Can we use bottled water for the RV toilet in winter?

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RV Doctor

Dear Gary,
This is our first winter with an RV. If we winterize our 5th wheel and then want to go camping in the cold weather, 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

Dear Barb,
Can we use bottled water for the RV toilet in winter?It is 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 some tips in my post last week.) 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!

gary-736

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

##RVT882

 

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Gene Bjerke

Since we winterize by hooking the pump input to a bottle of anti-freeze and pumping until the taps run pink, the few times we use the RV while winterized, we just leave the system set up and flush with anti-freeze. Just make sure you have a full-enough bottle in the system.

Brad Teubner

When cold out and the system is winterized, we use -20F windshield washer fluid to rinse the toilet. So far has worked to -5F with no issues.