Using water in your motorhome

Author: Your RV Good Guide   Date Posted:4 June 2024 


From a hot shower in the morning to washing up in the evening, having a reliable water supply in your RV makes all the difference to your motorhome travels. If you’re new to the motorhoming lifestyle, getting to grips with your RV’s water systems might seem a little daunting. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this helpful guide, we share everything you need to know about using water, and disposing of waste water, when you’re travelling by motorhome or caravan.



Managing fresh water in your motorhome

Keeping a steady supply of fresh water in your motorhome is key to a comfortable journey. Let's look at how to manage your motorhome's fresh water, from understanding your fresh water tank to keeping it filled up for your travels.


Fresh water tank functionality

Your motorhome's fresh water tank is where all the water you use for cooking, drinking, showering, and washing up is stored. These tanks are usually placed under the vehicle or in a specific storage area. They’re designed for easy filling and are protected against cold weather.

To use water from your tank, an RV water pump pushes water through your system, giving you the right water pressure just like at home.


Filling the fresh water in your RV

It's important to keep an eye on how much water you have. You might need to fill up every day or two, depending on how much water you use and how big your tank is. If you have a bigger RV, like a fifth-wheeler or an A-Class motorhome, your tank might last you a lot longer.


A step-by-step guide to filling your RV fresh water tank

When it's time to fill up your fresh water tank, here's what you do:

  1. Get your fresh water hose ready, making sure it's clean.
  2. Connect one end to a safe fresh water source, like a tap at a campsite.
  3. Put the other end into your RV's fresh water tank inlet, making sure it's secure.
  4. Start filling the tank slowly to let air out and avoid any airlocks, which can mess with your water flow.
  5. Watch for water coming out of the overflow valve, which means your tank is full and you're all set.


Heating water for hot water supply

Having access to hot water is one of the comforts that can make your motorhome feel like a home away from home. Whether it's for a warm shower, doing the dishes, or just washing your hands, knowing how to heat your water is essential.

There are a few options for heating water in your motorhome. For instant hot water, it’s worth investing in a device such as the Camec Instantaneous Water Heater which heats the water on-demand as it flows through the system. This means you get hot water exactly when you need it, without waiting.

Some motorhomes use a combi heater which heats up the living area as well as your hot water. The Truma Combi Air/Water Heater is a popular option designed to keep you warm and toasty and make those hot showers easy.

Another innovative solution is heat transfer systems that use the engine's heat to warm up the water while you're driving. This way, the water gets heated during your journey and stays warm for a long time afterwards. So, while it is a form of preheating, it's done efficiently while you're on the move, saving you time and energy.

In some cases, you may need to heat your water up before you can use it. It's a good idea to check the hot water heating instructions specific to your motorhome to do this efficiently. These instructions can usually be found in your motorhome's manual or the control panel for the water heater.


Maintaining water quality

Keeping the water in your motorhome clean and safe is crucial for a healthy and enjoyable journey. A key component in ensuring water purity is a robust RV water filter system. This system works tirelessly to remove impurities and contaminants from your water supply, ensuring the water you use for drinking, cooking, and bathing is clean and safe.

In addition to filtering, regular tank cleaning is essential to prevent the buildup of algae and bacteria. Here are some essential tips for maintaining water quality in your motorhome:

  • Regularly clean your tank: Make it a habit to clean and sanitise your fresh water tank every few months or after prolonged periods of inactivity.
  • Change filters regularly: Keep an eye on your water filter's condition and replace it as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure it continues to effectively remove contaminants.
  • Use safe water sources: When refilling your tank, make sure the water comes from a safe and reliable source. If in doubt, use bottled water for drinking and cooking.
  • Consider tank treatment: RV Super Centre has a range of fresh water treatments to help ensure your water is free from harmful build-up and is pleasant tasting.


Conserving water on the go

Water is a precious commodity, especially when you're on the road and access to refill stations can be sporadic. Here are some practical tips for conserving water in your motorhome:

  • Shorter showers: Limit shower time to a few minutes. You can also turn off the water while soaping up to save even more.
  • Efficient taps: Install water-saving devices like low-flow taps and showerheads. These devices can significantly reduce water usage without compromising on comfort.
  • Fix leaks promptly: A dripping tap or a leaking pipe can waste a surprising amount of water over time. Regularly check your plumbing and fix any leaks immediately.
  • Mindful usage: Be conscious of your water usage habits. Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth or washing dishes can save a significant amount of water.
  • Collect rainwater: If possible, set up a system to collect rainwater that can be used for non-potable purposes like flushing the toilet or even washing dishes after proper filtration.



Managing waste water in your motorhome

Managing waste water efficiently is an important aspect of motorhome maintenance that ensures your vehicle remains clean, hygienic, and environmentally friendly. Proper handling of waste water not only contributes to a more pleasant journey but also helps in preserving the natural surroundings of your camping spots.


Grey water tanks vs black water tanks

Understanding the difference between RV grey water and RV black water tank contents is fundamental. Grey water is the waste water that comes from your sinks and showers. It's relatively cleaner but still needs proper disposal. On the other hand, black water, which comes from your toilet, contains sewage and requires careful handling to prevent health hazards. In this guide, we'll focus on managing grey water effectively.


How often to empty your waste water tank

To avoid overflow and maintain a clean environment, it's wise to empty your waste water tank every few days, depending on your usage and tank size. Regular emptying prevents the build-up of unpleasant smells and makes the disposal process easier.


Follow the proper disposal protocol

Disposing of waste water correctly is not just about convenience; it's a matter of environmental responsibility. Always use authorised dump stations for emptying your waste water to prevent contamination and adhere to local regulations. Here's how to do it efficiently:

  1. Retrieve the waste water hose stored in your vehicle.
  2. Connect one end to the waste water outlet located beneath your motorhome.
  3. Place the other end securely into the dump station's inlet.
  4. Open the lever to release the waste water, allowing it to drain completely.
  5. Once finished, close the lever, disconnect the hose, and ensure everything is clean and tidy.


Cleaning your waste water tank

Keeping your waste water tank clean is essential for preventing odours and ensuring the system operates smoothly. After emptying, rinse the tank with clean water, and consider using a specialised tank cleaner occasionally to remove residue and maintain hygiene.


Preventing blockages and odours

To keep your waste water system flowing freely and smelling fresh, be mindful of what goes down the drains. Avoid disposing of fats, oils, and food particles like rice or coffee grounds, as they can cause blockages in the narrower motorhome drains. Regularly use environmentally friendly drain cleaners and consider adding a grey water deodoriser to keep the system clean and odour-free.


Keep your RV’s water system flowing with RVSC

We hope these tips have demystified the topic of RV water systems and will help you enjoy a hygienic and environmentally friendly RV lifestyle. Remember, the right products and regular maintenance can make all the difference.

For all your water system needs, from RV water filters to waste water hoses and eco-friendly cleaning solutions, look no further than RV Super Centre. Whether you prefer to shop online or visit us in person, we've got everything you need to keep your motorhome's water systems in top condition.


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