Many of us take the water management systems in our RVs for granted. We are so accustomed to the flawless operation of our 'stick house' water systems that we naturally assume that everything should work the same in our RVs. In many cases, this is true, especially with proper preparation, proactive maintenance, and knowledge of just what you're putting into your system. This column is all about helping you achieve this.
You're probably thinking: why write a column? Isn't this information already available? Doesn't my operating manual cover this? I've been RVing for a long time, is it not the same as before?
The simple answer to all of these questions is: yes; however, many things have certainly changed. Here are just a few examples:
I haven't even touched the incontinence factor when your tanks get overfilled due to inoperable sensors, the mysterious gurgling in your toilet, leaky tank valves, or the hardening of solids in your black tank, which can cost several thousand dollars to have replaced.
I hope I have your attention when I say that managing your water tanks is important. This column will help you avoid many of these issues through education, helpful tips, and simple do it yourself items.
My partner, John, and I have been RVing for several decades each. John started his RVing by converting a van, while I started with a pop-up tent trailer. Over time, we have both upgraded to fifth wheels that we tow with diesel trucks today. Over two years ago, John started collecting information about sanidumps, or dump stations, in our local area of BC with a listing of 100+ sites. Today, we are closing on 12,000 sites. We do over 1,000 updates per month and our 18,000 monthly visitors provide us with many additional updates and feedback to help keep our site current.
In talking with several fellow RVers, both new and experienced, we found that many have issues with managing their tanks and there are few places where one can attain this knowledge. When you buy an RV, the dealer does an RV orientation session (at least the good ones do) that can last anywhere from one to four hours, where they cover the whole RV. As my wife says, it's an information overload. RV clubs like Good Sam and Escapees have very good training events, but we can't all be there. So we developed our own seminar on managing your tanks that is tailored for a one to four hour session, depending on the audience. We have delivered this seminar at various events from dealer shows, RV shows in Chilliwack, Abbottsford, and Puyallup, Escapade events, and locally at the Okanagan LifeStyle event at Okanagan College, which we will be doing again this year on June 19th. We will be sharing information from these seminars in this column. If you would like us to discuss a particular topic of interest, drop us an email.
With the end of every column, we'd like to leave you with a helpful tip.
When hooked up at a campground, always keep your tank valves closed. Only dump when your tanks are at least 2/3 or more full. This will avoid what I call a 'brown pyramid' being formed at the bottom of the black tank just under the toilet pipe and will keep the grease and food particles from sticking to the sensors in the grey tank. Next time you are camping, walk around the campground to see how many RVers have both of their valves fully open - now you can help them!
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