9 RV Water Conservation Tips

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9 RV Water Conservation Tips

9 RV Water Conservation Tips

Little can ruin a remote camping trip faster than running out of water. When you’re boodocking, you only have the water you bring with you. This includes any jugs you bring, as well as the supply in your fresh water tank. Before your next major excursion, consider the following tips. They may mean the difference between comfortable camping and a trip cut short.

Related Read: Conserving Water When You Are a Full-timer

1. Dry Scrub or Rinse Produce in a Bowl

Rather than scrubbing your veggies under running water, use a brush or scrubby pad to clean off your produce while it’s dry. Then quickly rinse them.

Another option is to run an inch or two of water in a bowl, add 1-cup of white vinegar, and soak them before scrubbing. Rinse them in another inch or two of clean water. Both methods use less than running water over them and down the drain.

Related Read: The Ultimate Guide to Farmers Markets

2. Make “One-Pot” Meals

Grilling or fire roasting outside is a great way to make a tasty dish without any actual dishes while keeping the mess outside. When cooking outside isn’t an option, consider one-pot meals. Not only is there is a variety of options, they usually provide leftovers, and they greatly reduce the number of pots and pans you’ll need to clean.

Related Read: Slow Cooker Recipes for the RV

3. Use Disposable Plates and Ware

Although using real dinnerware and glasses minimizes waste, to conserve water you should use disposable versions. Plus, if you’re having a sandwich or finger snacks, just use a paper towel or napkin to keep your trash from piling up while still conserving water.

4. Use Pan Liners and Scrape Before Washing

Using pan liners, slow cooker liners, and plate liners minimizes mess, reducing how much water is required. You can find these in grocery store aisles in the baking supplies.

You can further shorten dishwashing time by scraping excess food from your plates and pans, and into the trash or compost. Wipe them down with paper towels to remove as much as possible before washing them.

5. Use Less Detergent to Reduce Rinsing

Let dishes with hard to remove food soak a while—or even over night—before washing instead of running tap water over them to loosen it up. Then, use the least amount of vegetable-based dish-soap possible to reduce how much water you’ll need to use to thoroughly rinse them.

When cleaning counters and tables, use anti-bacterial wipes, an all-purpose cleaner like Simple Green, or plain white vinegar and a paper towel. They achieve the same result while conserving your water supply.

6. Wash Dishes in a Bucket

Additionally, wash your pots and pans in a bucket or large dishpan to use less water than when you clean them in the sink. It also reduces how often you need to empty your gray water if you use the contents for toilet flushing or toss it outside.

7. Turn Off and Gather Your Water

Avoid letting your water run. Turn it off when you’re washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, showering, or shaving, and save the water that was used. For example, collect faucet water in a large bowl while you’re waiting for it to warm up. This is clean water and it can be used for things like cooking or dish washing, etc. Water you’ve used to rinse your hair or toothbrush in can be used to rinse out your razor, and if you keep a bucket in the shower, that water collected—as well as water from washing dishes—can be used to flush the toilet with, and so on.

8. Take Fewer Showers and Shorter Showers

Make your showers count. If you aren’t really dirty but are just in the habit, opt for freshening up with baby-wipes, exfoliating with loofah, or moisturizing. Plus, sporting a short hairdo or letting your locks go natural is another way to use less water. The fewer products involved, the less rinsing required. Try a fully bio-degradable shampoo or just a leave in conditioner to keep your hair nice without spending a lot of time under the faucet.

Turn water off while sudsing, and if you want to make the investment, consider installing a showerhead that has an on/off control valve. This allows you to easily turn the water on to get wet, and off when you are sudsing up.


9. Avoid Flushing Toilet Paper

Anytime you flush the toilet, you are literally flushing your water down the drain. There are so many ways to minimize this waste. With a bit of effort (and money) you can install either a composting toilet or gray water recycling system.

A less invasive option is to place used toilet paper in a sealable plastic bag and throw it in an outdoor receptacle. Add waste odor neutralizer to your tank and avoid flushing urine. An easier option is to use a nearby toilet (if one is available) or, if in nature, go outside. Just remember good etiquette and leave nothing visible behind.

Related Read: Is RV Toilet Paper Really Necessary?

In Conclusion

Dry camping can be a lot of fun when you’re adequately prepared. With a bit of practice, you can reduce your water use and reduce your ecological “footprint.” This increases the length of time that you can dry camp while keeping your fresh water from running out before you’re ready. Good luck!

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Carrie Todd


Carrie Todd

Initially, Carrie became a freelance writer, editor, and artist to support herself doing something she loves that also allows her to travel. Living in her Tourmaster coach, she has spent no more than five months in one place since October 2013. This ensures that she gets to experience the constantly changing scenery that accompanies the yearly seasonal changes, as well as meet new people across the country. She has since become a LuLaRoe Independent Fashion Consultant, as well to further this endeavor. In fact, Carrie considers herself fortunate, as most people have to be of retirement age to enjoy the sort of freedom she has, with every day bringing something different.

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