Water is arguably the most vital thing to consider when camping out on an RV. It seats at the pole position with other amenities like food, petrol, spare tires etc. coming at near seconds. If you chose to bat your eyes and wave off the fact that you probably don’t need enough of it, be prepared to get caught on your heels. Keep rubbing yourself up with reasons why you won’t have to cut your vacation short due to less fresh water storage, and you could end up being on the road back home especially if you are boondocking or dry camping.
When camping out in an RV, water is considered one of the top factors, if not first to be checked. Knowing the amount of water you will need during your camping period is a query that should come to mind and here’s the answer.
However, certain factors are meant to be considered when determining the amount of water required for yourself and your RV over a 3 day period. On a 3-day camping trip; approx. 1000 liters (250 gallon) of fresh water is needed to cater for a family of 3 regardless of what class of RV you’re using. An average camper with all factors considered uses an average of 110 liters of water per day as per intuition.
If your trip is going to stretch for weeks or few months, then you should consider doing a rain-check on how many gallons of water your RV can conveniently commute without any hassles. Extra gallons can be carried along to serve as supplementary supply in case you run out unduly.
Normally, to be able to wrap your mind around these figures there are many factors you should ponder upon first.
RVs come in different class. And usually when doing a count on how many gallons of water your RV can take or carry, you need to know which class your RV belongs.
There’s the Class A rvs, then Class B, Class C, trailers, etc. Each class have a particular weigh in tonnes that they can handle.
And you probably own either of this. To learn about the factors affecting water usage in an RV and how to conserve water; stroll down the article.
How Many Gallons of Fresh Water Can an RV Hold?
RVs can hold an average 40-50 gallons of water. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to pack more gallons in your RV. It just depends on your kind of RV and sometimes whether you are willing to create room for water to be kept.
Mind you, this has to be okay with your vehicle. You don’t want to go hoarding so much water inside and expect it to run pretty okay on full throttle.
Different rvs have different capabilities. Most preferably, if you want more gallons then you obviously need a bigger RV. The bigger, lengthier, the more gallons of water it can hold.
First on our list is:
Class A Motor Homes
These have yards of space. And provide as much as the same comfort as a regular home. A class A motor home can hold up to 85 gallons of water and even bigger. Examples are the Entrego Coach Anthem Model 2019, which holds 100 gallons.
Class C Motor Homes
They are very much less bigger than a class A motor-home. Although a little higher on the price side, class C motor-homes can hold gallons of water usually around 49 gallons. A good example is the Fleetwood Jamboree 30F 2017 model.
Class B Motor Homes
Stuck in between, are a little smaller than a Class A motor home, but quite a healthy rival for the class A motor homes. They can hold up to 60 gallons of water.
If you have eyes for fifth wheels, they are pretty much clawed up to the better side of all this. They might be a little expensive but they can store fresh water tanks of about 60 to 75 gallons on an average.
These ones on the other hand because they are usually the smallest of mobiles homes, can hold 40 to 60 gallons of freshwater.
Can the water from any of these RVs last you two to three days? Can they run without failure? Should you just roll your RV out once you’ve got your tanks completely filled?
Truthfully, it is hard to speculate. Many factors come into play here. It is how you use it that matters. Use it well and you may still have just about enough before your return from camping within that window.
But, if you can be able to play or stick to rules that work for you, you could turn your trips into mind-blowing encounters that you won’t or forget anytime soon.
Factors That Affect Your Daily RV Water Usage
If we start counting how many gallons your RV can carry or on the average how many you could stack in your recreational vehicle and how long they can last, we have seen that they both vary.
Many deciding factors come into play here. On whether your fresh water tank will run longer for a wider stretch of time, it solely depends of your RV daily water usage.
You don’t want to be crushed into bits when you come unprepared for a trip or end up being clobbered by your fellow campers when pleading for assistance.
Wriggling yourself out of situations like this are often a hard time. But if you ruminate over these factors, and chalk up something, you might end up saving yourself after all.
Now down to the basics. Your RV daily water usage is affected by a lot of things. From doing the dishes, cooking, showers, to toileting etc. While these are factors worth pinning on your evaluation list, size is worth remembering here.
And in this context, we don’t mean the size of your RV, whilst that still remains relevant, but the how many persons will be camping out with you far inside the countryside.
The average daily usage of water by your RV shower could hit as high as 35-40 gallons due to long bath, and those numbers could balloon to 70 gallons if restrictions are not put in place. In liters that is a whopping figure in the region of 95 to 135 liters of water used daily for baths.
The sad part is the average person could use just about that kind of amount in a single bath. And if this happens it could turn into a spell of bad luck for you.
Meanwhile, cooking, dish washing and a little cleaning still consume a significant amount of water. Although it is hard to play down how these activities affect your daily rv water usage. For cooking it is hinged upon how frequent you eat. That in turn affects how often you do your dishes. The lesser time you invest in cooking and doing the dishes, means you won’t hit the bottom any sooner.
How to Conserve Fresh Water in RVs
Water conservation is the lifeblood of any successful camping. And if you are just learning the ropes, you don’t need to be all over the place. Below are some few tips we have carefully gathered to help you conserve your water.
If you are going to be conserving water while RVing at some exotic place, huddled with a swarm of new faces, then you should be able to pop up a few tricks of your hat.
If you are going to be boondocking, or staying around people it important to know that you should not use the water in your RV unless you need to. And even after being used, don’t immediately drain them. Try to reuse them.
Below are some amazing tips that will help you to greatly conserve water:
- Doing the dishes means more water streaming out of your fresh water tank. To avoid this, microwave your food instead.
- If you are going to cook your meals, don’t do them one at a time. Cook all your meals at once. This will save a significant amount of water.
- Use disposable plate to serve your meals. They are disposable because you don’t necessarily need to wash them. And they are cheap too.
- For your regular plates, use damp clean white cloth to wipe off leftovers and stains on them.
- If you wash, instead of letting the water flow straight into to your grey tank, collect the water in a bucket. This can be used to flush your toilet.
- Only take your bath under your RV shower if you have too. Kill the urge to allow the water run and enter the drain if you are keen on having a hot bath.
- Always remember to capture the cold water from the shower in a clean container. This can be used to do other things like making tea, washing plates etc.
- Use the “Navy” shower technique when having your bath. It simple and it is easy. With the “Navy” shower technique, you get a thorough clean up and still save a considerable amount of water. When using the “Navy” shower technique you only get to turn on your diverter and wet yourself for a few seconds. Next, turn off the diverter. Wash your body thoroughly with soap and a soft sponge. Then turn on the diverter and rinse off completely. And you are done! Basically, it more like a stop and run technique. Your run the diverter and let the water spill on your body for about five seconds. Turn it off. Wash your body thoroughly, then turn it on again to rinse off completely.
- Substitute hand sanitizers in place of regular hand washing in your RV sink. This will save you plenty of liters.
How Long Should You Store Your Fresh Water?
Now you have got enough water in your fresh water holding tanks. And a high score for conserving water. Thumbs up on that one.
But you are a little worried. It the question that gets most campers edgy. Like a fog, it is still unclear, and you just can’t fan the thick air to think it through very well.
It is the question of “how long can I keep my fresh water?”
You don’t have to study rocket science to know that when water is packed idly or confined in a space for a long term, under some kind of temperature it is bound to taste different. And if different means sour taste, slimy, then yes. You are absolutely right.
The conditions for storing water varies. Certain places, certain atmosphere, certain temperatures ramp up the activities of bacteria that affects stored fresh water. And no, your type of rv doesn’t dictate when this microbial organisms come out to play and have fun.
How long you should store or save your water usually depends on how often you use it and how often you have your tanks cleaned.
If you are an RVer who is always on the road, quick to changing camp grounds or parking spots like the skin of a chameleon changes colour then the length of storage shouldn’t be much of a fuss for you. You are always on the road translates to: you always make use of your water.
However, if your camping is seasoned, that is you only do it perhaps three times in 2 months or during festive periods, then changing your fresh water at the right time is crucial.
You see under the right temperature and environment bacteria will thrive. Even inside a well sealed fresh water tank. And unless you run your rv faucet, showers regularly, bear in mind at a good flow rate, you could end up storing water for waste.
Keeping your water fresh is important simply because water from your RV is used for everything. And the most important of all is eating. Nobody would ever enjoy gulping down a cup of water meant for washing down their food and later find out it’s been contaminated. Yuck!
- If you have your water coming from a quality source according to FEMA (Federal Environmental Management Agency), replacing your water every six months is a good start.
- Same guidelines apply to your water heater. However, once plugged in, you need not worry about the bacteria. At that intense boiling temperature most of them if not all are cooked. Dead. Disappear.
- And never leave out the need to sanitize your fresh water holding tanks thoroughly before filling them up with water. You should also sanitize the hose and the RV kitchen, bathroom faucet.
Bacteria grow on every spot as long as the temperature conditions are met.
Sometimes six months is just too far. Often times that length of time could just be enough for bacteria to multiply.
While six month is okay if your fresh water holding tanks are different from the ones connected to your RV bathroom sinks and toilets, what about the ones you use for drinking? How long should you have that stored?
Usually tanks separated for this particular purpose should not hold the water for more than two weeks. Ever notice when you fill up a bucket with water and have it shut. Airtight shut. Return a few weeks later, trace the inner wall of the bucket and your hand slips? That exactly what happens when water is stored for too long. Though this is good for use for other activities that require water but drinking is a no-no.
If a tank has not been cleaned for too long, it could spur bacteria to grow within and outside the tank.
To solve this irritating issue:
- Use bleach to wash your fresh water holding tanks. Run the water through your RV faucet until it’s empty. Keep the tank empty for at least a night, then fill it up again and drain again until the bleach smell has faded completely.
- Use a good hose. White is a preferred option to avoid bad water taste and odor in your water. Make sure your tanks are clean and dust free. And always ensure you water is coming from a quality source.
- Always empty your drain your tank completely when not camping to avoid the growth of sludge or algae.