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Old 07-10-2019, 05:30 PM   #1
Winnie Driver
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Loveland CO
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Water Tank Sanitizing and Fill w/o Gravity Feed Port

We are the new owners of a 2008 Winnebago Voyage that was barely used by the previous owners. I fixed, or had fixed (thanks to Good Sam RV repair policy), several items that were an unknown issue when we purchased the unit. When everything else was completed it was time to sanitize the water system, and much to my surprise there wasnít a gravity feed port to add bleach to the water tank. We arenít newbies to RVs, in that every other unit (TTs & Class Cs) we have owned or rented came with a gravity feed port for the water tank; however, this is the first Class A weíve owned.


This also became a two-fold problem, since we like to dry camp in the multiple campsites within the National Forest where potable water is available, but not something that is easily done if the water source is a hand pump. Our tanks are large (78/39/48, respectively W/B/G), but it would be nice to supplement our carried water from time to time. With the problem stated, I tried to come a plausible solution for both sanitizing and adding supplemental water. The closest to my liking was the online solution to carry an external pump to feed pressurized water into the city water inlet on the coach. However, why carry an extra potable water pump when the coach already has one, and additionally it has been set up at the factory to winterize the water lines with RV antifreeze.


Now Iím sure that Iím not the first person to come up with this solution, but as far as I can tell this is the easiest and simplest modification you can make to your water system that solves both the sanitizing and water tank supplement issue. It requires purchasing two diverter valves, a piece of hose, and several hose clamps. It also requires identifying two specific water lines in the water pump compartment; the output from the water tank which connects to the Normal side of the Normal / Winterize valve, and the outlet port from the water pump and the hose that feeds water to the coach. Once those two lines have been identified (the water tank line and feed to the Normal / Winterize valve is ĹĒ PEX tubing, and the water pump outlet is ĹĒ hose on my coach), the next step is to plan where you want to insert the valves and how you want them located within the water compartment.


Hereís my Amazon parts List & Links:
Flair-It 16910 Plastic 3 Way Valve, 0.5" Size
Elkhart 28910 3-Way by-Pass Crimp Valve
LDR Industries 516 B1210 Nylon Tubing, 1/2" x 10', Clear



CAUTION: The two valves are diverters and in one valve position flow will go across the top of the T, and when the value is turned 90 degrees the flow will go from the bottom of the T to one of the two upper T legs. This is very important, because if you use the wrong valve orientation the system wonít perform as desired. In order to convince yourself what is the proper valve configuration, use your mouth and blow into the ports and see which way the air comes out.


The way the valves should be properly oriented is the following. Normal flow is across the top of the T, and in this valve position the water will flow to the pump, and out of the pump to the coach water lines. When the two valves are turned 90 degrees, and the Normal / Winterize is turned to the Winterize position, water will be pulled out of an external source like a bucket or water jug and back fed into the water tank.


CAUTION: Depending on the amount of water in the tank (head pressure) the water jug will empty rather quickly, so have an assistant man the Water Pump Switch to shut it down when approaching empty. As an alternative to an assistant, I plan to install an inline electrical toggle switch that will allow me to turn off the pump without an assistant. Letting the pump run empty can eventually damage it, so an assistant manning the Water Pump Switch would be helpful.


The white valve at the top left is connected to the water tank line. The black valve at the end of the new hose is connected to the pump outlet.



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Old 07-11-2019, 08:32 PM   #2
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Kudos! Nice clean installation. Installed a similar rig in our coach several years ago. Works fine. I worry about burning up the water pump as it normally doesn't run continuously for more than ten - fifteen minutes. So carry a spare. Still in its box.

Agree. Ability to start/stop the pump at the pump is invaluable.

At our favorite trout stream, we have run a 50ft garden hose down a 4 - 5ft drop to the stream and topped off our tank. You need those little hose washer/strainers on the hose inlet side. And keep it above the stream bottom. Helps to fill the hose with water to jump start the priming.

We've also driven to a nearby stock pond, filled an air mattress with water (carried in our Ranger's bed) and topped of our tank from that.

Just part of boondocking. We also super-chlorinate raw water fills.

Fair Winds and Following Seas
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:53 AM   #3
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We have a portable 45 gal fresh water tank. It folds to a quite small size. With it and a “cheater” hose adapter for spigots with out threaded hose connections we can get fresh potable water and use gravity to fill our tank when National Forest camping.

https://www.campingworld.com/portabl...llon-1605.html

We got this when we had a Travel Trailer and bigger Tow vehicle. So we could use it on the roof of the truck. Now we have a class A and a smaller SUV Toad. So, we found a 12-volt pump on sale and created a portable water pump system so we could use the tank in our SUV’s hatch. There was 12v outlets right there as well. Our SUV’s roof is too slanted to hold the tank well.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:27 AM   #4
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OldChinaHand - Being a Boy Scout and also knowing that if you leave something behind that's when you'll most assuredly need it, I've carried a spare (still in the box too) water pump in all of our RVs. The one I'm now carrying was a replacement that another camper sent to me after his pump bit the dust in the middle of a long weekend in the forest.



A Cautionary Tale : Our big yellow Lab, Nugget, of course loves the water, and keeping her out of anything that even closely resembles a body of water is pretty much impossible. Swimming is not my concern, but drinking copious amount of the water is. On one of our extended trips in the west (SD to be exact), Nugget came down with an obvious stomach - lower GI tract problem. After a very sleepless night for everyone, I took her to a local vet. After a quick diagnosis, she said was Nugget swimming and drinking the water at Lake (name escapes me)? The answer was yes!



Nugget had Beaver Fever, and we stayed put for three days of misery as she recovered with the help of strong antibiotics. This lake was a huge Army Corp of Engineers dam, and it wasn't a beaver pond. The beaver fever pathogen, as far as I know, can't be filtered successfully. Only boiling the water kills it.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:10 PM   #5
Winnie Driver
 
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Thanks for the kudos OldChinaHand.
I also carry a spare water pump (also in the box), but this one was was replaced by another camper whose pump bit the dust in the middle of a forest miles from nowhere! He said he'd send me one when he got back to civilization, and much to my surprise it was waiting at my door. There are good people everywhere!


I don't want to change the topic of this thread, but I have to pass on a Word of Caution:

We were camping in SD at an Army Corp of Engineers dammed up lake. Beautiful spot and since it was in the late fall we had the place to ourselves. Nugget our 110lb American Lab (larger breed than the English Lab) just loves to go swimming, wade in the water and/or drink most the water source dry. We all spent a very sleepiness night with a dog that was obviously having stomach and GI tract problems. Located a local vet in the morning, and after a prelim exam asked me if Nugget had drank any of the water from the lake (can't remember the name). The answer of course was yes, and to my astonishment she said "Beaver Fever". We spent three extra days at the campground while Nugget recovered on heavy duty antibiotics, rice & chicken broth. Knew that people contracted this malady, but didn't know that animals did too!


BTW - We didn't see a single beaver pond or dam while we were in SD. Seen lots in the northern east coast mtns and the Rockies, but none on the plains. Obviously, they were there somewhere relatively closeby!
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:26 PM   #6
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Sorry for the redundant message! Thought the first one went to the bit bucket in the sky.
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Old 07-17-2019, 05:23 PM   #7
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Two ways I have used to sanitize our system. One was to pour the appropriate amount of bleach into the hose, hook back up to the shore faucet, and fill the water tank, all to sit for the appropriate time, then run all the faucets and such to make sure you get that chlorine smell. Now time to drain the tanks and flush the system.

Second, and the best I think, remove the cartridge from the water filter, pour the appropriate amount of bleach into the filter housing, seal up, fill water tank, let sit, . . . steps as above . . .after all is flushed, reinstall water filter cartridge.
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Old 07-17-2019, 06:19 PM   #8
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OK, not sure on your model. Is it a motorhome or a 5th wheel? I have a 2017 28RB Voyage 5th wheel, and had a similar problem. It turns out that there are valves near the pump that you can open and a small hose will suck water, antifreeze, bleach, etc. into the fresh water tank. I found mine by going into the driver's side of the main storage bin, and removing one end of the fiberboard paneling on the right as you are facing the vehicle. Right behind there is the pump, and the valves. You only need to open the one valve, then put the end of the cut hose into the liquid you want to add. Turn on the pump, and you're good to go! I actually found it worked better with an old fashioned hot water bottle. I'd fill it with the antifreeze or whatever and I could tip it up a bit more, to help out the somewhat wimpy water pump.
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Old 07-18-2019, 04:48 AM   #9
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Clorox. A couple drops of Clorox in a canteen of water, let it sit a few minutes, and the Beaver’s dead. (Take it from a recovering Alaska Bush pilot: the sparkling clear streams up there can be inviting, water deliciously refreshing, and dangerous.)

When I was up there a little Visine bottle full of Clorox was an important addition to my survival gear. Almost as important as my Leatherman and shotgun.
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Journey39n View Post
Two ways I have used to sanitize our system. One was to pour the appropriate amount of bleach into the hose, hook back up to the shore faucet, and fill the water tank, all to sit for the appropriate time, then run all the faucets and such to make sure you get that chlorine smell. Now time to drain the tanks and flush the system.

Second, and the best I think, remove the cartridge from the water filter, pour the appropriate amount of bleach into the filter housing, seal up, fill water tank, let sit, . . . steps as above . . .after all is flushed, reinstall water filter cartridge.



^This is the answer. No need to add to or modify the plumbing.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:35 AM   #11
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I guess some people just speed read the posting topic. I'll claim guilt on that accord too! So let me restate the obvious, this Posting concerns two separate issues; Sanitizing a Water Tanks without a Gravity Feed port, and adding water to the tank without a pressurized water source.


The hose & water filter canister is an easy No Brainier method of adding sanitizer to the water tank IF, and that is a Very Big IF, you have a pressured water source! The second part of this Posting is how to add water to the tank if your RV doesn't have a Gravity Feed Port.


We just returned home after a 6 day dry camping stay in a Forest Service campground located in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. It was a beautiful and secluded campsite, but after the 4th day of taking showers, dishes and water consumption by the gallon by a large Yellow Lab whose ancestry must include Arabian camels, we were running out of water. The only water source, unless we packed up and ran into town 20miles away was a hand operated old fashion water pump. Very obviously, this source of water couldn't be added to the pressurized City Water port on the RV.



Four 5gallon water jug fills and running the system described in the original Posting, and we were good for another day and half.


To answer a previous question, we have a 34ft Class A Winnebago Voyage motor home, towing a Subaru Forester.
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