Can this site use your data to personalize useful ads for you?

Our advertising partners will collect data and use cookies for ad personalization and measurement. Otherwise, your data will not influence ads. This site uses cookies to deliver our services. Please see our License Agreement and Privacy Policy (Terms of Use) and Disclosure and Cookie Policy. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand these policies. You can change this setting later on the Disclosure page.

   

 
The Wordy Explorers
   

facebook share
twitter share
pinterest share
flipboard share
googleplus share

Follow


Using Aquatainer to Fill or Disinfect RV Fresh Water Tanks

Using Aquatainer to Fill or Disinfect RV Fresh Water Tanks


By avatar  Scott
Posted On 10/24/2018 17:28:55
Trip Date 10/9/2018  

Camping | Hacks | Boondocking | Water Carrier | RV Fresh Water | How to Disinfect RV Fresh Water Tank | How to Fill RV Fresh Water Tank



If you are planning to boondock for more than just a few days or need to add water to your fresh water tank when your hose won't reach, you may need to use a water jug and hose. Additionally, at some point in the life of your RV, you may need to disinfect your water tank. Take a look at this post for some valuable information and some of the lessons that I learned with both disinfecting and adding water to my fresh water tank.

Adding Water to a Fresh Water Tank

When searching for the best ways to put water in my tank from a water container, I found that the answer is not really straight forward. Some older RVs will allow you to just poor water in with a spout. Others (like mine) require attaching a hose and having some pressure to get the water into the tank when the water input selector valve is in tank fill mode. It's easy when using a city water hose - but not with a hand carried jug!

Home Adaptation of a Small 12v Pump

I once tried to build a water hose with a 12v water pump on the end. After adapting the hose sizes to a water hose attachment and trying it out, I realized that it was just too hard to keep the pump primed. To make matters worse, I think the pump burned out. I continued trying to fiddle with it and the plastic pump housing broke. The whole experiment was a huge waste of time.


Hacking the Aquatainer Jug

I finally decided to buy an Aquatainer (blue 7 gallon jug) which is easy to purchase through Amazon. Before starting my hack, I also purchased an extra lid because I didn't want to ruin the original lid that came with my Aquatainer.


Extra Lid From Reliance

Extra Lid From Reliance

I then needed to adapt the lid so that I could easily attach a hose. I got two PVC hose fittings plus a small piece of 3/4" PVC pipe in order to make a male to male adapter.


PVC Fittings

PVC Fittings

I assembled it and glued it with PVC cement and ended up with a very durable special lid that fits the Aquatainer.


Lid with Hose PVC Attachment

Lid with Hose PVC Attachment

The 7 gallon container is a good size - it's large enough to get water in a few trips (or jugs). If I think I need more water in each trip, I'll buy a second jug and use the same hose adapter lid. The weight of the 7 gallon container is also light enough to be able to lift it to a height above the RV water input. You might have to lift it to your car roof or attach it with a bungee cord to your RV ladder (the Aquatainer is just a little too wide to fit in the rungs of my RV ladder). The goal is to have the Aquatainer at whatever height is necessary for the the water to flow into the tank with your drinking water hose attached (the shorter, the better).


Aquatainer Water Jug

Aquatainer Water Jug

My Experience With Filling the Fresh Water Tank

I filled the Aquatainer and carried it to where I needed it. I lifted it to the roof of my SUV and let it run. (The Aquatainer has a vent in the back that you can close until you are ready for water to flow.) However, it didn't work. Even after ensuring that all of the air was out of the hose, the jug would not drain into the tank as expected.

After even more research, I became convinced that there was a check valve (which allows water to flow in one direction) in the line between the tank fill port and the tank. The RV manufacturer also confirmed that there was a check valve to prevent water from coming out of the tank into the water system or just flowing out of the fill port. The manufacturer suggested that the check valve could be removed. The problem with the check valve is that it requires a significant amount of water pressure to push it open to allow water to flow through it. The jug with just water pressure from gravity when on the SUV roof is not enough.


My RV has a city water or tank fill valve in the convenience panel outside. I could not open the fill port or see adequately behind the panel (when it was unscrewed and opened) to verify the location of the check valve. The connections were all tightly assembled from inside the RV and sealed inside of an end table which would require demolition to access. I didn't want to break the water input port or end table trying to figure out where it was.


Convenience Panel

Convenience Panel


City Water - Tank Fill Valve

City Water - Tank Fill Valve

Some older RVs have simple gravity fill ports that allow water to flow in easily. Other later model RVs have a separate tank fill port on the outside of the RV (these have a round face plate) which can be easily removed to access the check valve. Sometimes the check valve may need to be replaced when it wears out.

I don't have easy access to the check valve in my RV which has a single water port and valve. Because of this, on my model, I need to use the siphon hose to get water into the fresh water tank. (I have since found a document from my RV manufacturer that explains this, however the response from my earlier email to manufacturer support never mentioned this.)


Filling the Tank From the Siphon Hose

Filling the tank from the siphon hose attached to your water pump can be done by setting the various valves in the desired positions. Check with the specific drawings for your RV model and manufacturer documentation. Make sure that your tank vent or overflow tube is open to avoid putting too much pressure on the tank.


Water Pump

Water Pump

Normally, there are 3 valves - #1 for the siphon hose; #2 to allow water from the tank to enter the pump; and #3 as a bypass to allow pumping back into the tank. The water pump itself may be in a sealed cabinet inside of your RV. The siphon hose normally does not have an attachment on the end thereby allowing it to suck water from a container. I put a garden hose female end on mine to allow me to attach it to the Aquatainer and prevent leaking.


Drip Free End on Syphon Hose

Drip Free End on Syphon Hose

You should also be able to add water to the tank by just fishing the standard hose to the bottom of the jug. However, by putting a hose fitting on the end, I can put the jug on the counter and get some assistance from gravity to pump the water into the tank. This should also help to prime the pump and get the air bubbles out of the siphon hose before starting.


Before you start, make sure that you take note of the original position of each valve as you will need to return each to this position after you add water to your tank. By positioning valve #1 to the siphon hose, valve #2 to the bypass line and opening #3 in the bypass line, water will be allowed to be pumped from the siphon hose, through the pump, around and back through the bypass line and finally into the tank.


Pump Drawing

Pump Drawing

When I tried this, I originally placed the jug on the floor (which is above the tank), but even with the pump on, the water wouldn't flow. I suspect that it was because of air in the tube. I was always skeptical about having the pump suck the water from a container up and over the container height and down into the tank. When I moved the Aquatainer to the counter top and turned on the pump, the water began to flow. Finally! After a few minutes the 6.5 or so gallons of water had been pumped successfully into the tank. Yes!


Tank Fill With Pump

Tank Fill With Pump

By actually trying this out, I ran into every possible problem, and I know that it will work if and when I really need to add water to my tank. It seems like this is something that should be easy, but it took a while to find the right technique.

Disinfecting an RV Water Tank

I once needed to disinfect my RV tank. We camped at a site in Oklahoma and, after filling the tank, we realized that the water contained e-coli. Bummer!

To sanitize and disinfect the RV water system, you need to mix household bleach and water in the right proportions:

  • Use a quarter cup of household bleach for every fifteen gallons of water in your tank and water system (including hot water heater and hoses).
  • Mix the bleach with water into a one gallon container.
  • Pour the diluted mixture into the fresh water holding tank and fill the rest of the tank with potable water. (Don't pour bleach directly into the tank.)
  • Once the tank is full, run the water through the pump and through all faucets to disinfect them. Make sure to drain and fill your hot water heater too.
  • Finally, flush out the tank and water system until you can no longer smell the bleach.

When I disinfected my tank, I didn't have a workable way to get the bleach water into the tank. At that time, I didn't know about the siphon hose which is enclosed in the RV. We used a bucket, 20 feet of water hose, a funnel and a chair. You get the idea! (It was kind of embarrassing for my wife and I to stand in the yard and pour the bleach mixture from a bucket into the funnel while holding it above our heads as high as possible. It barely worked and was a very slow process.) I now believe that what actually happened was that I was only able to fill the hose with the solution because the check valve would not allow low pressure water into the tank. Once it was chased with pressurized water from the hose, it finally went into the tank. If I have to disinfect the tank in the future, I will be able to use the Aquatainer with the hose attached.

Finding The Parts

Reminder: This Wordy Explorers post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading!

You can easily find these items on Amazon and even get home delivery:


Using Aquatainer to Fill or Disinfect RV Fresh Water Tanks



Related Posts   None

Other Recent Posts  

   A DIY Day Trip from Puerto Montt to Chile's Lake District   A DIY Day Trip from Puerto Montt to Chile's Lake District

   Review:  Sun Valley RV Resort   Review: Sun Valley RV Resort

   Touring the Chilean Countryside with "The German Pirates"   Touring the Chilean Countryside with "The German Pirates"

   Review:  Southgate RV Park   Review: Southgate RV Park

   "Mardi Gras World" plus 14 New Orleans Sights   "Mardi Gras World" plus 14 New Orleans Sights





Created On 06/07/2018 19:36:10  
Updated On 10/24/2018 01:28:55
Scheduled On 10/24/2018 01:28:55
Posted On 10/24/2018 17:28:55
Last Editor Stacy
Location  
LinkId  AquatainerHose
StoryId  1528414570034





Comments    





  blog theme  
About WE
Contact WE
Follow WE
License
Privacy Policy
Disclosure Policy
facebook share
twitter share
pinterest share
flipboard share
googleplus share
 

(C) Copyright, SNS Web Ventures, LLC, DBA Are We There Yet, 2018
The Wordy Explorers