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Old 03-30-2022, 05:14 PM   #1
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Water System Question from a newbie

So letís say I want to go boondocking in my 17B. I fill the freshwater tank and the hot water tank before I head out. I donít use any hot water the entire time, but I do use all of my freshwater. Is there a way to still use that hot water (not necessarily heated)? My impression is, once the freshwater is out, thereís nothing left to push the water in the hot water tank through the pipes and faucets. Is there a workaround, or am I completely missing something? Having hot water isnít a big concern, but I sure would like to have access to that last six gallons of water.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-30-2022, 05:28 PM   #2
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Your understanding is correct. And no, there's no way to use the water heater's contents as additional fresh water, unless you drain it, close its bypass valves, and pour the drained water into the fresh water tank.

That six US gallons of water is just part of the trailer's equipment, not usable water capacity.
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Old 03-30-2022, 05:59 PM   #3
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I just carry a full five gallon Reliance potable water container. I transport it in the shower stall and move it to the picnic table when we reach camp. It's used more than the kitchen tap inside the trailer. I've never run out of fresh water, or filled the grey water.
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Old 03-30-2022, 06:45 PM   #4
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I just carry a full five gallon Reliance potable water container. I transport it in the shower stall and move it to the picnic table when we reach camp. It's used more than the kitchen tap inside the trailer. I've never run out of fresh water, or filled the grey water.
This is an excellent idea and will steal it once I get my trailer. When I used to rent camp moons ago they has they square water carriers that folded down when not in use. I donít know if they still make those, but if they do, Iím adding it to my overflowing Amazon cart. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 03-30-2022, 06:54 PM   #5
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I might be wrong.

But I imagine there's a way to McGyver a plumbing connection out of your WH anode fitting and with a valve, tap off the 6 gallons in your water heater. Plumbing fittings seem to be infinite, just like the Universe. You just have to find the right ones.

That said, I'm going with Baglo's advice.
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Old 03-30-2022, 07:08 PM   #6
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So letís say I want to go boondocking in my 17B. I fill the freshwater tank and the hot water tank before I head out. I donít use any hot water the entire time, but I do use all of my freshwater. Is there a way to still use that hot water (not necessarily heated)? My impression is, once the freshwater is out, thereís nothing left to push the water in the hot water tank through the pipes and faucets. Is there a workaround, or am I completely missing something? Having hot water isnít a big concern, but I sure would like to have access to that last six gallons of water.

Thanks in advance.
I carry extra fresh water in a 7 gallon BPA free plastic Jerrycan, and just refill the freshwater tank with that. I've stayed two weeks in the same location without moving the trailer refilling the fresh water tank like that and use a portable dump tank for my black and grey water.
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Old 03-30-2022, 07:28 PM   #7
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We do most of our cooking outside at the picnic table so I don't go to the trouble of refilling the fresh water tank from another container. That container just provides water at the picnic table.
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Old 03-30-2022, 10:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the responses and solving the mystery for me. I already carry an additional 7 gallon container. And yes, I agree using water outside makes a lot of sense. I guess Iíll just look at the hot water tank as an emergency reserve. But I do like Habberdabberís idea of adding a fitting to drain the tank and may pursue that. When we boondock in the desert, there are no water or tank dumping resources for miles.
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Old 03-31-2022, 06:24 AM   #9
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If you donít turn on the hot water heater canít you just use the hot water side of the faucet for all your water needs?
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Old 03-31-2022, 07:22 AM   #10
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If you donít turn on the hot water heater canít you just use the hot water side of the faucet for all your water needs?
It's a pressurized system. There's nothing to 'push' the water out of the water heater if the fresh water tank is empty or not hooked up to city water.
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Old 03-31-2022, 07:35 AM   #11
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Still not tapping into it's capacity

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If you donít turn on the hot water heater canít you just use the hot water side of the faucet for all your water needs?
One would need water in the supply tank to move the water thru the water heater via the pump. When the supply tank is empty, no more water available to pump the water heater.

There are fittings that work in the anode opening that could accommadate a valve and tap outlet. With no heat used there, plastic fittings would work. You'd first have to fill your h20 heater with an open system and at some point put it into by-pass to use those 6 gallons. Also, you'd need to open the over-pressure relief valve to allow air in and water to flow out of your h20 heater.

All this entails a bunch of monkeying around. I'd just get another water jug and use that. I re-use 1 gallon Arizona ice tea jugs.....not heavy, very durable, sort of free cost, easily stowable and carried.
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Old 03-31-2022, 09:01 AM   #12
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Perhaps someday there will be a filtering system in RVs to recycle the black water tank contents!
Sounds crazy but......
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Old 03-31-2022, 09:45 AM   #13
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Look up for your answer

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Perhaps someday there will be a filtering system in RVs to recycle the black water tank contents!
Sounds crazy but......

They recycle liquid "waste" on the International space station for consumption. No big deal.
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Old 03-31-2022, 10:01 AM   #14
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They recycle liquid "waste" on the International space station for consumption. No big deal.
Yep, anything is possible if you throw enough money at it. Wish I had NASA's budget.....
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Old 03-31-2022, 12:19 PM   #15
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They recycle liquid "waste" on the International space station for consumption. No big deal.
Yes, for sure. I think there are municipalities that have been doing it for years. Might be a while before it's an option on the build sheet though!
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Old 03-31-2022, 07:18 PM   #16
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You could use the hot water tank water first by running hot until it runs out (even if not heated) couldn't you?
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Old 03-31-2022, 07:29 PM   #17
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You could use the hot water tank water first by running hot until it runs out (even if not heated) couldn't you?
No because it simply fills from the freshwater tank as the water is being used.
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Old 03-31-2022, 07:30 PM   #18
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You could use the hot water tank water first by running hot until it runs out (even if not heated) couldn't you?
Not unless there is something 'pushing' the water through the lines. It's a pressurized system. Without pressure, turning the faucet on gives you nothing. Well, maybe a dribble, then nothing.
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Old 03-31-2022, 08:21 PM   #19
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I mean use it before the cold tank, with the pump on.
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Old 03-31-2022, 08:29 PM   #20
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I mean use it before the cold tank, with the pump on.
The cold tank supplies ALL the water FOR the hot tank. The cold tank water is required for anything to come out of the hot water tank. Always.

It is the cold tank that always gets emptied first. Then, NOTHING can come out of the hot water heater, even if it full of water.
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