Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPFIRE › General Discussion › Sanitizing the Fresh Water System.
- February 22, 2016 at 2:42 pm #12969
As I continue my preparations for the June delivery date, I have begun thinking about various procedures which might be helpful in maintaining the Ollie. Some of the procedures will be occasional in nature and for me a written procedure is helpful.
I have attached my first written procedure for a "reality check" from existing owners. Although the Ollie user manual may already cover this topic, I had fun writing it on a cold winter day here in New Hampshire! I did review the technical aspects with my future son-in-law who works in the field of water purification systems and he gave it a big AOK. What it lacks in an Ollie system knowledge. It would also be useful to know if this is a process owners currently preform.
Sanitizing the Fresh Water System
1 FREQUENCY: TWICE PER YEAR.
2 MATERIALS: BLEACH, FLEXIBLE FUNNEL, GALLON SIZE PAIL, VINEGAR.
• Prepare the bleach mixture by multiplying the tank capacity (32.5 gallons for Elite II) by 0.13. The resulting value of 4.2 ounces of bleach is added to one gallon of water.
• Using the flexible funnel, add the bleach mixture to the fresh water tank.
• Finish filling the tank with water.
• Run each of the faucets (including the outside shower) until you can smell bleach.
• Let the water stand in the system for 4 hours. (Double the formula for one-hour standing time.)
• Drain using the drain petcock on the bottom of the fresh water tank. (See Ollie owner manual.)
• Refill the fresh water tank using one quart of vinegar to five gallons of water.
• Run the vinegar mixture through the system. (Caution: Do not let the water pump run dry!)
• Fill the tank with water and flush the water out again.
• Refill with clean water.
• That’s it!February 22, 2016 at 4:28 pm #20337
Buzzy, a couple of things to consider.
First we don’t drink water from our existing fresh water system in the Oliver. Has nothing to do with whether its pure or not, truth is water setting in any of these holding tanks for more than an hour or two taste terrible. This is not unique to Oliver’s, they all are like this. I wish the RV industry would move to BPA free polycarbonates that do not impart this taste. We figure anything that taste this bad can’t be good for you in the long run. Others might disagree on this concept. So our onboard fresh water is used only for washing dishes, and taking showers only. We’ve tried filtering the water with a Brita filter which had no effect what so ever on the taste. For now we carry our own drinking water with us from our house, if gone for longer periods and away from decent fresh water supplies we purchase water in gallon jugs from the super markets.
Second: Most but certainly not all municipal water systems already have chlorine in the water supply which is enough to sterilize your onboard fresh water tanks, or so I have been told. Understand too all of the plumbing inside the Oliver is PEX pipe which I believe tends to be less conducive to bacteria. Our plumber tells us all new buildings now use PEX. However if dead set on your regimen, which certainly is a thorough one, you might also consider using hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine. Its far less corrosive, does not impart the awful smell and lingering bad taste of chlorine yet it does the same thing to sterilize items including water supplies.
Just my two cents worth, but I hope this helps.February 22, 2016 at 4:56 pm #20336
Thank you very much for your ideas! Like yourself, I will tend to use bottled water for drinking. I know brushing my teeth will probably use water from the fresh water tank, rinsing dishes, etc. With all the time I spend in the area of dairy herd management, sanitizing against E.Coli, Salmonella and several other bacteria is a constant effort. I figured I should at least make some effort for myself and the loved ones who use the Ollie.
For my kayak camping trips we all drink from Dromedary bags and the taste is awful. Clean, but awful. I guess if I hope to "Get Out and Stay Out Off the Grid", I had better get use to awful tasting water if I run out of bottled water in the Ollie.February 22, 2016 at 7:19 pm #20335
Your procedure for "Sanitizing the Fresh Water System" is what I have been doing for years. Except for the Oliver one of your steps needs to be corrected: I see no way you can use a flexible funnel to pore anything into the Oliver’s fresh water tank. Oliver provides a procedure that allows you to add water to the fresh water tank from a container; like a gallon tank, etc., the water pump with pull the liquids into the fresh water tank from the portable container.
When we picked up our Oliver Elite II on September 2, 2015 we added water to the fresh water tank and then added a mixture of bleach and water to a one gallon container; then followed Oliver’s procedure for adding water to the fresh water holding tank from a container. This was a fairly easy task to sanitize the fresh water system.
Horace & Dianne
2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited
2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93February 22, 2016 at 9:59 pm #20333
Good point, and also how one winterizes (easily I might add) the water system for the Oliver. Works great!February 23, 2016 at 9:06 am #20334
Hi Horace and Dianne,
Thank you for the information concerning what Oliver refers to as the “winterizing inlet” in their marketing brochure. That was the piece of the puzzle I was missing! Without a working knowledge of the function, I could not be certain it was capable of functions other than winterizing the Ollie.
Understanding this function with encourage me to purchase a 4 foot long drinking water hose and perhaps two 5 gallon water jugs so I can add fresh water to the tank without breaking camp while boondocking! Slick!
I have my sights set on camping at an amazing place in Maine. The Cobscook Bay State Park located near to the border to Canada. I normally tent camp at site 30T. With the Ollie, I can camp at site 29M and kayak the waters over to Lubec for lunch!
BuzzyFebruary 23, 2016 at 4:06 pm #20331
Buzzy you will not need a hose anywhere near that long, a foot to a foot and a half will easily do it for siphoning fresh water into the system as the winterizing inlet. When out for periods longer than week (max) we do this regularly using an 8 gal container on wheels though the hand tote 5 gal buckets will work just fine too.February 23, 2016 at 5:06 pm #20332
If you are adding water from a tote, what about your grey water tank, or are you really careful about running water into that tank?
Stan and Carol
2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi
2014 Legacy Elite II Standard Hull 63February 23, 2016 at 6:41 pm #20329
Stan, its not clear to me how one would add water to the grey water tank with this method. Its my understanding when the two water valves are in the bypass mode position water can only be siphoned into the fresh water tank, and visual observance during the procedure would indicate this. Or have I misunderstood your question?
Otherwise I don’t know how it would be possible for the grey water tank to empty into the fresh water tank. Also worth pointing out our Oliver came with this inlet installed on the outside of the bumper storage compartment keeping it separated from black water and hoses, a good thing. Since you picked your camper up earlier than we did, is it possible your winterizing inlet is on the inside of the rear bumper storage? In this case, yes one would want to be very careful with the procedure.February 23, 2016 at 7:28 pm #20328
John E DaviesParticipant@john-e-davies
While I don’t yet own an Oliver I have been messing around with boats and trailers for a long time.
I NEVER drink water from the tap. Period. If I had to in an emergency, I would filter it through my little emergency purifier I keep in my Bug Out Bag.
I sanitize in the spring when I first dewinterize the system. That’s it for the year.
I always fill with city water through a filter, after tasting it first! If it tastes really bad and I have a choice, I just wait for another opportunity.
If I ever HAD to use nasty fresh water to fill the tank I would dump it and refill with good water at the first opportunity, and I would sanitize the system when I got home. but this has been extremely rare.
I drain the tank often, especially after a trip, and refill with good water just before leaving on a trip. I let a few gallons go out the drain as I refill just to get rid of what is leftover. This helps keep the water from going stale. There is no reason you can’t crack open the drain valve and let the fresh tank empty itself on the drive home, but it will leave a miles long trail of water on the roadway and may attract the attention of people who think something is wrong. it’s probably not a great idea unless the roads are deserted. The advantage is that you will get every drop out of the tank.
Don’t get paranoid about sterilizing, or overthink your water, just use common sense, use an inlet filter, don’t let it go stale, and never drink the stuff. For cooking and showering it just doesn’t matter much.
If you are living in your trailer full time, then disregard much of what I said and sterilize often.
"Mouse": 2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/
Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.
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