RV Plumbing Accessories From The Faucet To Sewage Tank

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Water is an essential resource for RV living. And as a result, the RV plumbing system is an important feature that keeps you comfortable during trips. As the owner of an RV, you have to understand your RV plumbing system as well as the RV plumbing accessories that are required to keep it fully functional.

If anything goes wrong while you are camping/traveling, you will be able to fix it easily. Different RV plumbing accessories will also help you dispose waste from your RV tanks.

In this post, we’ll give you an insight into RV plumbing necessities. Such tools are useful in keeping your RV clean and functioning. Let’s get right into it, shall we?


Photo by Morning Brew

How RV Plumbing Works 

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details, let’s take a quick look at the ins and outs of an RV plumbing system.

First, it is important to note that your RV has three holding tanks.

  • A fresh water tank.
  • A gray water tank.
  • A black water tank. 

Each tank has a fundamental and distinct function.

Fresh Water Tank

The fresh water tank stores the water you use to clean your dishes, cook, flush your toilets, and shower. Since the RV fresh water tank is as large as your gas tank, you’ll have a substantial supply of fresh water in your RV.

All RVs have an inlet that allows you to refill the fresh water tank. Some also have a separate inlet for high-pressure city water. 

 www.canadarv.com 30 Gallon RV Water Tank

30 Gallon RV Water Tank

A quick word of caution:

Do not use garden hoses to refill the fresh water tank because it affects the taste and smell of the water. It may even contaminate the water.

The RV plumbing system requires a pump to transfer fresh water from the tank (usually situated underneath the RV cabin) to your sinks and toilet. A pump also pressurizes the water you use while showering.

Gray Water Tank

Gray water is also referred to as waste water and does not contain lavatory sewage. Water from most interior appliances (which include sinks and showers) flows into the gray water tank. When disposing your gray water, make sure you do it safely. 

It is usually discharged into the sewer system. But before doing so, you should check in with the local land management, as they may have different regulations when it comes to the safe disposal of gray water.

Black Water Tank

The black water tank (also known as a septic tank) contains waste from your toilet only. This tank is bigger than the gray water tank because the toilet requires more water than other interior appliances.  

RV plumbing systems have two different waste water tanks that help you save on labor and cost. The black tank normally needs a rigorous cleaning procedure using costly chemicals. 

When disposing of the waste, make sure that it is always drained safely into the sewage system.

What Happens If You Have Faulty Pipes In Your RV? 

Faulty pipes can cause leaks in your RV plumbing system. Leaks usually happen at loose pipe joints. If not properly addressed, the leaking might affect your water-storage tanks.

For example, if there is a leak in your freshwater system, water will not flow into the sink, and other appliances.

Lack of water supply can also affect your black water system. As mentioned above, the black water tank is used to store solid waste from your toilet. Without the presence of water to flush out the waste, it can become a source of bad odor.

Not to mention, the solid waste can also pile up at the bottom of the tank and build up to a point where it will become difficult to flush.

If any leakage occurs in your black water system or even in the gray water system, the wastewater can cause the RV to have a foul odor. Faulty pipes should be repaired as soon as possible.

RV Accessories Required To Keep It Running 

Water Supply Tools & Necessities

Water filter 

A water filter is an essential tool that keeps your water supply safe and free of harmful chemicals or bacteria, during your journey. 

A water filter can be mounted under your sink for the filtration of water for drinking purposes. It can also be attached to the hose inlet located on your RV fresh water tank to filter water, which is going to be used in your entire RV. You can also combine different filters to make sure that water is filtered thoroughly.

water filter camping

Water Regulator 

A water regulator is a valve that regulates the pressure of water going into your RV. Water sources located in various campsites and rest stops have different water pressures. Inconsistent water pressure can cause significant damage to your RV’s plumbing system and appliances. 

If the pressure of the water intake is too high, there will be a sudden increase in the pressure of your RV plumbing system. This might cause the pipes and joints to burst. Your pressure regulator should be connected directly to the water source at the campgrounds before you hook up the supply system to your intake system.

Shower Head

After a long day in the wild, a nice shower can soothe and rejuvenate your body.

While RVs come with in-built shower heads, most are regular and cheap plastic shower heads that have low water pressure. And you know what? The low water pressure might give you a dull shower experience.

Factors you should consider when looking for a shower head include the rate of water consumption, durability, and water pressure. There are special shower heads that use as little water as possible and add air to the flow to increase the pressure. You can also opt for hand-held shower heads. Such shower heads are small, and they give you the luxury of free movement.

Water Hoses

A water hose should also be on your priority list. It helps you transfer drinking water from a water supply into your fresh water tank. A drinking water hose should be made of materials that can handle drinking water safely. Water that comes out of the hose should be free of contamination and ready for use.

Most water hoses have a length that extends up to 25 feet. This makes it easier for you to use them at various lengths. Since various hoses are flexible and foldable, you can easily store them after use. Water hoses have universal connections that make it easy to connect them to multiple water sources in various campsites.

RV Tank Plumbing Accessories And Necessities

Sewer Hose Kit

Disposal of liquid and solid waste has to be done manually. Without the use of a sewer hose kit, this task can be very messy and cumbersome. 

A sewer hose is used to connect your RV waste tanks to an external sewage system. A sewer hose kit contains a sewer hose and other accessories required to seal both ends of the sewer connection to avoid leakage.

You should empty your waste tanks regularly to avoid foul odors and potential plumbing repair costs. If you don’t dispose of the waste, the odor from the waste tanks can make your RV unbearable.

Not to mention, the waste can clog up your plumbing system, causing significant harm, which might be costly to fix.

Also, if your wastewater is sitting around for a long time, it may promote the growth of bacteria and mold. 

Tank Flush Hose

Your waste tank must be washed thoroughly every time it is drained. To do this, you will need a sewer rinse kit that contains a tank flushing hose, a tank flushing valve, and accessories that maintain a secure connection. The tank flushing hose is used to transfer clean water from the water supply to the waste tank that is about to be flushed.

The hose should be attached to the tank flushing valve and then connected to your waste tank. The flushing valve stops the wastewater from flowing back into the hose. This keeps the water supply clean and free of contamination. 

The flushing hose and the water hose have different colors. This prevents you from accidentally using a water hose to clean out your waste tanks. 

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper can be either used in your toilet, or as a paper towel to clean up spilled liquids. Toilets found in RVs are not capable of handling regular toilet paper. Standard toilet paper might clog RV toilets. You’ll end up struggling with clogged toilets during your camping trip.

Toilet paper used in RVs is designed to prevent your toilet from clogging up. It is thinner and dissolves faster than standard toilet paper. Since this toilet paper absorbs spilled liquids quickly, it can be used as a paper towel. This helps you save money.

A lot of RV toilet papers are designed to be environmentally friendly. They are biodegradable, so they can decompose four times faster than regular toilet paper.

Clear Drain Section

A clear drain section helps you determine whether the flushing process is complete or not. If the flushing process is complete, you will notice clear water flowing through the clear drain section. On the other hand, if the process is not complete, you will notice discolored water/waste flowing through that section.

You should search for any leaks before you use a clear drain section. Leakages can make the whole process messy.

How To Clean An RV Tank  Using RV Plumbing Accessories

Your waste tanks should be at least ⅔-full before you start the waste-disposal process. 

Find an external sewage system, then connect one end of the sewer hose to a dump station. The other end should be connected to your black tank valve. Once you finish connecting both ends, open up the black tank valve to initiate the dumping process.

Waste tanks should be emptied in a special order. You should start off by emptying the black tank, followed by the gray tank. Water from the gray tank will flush off any solid particles that might have stuck on the sewer hose while you were emptying the black tank.

So how do you clean a waste tank thoroughly with different RV plumbing accessories?

Use a tank flushing hose to remove waste particles from your waste tanks. Once you get a steady flow of clean water, you can initiate the waste tank treatment process. 

Fill the tanks with water, then add a liquid treatment. Drive around for a while to spread the solution in your tanks, then leave it in the tanks for about 2-3 hours. Flush the tanks, then rinse them with clean water.

Over To You

As an RV owner, you need to understand the ins and outs of your RV plumbing system. 

It is an important feature that keeps you comfortable while you are traveling or camping. You should get RV plumbing accessories that will help you dump waste water from your RV. Also, do not forget to wear gloves while carrying out the process.

Your RV, new or used, does not come with all the necessary accessories to make it work efficiently. You will need to purchase the tools and necessities needed to help you manage and maintain your RV plumbing system. These tools will also save you from spending a lot of money on repairs.