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Carrying an extra water hose can save frustration

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
As RVers, we’re limited on just how much stuff we can carry with us. There’s only so much space in the rig — being piled from floor to ceiling isn’t conducive to moving about freely. But there’s one thing you may want to carry more than one of — a water hose.

Keeping a l-o-n-g water hose in the rig is always a given, particularly if you frequent RV parks with hookups. But a short coupled water hose, just a few feet long, can make life a whole lot easier when on the road.

We do plenty of boondocking, and that puts us away from hookups for days, even weeks at a time. Pulling into an RV service station to dump tanks and take on water is something we just work into our trips. In National Parks, it’s not uncommon to find those tall, tower-like water stations, where a hose hangs above the ground, supported by a spring-enhanced structure that keeps the hose off the ground, yet easily accessible for use. Not so, on one of our park stops.

long-hose-needHere were the hose towers, but minus the hoses. Happily the rangers had left a rope tied to the towers so you could pull down the “business end” of the tower. That was fine for rinsing our black water hose, but when it came time to fill up with drinking water, there was no way to get the water into the tank. We’d left our “short” six-foot watering hose back at home base and found ourselves stuck dragging out the long hose, hooking it up, then after the fill, blowing the water out of 25 feet of line and wrapping it all up.

There are times, too, when even if the fill station provides a convenient hose, you may be better off using your own. Some folks, for some perverse reason, insist on using an available fresh water hose for cleaning their sewer hose. If in doubt, disconnect the available hose, maybe even clean the tap threads with sanitizer, and use your own. A tank full of bad bacteria will make for a memorable RV trip, and using your own “known-to-be-clean” hose can pay dividends.

Related:

Bag those troublesome cords and hoses

##RVDT1692

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Wolfe
2 months ago

LOL…. you’re advising to keep a shorty hose so you don’t have to drag out your 25’er… I carry several 100s, a couple 50s, two 25’s and then three 10’… And when people see me dragging 400′ of hose down to the loop’s communal fillup instead of moving my trailer, they first think I’m crazy — and then ask to borrow it to fill theirs too.

I also carry a “Water Bandit” after having some idiot park rangers cut the threads off the common spigot to “keep people from connecting their hose permanently as a hookup” — thus disabling being able to fill tanks at all as well.

Tony Grigg
2 months ago

“Fine for rinsing your black water hose”??!! WTH! Rinsing a black hose is NEVER to be done from a drinking water source! Cease that practice immediately! Your grey water dump is quite adequate for that task and the drinking water source is ONLY for drinking water.

tom
2 months ago

Extra hose lives in coach. Only takes one time with a “short” hose. 25′ total available.
Extra power cord also.

Dr. Mike
2 months ago

I have two plastic totes in my coach- a blue one with everything for fresh water and a black one for…well, the black/gray tanks and I never have both open at the same time.
In the freshwater tote, I have a bottle of 70% alcohol to sterilize the hose fittings before use.

Bob p
2 months ago

I may live in a protective bubble but I have never seen a potable water station near a dump station. If I did I definitely wouldn’t use it to fill my tank. Common sense says some idiot would use it to clean their sewer equipment. Maybe because we don’t boondock we don’t see these things. Every state park I’ve been in the potable water fill is several hundred feet away from the dump station just to prevent such things.

Steve
2 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Totally agree. Most dump stations have a sign on the rinse water supply as “Not potable water”.

Steve S.
1 year ago

Some very good comments about not using water at a dump station to fill fresh tanks, and for not using fresh water to rinse dump tanks. And I totally agree. So let me ask all of you this. When you are at a site with a sewer drain for dumping your tanks, do you drive to the dump station for the non-potable water to rinse your tanks? Probably not. We don’t. For us I have a few things that I use and do to make sure that we are protected from bacteria at sites like this, and to protect those who follow us. First, I have 2 separate sets of hoses. Two 25 foot white for fresh, and two 25 foot green for dump. I never mix them. When we arrive, I sanitize the shore water hose bib using diluted bleach. I use the white hoses only for fresh. When I switch to dumping, I use the green hoses. Both ends of the green hoses are sanitized. I also have a backflow preventer on the male ends of the green hoses. I also use a ‘Flush King’ coupler (available on Amazon) so that I can isolate the water hose from the dump tanks as much as possible. I sanitize the hose bib on the Flush King too. When I go into rinse mode, I connect the hose to the Flush King, then turn on the water at the hose bib and let it flow until the air is purged and there is water coming out the end of the hose. I close the hose valve at the Flush King, and only then do I open the gate to dump the black tank. I can then open the hose valve at the Flush King. Since the hose has positive pressure, and there is a backflow preventer, contamination to the hose is minimal. Even then, once dumping is complete I sanitize both ends of the hose. Also, I always wear a pair of single-use disposable nitrile gloves. You can buy a box of 100 on Amazon for about 7$. Very cheap health protection for 14 cents per pair. Be safe and healthy.

Dr. Mike
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve S.

“sanitize the shore water hose bib using diluted bleach.”

Just to let the audience know- diluted bleach in a bottle is only effective for about 24 hours. After that, it breaks down. This is why a new bottle has to be made each day.

John Koenig
1 year ago

I’ve seen a number of those “tower-like water stations” across the country. EVERY ONE OF THEM were clearly labeled “Non-potable water – NOT SAFE FOR DRINKING”.

Peter
1 year ago

Regardless of where we are filling up, before I attach our hose, I turn the water on for a few seconds to clear out the end of the pipe/faucet. Who knows how long that water has been sitting there, or whats in it. Happy Trails

Raymond Davis
1 year ago

Carry an extra hose as aforementioned,but remember this.A squirrel ate a hole in our fresh water hose hookup in Florida 2 years ago during a drought period for access to drinking water.A very good quality hose at that.Camp host said that this was a problem recently due to dry conditions. Luckily had a cheap garden hose to attach until we left a week later.Never had that happen in 8 years of camping and left a bowl of water out for them after.

Tom Herd
1 year ago

I never onboard water anywhere near a dump station. You have no idea what the person before you did with the hose that is there. I even use a spray bottle of alcohol that I use on the campsite water bib. You can’t be too careful, when it comes to the water that you will be drinking.

Tom
1 year ago

One issue seldom addressed is the footing near a dump station. Can be very slippery near one. I found one site where the water would drip and make a mold slipperier then an ice rink. Many have puddles which you need to avoid. I like to enjoy a donut while dumping, nothing taste better then a little bacteria to keep they pipe flowing.

Darrel
4 years ago

So, you flushed your black tank with a fresh water source other RVers use?

Or did you fill your fresh water with a contaminated black water rinse source?

Either way – not cool.

frank
4 years ago

My understanding of those water towers near dump stations is that they are always for flushing dump hoses and tanks and NEVER for drinking or filling fresh water tanks. No matter how careful you are, someone has contaminated that hose and end connection.

I never use water hoses near sewer connections, since I don’t know the history. I’ve seen people eating sandwiches while dumping and no gloves.

It’s a minor inconvenience to use “fresh water only” hoses to avoid illness.

Sharo & Dennis
4 years ago

Thanks for the tip. As wantabe newbees we need all the advice we can get.

petdoctor
4 years ago

Did you just say that you used the potable water attachment to rinse your black water hose, but others who do that are perverse? Am I misunderstanding?