in the ground tents and pups. We're taking two water jugs (2 & 5 gallon), and will fill the PUR counter-top dispenser when we get to the campground. GCNP has a notice posted on the website that the water has spring-run-off caused cloudiness, but that it is safe, so we'll be using that once we run out of water from home.
    (We had planned to use gel-bags if we camped in cold weather once we bought the TT, so we don't need to flush the toilet with pails of water.)
     
  17. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I bought my NTM PUP with green stuff floating in the fresh water tank. I had to remove it and thoroughly clean it through various stages of cleansers as I could not get a brush inside of it to scrub all of the surfaces. It took a couple of days to get it there. Then, of course, I sanitized it with bleach before hooking it up and doing a full system sanitizing process.

    My tank is located underneath the floor, accessible from outside of the PUP. It is held in place by a couple of metal straps. I undid the two hose connections and removed the straps. I cannot imagine trying to clean it as much as it needed if it was still attached.

    Basically, EVERYTHING in or on your PUP can be removed by the average use unless it is welded in place. They use fast assembly processes for putting these things together so that means screws, nails, staples, glue and sometimes rivets. All of these can be easily dealt with if you just approach it systematically. I have come to realize that I would rather deal with drilling out rivets and replacing them with new ones over dealing with screws which can lose their grip and hold the more they are worked.
     

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