For most RVers, conserving water isn’t an issue as they are staying at an RV park or resort that has full hookups, especially a supply (the RV park’s pressured water) and disposal (the in-ground sewage collection system). But RVers have a need to conserve water (and waste) because they are boondocking, staying someplace overnight such as a parking lot or Harvest Hosts location, or they are just concerned about extending a stay longer with limited resources.

Here are some ways to conserve water (and the subsequent waste) when using your RV:

Take more efficient showers. Get used to the “military-style” shower. Here’s how: step into the shower, turn on the water and soak yourself, turn the water off and soap up your body and hair, and then turn on the water and rinse off. You’ll save a lot of water this way by not having it run when it doesn’t need to.

Use less in the kitchen. Use paper plates and prepare one-pot meals to avoid using water for washing plates and pans. Also, think about cooking over the campfire or grill to reduce the number of pans you need to clean up.

Wash dishes in a bucket. You’ll use less water washing in a bucket or (as we sometimes do) a collapsible tub. There’s one model from Thanstar is big enough to clean a family’s dishes, features a drain plug, and collapses into a very low, easily-storable profile.

Collect your water. Consider using that dishwater from the collapsible tub as flush water the next time you use the toilet. You can also use small buckets that fit into sinks and the shower to collect water as you wait for the warm water to arrive from the water heater. This is clean water that can be used for any number of things.

Turn off the water. Don’t let the water run. Turn the water off when you are cleaning your dishes. Turn it off while you are brushing your teeth or shaving. It may feel good to stand under a warm running shower, but it is wasteful and not a good way to save water.

Think about your hair. A shorter haircut requires less time – and less water – to wash. Try dry shampoo to keep it clean and oil-free between shampoos.

Avoid flushing. Okay, this is a tough one, we know. But it’s not what you think. If you can’t install a gray water recycling system (where your gray tank gets used as toilet flush water) or a composting toilet, try using a nearby toilet (like at an outhouse, when you go into town, etc.) or go outside (just be sure you aren’t in the Walmart parking lot and follow local regulations and smart and responsible processes, like burying your waste).

Jim Tome, Owner

Jim Tome, Owner

Hi, I'm Jim Tome and, along with my wife, Debbie, the owners of Kleen Tank LLC, the national leader in RV holding tank cleaning service. We've been RVers like you since 2004 and have traveled all over the U.S. in our Airstream travel trailer. We started the business about twelve years ago and have cleaned tens of thousands holding tanks in thousands of RVs. From tiny weekend travel trailers to monstrous fifth wheels to luxurious motorhomes, I've seen just about every situation there is with RV holding tanks and waste systems. I hope you enjoy our articles; I try to post at least one per week and we've got a great library of them to cover just about every problem. Enjoy!


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