The convenience of water is certainly a resource we took for granted at home. Just turn the faucet, and cold or hot water flowed instantly.
Even more taken for granted, the drainage system that carried all of that water effortlessly out of the house to make it someone else’s problem.
In our master shower at home, I’d stream hot water from both showerheads at the same time at a rate of probably two gallons a minute for fifteen minutes. All of that water easily escaped the drain, and I never gave it a second thought.
On the road, we have greater hassle to get, store, and manage water.
When we pull into a campground where the sites have water, I have to connect a hose to the spigot, a pressure regulator to the hose, and then the pressure regulator to the trailer.
The pressure regulator reduces and keeps consistent the pressure of the incoming water, helping protect the trailer’s water pipes and faucets from a freak surge in water pressure.
This setup, which we call a water hookup, is about as convenient as water gets in an RV. Once the hose is connected, the toilet flushes and sinks flow with water.
However, we can’t mindlessly use the water because we are limited by the capacity of our holding tank.
If we use too much water, we’ll quickly fill up the tank with gray (sink) and black (toilet) wastewater, which means pulling the trailer to the dump station to empty the tank.
Guess whose job that is?
Dumping waste water is easily a 30 minute round trip even if the dump station is in the campground, since I have to hook up the trailer, stow all the loose items inside, go to the dump station, dump, return, and set everything back up.
When we don’t have a water hookup like the one mentioned above, then we can fill our 30 gallon reservoir with fresh water from a garden hose. We fill the tank from the outside of the trailer, but the tank is hidden beneath the table and bench at the front of our trailer.
A water pump controlled by a switch in the kitchen pressurizes the water so that it comes out of the faucet. When the system loses pressure, we can flip the switch to increase the pressure.
We still have the holding tank limitation in this setup, but add on to that the inconvenience of refilling the tank once it’s empty.
We do have hot water, but our hot water tank is only six gallons. Not enough for a legit shower, so we mainly use it for washing our hands.
It’s great that we have water inside the RV. It’s way better than going outside to a sink or spigot to brush teeth, wash dishes, or rinse milk from a cup.
The main change that we have to get used to when living in an RV versus living in a house is that we have to super conservative in our usage, otherwise we are creating a lot of work for ourselves.
Luke Yancey says
I remember when I went on my first trip in an RV. You are correct about only using the hot water to wash your hands and needing to be careful to not overflow your main water supply with gray water. I would recommend buying a portable hot water sink as an additional supplement.
Mark Kelley says
Thanks for sharing, Luke.