I was filling up my fresh water tank yesterday, wondering what the heck I was going to write about for today’s blog post after being sick for the past few days, when I remembered with a smile the very first time I hooked up to a water connection in my RV.
It was a sunny and warm South Carolina spring day. After getting the Casita pulled out of storage, towed for 10 miles from the storage lot to Stoney Crest RV Park, backed into my assigned spot, and successfully unhitched (there may have been a little dance of achievement involved), I unrolled my shiny new fresh water hose. I thought I was prepared. I had a water pressure regulator and a disposable water filter to attach to the line, and meticulously prepared all of the connections with that white filmy tape stuff to discourage leaks.
Then I hooked one end of the hose to the spigot, and the other end to my city water connection. I opened up my side compartment to see the water level (currently empty) in my fresh water tank, turned on the spigot, and waited for the tank to fill so that I could use my water.
Clearly something was wrong, I felt the water fill the hose when I turned on the tap, but nothing was happening with my fresh water tank! Luckily I had a binder full of information from the previous owners, including a diagram of the plumbing inside a Casita.
Yeah. The city water connection allows the plumbing in an RV to work like in a house. You leave the hose attached to the water spigot on one end and the RV on the other. The constant pressure of water attempting to flow through the hose creates the pressure that flushes the toilet and powers the shower, etc., something which is true with most RVs but that I had not figured out ahead of time despite my hours of research. The fresh water tank is what you use when you don’t have a water hookup. You run the hose into the fresh water inlet, usually with the help of a flexible tip (no pressure regulator needed) where it flows straight into the tank for holding. Once the tank is full, you put away the hose and drive off. Then when you need that water later, you flip a switch to make the pump located inside the RV pressurize the system so that water flows. I felt pretty silly silly once I figured this out.
I’m sure all of you past or present RVers have a story like this, about some foolish thing you did or didn’t do the first time out in your rig, and I want to hear them! RVs are so complex that I think it must be impossible to fully understand how they work before you can get out an discover for yourself firsthand, but maybe by sharing these stories here we’ll help tomorrow’s RVers avoid repeating our newbie mistakes.
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