I am an avid RV enthusiast who understands that my life and my safety depend on the condition of my coach's equipment.
An issue that always comes up for RV owners is how to protect and store the hoses that they use.
- Water hoses are the conduits for fresh water, so it is important to keep debris and dirt away from their connections and interiors.
- Sewer hoses carry human waste and related products, so you need to keep them clear of debris and as clean as possible so that they can function properly and not foul your coach with toxic odors.
Therefore you should make it a point to understand the functions of each type of hose and use common sense techniques for cleaning , storing and protecting them.
Use the Right Type of RV Water Hose
If you try to use a standard green water hose for your drinking water, you’ll become unhappy very quickly because the water that passes through it will produce an unappetizing rubber taste.
White hoses are the ones to use because they are specially designed to carry fresh water into your coach. It normally will taste the same as your water at home providing that its source is clean, sanitary and not overloaded with chemicals.
There are several brands from which to choose, but during our 50 years plus of RVing, we have always used Camco hoses because they seem to hold up well and are inexpensive to buy.
However, we have found through experience that you have to make sure tostore and correctly use this hose properly if you want to protect your drinking water supply.
Water Hose Storage
Some people think it’s OK to just coil one of these hoses up and toss it on the basement floor of their RV.
The problem with doing this is that this will
- leak water onto the floor,
- allow dirt, debris and bugs an entryway into the hose
- can make retrieving the hose difficult and
- can make handling the hose a dirty job.
Here is an idea that will produce a clean, secure environment for storage every time:
- Rinse the dirt off of the exterior of the hose before storing it.
- Drain as much of the water from it as possible.
- Coil the washed and drained hose tightly.
- Tie a piece of rope around the coiled hose.
- Slip plastic baggies over each end and secure them with rubber bands.
- Place the protected hose into a painters bucket and put a lid on it.
If you follow these directions you will always have a clean, sanitary water hose to use!
Water Hose Use
How to Protect and Purify Your RV’s Drinking Water Supply provides important information that will help to protect you from tainted water that sometimes can be found at campgrounds.
One of its main points is to show you how to test water before you use it.
This is important information because if you allow tainted water to get into your hose, you likely will not be able to sanitize or use it or because doing so might make you sick.
For this reason, when setting up, you should always sanitize the spigot you plan to use and let water run out of it before you hook it up to your hose.
Your senses will tell you whether the water seems safe before you actually hook up. If you are unsure about this, use the water you already have stored in your coach.
You always have to take care with what you allow into your fresh water hose because although what goes in might not be unhealthy, it can still taint the taste of your water.
In addition, you need to understand that
- hoses crack and become unusable over time,
- they burst due to heavy water pressure and
- one hose may not always be enough to reach a spigot in a campground.
When you purchase an RV, it usually comes with a water hose, but for the reasons mentioned here, you should keep a second one on board. This way, if something goes wrong with the first one, you'll still be able to access fresh water.
Gray and Blackwater Tank Hose Use and Cleaning
Your RV has fresh water, gray water and blackwater tanks.
- The fresh water tank holds a supply of water you can use in the event you are not hooked up to utilities.
- The gray holds used, dirty water, and the black holds waste.
When you dump your gray and blackwater tanks, the material exits via the same hose, which is referred to as a sewer hose.
Your coach has two handles that you pull to release the contents, which you pull one at a time.
When you are staying in your coach, you keep the sewer tank closed and the gray tank open.
This way all of the fresh and gray water you use leaves the coach and empties into the sewer instead of backing up into the RV.
When it comes time to dump your tanks, you close the gray and run some clean soapy water into it. (The easiest way to use the water you wash your dishes with or take a shower.)
Then, you pull the blackwater tank handle so that the contents are emptied out. At this time you should also backwash the tank to help eliminate hardened waste buildup.
- If your coach has a built-in backwash system, use it.
- If not, use an RV tank cleaning wand. These wands are inexpensive, store well, and are an important tool to use to pressure wash the interior of your sewer tank. I have used one for years in situations where my coach did not have a built-in system and have found them to be very effective.
Once you have finished doing all of this, you wash the interior of the hose by opening the gray tank and allowing the clean, soapy water to empty through the sewer hose.
You then close both tanks and unhook the sewer hose and prepare it for storage.
Sewer Hose Storage Methods
Just as with water hoses, it’s important to keep sewer hoses clean and free of debris because to do otherwise will leave you with horrible smells that will make handling the hoses a miserable experience.
You already know how to wash out this hose, so now you need to find a way to store it.
Your RV has a built-in bumper or other area that serves as a secure storage area for this hose.
However, you should always carry an additional length of sewer hose that you can connect to your main one so that you can easily reach dumping outlets.
Since a second hose won’t fit into the built-in storage area, you will have to find another way to store it.
Valterra makes a heavy plastic hose carrier that you can attach to the undercarriage of your coach. We bought the one we now own because it is adjustable and comes with all of the necessary installation hardware. It is also reasonably priced.
Attaching it was relatively easy, and it provides a clean, easily accessible way to store our second sewer hose.
If you decide to buy one for your RV, contact the company that manufactured your unit to make sure of the size you need. Many, but not all, Valterra carriers are adjustable, but you need to make sure you order the right size.
Another option is to create a holder of your own from PVC pipe, but although this will save you a few dollars, it’s a lot of work and is tricky to do because you have to know where you can safely place the screws.
RV Hose Storage and Care Are Important
You have to bear in mind that your hoses are two of your three lifelines when you are living or traveling in a recreational vehicle.
For this reason it’s important to do whatever you can to protect them because when you do that, you’re also protecting your comfort, health and finances.
Using proper RV hose care and storage methods are the best ways to do this.
Do It Yourself Option
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Sondra Rochelle