How Does RV Plumbing Work?

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You might be on the fence about owning an RV—but not because
the lifestyle doesn’t appeal to you. It may be because you simply don’t
understand how an RV could possibly offer a comfortable experience while on the
road. Plumbing is often at the center of most would-be RVers’ concerns. The
truth about RV plumbing is that it can be incredibly easy to manage once you
understand how it works. That’s why we’ve put together a brief guide on how RV
plumbing works and what you’ll need to know to properly maintain it.

The Essentials

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RV plumbing works very much the same way that ordinary
plumbing does, with some limitations. Here’s what you’ll need to know to better
understand your plumbing system:

  • Freshwater
    tank:
    Your RV holds freshwater in a dedicated tank. This is the water that
    you’ll use for most purposes. It holds clean, reliable water for use in the
    bathroom, showers, etc.
  • Greywater
    holding tank:
    Greywater refers to water that’s drained through your sinks
    and showers, kept distinct from waste for obvious reasons. Some greywater can
    be reused after filtering for purposes like gardening.
  • Blackwater
    holding tank:
    This is the tank that will contain waste, which means there’s
    only one direction for it to go: dumping into an RV dump station with the
    proper hose connection.

The interplay of these three tanks is central to the life of
an RV owner. You’ll want to make sure that you keep your freshwater tank full
for extended trips and that you know how to properly manage your greywater and
blackwater holding tanks.

Tips For RV Plumbing
Maintenance

Understanding this system, what are some ways that you can
take better care of your RV plumbing and make the entire process of maintaining
your system easier on yourself? Here are a few ideas:

  • Don’t
    empty the tanks too often
    . There’s the temptation to be extra-diligent
    about keeping out blackwater and greywater waste, but considering that some of
    your waste is solid waste, it can actually be easier to eliminate all of the
    waste when you empty a fuller tank. Just make sure to be conscientious of what
    you’re doing and never to go too long without emptying.
  • Empty
    your blackwater tanks first
    . The soapy greywater will help flush out the
    hoses. You don’t want that blackwater residue remaining in the hoses, as this
    can lead to problems such as mysterious odors that you would likely prefer to stay
    out of your RV.
  • Use
    proper cleaning equipment
    . Wear gloves to protect yourself when you empty
    out your greywater and blackwater tanks, and don’t forget to keep your points
    of entry clean with a general RV cleaner like Suds.

The more you understand RV plumbing, the more you’ll see
it’s not an intimidating process at all. RV manufacturers have gotten it all down
to a science. All you need is a little know-how and maybe a few handy RV cleaning
products
to keep your RV in tip-top shape!

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