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Sub-Forum Things That Are Green
Topic Water
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Total Views: 2341 - Total Replies: 11
May 25 2012, 8:40 pm - By CheddarYeti

When street camping or boondocking we are constantly on the hunt for fresh water to fill out tank. Not for drinking as much as for showering/dishes etc.

So, as I sit in my Motorhome in a rainstorm, I can't help but to think about how some of this could be going into  my freshwater tank via a collection system?! 

Has anyone used a collection system? What ways have you gotten fresh water besides at a campground?


Also, is there a way to use the gray water in the toilet? Or is that asking for trouble? 

It seems that water systems in RVs could be made greener, right?

We are completely out of our element and that’s the best part.
May 25 2012, 10:20 pm - Replied by: KevsKnight

I have collected dishwater and used that to flush before. Also, when boondocking, I capture the cold water from the shower while awaiting the warmth and use that for various reasons.


I have a cap for my tank dump that allows me to pull both handles and the fuller gray water flows into the black tank. It is simply moving gray to black, but the gray seems to fill at a much faster rate than the black. 


Never did any rainwater collection, but sounds space-intensive!



I have washboard abs. They are just hidden under 50#s of laundry.
May 26 2012, 10:49 am - Replied by: CheddarYeti

Hey Kev,

Transfering gray to black would be awesome... the gray does fill up faster. Is that cap a custom mod or something you can buy from a campstore/site? I don't understand it but I like the direction.

We've done a bit of dishwater/shower water collection ourselves, too! :)

So the rainwater idea... while parked/camped could you fashion slim waterpan with drain to pvc into your freshwater? Or we're thinking of attaching gutters... could we "collect" from those?

I guess I'm wondering if it's too risky to put rain water in your fresh water tank? But really, I think we've done worse! 

We are completely out of our element and that’s the best part.
May 26 2012, 3:00 pm - Replied by: KevsKnight

I use something like this - Sewer Cap at Campingworld  There are also ones that are just caps, but I like the hose fitting so that I can drain the small amount of gray water before removing the cap to dump. I have also used that fitting to hook a garden hose and trickle drain the gray (in approved areas, of course!).


The hose fitting also works well if you have a clog and need to push some water up into the tank to dislodge the clog.


I don't think it is risky using rainwater if the water is filtered properly before adding to the fresh tank. I would make sure the collection system is always clean, and that the water is somehow filtered to make sure debris does not get into the tank. I am not sure that rainwater in inherently safe, so testing it would probably be a good idea as well. I would also sanitize the fresh system periodically with a small amount of bleach to make sure there are no nasties living in there :)



I have washboard abs. They are just hidden under 50#s of laundry.
May 27 2012, 11:18 am - Replied by: CheddarYeti

I get it! Cool, we actually have one of those caps already. Just never used it like that. Thanks!!

Yah, the rain water/filtering idea might be too complicated. I'll keep thinking about it. Cheers.

We are completely out of our element and that’s the best part.
May 29 2012, 2:55 am - Replied by: Trippinwithstanley

http://www.modmyrv.com/2009/07/22/rv-grey-water-potty-flush I've always though this would be a good mod. 
Working on not working
May 29 2012, 3:33 am - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

I wouldn't put rainwater in my tank, just becauase of the amount of gunk on a rubber roof. Even with a filtering system it just seems like a lot of ick.


I've heard of some people who created a system to utilize graywater for flushing the toilet. It seems easy enough if you're mechanically inclined to rig it up.


We get water at other places besides campgrounds, just by asking people. Gas stations are often generous, even Hell Mart once loaned us a water hose! The other day, we swung by a forest service office on our way to a boondocking spot, asked about fresh water and the office gal pointed across the street to a spigot. Easy enough.


Working and Living Our Dream Life
May 29 2012, 4:24 pm - Replied by: CheddarYeti

Maria, that mod does sound smart...that guys is thinking! But a bit complex for this (two left thumbs) hack! ;)  I read the comments and the big concern seems to be "back flow" YIKES. That would be my luck! I guess our dish water bucket works okay for now. 

About the ick of collecting rain water from the roof, mine is metal actually- so maybe a bit of lead I guess instead of plastic chips? Not much different than a mystery gas station hose likely containing lead and aging plastic. Combined with not knowing the source or how it's kept, or if it's poluted... rain water starts to sound not so bad! *Sigh*

But, yeah, we don't drink that water anyway... dishes, cleaning, flushes, and showers only. :)

It just seems that RVs would be designd better to handle/resuse water, right.

We are completely out of our element and that’s the best part.
Aug 09 2012, 4:42 am - Replied by: RunForTheHills

Hi, I'm new to this forum, and thought I'd share... I've created a rain water collector from the gutters; been parked in a damp area, and get gallons running off even with just the moring dew, and thought, what a waste, that should go in my tank. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FndaP3l8q8A
Aug 17 2012, 1:55 am - Replied by: AdvantureTrek

We use a composting toilet, so no water gets used for black water.
Aug 17 2012, 12:56 pm - Replied by: CheddarYeti

@run for the hills - nice mod!! Glad to see someone out there 'thinking' and putting it to work. We're installing rain gutters now and I plan to do what you did previously and just capture the rain in buckets. I imagine we can use this for several (non drinking) purposes.

@AdvantureTrek - we just 'upgraded' our toilet (to a china bowl version) but looked into the composting version first. Such a great idea... we couldn't justify the cost at this point but that option/set up is AWESOME for rvers. How do you like it? Did you have to mod your bathroom floor/toilet base and black tank to install it?

We are completely out of our element and that’s the best part.
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