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Is it Safe to Fill the RV Fresh Water Tank with Any Water?

Oct 11, 2017

The fresh water tank in your RV supplies the water that comes through your faucets and through your fridge in-door water and ice maker (if you have a fridge with that option). Some tanks are larger than others. Depending on the length of your trip, tank size, and location you may find yourself needing more water in your fresh water tank. For example: boondocking ( camping without any hookups, usually in a remote location) for a long period of time will mean you need to conserve water or re-fill the fresh water tank.

So what do you do when the fresh water tank in your RV is empty? Do you just fill it from anywhere? Can you pull up to a fresh water stream and fill up with that water? What about water that has not been deemed potable at a campsite? Can you filter the water and make it safe enough to use?

Is it safe to fill the rv fresh water tank with any water?

The Answer: In the not so distant past many outdoor adventurers would go for a day hike and refresh themselves with a hand dipped into the cold, crisp, fresh, running waters of the babbling brook and brought up to the mouth for a drink. They didn't get sick and the water tasted amazing. Today, however, using water from a stream or other non-potable source is much more different. The waterways all over are much more polluted now than they used to be and we are also much more knowledgeable of micro organisms and pathogens: where they reside and how they effect human health. Animals also make their home in streams, lakes, etc. so these bodies of water have animal feces and other harmful substances.

For this reason it is not safe to use just any water source for drinking/cooking/produce washing/teeth brushing/etc. Water must be treated first. A regular water filter will not be enough to filter out our kill every harmful thing that is living in the water source. If you find yourself in an emergency situation you can treat water by boiling it at a high rolling boil for at least one minute. If you are camping at a high altitude of say a mile above sea level you will want to boil at a high rolling boil for a full three minutes or more. In order to have enough water to use for regular camping this would take a very long time. Instead of trying to treat water on your own in the instance of running out or in an emergency it is best to have large jugs or collapsible containers of fresh potable water in reserve.

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