How to Fill Your RV's Fresh Water Tank

How to Fill Your RV's Fresh Water Tank

Posted by RVCampersUSA on Jan 31st 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Filling Your RV Fresh Water Tank, from white hoses and hookups to storing your fresh water hose in the off season.

Whether you're use your RV once a year or every week, you'll need ad adequate supply of fresh water to truly enjoy the experience.

The steps to simply fill your RV fresh water tank are pretty simple. When traveling, there are some other concerns you should watch out for. Don't worry, this post is going to cover all the scenarios.

What are the Steps to Fill My RV Fresh Water Tank?

The good news is that most RV's have a dedicated tank designed specifically for fresh water. As long as you keep it full, you can access water from the kitchen and bathroom faucets. So, how exactly do you fill an RV's fresh water tank?

1. Find the Connections

When you're ready, locate the connections for your RV's fresh water tank. You should notice a connection on the actual tank, along with a separate connection for hooking the tank up to the city water.

The hose will also have a screw on the connection running to the city water. The valve allows you to choose between filling up the tank or using city water directly. For this purpose, we're going to choose the fill-up option.

2. Use the Fresh Water Hose

The golden rule of filling you an RV fresh water tank is to use the fresh water hose. These hoses are designed specifically for potable (fresh) water, and as such should not be used for draining the gray or black water tanks. Doing so could result in cross-contamination, increasing the risk of bacteria and other harmful germs entering your RV's fresh water tank. Only fill your RV's fresh water tank using the fresh water hose.

3. Use a High-Quality Water Filter

In addition to using a fresh water hose, you should also use a high-quality water filter when filling your RV's fresh water tank. The purpose of a water filter is to remove toxins, chemicals, minerals and other impurities from the water sources. But like most filters, it must be replaced on a regular basis to function as intended. As it accumulates these impurities, the water filter will become less effective at filtering; thus, resulting in contaminated water. So, try to get into the habit of replacing your RV's water filter once every 6 months.

4. Check the Other Filters

Depending on your RV, it may also have water filters for the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Assuming it does, you should change these once every 6 months as well.

5. Turn on the Water Pump When Partially Filled

Some RV enthusiasts recommend turning on the water pump and kitchen sink (hot water) when the tank is partially full. This allows for more water to fill the tank, allowing you to squeeze up to 10 more gallons in your RV's system.

Can I Fill My RV Fresh Water Tanks At Home?

RV owners use various methods to fill their fresh water tanks at home.

One option is to manually fill a water jug from the kitchen faucet and transport it to the RV, making several trips if needed. Another approach is to connect a long hose from the kitchen to the RV in the driveway, allowing for a continuous flow of water. Some owners opt to fill their tanks using an outdoor faucet and a garden hose, although they may choose not to drink this water and instead use it for activities like hand washing and dishwashing.

It is important to note that lead has not been used in home plumbing for several years. Therefore, if an RV owner's house has all plastic pipes, they can feel confident about filling their tank using the outdoor faucet and garden hose. To ensure the freshness of the water, it is advisable to let it run until it is cold, ensuring that it is fresh county water that has not been sitting in the hose or pipes. Ultimately, if the water from the kitchen faucet is deemed safe to drink, there should be no reason why the water from the outdoor faucet cannot be consumed as well.

How do I Fill My Fresh Water Tank Without a Hose?

Now, let's discuss the steps you can take to fill your fresh water tank without a hose:

1. Find a Water Source: 

The first step is to find a water source. This could be a public water tap, a campground water station, or even a friend's house. Remember to ensure the water source is safe for consumption.

2. Use a Water Container: 

Next, you'll need a water container. This could be a water jug, a water carrier, or any large container that's safe for storing drinking water. Fill this container with water from your source.

3. Pour the Water into Your Fresh Water Tank: 

Now, pour the water from your container into your RV's fresh water tank. Your RV should have a gravity fill inlet, which is a hole on the side of your RV that leads directly to your fresh water tank. Simply pour the water into this inlet. You might need a funnel to make this process easier and prevent spills.

4. Repeat the Process: 

Depending on the size of your fresh water tank and your water container, you might need to repeat this process several times until your tank is full.

How Do I Gravity Fill My Fresh Water Tank?

To Gravity Fill Your Fresh Water Tank is essentially the same as filling your tank without a hose:

  1. Locate Your Gravity Fill Inlet:
    The first step is to locate your RV's gravity fill inlet. This is usually a hole on the side of your RV that leads directly to your fresh water tank. It's often covered by a cap to prevent contamination.
  2. Prepare Your Water Source:
    Next, prepare your water source. This could be a hose connected to a potable water supply, or a water jug if you're filling your tank without a hose. Ensure the water is safe for consumption.
  3. Fill Your Fresh Water Tank:
    Remove the cap from your gravity fill inlet and insert your hose or pour water from your jug into the inlet. The water will flow down into your fresh water tank due to gravity. Continue filling until water starts to come back out of the inlet, indicating that your tank is full.
  4. Replace the Cap:
    Once your tank is full, remove the hose or stop pouring water from your jug, and replace the cap on your gravity fill inlet.
  5. Check Your Tank Level:
    Finally, check the level of your fresh water tank to ensure it's full. Your RV should have a tank level monitor that shows the level of your fresh water tank.

What To Know Before Hooking Up to a Water Supply on the Road:

1. Why You Should Spray a Little Bleach Water on Any Outdoor Faucet Hook Up.

Spraying bleach water on any faucet you hook up to serves as a crucial safety measure. By doing so, you effectively eliminate any potential harmful contaminants that may be present on the faucet. This precaution is especially important because you can never be certain if an animal has interacted with the faucet, potentially leaving behind bacteria or other pathogens. Additionally, using RV type water hoses along with the yearly practice of soaking them in bleach water further ensures that any contaminants are effectively neutralized, promoting a clean and safe water supply for your RV.

2. What Potential Concerns Are There With Ground Hydrants?

When it comes to ground hydrants, there are a few potential concerns to keep in mind. Firstly, many state and national parks have older hydrants that may not be equipped to handle freezing temperatures. These hydrants may have valves made of bronze, which contains lead. It's important to be aware of the materials used in these hydrants and their potential implications.

Another important consideration is how you connect the hose to the hydrant.
Simply shoving the hose into the filler on the trailer can cause issues. It can obstruct the fill port and prevent air from escaping properly. This can be problematic as the small vent line might not adequately release the significant amount of displaced air, especially over a short period of time. It's crucial to ensure proper air circulation and pressure equalization for a smooth and efficient filling process.

Furthermore, the vent in the hydrant serves multiple purposes.
It helps in maintaining pressure equilibrium when there are changes in altitude, and it also allows air to enter the tank as it's being pumped out. These functions are important for the overall functioning and safety of the hydrant system.

In summary, the potential concerns with ground hydrants include their ability to withstand freezing temperatures, the proper connection of hoses to avoid air blockage, and the importance of venting for pressure balance and air circulation. Being mindful of these issues will contribute to a more reliable and efficient operation of the hydrants.

3. Is it Safe to Drink Water from an Outside Faucet?

Certainly! Drinking water directly from an outdoor faucet is generally safe and poses no significant risks, provided that it is part of the same water supply system as your kitchen faucet. If you have a single integrated piping system, there is no reason to worry about the safety of drinking water from your outdoor faucet.

Regarding concerns about lead, it's essential to note that approved outdoor faucets, such as those made of brass with anti-siphon mechanisms, cannot contain lead. These types of faucets are specifically designed for domestic water usage and follow rigorous safety regulations. Therefore, you can rest assured that these brass faucets are safe for drinking water.

Additionally, it's worth mentioning that outdoor faucets, commonly known as hydrant style faucets, are typically made of iron. This material choice does not pose any problems when it comes to water safety. Therefore, even if your outdoor faucet is of the hydrant style, it doesn't raise any concerns about drinking water from it.

In summary, provided that your outdoor faucet is connected to the same water piping system as your kitchen faucet, there is no need to worry about drinking water directly from it. Both the brass anti-siphon faucets and the iron hydrant style faucets are designed to ensure safe and potable water for domestic use.

4. How Should I Access Water from an Outside Faucet?

To access water from an outside faucet, it is recommended to use RV type water hoses instead of regular garden hoses. Regular garden hoses can contain contaminants that may be harmful if consumed. Before using an RV water hose, it is a good practice to clean it using a bleach water solution. This can be done by pouring the solution into the hose, allowing it to sit for a few minutes, and then draining and rinsing the hose thoroughly. This process helps to eliminate any potential contaminants or bacteria that may have accumulated.

While most campgrounds treat their water supply, there is still a risk of bacterial and viral contamination. Factors such as inadequate treatment, cross-connections, or issues with the water distribution system can lead to the presence of harmful microorganisms in the water. To prevent this many RVers use an RV water filter.

Another important precaution is to avoid screwing the hose ends together when storing them. This can lead to an unpleasant odor developing in the hose, making it necessary to discard it and replace it with a new one.

Furthermore, it is advised to spray a bleach water solution on any faucet before connecting to it for water, both when on the road and at home. This step helps to disinfect the faucet, as there may be a possibility of animals or other contaminants coming into contact with it.

Finally, it is recommended to carry at least two RV water hoses to ensure that you can reach the various faucets you may encounter. This provides flexibility during your travels and ensures a sufficient supply of clean water.

5. How to Prevent Critters and Contaminents from Getting into Your Fresh Water Hose?

To prevent critters from getting into your hose, there are a few simple steps you can take. Firstly, it is a good idea to create a solution of bleach water annually and pour it into the hose. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before draining and rinsing it thoroughly. This process helps eliminate any potential contaminants or harmful substances that may attract animals.

Additionally, when storing your hose, it is wise not to screw the hose ends together tightly. Doing so can create a confined space where unpleasant odors can accumulate, making the hose less attractive for future use. If this occurs, you may even need to discard the hose and purchase a new one.

Furthermore, whenever connecting your hose to a faucet, it is advisable to spray some bleach water on the faucet and rinse it before using it, whether you are at home or on the road. This simple precaution helps ensure that any potentially appealing odors or residues left by animals are removed, minimizing the risk of attraction.

By following these preventative measures, you will significantly reduce the likelihood of critters being attracted to or attempting to access your hose, providing you with a cleaner and safer water source.

6. How Do I Sanitize My RV Fresh Water Tank?

Maintaining a clean and safe water supply is crucial when you're on the road in your RV. One of the key steps in ensuring this is regularly sanitizing your RV fresh water tank. Over time, bacteria, algae, and other unwanted substances can build up in the tank, potentially contaminating your water supply. 

Click here to view the process of sanitizing your RV fresh water tank.

Where You Should Never Fill Fresh Water Tanks:

We recommend that RVers not ill their camper with water from dump stations due to concerns regarding the potential contamination of the fresh potable water source. It's kind of like that old saying, "never poop where you eat." If it's near sewage you just can't be sure that other campers didn't potentially use that water to flush out their grey or black water systems. Better safe than sorry.

What Do I Do if My Fresh Water Tank has a Blockage?

If you encounter a blockage in the overflow vent of your fresh water tank, it is important to address it promptly. A blocked overflow vent can cause issues when filling the tank, resulting in slow and gurgling water flow. To resolve this, you can take the following steps:

1. Identify the location: 

Determine the exact position of the fresh water tank and locate the overflow vent, which is responsible for allowing air to escape during the filling process.

2. Inspect for blockages: 

Carefully examine the overflow vent, looking for any signs of blockage such as a kink, obstruction, or debris that may be causing restricted airflow.

3. Clear the blockage: 

If you find a blockage, take appropriate measures to remove it. For instance, if there is a kink in the overflow vent, gently straighten it out to restore proper airflow. Alternatively, if there is debris present, carefully remove it to ensure unobstructed venting.

4. Test the system: 

Once the blockage has been addressed, it is important to assess whether the issue has been resolved. Begin by refilling the fresh water tank and observe if the water flows smoothly without any gurgling sound or delays. If the problem persists, further investigation or assistance may be necessary.

By promptly resolving a blockage in the overflow vent, you can ensure smooth and efficient filling of your fresh water tank without any hindrances. Regular inspections and maintenance can help prevent such issues from occurring in the future, enhancing your overall water storage and usage experience.

How Should I Clean and Store My White Water Hose?

To effectively clean and store your White Hose at the end of the season, follow these steps:

1. Begin by flushing the hose with chlorinated city water. This will help remove any debris, bacteria, or potential contaminants from the inside.

2. After thoroughly flushing, allow the hose to hang for a period of 3-4 days. This will ensure that all moisture inside the hose has completely dried. Hanging the hose also helps prevent the formation of mold or mildew.

3. Once the hose is completely dry, proceed to screw the ends of the hose together. By doing this, you create a seal that will prevent critters or insects from entering the hose during storage.

4. Find a suitable location to store the hose. It is best to keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent any damage caused by UV rays or extreme temperatures.

Remember to periodically inspect your stored hose throughout the off-season to make sure it remains in good condition. Properly cleaning and storing your White Hose will help prolong its lifespan and ensure it is ready for use when the next season comes around.

What is the Best RV Fresh (White) Water Hose?

Why We Recommend the Camco TastePURE 50’ Camper/RV Drinking Water Hose is the Best Choice for RV Fresh Water Hook Ups

Camco TastePURE 50’ Camper / RV Drinking Water Hose

When it comes to RVing, ensuring a clean and reliable water supply is crucial. This is where the importance of a high-quality RV fresh water hose comes into play. Among the many options available in the market, the Camco TastePURE 50’ Camper/RV Drinking Water Hose stands out as the best choice for RV fresh water hook ups. In this blog post, we'll delve into the reasons why.

The Camco TastePURE 50’ RV white hose is specifically designed to deliver safe, clean drinking water to your RV. It's not just a hose; it's a comprehensive solution that addresses the unique water needs of RVers. 

Here's why it's the best choice for your RV fresh water hook ups:

Quality Material and Construction

The Camco TastePURE 50’ RV white hose is made from high-quality PVC material that's free from harmful chemicals like BPA and lead. This ensures that the water delivered through the hose is safe for drinking. The hose is also reinforced for maximum kink resistance, ensuring a steady and uninterrupted water flow.

Ideal Length

At 50 feet, the Camco TastePURE hose provides ample length for most RV fresh water hook ups. This length offers flexibility, allowing you to connect to a water source even if it's a bit far from your RV.

Durable and Weather-Resistant

The Camco TastePURE 50’ RV white hose is designed to withstand the rigors of RVing. It's UV-stabilized for longer life and can withstand harsh weather conditions. This durability ensures that the hose will serve you reliably for many camping seasons.

Easy to Use

The Camco TastePURE hose comes with easy-to-use hose gripper fittings, making it easy to connect and disconnect from your RV and the water source. This ease of use makes the water hook up process smooth and hassle-free.

Safe for Drinking Water

Perhaps the most significant advantage of the Camco TastePURE 50’ RV white hose is that it's safe for drinking water. The hose is made with NSF-certified materials, ensuring that it doesn't impart any tastes or odors to the water. This feature sets it apart from regular garden hoses and makes it the best choice for RV fresh water hook ups.

In conclusion, the Camco TastePURE 50’ Camper/RV Drinking Water Hose offers a perfect blend of quality, length, durability, ease of use, and safety. It's a comprehensive water solution that meets the unique needs of RVers, making it the best choice for RV fresh water hook ups.

Improving Your RVing Experience by Masterly Filling Your RV Fresh Water Tank

In conclusion, filling your RV fresh water tank is a crucial task that requires careful planning and execution. By understanding your RV fresh water tank, choosing the right RV fresh water hose, and following the correct filling process, you can ensure a safe and reliable water supply during your travels.

Remember, a well-maintained RV is the key to a successful and enjoyable RVing experience. Don't let water supply issues put a damper on your adventures. Master the process of filling your RV fresh water tank and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're well-equipped for your travels. Happy RVing!