Plumbing: Using the Water Supply and Waste Systems

by Mike Harbordt

Connect the coach to a supply hose bib. This supplies both systems in the coach, the direct hose flow system and the onboard water tank system.

In my coach, a self-retracting water hose reel connects the hose to the hose bib supply.  Pull and release the hose to retract. It will pull out in increments, locking about each 180-degree turn of the reel.  (If you have no reel, the hose connects to a utility bay potable water inlet port)

I use a pressure reducing or managing the connection between the coach and the supply source.  Connect ONLY a hose dedicated to potable water, never used for any other use. 

My extra potable, white, hoses in drive bay 2 and the reel hose.

Using the Direct Flow of the Hose Bib Connection:

Check to be sure no faucets in the coach are “on” before turning on the connected water supply. If you have a sink drain closed and the faucet open, you can flood the coach.

Turn on the water supply at the utility connection hose bib supplied by the park or at home. Watch for leaks. You may need some tape on the threads. Leaks at the supply bib are usually small and not a problem. Leaks at the connection to your coach though should be stopped.

Using the On-Board Water Tank:

To use this system rather than the direct flow connection: Turn off the direct hose bib connection supply. Fill the tank partially full, to whatever level you need.  Monitor the tank level by your dash-mounted electronic system. Do not overfill the tank.

U320. Fill the tank by opening a control valve (toggle switch in utility bay, light is on when open valve) while hooked up the city water supply via a hose to the city hose bib. A valve switch and light in the kitchen will also show if the tank valve is open. DO NOT have the pump running while filling the tank. The valve is open (i.e. filling) when the light switch is ON. Turn OFF when the tank is full.

[Note: Other coaches may have a valve, usually in the storage under the bathroom sink, that you open/close to fill the tank, switching in effect whether the bib supplied water goes into your tank or direct to the faucets. Be sure to return close if from the tank filling position when you want to use the tank as a supply]

See page 5-2 for sanitizing procedure for a freshwater tank.

To supply water, pressurize this system via your 12-volt water pump which pumps water from the tank to the faucets, shower, and commode. Switches are under counters in the kitchen and bathroom.

An accumulator tank allows water pressure to build pressure and thereby shut off the pump while still delivering pressure, thus the pump will not need to run all the time when drawing water from the tank.

Hot Water Supply

Water is heated by the Aqua-Hot System. The AH system fluid is heated either by the engine or by the Electric Switch (warm water) or Diesel Switch (hot water).
Switches for the AH are under the kitchen counter.

For non-Aqua Hot systems, there is a propane heater system for heating the water. That needs to be tested, and when you turn on the switch, under the countertop in the kitchen or bathroom sink, you may hear a “pop” that is lit. If it does not light, the switch will not change from green light to red, as I recall. I think too if the coach is not fairly level, it may not light.

Waste Water Systems

The gray water tank contains a sink and shower water, which is relatively clean water.

The sewer or black water tank contains commode flushings. Use toilet paper provided and no other paper products to the commode. Solids must not be allowed to build in the tank and “dewater”, becoming hard to flush out of the tank.

Add black water tank chemicals as specified on the chemical container, monitor the tank levels, flush the black water tank no less than weekly and after flushing it then flush the gray water tank. 

Use gloves to handle the sewer hoses. Be sure fittings are secure, such as the hose to the coach and the hose to the dump station. At a minimum, use a donut to the dump station though I have the screw in connector.

Other details such as storage and cleaning of systems are covered elsewhere.