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Old 04-21-2015, 06:01 AM   #29
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Factors affecting water utilization

I realize that there are different scenarios for part time use and full time use of one's AS. As I am usually on the road about three weeks at a time, i can take along 6 gallons of drinking water and this is quite adequate. Also, I will flush my black water tank when it is about half full by the meter, and like to do this after pulling for several hours so as to have the effluent as mixed as possible.

If I were on the road long enough to where I ran out of fresh drinking water, no doubt I would do some research on the net to find the stores where bulk reverse osmosis purified water can be purchased.

I suspect this brings up another issue of which TV one uses. My Dodge can easily hold water and all the other stuff in its cab or bed, where an SUV may be limited in space for our consumable supplies.

We have had the deodorizer discussion on another thread, and the primary factor is the cost. Homemade is probably only 10% or less the cost of commercial deodorizers, and works as well IMO. And, as noted, no safety factor of mixing chlorine and ammonia exists with the non-chlorine bleach detergents averrable today. I cannot recall the exact reasons why the mix I use is suggested, but I think the ingredients are important or at least this is what I was told.

Be well, all....
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:13 AM   #30
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We sanitize the fresh water tank each spring......then drink the water from it, and use it for coffee, tea and cooking, and have never had a problem

The blue fliter from WalMart normalizes the taste from various sources, and it all works out.

When I am going to be without hook-ups, or in a place where the drinking water is known to taste nasty , I will pick up some extra gallons of water to use for beverages and drinking, and stretch out the fresh water tank, but otherwise just use what is available at the campground.

Unless one is very sensitive to the taste of water, it is a leap of faith that if the sanitizing process works for others it will work for you....kind of like boondocking, Dutch Oven cooking, etc.

For travel days, I also carry half-liter bottles purchased in six-packs at WalMart.....so much less expensive than a bottle at a time from the quick-stops.

It is a space and ease-of-travel thing for me.


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Old 04-21-2015, 06:20 AM   #31
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Well, Maggie, I am so OCD with my coffee.......
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:29 AM   #32
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Someone please describe the filter that is used on city water and to fill the fresh water holding tank. How is that filter set up, on the outside of the trailer next to the water intake port?
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Old 04-21-2015, 06:48 AM   #33
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Well, Maggie, I am so OCD with my coffee.......
Lots of people are very particular about water for their coffee and tea....and a fine espresso you make.

I have just gotten used to it, but for extreme nasty water circumstances.....Edisto Beach, Moraine View....take your own drinking water, folks.


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Old 04-21-2015, 06:49 AM   #34
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Someone please describe the filter that is used on city water and to fill the fresh water holding tank. How is that filter set up, on the outside of the trailer next to the water intake port?
Marty Womer
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They are blue, used outside attached to the hose, and you can buy them at WalMart in the RV section.


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Old 04-21-2015, 09:39 AM   #35
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How is that filter set up, on the outside of the trailer next to the water intake port?
The filters Maggie describes are inexpensive Camco filters, which are good enough for most of us. There's a male hose fitting on one end and a female fitting on the other, so it's almost impossible to hook up backwards.

Fair warning, the first time you hook up a new filter (I replace mine yearly) let water run through it for a while before hooking it up to the RV. Otherwise you'll get carbon dust in your plumbing. It only takes a couple of gallons at most to get rid of the loose carbon, then you're good to go.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:03 AM   #36
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I see. Thank you. I will order one. Camco Water Filter with Hose - Walmart.com
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Old 04-21-2015, 11:36 AM   #37
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External water filter housings are available from lots of sources, but you have to be careful what kind of filter they use inside. Some are 5 microns, some much more. Anything above 5 microns will not filter out giardia and we know a doctor who got giardia on a trip to Alaska. Now he uses a good filter. Five micron filters are available at places like Lowe's, but read the label carefully. They are all activated charcoal filters. The housing is as Pro' described.

I have seen filters sold on Amazon that are not 5 micron, so, again, read carefully. The housings sell for $25-$60. Brass connections are better than plastic because plastic can break when you drop it. Don't ask me how I know. The only one with brass fittings I saw on Amazon did not use a 5 micron filter, so I took my old cheap housing and replaced the broken and unbroken plastic fittings with brass—that cost me about $40, but cheaper than any other housing that met my specs. Filters come in packs of two for about $11. These filters are also used in whole house filters and are supposed to last 90 days for that, but for a trailer, I replace it once a year.

Some people who are exposed to giardia have no symptoms and others feel worn out for weeks or longer. I think it depends on your immune system and luck. I believe it is a parasite that lives in water and is 6 microns in size. That beautiful babbling brook may harbor it if wildlife has used the creek for a bathroom and they do. When we backpacked, I always looked for seeps and springs for water and we never got sick. But you really don't know the water source at many campgrounds; I have heard of CG's using a hose in a creek; since people don't usually come back, the CG never knows people are getting sick until the CG owners get sick too. When runoff is high in the spring and early summer, lots of silt can come through, even from wells, and a filter should catch some of that too.

What to put in the black water tank was discussed on a thread several years ago. There are lots of formulas of how to add stuff, and they always include some dish detergent. My wife has taken care of that since and all I know is that it is easier to clean the tank. We use a Flush King—it has clear plastic so you can see when the brown stuff stops and only clear water comes through. After a trip when we are not going to use the trailer for a while, I backflush the tank as much as seven times to get totally clear water. I have a dedicated hose to feed the back flush part of the Flush King. It is not white so I don't confuse hoses. The Flush King has a one way valve so water from the black tank cannot get into the dedicated hose, but if the valve sticks or fails, I use the dedicated hose. Water pressure in the hose should prevent contaminated water from getting back to the spigot, but a backflow preventer (basically, another one way valve) on the spigot can make sure no bad water gets into the CG or home water system.

I guess the detergent breaks down grease in the tank and helps dissolve solids and helps loosen the stuff in the tank and keep the valves clean. There is a product that you can put in all the tanks that is supposed to keep the seals flexible and clean. I don't know what is in it, but we have used it on the grey and black tanks and it does help keep the valves working better. We don't use it for the fresh water tank.

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Old 04-21-2015, 12:00 PM   #38
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Anything above 5 microns will not filter out giardia and we know a doctor who got giardia on a trip to Alaska.
If you're using a filter on a municipal water hookup, that's a non-issue. Municipal water is safe to drink, but may not be palatable. EPA primary drinking water standards address potability and municipal compliance is mandatory— though enforcement is by the state health department, not the EPA.

EPA secondary drinking water standards address palatability— taste, odor, color, etc. Compliance is not mandatory. The granular activated carbon filter will remove many (but not all) contaminants on the EPA secondary list. It doesn't make municipal water any safer, just more pleasant to drink.

If you're getting water from a non-municipal source, then biological contaminants are a potential issue, as Gene said. Non-municipal sources are tested less frequently and for fewer contaminants than are municipal water sources.

Before you use a hookup, ask the camp hosts where their water comes from. For well water, you do need a 5-micron filter that makes the water safer to drink, as Gene says.
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:17 PM   #39
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Aren't campground fresh water hookups....at individual sites and in general....required to be palatable water, from a well or otherwise??

I would never fill the fresh tank....nor drink the water.... from an unsafe source, like a river, creek, etc.

We have never used a special filter at any campground, and often no filter at all, nor do we see others using them, nor do they ever seem to have been required or even recommended.



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Old 04-21-2015, 12:29 PM   #40
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I sanitize the system each spring, then use municipal water to fill the tank. Then I use a portable Brita filter for drinking water, coffee and cooking. Just tastes better.


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Old 04-21-2015, 12:45 PM   #41
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Folks read these threads to get information, especially new folks.

I think it is important we not have newbies needlessly running in circles, hoping the sky doesn't fall.



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Old 04-21-2015, 01:12 PM   #42
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Aren't campground fresh water hookups....at individual sites and in general....required to be palatable water, from a well or otherwise??
No. They're required to be potable. "Palatable" means it tastes good. "Potable" means it's safe to drink. But some potable water can still taste bad, or smell bad, or even look bad. It just won't make you sick.

Wells are classified as "community" sources if more than 25 people use the water year-round. The same 25 people.

If there are fewer than 25 permanent users, but there are some permanent users, then it's a non-community source. A home water well fits that category.

They're classified as "non-transient" sources if the same 25 people use the water for more than six months, but less than a year. Some campgrounds that cater to snowbirds fall into this category.

They're classified as "transient" sources if fewer than 25 people the well for at least six months out of a year. Most campgrounds fit this category. So let's use this type as an example.

Water well testing is regulated by individual states, but requirements don't vary a whole lot from state to state; they all use some variant of the EPA model.

Basically, if fewer than 1000 people use the water well in an average month, then the well is tested just once a month.

If more than 5000 people use the water well in an average month, the well is tested about once a week.

If more than 25,000 people use the well in an average month, then the well water is tested once a day.

I don't know about you guys, but I've never stayed in a campground that was so big and so busy that they had daily well water testing.

All it takes is one break in the campground's fresh water plumbing, such as an RV backing over a service pedestal, to introduce contaminants into their plumbing.

So you're staying in a small campground with only 25 campsites. It will average less than 750 people a month even if no one stays more than one night, and the water is only tested once a month. It was good last month, supposedly, but how do you know? And is it good now, however many weeks since the last test?

I would rather use a filter of my own and be more certain of the quality of water I use.

And for those who say they use bottled water to drink so it's not a problem, do you also use bottled water to cook? Or to bathe? Or to wash your dishes? You're supposed to use potable water for cooking and bathing as well as for drinking.
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