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Old 01-15-2014, 10:42 PM   #1
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Question Filling internal water tanks while on city/well water

I would have never considered this, but last October my son and friends took the 32bhds to a ATV park for a weekend of "mudding". While they were there a thunderstorm knocked out the electricity during the night. The next day the electricity came back on, but the well never did. I was wondering if anyone has thought about filling up the internal tanks if they are on a uncertain water supply. If we filled up the internal tanks but never turned on the water pump there shouldn't be a problem, right?

Even if the electricity didn't come back on, the battery would have run the water pump so the toilet could be used and the shower.

The internal water tanks could have been drained by turning on the pump and running the shower and flushing the toilet to fill the tanks and then dumping them when leaving the campsite.

We had a real mess when they got to the house. Had to make a long sewer hose to get to the house sewer connection and it took forever to clean up the mess.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:11 PM   #2
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I always have water available in the trailer freshwater tanks when traveling anywhere, you never know when you will need it
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:22 AM   #3
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I always have water available in the trailer freshwater tanks when traveling anywhere, you never know when you will need it
X2. I always fill the fresh water tank full when we're on a site. Some years ago we arrived at a park shortly after a water main had been repaired. We were able to learn that lesson the easy way by our neighbors stories - some had water available, some didn't.

We had the same issue here a couple of days age. We are in a trailer park that (that has some RV spaces) and they are working on their fresh water system. It would be nice if they would tell us they were going to shut the water off, but they don't. When they shut it off we had water. When they turned it back on I disconnected the hose and let the water flow until it was clear.

Also, if the water isn't to our liking (even if it's safe to drink) we don't fill the tank. We were at a SP in Illinois and the water was so foul we were warned about it at check-in. We were only there for one night so we used our reserve tank. The 5 gallon potable tank many of us carry.

So, if you filled your tank and didn't run the pump, the water would not have gone into your plumbing lines. Only the tank would need flushing. I have never used any fresh water treatments, but they are available. Your battery would run the pump so the shower and toilet would work, but the water pump uses a lot of the batteries capacity. The issue becomes how long it would work.

Your not the first one to arrive home with a mess. The good news is that now you understand your system better.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:44 AM   #4
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My fresh water tank is huge so I only fill it about 1/2 (typical weekend stay) once I am setup. But I always put water in the tank for two reasons. First I don't like leaving the camper with the city water ON. I have seen more than one camper with water coming out the door seal and no one home. When we leave the camper for the day I shut off city water outside. Most of the time I will shut it off at night and use the pump when needed. I have never trusted RV plumbing. Second reason is I know I have water if something goes wrong with the campground system.

But these are things we learn over time. And with all camping experiences it makes for good stories down the road. Campers have more stories to tell than the average person.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:49 AM   #5
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I always fill my water tank. I have pulled into a "full hookup" site but the water spigot was broken. Glad I had water. Plus it allows us to use the toilet when traveling. We have been stuck behind a massive traffic jam with no services and no exits. Bathroom is a necessity!
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:12 AM   #6
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We too always fill the fresh water tank after we arrive at hookup sites on our OFF-ROAD POPUP. I have a water tee and extra hose with spigot I hookup when connecting to city water. I use this for squirting things down around the camp site and it serves well to fill the fresh water for us. Our fresh water tank requires manual filling unlike some of the newer trailers that allows the fresh water tank to be filled from the city water port.

Also many times we have better water pressure from our fresh water tank and on-board water pump then from the city water connection...

Having fresh water on-board is a great PLAN B for us when camping at campgrounds with hookups

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Old 01-16-2014, 10:19 AM   #7
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I too put water in my fresh tanks prior to departure. Not only for the potential of not having water at my destination, or it being of questionable quality, but because we use our facilities in transit instead of stopping at rest stops or gas stations.

I also have HUGE fresh water capacity, and so I don't fill them up. I measured the flow of my water hose at a specific spigot opened 1/2 turn and discovered that it runs at about 10-12 seconds per gallon. So when I'm putting water in my fresh tank for a trip, I put the hose in, turn the spigot on 1/2 turn and let it go 2 minutes. 10 gallons of water is usually plenty for our trips. If I have a significant doubt about the water where I'm going, I will put more in. But never full; 86 gallons of water is A LOT of weight that I don't want to haul... DW also puts a couple gallons of Ozarka drinking water in the trailer in case we need some extra drinking water.

As for dumping the tank, check out truck stops. I learned a couple weeks ago that some truck stops have sewer dumps on site. Apparently for a nominal charge, they will let you dump your tanks... If you need additional water to fill the black tank so it will flush properly, you can almost always find a spigot at a gas station or truck stop. Just run the hose into the toilet and fill 'er up before you dump.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:04 AM   #8
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Mine are always full. You never know when the water may go off OR if the water where you are going is safe... I was at one place where the water was so poor you did not want to even shower with it.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:45 AM   #9
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Hey guys.. how do you treat the water? I have seen drops at Walmart to make it taste fresh, but I am wondering more about bacteria. A shot of Javex? We have two filters on our trailer. One on the outside which my dad insists we use, and then one on the tap with a cartridge (brita) Thanks
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ladywendolyn View Post
Hey guys.. how do you treat the water? I have seen drops at Walmart to make it taste fresh, but I am wondering more about bacteria. A shot of Javex? We have two filters on our trailer. One on the outside which my dad insists we use, and then one on the tap with a cartridge (brita) Thanks
I never ever drink from the tap in my RV. I have bottled water for drinking.. the closest I come to ingesting water from my RV is when I brush my teeth.
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