From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: How much fresh water capacaity do I need?
Date: Fri, 06 Sep 2002 03:47:04 -0400
On Wed, 04 Sep 2002 15:26:39 GMT, "Meep" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>Well... I really just need to replace the overflow pipe. I've tried but
>it must be glued or clamped to the hole on the side of the coach where
>it exits. May require a visit to the shop.
Have you ever sanitized your water system. Running oh, 200 ppm (about 4 oz of
household bleach for every 40 gallons) bleach through your system every so
often will take care of any growth and should help address the plastic taste.
For the overflow pipe, I recommend mixing up some bleach water, 4 parts water
to 1 part bleach, putting it in a squirt bottle and squirting that down the
tube. The bleach will kill and then remove the algae. It will first turn
pink, then brown, then slough off. Have the tank empty and the drain valve
open and flush with lots of water to sweep the residue out.
Our water is excessively chlorinated here so I don't have any problem with
algae growth. I still sanitize my system annually. My tank water tastes the
same as when it came out of the faucet - probably better since the chlorine
has had a chance to dissipate. I too carry distilled water for drinking but
that's only because I like the taste. Tank water gets used for everything
else including cooking and coffee.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Amt. of bleach to sanitize a 40gal. tank?
Date: Thu, 05 Jun 2003 02:35:43 -0400
On Wed, 04 Jun 2003 15:15:53 -0700, Chap <email@example.com> wrote:
>From the total lack of consistencies in the replies I guess I wasn't
>very clear in posing my question!
>Maybe I can restate it with the hope of acheiving a certain amount of
Looks like another futile effort with the usual suspects....
>I want to treat a tank that has been sitting for several months prior
>to filling it for an outing.
It takes more bleach to kill the green slime than it does to purify it. When
the green slime starts growing in my tank (hot weather, not used for a couple
of weeks), I dump in about a half a gallon of bleach to my 25 gallon tank, let
it sit for awhile, then drain out the drain port. The green slime turns black
but does not dissolve so it's a good idea not to run the pump. I drain and
fill once more and I'm set.
I could probably get along with less bleach but I'm impatient and not willing
to wait for it to work at lower concentrations. You really can't get too much
bleach as long as you flush it well afterwards.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Where to get vintage Class B manuals (a little long)?
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2006 21:38:17 -0400
On 12 Aug 2006 17:11:32 -0700, "Rick Onanian"
>Jean S. Barto wrote:
>> Thank you for replying. I must differ with you, however on one thing.
>> These RV systems (holding tanks, fresh water tank, how to fill/empty them,
>> and other stuff) are *not* "easy enough" for some of us to figure out,
>> especially when tools and needing significant hand strength is involved. I
>Your frustration and intimidation is understandable. I'm male, young
>As others have said, these are most likely as follows:
>Threaded: For hookup to live, pressured water supply (your home hose
>spigot or a campground water hookup). Use this whenever you have a
Adding to that, the pressure must be controlled below about 40 psi or
else the plumbing in the RV will be damaged. You can buy a very small
pressure regulator in the $20 range at Wal*mart (in the RV-automotive
section) or at any RV supply store. Place this regulator on the faucet
side of the hose so that the hose will also be protected from high
Unless you like the taste of garden hose water, get a white food-grade
hose for the water supply. Again, available at Wal*mart or RV store.
Make sure it says "food grade" or "sanitary" on the hose, as some
white hoses are not food grade.
This screw-on connection provides "city water" to your RV directly and
bypasses the internal tank and pump. You cannot fill the tank from
this connection unless yours is the rare RV with a "fill" valve. Most
RVs require the tank filling be done through the separate
non-pressurized opening like you describe.
>Unthreaded tilt-open: For filling fresh water supply tank. Requires
>your water pump to operate for you to have running water. Use this when
>"boondocking", that is, camping somewhere without hookups. You should
>have a switch for your water pump. It may be near the kitchen sink.
>> ***So, if you or someone else can tell me which hole I use to *fill* the RV
>> water holding tank, and how I would treat the water so that it is safe in
>> case it is inadvertently ingested, that would be great.***
>There was a recent discussion on sanitizing the water system. Bleach
>sanitizes and kills any life in the system; baking soda gets rid of bad
>flavors/odors (including bleach). Here's my post in that discussion:
>I suggest there, and I'll suggest to you too, Trailer Life's Rv Repair
>and Maintenance Manual by Bob Livingston.
Good suggestions. Further suggestion. Visit a local restaurant
supply and get a bottle of chlorine bleach test strips. Less than $5
for 100 strips. These are used to verify that the dish washing
sanitizing bath has the proper amount of chlorine in it. The minimum
concentration for sanitizing is 50 parts-per-million (PPM). This is a
small amount that barely has an odor.
To sanitize your water system, place a few (~8 oz or so) ounces of
bleach in the tank filler and then fill the tank. Run the pump and
pump the solution throughout the plumbing system by opening each
faucet and letting the water flow until bleach water is present. Wet
a test strip with the water and compare it to the color chart on the
side of the tube. If there isn't enough bleach, add a few more ounces
to the tank.
The reason you want to do this slightly more complicated procedure is
that if you don't measure you're overwhelmingly likely to use way too
much bleach. The excess bleach is hard to get rid of and will make
the water taste funny for quite some time. At 50 PPM, the chlorine is
just barely odorous and adds only a slight taste to the water. One
good flushing of the system with fresh water will get rid of the
taste. Baking soda doesn't do anything to get rid of the odor (there
is no chemical reaction between sodium bicarbonate and sodium
hypochlorite) and will only lend its own bad taste.
If you get way too much bleach in the system and it seems like it's
impossible to get rid of the taste/odor, a few DROPS (3-5 to start) of
photographic fixer (sodium thiosulfate, also known as "hypo".) added
to the water tank instantly kills the chlorine without any negative
effects. Add the hypo to the tank and then pump the solution
throughout the plumbing as with the sanitizing process. (chemophobes:
yes, hypo is toxic in high concentrations. So is salt. We're not
dealing with high concentrations here.) You can get hypo at any
well-equipped camera store. BTW, a squirt bottle of hypo is something
handy to keep around the laundry. If you accidentally spill bleach on
your clothes and can get the hypo on the spot quickly, it won't bleach
out the color. I keep a dish detergent bottle full of hypo in a
holder within arm's reach of my washing machine. I've saved more than
one garment with the stuff. Hypo will also kill that nasty chlorine
odor on your hands after you get bleach on them.
Be sure to drain the water heater before starting the flushing or else
you'll be flushing forever to try to get rid of that 6 gallons of
chlorinated water. The heater should have some sort of drain plug or
valve inside the cover. Open the valve and then hold the safety valve
lever open to allow air in as the water drains.
Once you do an initial sanitization, you should not have to do it
again UNLESS you leave the tank full in hot weather for an extended
period AND the tank is exposed to sunlight (even reflected sunlight
from the ground) AND it is translucent. Under those conditions, the
chlorine from the city water will dissipate and algae will grow,
making the water bright green.
If you fill the tank from the city water tap (chlorinated) and you
drain the tank after each outing, the chlorine the city adds will keep
the tank clean and free of algae. Water from such a system is just as
good as that from the tap so you should have no fear of drinking it.
I personally like the taste of distilled water so I carry along a jug
or two for drinking but I make coffee and tea and cook with the water
from my water system without giving it a second thought.
>> I don't want to screw things up, that's why I am so gun-shy about doing
>> these things on my own without a manual. I've read stories about people
>> inadvertently blowing themselves up or causing accidents/fires in their RVs
>> because of making critical mistakes that to some of you might seem stupid,
>> but to us greenhorns, might make sense. I don't want to be the latest
>> recipient of a "Darwin Award."
No problem there. Ask any question that comes to mind. Ignore those
who are rude. The rest of us who are here to help people will respond
and not make you feel silly. We all were nubes at one time.
>> The RV manufacturer I think is Cobra--because that is what is
>> stenciled/painted on the upper outer side of the van. I believe this RV
>> manufacturer went out of business a long time ago.
That's really not much of a problem unless you need a part that was
actually made by the company. Even then there are many RV salvage
companies out there, many on the net, where you can probably find a
part. All the appliances, fixtures and most fittings are standard
off-the-shelf items that can be purchased most anywhere RV parts are
Very few RVs come with a single manual. Most come with a collection
of manuals for the individual components (furnace, stove, AC, etc) and
perhaps a manual-ette covering rig-specific things. Very few things
are truly rig-specific because almost all mfrs do things pretty much
the same way so not having that rig-specific manual isn't a major
>> house, before I finally admit I bit off way more than I could chew, and sell
>> the damn thing for what I can get for it.
>That would be a bummer.
Yep. Once you get through the raw nube stage, you'll have a ball. All
this overwhelming stuff will quickly become second nature. My ex, who
was about as non-technical as anyone could get, very quickly caught on
to operating my rig and could take it out by herself when she wanted.
We did and I still do take my small Class C along even on day trips so
that I'll have a place to rest, a cool place to return to, have good
food available and have a clean bathroom. It probably gets as much
use as my car.
>> at my ignorance and inability to do even relatively simple things myself
>> involving my van, and it likely underscores the fact that I made a costly
>> error in ever thinking I could handle anything as mechanically demanding as
>> an older Class B RV, or, in fact, any RV at all.
Hey, where's that liberated woman spirit? :-) Once you get things
sorted out, operating the RV will become second nature. Probably the
worst thing you'll have to do on a routine basis is drain the holding
tanks and even that isn't so bad after you work out a routine.
Just continue to ask your questions and we'll do our best to help. If
you have the capabilities, a photo or two of the problem at hand,
posted to your personal web page or a photo hosting site, will do
wonders toward helping us give the right answer.
From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Where to get vintage Class B manuals (a little long)?
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2006 00:34:38 -0400
On 14 Aug 2006 05:00:07 +0200, "Jon Porter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>"Neon John" <email@example.com> wrote in message
>> To sanitize your water system, place a few (~8 oz or so) ounces of
>> bleach in the tank filler and then fill the tank. Run the pump and
>> pump the solution throughout the plumbing system by opening each
>> faucet and letting the water flow until bleach water is present. Wet
>> a test strip with the water and compare it to the color chart on the
>> side of the tube. If there isn't enough bleach, add a few more ounces
>> to the tank.
>Whoa! There's no need for guess work on the bleach concentration, even with
>test strips. The accepted standard for sanitizing is 6 ounces of chlorine
>bleach per 10 gallons of water. If the water tank on the Class B is 20
>gallons (mine is) then double those amounts. Run some of it through the
>pipes and let it sit for a good half hour. Drain the fresh water tank,
>refill once and drain again. Flush out the pipes from the city water
>connection. Job done, no need to make it any more complicated than that.
Whoa yourself, jon. Your "dump'n'pray" formula results in about 480
ppm chlorine, depending on the bleach concentration (assuming 10%
chlorine) - gross overkill. Not necessary and will result in a
difficult to get rid of bleach taste and odor. Doing it my way gets
the job done but without the necessity of multiple fresh water