Safe water made simple

By Bob Difley

It’s a vital resource we need to sustain life. For RVers, it’s more critical than for homeowners. It’s water.

Permanent home dwellers use just one source of supply for their water (two, if you count bottled drinking water) and, as such, generally know the quality and consistency of the supplier —generally a closely monitored municipal water supply, sometimes a well.

But when on the road, water suppliers change with every change in campground. Some campgrounds use municipal water while others may use a well and monitor the water quality and safety themselves. Can you be confident in the diligence of their monitoring practices?

When boondocking, we fill our water tanks frequently, and from varied water sources that we have no way of knowing where the water is coming from or its quality. Other than sterilizing our water tanks regularly, there are some simple, inexpensive precautions that we can take to swing the odds in our favor for keeping free of waterborne illnesses.

Start with the water coming into your tank or from a water hookup. Attach a sediment filter to your hose before it enters the tank, or before the pressure regulator if hooked up. This will take most of the debris out of the water before it gets into your RV’s system.There is surprisingly more than you might think, especially in many of the water supply systems in the Southwestern deserts, where I have found sand and tiny pebbles in the filter. Consider using a home-style water filter sold by a major retailer like Walmart, Sears or Camping World so that you can easily find filters wherever you are — and at competitive prices.

After this cleaner water enters your rig, there is no need to filter it further going to the shower, but a filter should be attached to the water coming out of your kitchen faucet, either with an under-sink inline filter (such as an Everpure), or a water filter like the Brita attached directly to your kitchen faucet. In all cases, make sure you change the filters as recommended by the manufacturer.

An option for the inline filter would be to keep a Brita-type pitcher of water with built-in filter in your fridge. If you use the pitcher system, remember to use the filtered water for washing veggies, making coffee, tea, cold drinks, or ice cubes, and for brushing teeth.

With these systems in place you will be reasonably safe from the hidden bugs in your water supply. And if you are particularly sensitive to stomach disturbances, drink bottled water, though in most cases it is not necessary and an added expense.

(Note from editor: There are lots of water filter systems available at Amazon.)

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.