RV Water & Waste Issues

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December 18, 2009

WATER AND WASTE ISSUES: Please follow these instructions; You or your loved ones could become ill from miss-handling of the sewer and water hoses.

Reduce the threats from e-coli, germs and bacteria when handling the sewer hose by following these tips:

  1. SEWER HOSE USE: Throw-away Gloves should be worn while handling the sewer hose and its fittings.
  2. Remove the gloves, without touching the outside of them and properly dispose of them before starting other chores.
  3. Tanks should be drained, in this method; Black Water (toilet), then Gray Water (sink water).
  4. Additional flushing of your sewer hose can be done by opening faucets in the RV and/or stepping down on your stool valves.
  5. WATER HOSE: Before we hook up the Water Hose, we should use a spray bottle to disinfect the area. The threat of cross-contamination from improper sewer hose use may be eliminated by following these safety tips. Beware, as past campers, using the site may have washed their sewer hose at the faucet, causing contamination.
  6. A backflow preventor may be installed on your campground faucet. Your RV fluids cannot contaminate the campground water system when the campground water pressure is lost, or is lower than your tank pressures.
  7. PORTABLE DRAINAGE TANKS are used to transfer waste from your RV tanks to the nearest sewer drain. Be sure and follow good practices while using these tanks. Do not spill the contents on the ground. Be sure and open the vent on the tank before filling, and close it while transporting.
  8. DISINFECT YOUR WATER HOSE MONTHLY. Unhook both ends from your site, pour a cupful of bleach, connect the ends, and wait several hours. Flush the hose and hook it back up to your site. CAUTION: bleach can spot your clothing; use good work practices while handling the bleach.
  9. SANITIZE YOUR WATER TANK with a bleach/water mixture. Mix one cup of bleach for 10 gallons of water. Drain your rig as you would when winterizing, add the bleach mixture, and fill to the full mark. DO NOT OVERFILL –some tanks cannot stand the pressure. Let stand overnight. Drain and replace with clean water; add one cup of vinegar for every 10 gallons of water to sweeten the tank. Drain and refill to the level you would like. Remember, one gallon of water weighs more than 8 pounds. How much weight are you willing to haul around?

WHEN IN DOUBT, follow the instructions given to you by the Manufacturer of your RV, or go online and request information from the Manufacturer.

Happy Camping,
Fred b.

Leave a Reply


  1. Gary

    It is good to mention the contaminants on the fresh water faucet. Don’t forget that the faucets are usually just the right height for the male pooches in the park. If your hands are not too large, Costco has a huge box of heavy duty disposable gloves. Look for industrial or heavy duty – usually 50 or more in a box. If nothing else, ask the guy that changes your oil what he uses.

  2. DAN

    after draining my black tank and flushing it 4 times for 2 minutes or so each time, i put 2 cups of bleach in the gray water tank about 5 minutes before draining it.
    this disinfects the stinky slinky.
    DAN L

  3. Vegasdan

    We are new RVrs and after just purchasing our coach, we took a 2500 mile trip. I am familiar with handling the sewer hose and brought along those disposable gloves to use. I found they ripped easily while connecting and unconnecting the sewer hose making them virtually nothing more than a nusance. I have a disinfecting soap dispenser built right into the bay and I wash up immediantly after doing the chore. Then I wash again in the coach. If someone has a brand of glove that will endure this chore better than these, please post.

  4. Thomas Becher

    i have used gloves forever. They are cheap and will prevent ickys from getting on you, butI wish the campsites would provide a container to put them in after use. I have seen men take them off and step on the door to the dump and throw them in. I’ve seen them laying on the ground right where they took them off. Most dump stations and a lot of parks have lift pumps. Do you know what happens when a rubber glove gets in the pumps. Not fun someone has to pull the pump and clean it out. Please clean up after yourself. And try to help keep it clean for the next guy. Thanks

  5. CactusJohn

    According to Mark Polk (RV University 101), Bob Livingston (Publisher of Trailer Life), and others, the correct bleach mixture is 1/4 cup per 15 gallons of fresh water tank capacity.