Monday, December 4, 2023


Bottled water for RV toilet use?

A question from a reader to Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 5.00.01 PMDear Gary:
We are newbies. If we winterize our 5th wheel, and then want to go camping in the winter, is it safe to use the black tank with bottled water only? Since the black tank hoses appear to be quite large it’s hard to believe they would freeze. Or are there smaller hoses somewhere in the black tank system that we can’t see that could freeze? We would be using bottled water only for any fresh water needs, so we wouldn’t disturb the anti-freeze in the rest of the system. Is our thinking right on this? —Barb H.

Dear Barb,
It’s perfectly doable to use the black tank with bottled water if you choose that route. It’s also possible to use the complete fresh water system in the coach during the winter with some proper preparation. See my winter RVing article here. But typically it’s a full 3-inch drain from the toilet into the solid waste holding tank so just pouring bottled water into the toilet before and after each flush, you should be fine. I’d add a little RV anti-freeze to the bottom of the holding tank just to keep it from freezing if you’ll be in extended below-freezing weather. And remember, you’re in an RV so you can always head south!

Read more from the RV Doctor at his website.

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.