Does Anyone Actually Use Their House Water for Drinking?

Joe917

Explorer
Drinking untreated surface water is not safe.
Municipal water(excluding Flint, Moab, etc.) no worries.
Maintain your tanks, fill with safe water only or treat, and you are good to go.
 

billiebob

Well-known member
Is this a new thing? Is there truly danger lurking in our empty water tanks? 🤔 I’d think our heavily chlorinated municipal water would kill any bad stuff.

Other than draining water tanks for wintering, we’ve never, ever sterilized our water tanks…nor did my wife’s dad ever do that with his 10’ FSC truck camper, nor did my folks ever do that with the H2O system in any of our camp trailers. And I’m talking about 60+ years of camping in these various rigs.

I’m not criticizing anyone, just wondering if this is really a thing to be concerned about today for some reason. Just sayin…
On the money,, I never actually sanitize, I fill with municipal water and refill where ever. I only drain and flush after every trip to be ready for winter and satisfy my anal yearnings.
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
^^^^ Brought to you by Bechtel Chemical.....
Well, whether it be boiling, distilling, some sort of filtering or a combo. The way it was posed to me was that bacteria from excrement or dead animals or other ways. Would leach or be passed directly into lake or river water. Making it potentially unsafe. One of the people who fostered that idea in my head was a Jr. High school science teacher, so I took it to heart.

Then again, as a kid in the Lake Goerge NY area, I would often bicycle 20 miles per day. Along one route there was a hill to one side. Down that hill was almost always water running down. Someone made an angled trougth into an old black cauldron by the side of the road and I would sometimes get a drink from it, as i presume others would.

Interesting to know. Thanks
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
Drinking untreated surface water is not safe.
Municipal water(excluding Flint, Moab, etc.) no worries.
Maintain your tanks, fill with safe water only or treat, and you are good to go.
Okay, this is what I was always told. What did W. C. Fields say? "I don't drink water. Fish ******k in it."

Well, they poop in it too. Bird guano lands on top of ponds. Frogs and other animals in and out. Sometimes an animal will die while crossing water, or along the edge of it and rot half in half out. Some ************** upstream could flagrantly unzip and wiz into the river from which you are collecting downstream...and so on. Rotting flora.

I mean, otherwise, why would LifeStraw be a thing?

Mainly, bacteria. I think I'm still gonna err on the side of caution.

As for cleaning out water storage tanks, that goes without say. Soap, water. Perhaps a small amount of bleach and a good rinse and air dry, is what I was always told.
 

highwest

Active member
I always fill from my home and pack a filter to fill from anywhere else. For me, it was less about the bugs and more about the plastic taste that many house systems impart on the water. No matter what the plastic manufacturers say, if you’re tasting something, it can’t be good for you. After a few iterations, I finally found a combo of tank and tubes/pipes for my truck that don’t taste.
 

Nailhead

Well-known member
Alrighty then-- thanks, all. Drink it, it is. That'll make life a little less complicated and give me a bit more range.
 

dbhost

Well-known member
I'm not sure why the concern with the onboard house as it were water system. If you bought a new to you pre owned camper then yes absolutely sanitized the system and test it and honestly just for good measure sanitize once a year. But as long as you're using good water sources i.e. Not filling up from the local lake or from Flint Michigan then no you should be fine. It's just a big plastic water jug And the type of pump,That makes it different from your house plumbing. Now if you camp very infrequently and you leave the tank Partially full yes you can get bacteria build-up and you'll want to sanitize it but if you take the rig out every couple of weeks or more you're fine.
 

Mickey Bitsko

Adventurer
dbhost spot on, whether the rv is new or used, set a baseline , drain and flush fresh water, water heater, black and gray tank..why not start fresh. Takes all the guess work out..
Have fun 👍
 

dstefan

Well-known member
Drinking untreated surface water is not safe.
Municipal water(excluding Flint, Moab, etc.) no worries.
Maintain your tanks, fill with safe water only or treat, and you are good to go.
What’s wrong with Moab water? Uranium? Does that extend to Monticello too? I get water in Monticello all the time.
 
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dstefan

Well-known member
Okay, this is what I was always told. What did W. C. Fields say? "I don't drink water. Fish ******k in it."

Well, they poop in it too. Bird guano lands on top of ponds. Frogs and other animals in and out. Sometimes an animal will die while crossing water, or along the edge of it and rot half in half out. Some ************** upstream could flagrantly unzip and wiz into the river from which you are collecting downstream...and so on. Rotting flora.

I mean, otherwise, why would LifeStraw be a thing?
This ⬆, but the real issue is Giardia. Ask any backpacker. ANY wild water in the US, with maybe the exception of snow/glacial water very close to the melt source is a very likely source. Most animals can carry it, and especially cattle. It doesn’t just give you the trots for a few days. Giardia are parasitic cysts that take some agressive treatment. They can cause repeat issues and it takes awhile after exposure to manifest symptoms and its often misdiagnosed. They are easy to filter out.
 

JaSAn

Well-known member
I was 3 days in on a BWCA canoe trip when one of the group contacted beaver fever (Giardia lamblia). I never want to get that even close to an ER! I've boiled or filtered surface water ever since.

We were told by rangers in the Alaska range to boil snow melt as the wind will carry frozen feces bits up the mountain. Tiny chance but how much risk is one willing to take?
 

Alloy

Well-known member
I'm not sure why the concern with the onboard house as it were water system. If you bought a new to you pre owned camper then yes absolutely sanitized the system and test it and honestly just for good measure sanitize once a year. But as long as you're using good water sources i.e. Not filling up from the local lake or from Flint Michigan then no you should be fine. It's just a big plastic water jug And the type of pump,That makes it different from your house plumbing. Now if you camp very infrequently and you leave the tank Partially full yes you can get bacteria build-up and you'll want to sanitize it but if you take the rig out every couple of weeks or more you're fine.
If someone wants to find out how good the water is in their home (and the RV) pull the lid off a toilet tank and run their hand around the inside. Stir the water up to check for sediment and feel for slime on the sides of the tank.

The worst RV tanks (like a toilet tank) are the ones that don't drain 100%....most don't.
 

dbhost

Well-known member
If someone wants to find out how good the water is in their home (and the RV) pull the lid off a toilet tank and run their hand around the inside. Stir the water up to check for sediment and feel for slime on the sides of the tank.

The worst RV tanks (like a toilet tank) are the ones that don't drain 100%....most don't.
True enough. For what it's worth, I don't drink from the tank, OR the tap directly. My drinking and cooking water is all filtered. I'm not fancy, I use one of those pitcher filters... Not super premium or anything, but falls under the category of does its job.
 

ThundahBeagle

Well-known member
This ⬆, but the real issue is Giardia. Ask any backpacker. ANY wild water in the US, with maybe the exception of snow/glacial water very close to the melt source is a very likely source. Most animals can carry it, and especially cattle. It doesn’t just give you the trots for a few days. Giardia are parasitic cysts that take some agressive treatment. They can cause repeat issues and it takes awhile after exposure to manifest symptoms and its often misdiagnosed. They are easy to filter out.
Correct. Just go get a new puppy and you will find out. They gotta get shots for it
 

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