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Old 03-04-2017, 09:14 PM   #21
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And, just curious, does RV anti-freeze have any sanitizing capacity?
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:23 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by advenas View Post
Just curious, but do you need to sanitize the tanks right from the factory? I'm picking up my Escape 17B March 24th and this started me thinking about what I have to do after I get it home.

It's recommended, not so much that they are likely to have organics growing in there, but more to clean out any contamination from the manufacturing process.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:33 PM   #23
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And, just curious, does RV anti-freeze have any sanitizing capacity?
Logically, I would say that since RV plumbing antifreeze is non-toxic to people, it is unlikely to kill germs; it seems like sanitizing and safe consumption are mutually exclusive, although that's an admittedly simplistic argument.

Some RV antifreeze contains alcohol, and a high enough concentration of alcohol will kill stuff, but the concentration in antifreeze (especially when somewhat diluted in the plumbing by remaining water) seems unlikely to be high enough. The CDC says that for alcohol
Quote:
... the optimum bactericidal concentration is 60%–90% solutions in water (volume/volume)
... although I'll note that this page is about disinfection, rather than sanitization.

CDC's minimum ethanol content in water would produce a freezing point of -37 C; I wouldn't expect a stronger solution as RV antifreee. I haven't found compositional information for an RV antifreeze which I can be sure has no glycol (because propylene glycol is non-toxic and so not listed in Material Safety Data Sheets), but what I have found has less than 25% ethanol.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:37 PM   #24
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Thanks folks. The bleach method it is.
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Old 03-05-2017, 12:36 AM   #25
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I have read to use one quarter cup bleach per 15 gallons, so double that for a 21' and a little less than double for a 19'. Diluting the bleach in a first gallon of water and then adding the rest of the water. And wear crummy clothes for sure or you will likely ruin them.
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:21 AM   #26
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And wear crummy clothes for sure or you will likely ruin them.
Yah, I'll wear the same tee shirt that I used to check my battery level. The one I accidentally touched with one of the battery tops. The one with 3 holes in it.

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Old 03-05-2017, 08:59 AM   #27
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Water Tank Sanitizing

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) standard, which most Public Water System Rules are written to, says that bleach concentration AND contact time ARE important. Doing some quick calculations I have found that the 1/2 cup per a full water tank(roughly 30 gal) would yield a concentration of roughly 100 ppm or parts per million(assuming 6% bleach). The required contact time for this concentration is a minimum of 4 hours. You can cut the concentration in half and do it for 8 hours which is what i do(overnight really). Less chlorine to flush out...and yes make sure you have chlorine at ALL taps prior to the waiting time. Make sure the water drains out on your driveway so the chlorine can evaporate and not on your lawn or stream as it will kill most things it touches!(like shirts!) Then fill and flush the whole system a couple of times. The chlorine will also help to freshen up your black and grey tanks too. And yes I am a Licensed Water Treatment Plant Operator and a Certified Pool Operator.
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Old 03-05-2017, 10:07 AM   #28
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The American Water Works Association (AWWA) standard, which most Public Water System Rules are written to, says that bleach concentration AND contact time ARE important. Doing some quick calculations I have found that the 1/2 cup per a full water tank(roughly 30 gal) would yield a concentration of roughly 100 ppm or parts per million(assuming 6% bleach). The required contact time for this concentration is a minimum of 4 hours. You can cut the concentration in half and do it for 8 hours which is what i do(overnight really). Less chlorine to flush out...and yes make sure you have chlorine at ALL taps prior to the waiting time. Make sure the water drains out on your driveway so the chlorine can evaporate and not on your lawn or stream as it will kill most things it touches!(like shirts!) Then fill and flush the whole system a couple of times. The chlorine will also help to freshen up your black and grey tanks too. And yes I am a Licensed Water Treatment Plant Operator and a Certified Pool Operator.
This is great info - thanks.

However..... given that one does not know the quality of the water obtained from camp sites....

plus water could sit stagnant for months in the pipes of ours (not full timing)

we have decided to take the safest route: bottled water for drinking and tooth brushing

and the Escape water system for dish washing. (figuring that the water system / tank wouldn't be toxic, and so dish washing would be OK)

just our 2c.

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Old 03-05-2017, 11:40 AM   #29
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plus water could sit stagnant for months in the pipes of ours (not full timing)

Right on, especially if it is many months.

With my professional experience in water systems and quality, I couldn't help responding to this thread on trailer water sanitization. People need to be aware that the usual treatments don't cut it for trailers that have sat with water in the tank and water lines for many months. Everybody knows they have a problem if their water is green or cloudy, but you don't have these signs if a biofilm develops. If a biofilm develops you pretty well have to replace the tubing. I have worked with experts from Culligan and Millipore water companies trying to eliminate biofilms and it is nearly impossible.) And the biofilms that I dealt with in the hospital lab circulating water system generated bacterial counts that were in the 1000's per millilitre. Even the most contaminated samples that I submitted to Microbiology for culture appeared clear and didn't smell. On the practical side you only get biofilms if you leave a tubing surfaces wet and stagnant for a long time, so if you use your trailer regularly and follow the recommended sanitization I wouldn't worry. And the bacteria aren't usually pathogenic (except Legionnaires, of course). But if you have a poor immune system (or are grossed out at the idea of drinking a lot of bacteria), take extra measures if you are purchasing a trailer that has sat in storage for more than a few months. Also, if researching sanitization using bleach, don't confuse bleach and hypochlorite concentrations. I am reposting the PDF I included in the previous thread that Eric (Thoer) referenced. The previous thread covered this topic well, including valid points like for most people who look after their trailers the usual sanitization is all that is required.
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File Type: pdf Thoughts on Sanitizing Escape Trailer's Water System.pdf (76.1 KB, 139 views)
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Old 03-05-2017, 11:44 AM   #30
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Thanks Bob, I was hoping to hear from you on this again. I highly encourage everyone to read and save Bob's attached document.
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:38 PM   #31
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Hmm. Interesting read. I learn something new every time I read this forum.

Two questions:
>Does having a closed system (lack of sunlight) help with reducing algae/bacteria growth?

>Given it's difficult to maintain a completely bacteria free fresh water system, has anyone installed a high quality inline water filter?

Thanks
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:40 PM   #32
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After draining the bleach and running a tank of fresh water, I fill the tank with water and a half cup of dissolved baking soda and let it sit for a couple hours to get rid of the bleach smell. I then run that a bit and drain, then run one tank of fresh water to finish.
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:57 PM   #33
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>Does having a closed system (lack of sunlight) help with reducing algae/bacteria growth?
It reduces the likelihood of algae, but not bacteria. For example, samples to be cultured for Legionnaires bacteria must be kept in the dark for the bacteria to survive and be tested.

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Old 03-05-2017, 02:02 PM   #34
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From Popular Science web site:

How much bacteria do people carry around?
Enough to fill a big soup can. "That's three to five pounds of bacteria," says Lita Proctor, the program coordinator of the National Institutes of Health's Human Microbiome Project, which studies the communities of bacteria living on and in us. The bacteria cells in our body outnumber human cells 10 to 1, she says, but because they are much smaller than human cells, they account for only about 1 to 2 percent of our body mass—though they do make up about half of our body's waste.
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Old 03-05-2017, 02:08 PM   #35
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>Given it's difficult to maintain a completely bacteria free fresh water system, has anyone installed a high quality inline water filter?

Thanks
We drink from our the fresh tank and try to keep it and the lines as sanitized as possible. Any water that goes into our fresh tank goes thru an RV carbon filter and then for water we drink we use a PUR pitcher. Neither of those will remove biological contaminated like Bob talks about, but I feel pretty confident in my twice yearly bleach sanitation and using my beer sanitizer between trips that I can keep them critters to a safe level.

Or I could just be like the monks in the Middle Ages and just use beer for everything....
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:35 PM   #36
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From Popular Science web site:

How much bacteria do people carry around?
Enough to fill a big soup can. "That's three to five pounds of bacteria,"
Yes, and bacteria in our gut are actually necessary to good digestion and our health.
Most of the bacteria that will grow in your trailer's water system will not likely make anyone sick if they have a normal immune system. For me its more a gross out factor, knowing the potential for growth. Also, the bugs in a water system aren't beneficial to our bodies. Our trailer sits from October to April, just about enough time for organisms to begin developing biofilms that can sluff off loads of bacteria. I think I will ask a former colleague of mine to do a bacterial culture/count this spring after I complete my sanitization. I would be interested to know how effective it is after a common storage period of 6 months. Of course it will only be anecdotal and specific to my trailer, because varying bacteria and varying storage conditions will produce different results.
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:16 PM   #37
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Yes, and bacteria in our gut are actually necessary to good digestion and our health.

Most of the bacteria that will grow in your trailer's water system will not likely make anyone sick if they have a normal immune system. For me its more a gross out factor, knowing the potential for growth. Also, the bugs in a water system aren't beneficial to our bodies. Our trailer sits from October to April, just about enough time for organisms to begin developing biofilms that can sluff off loads of bacteria. I think I will ask a former colleague of mine to do a bacterial culture/count this spring after I complete my sanitization. I would be interested to know how effective it is after a common storage period of 6 months. Of course it will only be anecdotal and specific to my trailer, because varying bacteria and varying storage conditions will produce different results.


Bob it would sure be interesting to see a comparison of before and after sanitizing.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:14 PM   #38
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We use bleach, as described all through the above posts. The only additional thing for us to add is, we hook up our hoses, filter, and fittings to the trailer, then add the bleach solution at the female end of all that, prior to attaching to the house hose bibb.

That way, everything touching our camping water gets the treatment.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:31 PM   #39
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This is great info - thanks.

However..... given that one does not know the quality of the water obtained from camp sites....

plus water could sit stagnant for months in the pipes of ours (not full timing)

we have decided to take the safest route: bottled water for drinking and tooth brushing

and the Escape water system for dish washing. (figuring that the water system / tank wouldn't be toxic, and so dish washing would be OK)

just our 2c.

And you think bottled water is the safest route because? Bottled water is regulated by the FDA and their record is poor at best...most bottled water comes from a municipal water supply and then sits on the grocery store shelf for months then we generate huge amounts of waste w the bottles...not sustainable. Fill a jug from home if you are worried about campground water, which from my experience is a valid concern...or sanitize and fill your tank at home and use it.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:35 PM   #40
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I am all for using the tank for drinking and cooking too. I don't like to have to carry around a bunch of loose jugs of water.


Well, maybe 4 litre one for coffee, that that is super important to get perfect. LOL
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