Having a healthy supply of fresh water when you are on the road is essential for the use of your modern conveniences, including the kitchen sink, bathroom and shower. Knowing how to get hot water, monitor your water levels and fill your tanks should be on every RV owner’s list of things to do before you set off. Here are a few handy tips to make sure you have fresh running water whenever you need it.
BACK TO BASICS
Most vehicles have a fresh water tank that supplies water to the kitchen sink, shower and the basin. To get running water, check that your 12V isolator switch is on. This is a squareish looking switch which has a large knob that you can easily turn to the ‘on’ position. You will also need to turn on the water pump switch. The location and design of this switch varies between models of motorhomes. It will most likely be a simple flick switch arranged in a panel alongside others to operate the LCD screen or lights. Make sure your motorhome dealer shows you the correct location of all switches, and feel free to add your own labels (and even instructions) once you know where they are and when they need to be activated and turned off.
HOW CAN I GET HOT WATER?
First up, you must heat the water. Many vehicles have an LPG-powered hot water system, and the control panels for these are usually easy to find. The main switch is most likely to be a single large white panel with the words ‘water heater’ at the top with a white ‘on’ switch underneath and a red light adjacent to that. The other controls you will need to locate is a dark grey rectangular panel with a number of switches, one of which will be for the LPG, and the others will usually operate the vehicle’s interior lights.
To get hot water, ensure the LPG system is operating, that the water pump switch is on and that there is water in the tank - you can check the exact levels via the water tank display monitor which should be wall-mounted above the switches. Flick the white switch to ‘on’ and wait for the red light next to it to go out - this indicates that the gas has ignited and is heating the water in the tank.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF IT IS WORKING?
Wait a minimum of 20 minutes for the water to heat. If the red light next to the hot water switch comes back on, this indicates ignition has failed. In this case, turn the water heater switch off and find the LPG gas bottle in your motorhome. Check the connections are secure and that the bottle is open. Then try the water heater switch again. Also, remember to securely turn the gas bottle to the ‘off’ position before driving.
FILLING THE TANK - STEP BY STEP
To avoid running dry, RV Sales Centre recommends you fill your fresh water tank every one to two days. To top it up, first retrieve your fresh water hose from the vehicle. Your dealer will have shown you what this looks like, and in which compartment it is kept - usually in an external storage area so you can easily access it. Connect it to the fresh water source, usually a tap at your holiday park or campground, by screwing the end with the plastic cap onto the mouth of the tap. Locate and open the small compartment door to access the fresh water tank on the side of your vehicle and unscrew the cap.
Place the end of your hose into the fresh water tank and turn the tap to a slow pace to avoid air bubbles gathering within the tank. The tank has an overflow system, so when it is full, water will start to come back out of the access point, or you will see it dripping underneath the vehicle.
Your motorhome’s fresh water system will be the lifeblood for your camping experience - how nice is a hot shower at the end of a long day’s travel or exploration? With a few simple tips you’ll be enjoying flowing water at the touch of a button.