Would you dare drink the water at these RV parks?



By Chuck Woodbury
Would you drink the water from either of these water faucets? Both are currently at hookup sites in American RV parks. RV Travel reader Don Callahan spotted them and sent the photos.

“I’m a civil engineer and have designed community water systems,” he wrote. “I was appalled at these set ups. Worse yet, the people at the parks ‘blew me off.'”

I asked Doug Swarts at Drain Master, an authority on RV waste management, for his thoughts:

“The person that designed the sites should have put the fresh water spigot beside the electrical pedestal and isolated the sewer inlet and put it at ground level as is the one with the cap. The sewer inlet breeds flies and other bugs which is food for birds which sit on the water spigot and drink from it. I personally would not have stayed there.”

RVtravel.com reader Laura P. Schulman, M.D., M.A., told me this: “That’s just basic third world sanitation: This is a serious health hazard. Just imagine, if you can stomach it, that this hookup gets inundated in a downpour. If there’s any standing water, it’s for sure going to be full of sewer…stuff.  If your sewer and fresh hoses get sloshed with that stuff, it’s going to get on your GLOVES when you disconnect. You’d better have some bleach ready, and disinfect, well, everything. Bottom line: this oughtta be illegal! How can these campground operators get away with it?”

My own opinion is that it’s simply common sense to have the fresh water and sewer drain as far apart as possible to avoid contaminating the water. I would never hook up at either of these parks.

Please keep your eyes open for unsanitary hookups like this that you come across in RV parks. Please take a photo and send it to me. We’ll publish them on this website. Let’s see if we can put some pressure on the campground industry to ensure that setups like this are closed down. We’ll likely save some RVers from getting sick (or worse). Send your photos to chuck (at) RVtravel.com . If possible, include the name and location of the RV park or campground.

If you have not seen the video of an unsanitary RV campsite where I recently stayed, watch this.



newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Hilary D Ring

I think that when you or readers see conditions like these you should name the RV park. Just saying a KOA in Utah oran American RV park isn’t enough. We should avoid those places and if enough of us do, the owners will be incentivized to correct the defects. Name names!


I agree, but what about the Rv,s with both water and sewer connections in the same compartment only 10 or so inches apart !


Thanks for shining light on the realities of the RV industry and it’s many unethical players.
I, too, would like to see names and places identified. Just as I will not spend my money in NC until they treat all people equitably, I don’t want to financially support these unethical businesses which put their profit above my family’s safety.
Keep up the good work!


In addition to bad facilities, I also witnessed a person drag his sewer hose up to the water spigot to rinse it out. The facility at this park were first class but you cannot count out Stupid.
After seeing that I carry a squirt bottle of bleach and spray everything before I hook up. You never know if there was an idiot in the place before you.

Jane and Dan Morgan

Thank you ,Chuck, for being an honest reporter/writer. We too feel like RVing just isn’t the same and we will surely join you in the fight to try to correct problems like this. Electrical connections that are faulty are also a real danger to all of us “hooking” up.


I too am a civil engineer who designed water and sewer systems. Most code require a 10 foot separation between the two, and the spigot should be high enough to provide an air gap between the bottom of the spigot and any possible standing water. The sewer connection should be far enough above ground, or otherwise arranged that rainwater will not flow into it. I have never understood why these codes are not enforced in campgrounds.

CB Roberts

We see many “campgrounds” with similar “amenities”. There are times when there are no options. As fulltimers for 11 years now we have several solutions. We fill our fresh tank every time we find good water. We dump every chance we get. We have our own filter system – particulates – taste & odor – and a UV system for purification. We have read enough about bottled water tests and what-not (Consumer Reports) not to trust bottled water – there are times when tap water is better/safer than bottled water. Having our own system is not expensive – between $200 – $300 total with 1 gallon per minute UV.

As far as any sewer dump area goes – considering those who have gone before us – we see everyone wearing protective gloves as they walk around the dump area – and then they walk into their RV while wearing the same footwear they just walked around in the sewage area.

Murray B

I applaud you for speaking up through your publication. I am sure there are many other campers out there that share the same concerns. The difference is you have the power to help do something about it. Lack of over sight and overcrowding in campgrounds will only lead to tempers flaring and our children lose the safe haven of family camping as we all grew up to know. Keep it up Chuck, we need you!


That is so disgusting and a definite health hazard to children, adults, guests and animals parking in that camping spot. It just isn’t safe for family or pets. Sadly, this is what many campgrounds are doing so maximize their profits in crowding camper so close together that it is impossible for campers to have connections that are not in their neighbors campsite.

Marcel Ethier

We should identify these RV parks. This type of negative publicity might embarrass the park owners enough to rectify these type of hookups.


I can’t imagine that this park was inspected by the building code official. Makes me wonder what other code vilolations there are that could be potentially dangerous.

Theresia Brouns

We visited many very nice campgrounds which had the faucet connection almost that close to the sewer hookup. We never ever drank the water at any campground. I did cook with it, but the rest we used bottled water. You just never know what the quality of water is at any given location, even when the setup is fine.

B. Wodrich

The ID of the Utah KOA should be included. I don’t want to stay there. Why launch this complaint without a specific location.