Clear, fresh, sweet water. Even on board your camper
Although its importance may seem obvious, often the on-board water system and its contents are managed in a hit-and-miss way, with no specific knowledge. So let's take a closer look at the subject, with useful advice for a trouble-free holiday.
The camper van community is very varied, and its members seek widely different types of experience, but they all share one common denominator: they all need water if they are to travel in total independence. So when they are using their campers, even just for a weekend, it is absurd that the last thing they think of is often the water; it is not unusual come across tanks with layers of sediments mixed with sand and leaves, or even containing small insects or snails.
So we will start by returning to two simple, basic, common sense measures central to hygiene and water quality:
Before setting off, it is good practice to clean your water filling pipe and sanitise it with specific products, because any algae, biofilms or parasites it contains will inevitably end up in your on-board tank. It is also fundamental to use your own filling pipe, because using the one provided at the water-point can be risky: your predecessor may have used the same pipe, not to fill up with water, but for washing operations of another kind, or for the tank of his chemical toilet, and this may expose you to dangerous bacteriological infections.
Even if we are sure that the water we are taking on board is drinking quality, we should use a filter when filling to ensure that no foreign bodies such as dirt, rust, plant fragments or anything else can enter the tank, and considerably reduce the risk of undesirable bacteria developing.
The water we transfer to our tank from the tap at home is definitely pure, but it will certainly not remain so for long, because the chlorine it contains to combat bacteria evaporates after 48 hours, leaving the liquid in the tank exposed to possible contamination. Therefore, when on holiday it is best to empty the tank often, preferably before filling up.
Here are the 10 golden rules to ensure your on-board water is always safe and good:
1. Fill with water from safe sources.
2. Let the water flow from the tap for a few minutes before use.
3. Always empty the filling pipe before stowing it.
4. Wash the water filling pipe with specific products, also on the inside.
5. Use your own filler pipe.
6. Use a filter between the tap and the camper's filler inlet.
7. Clean the tank once a year.
8. Always drain the tank and all the pipes by leaving the taps turned on.
9. Disinfect the tank and pipes with specific products, with Health Ministry approval, before reusing the camper when you take it out of store.
10. If you have to use the water from the tank for cooking (including for rinsing fruit and vegetables) and do not have bacteria decontamination systems, boil the water for at least 10/15 minutes.