How to have clean water always available in a caravan
29 June 2020
When you travel by caravan, having the proper amount of clean water, will allow you to spend restful holiday, without any trouble, physical discomfort or real health problems due to a bad management of the water system.
Water is an essential element of our everyday life, that accompanies us throughout the day. It's an indispensable ally for our personal hygiene, nutrition, cleanliness of the environment and many other activities, inside of our usual residence and on vacation.
In fact, especially if you love to travel by caravan, having the proper amount of clean water, will allow you to spend restful holiday, without any trouble, physical discomfort or real health problems due to a bad management of the water system.
The indispensable tricks to have clean water always available and ready for food or personal use, ave very simple to apply. They deal with supply mode, choice of proper tanks and their maintenance, either when in use, or when the caravan doesn't move, especially for a long time.
Water supply at public stations
Most of public station for water supplying come with a hose available for all the users. Before using it to fill the tank of drinkable water of your camper, you must be absolutely sure that the hose is perfectly clean and sanitized and that has never been used for different purposes.
Anyway, is strongly recommended to always keep a personal hose, to be used only for drinking water supply, and sanitize it in a proper way, that's to say by a medical product, at least twice a year. In this way you'll prevent any possible formation of algae and bacteria, that usually proliferate during the storage periods.
Moreover, in order to avoid contamination with rust, sand, and any other inorganic or organic matter within the pipelines, it can be useful to install an at least 5 microns filter for sediments, as close as possible to tank's connection.
Water storage and utilization
To fill the tanks of caravans, motorhomes, and for any even short-term storage, you must use only tap water because it's usually treated with sodium hypochlorite. This slows down - even if only by two or three days- the formation of bacterial colonies. For the same reason, you should never install anti-chloride filters upstreams the water system.
However, you must pay close attention to the water microbial load because some species of bacteria reproduce themselves much faster than others. Indeed, if the tank is dirty or already infected, the proliferation starts immediately.
That's why it's very useful to replace your old metal tank with a new polyethylene one suitable for contact with food. This kind of tank, absolutely non-toxic and very usury-resistant, allow you to keep water in a cheap and safe way, assuring a longer duration.
Tanks and pipes maintenance
When your caravan or motorhome is parked, for instance during a few days stop, you should drain the tanks and all the pipes. Especially in the warmer months, to leave water stagnate could cause the development of bacterial load and the contamination of all the reserve.
In addition, always remember to leave the taps open to let the air dry the inner walls of the pipes, and to close the drain valve to avoid the empty tank to become a shelter for insects and other little animals, and receptacle for dust and dirt.
Instead, when you come back from a journey, if you are planning not to leave again for long time, after draining the whole system, carefully clean and sanitize the tanks and the pipes, using specific products against bacteria, biofilm and every impurity and encrustations.
Among them the limestone, that depending on water hardness settles more or less rapidly on pipes and tanks surfaces, is a contributory factor in the proliferation of bacteria, causes malfunctions and leaks, and can damage electronic devices like the boiler.
[cover photo: a drinkable water tap inside a motorhome - Photo by Lucy Beaugard]