What You Need to Know About RV Water Tanks

Water tanks keep your RV ecosystem running

When you’re at a campsite, it’s pretty easy to keep water on board, and your septic system flushed. It’s when you hit the road that you want to make sure all systems are a go. It may be confusing at first knowing all the tanks your RV carries around with you, and which need to be full and which need to be emptied before you leave the campsite, but once you dig into it it’s really not so hard after all.

What are all these tanks?

Something you may notice in your RV is all the holding tanks for different kinds of water. Only one tank is safe to drink from, and it’s the only tank that’s connected to all your plumbing. But what are they and what do they contain?

Your freshwater tank is pretty easy to fill, but a word of caution: don’t use any old hose to fill it. This is your clean water and using a regular hose can contaminate it. Be sure to carry a potable water hose with you at all times so you can replenish your reserves.

When you flush the septic, there’s a specific way you will want to do it. Once you’ve attached the hose, start with the blackwater tank. Empty that one out, and then close it up again. Next, go to your gray water tank and empty that. Doing it this way makes the job less messy. The gray water is cleaner than the blackwater, and as that rushes out of the tank, it will scrub remnants from the blackwater tank out of your hose, so it’s left relatively clean.

Just as with your septic at home, you should clean out your blackwater tank from time to time to make sure there are no remnants that will raise havoc with your plumbing and sensors.

How do you clean the blackwater tank?

After reading the last part, you may be wondering how on earth you clean out the blackwater tank. It’s not as hard – or messy – as it sounds. First, make sure your blackwater tank is emptied out, and then choose your cleaning method, or try them all and stick with which you like most.

Now you can hit the road, and not worry about your tanks because you know the proper way to empty them and clean them!

At RV Advisor, we love knowing RV-ers are safe, and their rigs are running at top efficiency. If something breaks, it’s great knowing our RV parts have you covered. We offer 10 percent off RV parts so you can keep all your vital systems running!



6 Tips to Keep Your RV Safe from Crime

Be smart and safe when traveling in your RV

Generally speaking, crime against RV travelers is not common. Commercial campgrounds and RV resorts are not frequent gathering places for criminals, and other RV travelers are often great people.

However, it is understandable to be concerned about crime when you’re traveling to new places and meeting new people. When visiting a new or unfamiliar place, you may not feel as comfortable and safe as you would at home.

Thankfully, there are a few simple steps you can take to help protect yourself from crime in your RV.

1. Lock your doors

This may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised how many people just don’t see the need to lock their RV doors.

You may think that the RV park you’re staying in is much too nice for theft. Or, maybe you are just stepping out of your camper to run to the restroom or stop by the campsite office.

Whatever the reason, don’t leave your RV’s doors unlocked, especially if you’re not inside. Many burglaries are simply crimes of convenience – if a thief notices that your door is unlocked, they might just take the opportunity to help themselves to your belongings.

If you’ve locked up, they’ll have to risk breaking in and causing a scene. In many cases, they probably won’t bother.

Locking your doors will help deter anyone who might be looking to take advantage of the relaxed camping atmosphere.

2. Take a second to close your blinds

Along with locking your doors, take a moment to close your blinds and shades before you leave. This prevents a passerby from peeping into your windows to case out your property for later theft.

This also helps keep your cabinetry and fabrics from fading in the sun – so no reason not to try it!

It takes just a little extra effort, but it’s worth it. Don’t let your camper be open and accessible to potential criminals.

3. Find a visible, well-lit site

You don’t have to accept the space you’ve been assigned if you don’t feel right about it. If you drive to your spot and discover that it’s unlit, or far off the beaten path, go back and ask for a new space. Campgrounds are usually very accommodating and should be able to find you a more suitable site.

The best sites are in the heart of the campground, with good lighting and easy access to other campers or staff.

Keeping yourself visible among your neighbors will help protect your RV from being burglarized because thieves are more likely to target vehicles that are away from prying eyes.

4. Limit valuables

Another way to protect your RV from crime is to limit the number of valuables you bring along with you. Sure, you’ll probably have things like your laptop, TV, or cell phones, but don’t bring along too much high-value stuff.

There’s really no reason to bring things like nice clothing or jewelry. Even if you feel uncomfortable leaving them behind at home, it’s probably more secure than your RV.

You can also invest in a small safe to store your valuable electronics in while you’re sleeping or away.

5. Put your equipment away

It’s common for people to leave their camping chairs and picnic items outside on their campsite, but we don’t recommend it. Bring everything inside or stow it securely in your outdoor compartments when you’re not using it.

6. Invest in a security system

Nowadays, there are inexpensive options for security systems that don’t require complicated installation. We love the Ring Video Doorbell. It runs on rechargeable batteries so you can use it anywhere.

When someone presses the exterior button (the device acts as a doorbell), it rings the app on your phone. Via the app, you can see a video of the person at the door – and it works whether you’re home or not.

The video is stored on the cloud, so you’ll always have access to it. It’s a great way to monitor your RV and make sure you know who is going in and out.

Travel safely wherever you go

These tips can help protect your RV from crime. Taking these extra steps can make a world of difference in protecting your property and valuables.

To gain access to other valuable RV-ing tips, become an RV Co-Pilot! Membership starts at just $25 per year. Sign up today!

Rules of The Road: 7 Rules and Regulations RVers Need to Know

RVs are a wonderful way to see the country

For some people, an RV can be a fun and unique vacation. For others, it’s a way of life. However much time you spend traveling in an RV, it’s important to be aware of the rules and regulations, both on the road and when you’re staying at a campground. We offer seven rules and regulations RV-ers need to know.

1. Rig length, width, and height restrictions

This is a hard “rule” to master, simply because the rules vary from state to state. The length of a trailer might be fine in one state and illegal in another. If you’re pulling another rig behind you, such as a car or boat, your length will be even longer.

2. Driver’s license restrictions

For the most part, a standard driver’s license is enough to drive an RV. However, if you plan to drive a very large Class A RV (more than 26,000 lbs.), you might need a commercial driver’s license. Some states have even more requirements.

3. Trailer restrictions

If you plan to pull your car behind you, or you have an RV that needs to be hauled by a car, you’ll need to be aware of the regulations relating to safety devices such as equalizing hitches, sway control, and independent braking systems. A heavy trailer may require breakaway brakes. All of thee devices are meant to protect other vehicles on the road.

NOTE: RV length and trailer length is not the same thing. Campsites can have different lengths for RVs and trailers because the sites are “back-in” with limited space for turning around.

4. Individual campground rules

Along with state regulations, every campground has its own rules. There can be size restrictions. The average permitted size is 27 feet, but the restrictions can range from 20-40 feet. Many campgrounds (especially National Parks) have limited sites for large RVs, so you’ll need to make reservations early. Many campgrounds also restrict what you can bring with you, especially if you plan to stay in a National or State Park. For instance, things like firewood can be a “no-no.”

There may also be restrictions concerning glass containers and fireworks. Be sure to review the campground’s website to become familiar with the park’s regulations, so you don’t break the rules.

Also, be sure you park in a designated RV site. Sites that are listed as “standard nonelectric” are meant for either campers in tents or RVs, but they can have size restrictions.

5. Running generators

Generators are nice to have, and in some cases, they’re necessary. However, they are very noisy. Every campground has its own rules regarding when you can run a generator. There are usually posted hours. You are usually not allowed to run a generator at night, from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. National Parks are stricter about this. In fact, some don’t allow the use of generators at all.

6. Storing food

If you’re going to be camping in an area with a lot of wild animals, you must take precautions with how you store food. National Parks are sometimes home to large populations of bears and other scavengers that have no problem trying to steal your food. Keep food out of sight and be sure to close your windows, doors, and vents at night or whenever you leave your campsite. Never store food in a pop-up trailer or soft-sided camper. Instead, use a regulated and approved “bear box.”

7. Pet policies and restrictions

Taking the family dog along on an RV trip is a lot of fun, but be aware of restrictions. Some campgrounds don’t allow pets, while others do. National Parks do allow dogs, but they have strict pet policies. In most cases, campgrounds require dogs to be on leashes at all times. You also can’t leave your dog tied up outside, though you can leave a dog alone inside your RV – just make sure it’s well ventilated. There are also restrictions on where you can take dogs. They are generally not allowed on trails, though they can be walked within the campground, at picnic areas, and along paved roads.

RV-ing is a special way to experience the country. However, you need to be aware of the rule and regulations for RV travel and within a campground. These tips will ensure you don’t unknowingly break the rules.

RV Advisor is proud to provide our thousands of members with practical wisdom for life on the road. We cover everything from buying new or used, roadside assistance, and where to stop and shop. You can drop by our home page for a live chat or email us at info@thervadvisor.com.