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Old 07-15-2014, 09:06 AM   #1
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New to camping is there a switch to go from fresh water to city water, or does it pull from what ever is full?

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Old 07-15-2014, 09:07 AM   #2
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:12 AM   #3
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Usually, city water is a connection, using a water hose from the RV to a spigot at the campground. It works just like when you are hooked to water at your home, and there is no tank involved as it is a constant source from the city water supply.

Fresh water is a tank inside the RV, that you must fill with water separately, then you turn on the fresh water pump (operates off of 12 volts), which pumps the water from the tank to your taps. Most people only use the fresh water tank, when camping at places that don't have a water connection (aka dry camping)......or just don't like the campgrounds water and decided to bring their own.

Personally, I just keep a few gallons in the fresh water tank, so we can turn on the water pump and utilize the toilet if needed while traveling to/from the campground on long trips. It's real easy/fast to exit the interstate, use the onboard toilet, and get back on the road.

Here is a good article we keep in the FAQ section that explains the basics short and sweet:

RV Operations -The Basics

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Old 07-15-2014, 02:24 PM   #4
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Like WMTIRE said there should be two water connections, one for "City Water" and one for "Fresh Water". There is no switch to change from one to the other. The only switch is the one to turn on the pump when using from the storage tank. Unless you are "BoonDocking" do not fill the fresh water tank, just put not more than 5 gallons in it. Otherwise you will be carrying an extra 400# of weight (a pints is a pound the world around) you don't need when towing. Also, like WMTIRE said I only keep enough water in the fresh tank to use if needed enroute to a camp area. You don't use the pump when hooked up to city water. If the TT was winterized make sure you have water in the water heater before you turn it on. Also, I personally don't drink the water from the fresh water tank, take bottled water along for that. I know many people do use it for drinking water and you can sanitize the tank but because the trailer may sit for weeks at a time with a little water in it the water may become contaminated for drinking purposes, would be fine for toilet and washing but not ingesting.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:41 PM   #5
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Back to the original question: No, there is no switch or valve that you manually change between on board water and city water. When you hook up to city water a check valve allows this water into the entire system. When not hooked to city water and the onboard pump turned on then the system is pressurized and the check valve keeps this water from going back out the city water port.

Two things can happen here. One, when on city water the valve can leak city water into the onboard tank overfilling it. Two, with the onboard pump on there can be leakage out the city water port.

Both of these are rare but fixable issues. For the most part the systems are trouble free if winterized properly.
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