The Chemicals

Lately, we’ve had a few technical questions come our way about living in an RV and a lot of them revolve around plumbing.

Clearly, an RV has a different plumbing system than a house but what exactly does that mean?

Right now we have “hookups,” meaning that our water and sewer lines are connected to the city lines at the park. Instead of having limited tank space for fresh water and gray water, our water lines work similar to a house.

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Our sewer system could also be like this but we have had fewer issues with odor and clogging if we keep it running like an RV, where it is a closed system that we open and drain (I know, it sounds gross, but you get used to it). We still leave the hose in place and hooked up to the city sewer so that we are not messing with this as well (see red hose below). This means that all we need to do is pull out a lever, wait until it stops draining, and then close it up again.

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What does that mean for our chemicals?

Since we keep a closed sewer system, we still use packs that help with odor while breaking stuff down.

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After trying many different types over the last year, we have found that we like this brand and scent the best. After draining our tank, we simply close it up again, drop a pack in, and wait until the next time we need to drain.

This is just for our sewer system. We keep open water lines but those can get clogged as well. Not the incoming water, but that water that goes down our drains.

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When our sinks and showers stop draining as well as we would like — due to pet hair, food, sediment, you-name-it — we use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean things out. This has worked wonders, especially for the shower. We do not need to do this often, perhaps every few months.

Even though we keep open water lines, I occasionally add another chemical to help keep things running smoothly, particularly in the kitchen sink.

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Though we mainly used this while on the road, occasionally I find that it helps keep my kitchen sink odor-free and flowing nicely. After all, we clean all of our dirty dishes there and things get a little greasy sometimes!

Though perhaps not the most entertaining thing I’ve written about, I hope it helps those who are interested in this lifestyle! We love hearing from people, whether with questions or advice on what make traveling easier for them. Please do not hesitate to reach out!


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