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Author Topic: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?  (Read 6597 times)

Offline WEC4104

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Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« on: August 29, 2006, 09:17:32 PM »
I would like know what folks do when they return home from a trip with water left in their fresh water tanks. Do you immediately drain it?  Let's say you return from a trip and you know it will be 3+ weeks before you hit the road again.  I know the tank will need to be drained, possibly sanitized, and refilled with fresh before I go out again, but I am weighing the pros and cons of having it partially full or empty while it is stored. (Naturally, I am talking about warm weather, as freezeproofing is a separate issue)

Part of me says drain it immediately and let it sit dry while she is parked. Then again, I was thinking of adding a small amount of bleach while stored, and then drain/flush/refill right before I leave. Anybody have thoghts on this?

Wayne
If you're going to be dumb, you gotta be tough.

Offline NCbob

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2006, 10:18:31 PM »
My first question would be...are you using Chlorinated City water or well water?  If it was just a 3 week layover and the tank is not exposed to light...I wouldn't worry about it. ;)

But then, it depends on how you're using your bus too..if you 'boondock' a lot you might wish to drain it..as for me...we're primarily a 'Post Bus' and I only carry enough water to overnight in a Wally World and then I connect to whatever water supply is available in the RV park. ???

We carry our own drinking water in 6 gallon containers 'cause we don't like Chlorine....we're used to good Mountain water. :D

I guess it boils down to .."do it your way". ;D

NCbob

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Offline H3Jim

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2006, 10:19:58 PM »
Are your water pipes translucent? do you tanslucent poly tanks that get regular light?  If so you are in much greater danger of mold growing.  While I do ont use the water in my tankis for drinking, I have yet to drain my tank, jsut sits there year round.  No probems yet.  I do periodically drain and refill, the city water I get has a smidgen of disinfectant in it already.  No light gets to my water.

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Offline plyonsMC9

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 10:28:41 PM »
We have well water, and we do use a small amount of bleach.  Water stays in the main tank throughout the year except for the winter when it is drained due to severe cold. 

Been doing the same for a good 20 yrs.  No problems yet.

Hope this helps, Phil
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Offline Jerry Liebler

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 10:29:08 PM »
For what it's worth I never drain my fresh water tanks.  But I use a UV sterilizer and carbon block filter on all water out of the tanks.  And the water I put into the tanks is filtered through a 0.9 micron ceramic filter and passed through the UV sterilizer.  I also keep the bus heated all winter.   With the UV and carbon filters I have 'safe' water and the chlorine taste of the city water,I use to fill,  is eliminated 
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Offline WEC4104

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2006, 10:52:24 PM »
Thanks for the quick responses.

If I am still running on what I left home with, it would be well water in the tank. However, after an extended trip it will be whatever was put in last.   I can't think of any component in my system that would let light in. 

Typically, my wife is pretty big on taking bottled with us to drink. Still, I'd want the water I am carrying to be clean and completely safe to drink.
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Offline doug mars

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2006, 11:17:00 PM »
we just add a water conditioner to our tank that we get at wal mart or camping world .we add it every time we fill our tank and we have well water .we also have a stainless tank and we keep it full
Doug & Tinda Mars 4106/3044

Offline Devin & Amy

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2006, 01:00:00 AM »
Wayne,
In my experiences fulltiming I have come across some really bad city water. Paris, Texas is probably the worst. So in my ever so humble opinion I would watch what the water does. Smell it, if it smells at all funky add some bleach. I use one ounce per fifty gallons. i am sure there is a "proper ratio" but this has worked for me for three years fulltiming.
If you have any question at all about the water then you should drain it. It is such a pain to deal with the repurcussions from bad water that it seems too easy to refill from a known source when you have the chance.
My family only drinks from bottled spring water when on the road. The conditions of well water can vary so much from place to place that there is no way to know what you are drinking.
I just think that it doesn't cost much time or effort to keep your system as pure as possible.
IMHO
HTH FWIW
Devin
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Offline NJT5047

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2006, 01:22:39 AM »
I refresh my water whenever I'm camped with full hookups.   I'll "lose" the freshwater tank at night, and it refills from the campground water supply.   Just turn on a valve and city water fills the freshwater tank.  Got to watch the tank when doing this.   Rarely have more than 25 gallons of water in the freshwate tank.  Holds 110 gallons, but don't see any reason to transport the weight.   Replacing the water frequently keeps the water smelling OK.  Never more than a few weeks old.  At the begining of the season I'll add about 15cc's of chlorox per 15-20 gallons of water, move the bus and dump the freshwater tank and refill.  Never had a problem...but, we don't drink from the freshwater tank.   
I have an issue with the hose "flavor" imparted on the campground water.  Never found a hose that I couldn't taste.  I'll either use bottled water to drink, or fill a two liter container from a wye on the faucet.   Any suggestions for a tastless hose?
After 26 years of marriage, I've about got my wife convinced that camping is like being in Mexico...don't drink the water...drink adult beverages! They have germ-fighting alcohol. 
If anyone knows what the best ratio for chlorox to water for safe but not over-oxidized, I'd like to hear it. 
Been planning buying some of the water "freshener"....for about 20 years now.  Happen one of these days.  Does the freshener clean the tank also?  Is it considered safe to drink? 
JR
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Offline niles500

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2006, 01:35:50 AM »
NJT - trying filling the hose with water and about 20-30% Vinegar mixture - let it sit in the sun for a couple hours - HTH
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Offline NJT5047

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2006, 01:58:10 AM »

Thanks Niles,  is that a permanent fix..or should the vinegar treatment be repeated at some interval?  Sounds like a "acid etch" for the hose. 
JR

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Offline Nick Badame Refrig/ACC

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2006, 02:02:24 AM »
Hi Wayne,

Whenever I have the water tank sit for more than 2 weeks, I use 1 cap full of bleech in the fill tube.

I have city water, but I also have a commercial high volume Everpure filtering system that filters down to Sub Micronic [-1 micron]

This is mostly used when I have to refill my fresh water tank from a well or bad tasting water. I normally don't need it because my

refrigerator has a filtering system for our drinking water.

Nick
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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2006, 02:49:38 AM »
When I had my travel trailer, I opened the drain as soon as I hit the road so I didn't have to haul the weight.  With the bus, I will drain the tank down to enough for the road when I am done camping.  The weight won't matter as much with the bus.  I will drain the tank at home as the bus sits long stretches between trips.

One place I fill with water has arsenic in the water so I never drink from the water system.  I just buy the gallon jugs of water at Walmart for drinking and cooking.

Brian Elfert

Offline plyonsMC9

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2006, 03:22:07 AM »
We have well water, and we do use a small amount of bleach.  Water stays in the main tank throughout the year except for the winter when it is drained due to severe cold. 

Been doing the same for a good 20 yrs.  No problems yet.

Hope this helps, Phil


And I should have added - we never drink from the fresh water tank - even though it doesn't smell, etc., we always use bottled water. We also don't use RV anti-freeze in the winter, but rather blow out all the water with compressed air, so our pipes don't ever have that anti-freeze sitting in them.

Hope this helps, Phil

Northern Arizona / 1983 - MC9

Offline niles500

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Re: Fresh Water tank - drain it or not?
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2006, 04:05:47 AM »
NJT - once should be enough - vinegar is a great 'odor eater'
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