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Old 05-07-2008, 04:01 PM   #15
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Old Rv'er, if you are referencing my comment about waste water I am referring to the water that the RO system does not use. It is know waste water. It has absolutely nothing to do with any gray or black tank. Possibly you were referring to some other post.

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Old 05-07-2008, 09:16 PM   #16
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Jerry, what exactly is the product you use? I always use anti-bacterial hand soap to wash it off. And once I am finished using the site, I do it again for the next person. If there is something better, please let us all know. I have heard Hydrogen peroxide is also a good product, but thought it needed to be at the 30% solution level.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:19 PM   #17
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Ted III, I don't have a clue how the RO system works. I don't pickup our coach until saturday, and it hopefully will be explained and a instruction book contained therein. Once I know how it works, I may choose to use it, unless it's more trouble than it's worth, then if possible I will bypass it. I noticed Costco is selling them for the home, around 350 a set if I remember correctly. Wish someone would start a thread about it, or reference an old one so I could catch up. There are lots of new things on the coach I don't know how to use, and it will just take some time to learn.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:28 PM   #18
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Old RV'er,

The Vagabond R/O system is the most likely to be on your coach. Frank Rouch distributes the system, owns an Alpine Coach himself and is a frequent contributer to this forum. There is a recent thread about the R/O system on this forum. You can also search for posts by Vagabondman. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-08-2008, 05:53 AM   #19
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To disinfect, I've heard of people using a bleach/water mix,(I believe 1 part bleach to 4 parts water) in a small spray bottle.
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:04 PM   #20
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Bleach works fine as a disinfectant. The only problem is it's instability when mixed with water. You never know what strength you have left...especially if the cap is not air tight or if stored in hot or sunny areas.
The reason I prefer the quaternary compounds is that they are extremely stable so you know that the strength will not deteriorate over long periods of use.

You can find a quaternary product at a pool supply usually labeled as an algaecide. Mix it with water so that you have about 300ppm in the use solution. It will disinfect any surface in 30 seconds as long as the surface is not grossly dirty.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:32 PM   #21
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Old RV'er,
here is a link to the Vagabond website Vagabond RO system, Frank details pretty well how the system works and how it is hooked up. there is a PDF file also that you can download to get lots of info. Also search this site about the vagabond system and you will find lots of posts. I plan on adding it to ours
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:38 PM   #22
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Wow, sure have an agregate of opinions and issues here.

First of all, I think the method of disinfecting is a matter of personal opinion. I don't care what you use or if you use it at all. That said, I don't believe you will wither away and die if you use peroxide or bleach or whatever, unless you're really stupid and drink the stuff straight. Peroxide will just make you barf! The other stuff might get you.

AS for the use of Reverse osmosis, that again is a matter of personal choice - you will have to decide if it's good for you and your situation. IF - you want to drink, bathe, and wash you rig in pure water, then I think RO is the best way to go. If you're stuck on the amount of water wasted, then you will have to suffer with another solution. A normal waste ratio is 2:1 (waste 2, make 1); if you do add another membrane, the ratio will be 1:1, and a third membrane will make it 1:2 (waste 1, make 2).

Reverse osmosis is the preferred method of purifying water for kidney dialysis patients because it removes bacteria along with minerals, spores, etc. Since I've been in the water business (going on 35 years now), I have never had to wash out or disinfecta tank that was clean to start with and was fed by a properly functioning RO system. My personal rig is an '03 and I've never disinfected the tank; there is no bacteria present, even after storing in very hot/cold weather. That doesn't mean you shouldn't disinfect; if it makes you feel better, you should do it!

For those of you who pooh pooh the RO system, try using the water in Apache Junction without some kind of treatment. It's routinely over 800 parts per milloin in TDS (that means over 800 pounds of crud in a milloin pounds (120,000 gallons) of water.

The systems you can buy at Home Depot or Costco are meant to be used under your sink for your drinking water only and are normally rated at 15 or 20 gallons/day (that's at 100 psi and 77 degrees F). The biggest difference between that and the Vagabond system is that the latter has a low pressure industrial membrane rated at 300 gallons per day at 107 psi and 77 degrees F. If you think our single membrane is slow, try using the little 10" membranes - you'll go to sleep!

Old RV'er, if you are getting a used APEX, it's doubtful that you will get any manual - they didn't remember to put them in many of the new rigs. Feel free to contact me and I will get you going. Contact info is at the vagabond site. There is also a good tutorial there about what RO is and does - fyi.

If you want to disinfect with a bleach water dilution, you need to use purified water to dilute, otherwise you will have the issues Jerry alludes to. Also, be careful about your container, as a little leakage will cause a lot of grief!
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:13 PM   #23
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Great information, thank you for the link to the RO site. Also thank you for the information about the algaecide stuff as well. We have a pool place up the road a piece so I can stop by there. The clorox information was also good. I don't know for sure but I think my home TT park puts clorine in the water system, even though it's a well. Have downloaded the PDF and will read it tomorrow, need to hit the bed, still working you know.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:19 PM   #24
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Frank, it's a 2007 coach, but it's new. My guess is it's never had much water in it, but also it's never been cleaned either. I will sanatize it the first tiem, then after I throughly understand the instructions on the system, I wll try the RO. I downloaded the manual anyway, so I can start reading it now. Thanks for the information.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:30 AM   #25
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Old Rv'er, the manual you downloaded is for generic installations and there some idiosyncrasies (sp?) with the APEX that you will have to get worked out. Specifically, you will use the onboard silver leaf to fill the system whether or not you activate the RO system.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:52 PM   #26
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We use a tankful of water about every 4 days under normal conditions. At a 2-reject to 1-product ratio (100 in the tank out of a total of 300 used), that is a net of 75 gallons per day. Most municipalities figure about 100 gallons per occupant of a park per day for domestic use, some as low as 100 per rig tho they add back in for other various uses like laundry and park showers. Don't know about how others net use stacks up, but reasonably frugal showers make up for a lot of waste. And where plausible, I run a drain line for the reject water to landscaping (the palm trees at Havasu drink it up).

As to filling time w/the RO system, you can also cut that dramatically by adding a pressure pump inline just ahead of the RO membrane (mine runs the membrane up nicely over 100 psi). That a) eliminates problems w/low park pressure (which is why I did it, 25 psi sometimes and then you watch the seasons pass sloooowly by while filling), and b) increases the efficiency of the RO product water output (i.e. purer product water). With the pump, I dial the reject water percentage down to 1:1 and still make great quality water in the worst of city water conditions. It still won't fill as fast as a hose direct to the tank, but I haven't found any need for fill-er-up-fast after figuring out the RO system req'mts & options.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:02 AM   #27
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A sanitizing flush is always a good annual thing to do.

quarter cup 5% plain bleach per fifteen gallons is the recommended dose

You don't need to fill the entire tank, just enough so that you can pump the sanitized water through the system.

Always dilute the bleach before adding to your system

It is caustic and will not treat plastics kindly over time so dilute before pouring it in.

Do run each and every faucet, hot and cold, until you get the bleach smell.

Let sit for at least a half hour. The drain the tank, refill with plain water, and run each faucet until the smell clears.

Then drain, open everything to air it out for a day or so, and you should be done.

As noted, the bleach is not stable and that is why you need the smell test to make sure you have sufficient concentration at the faucets. It is also why a couple of flushes and a day or so of airing things out should clear it.
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Old 05-10-2008, 06:30 PM   #28
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I have followed this thread and thought I'd try and sanitize my fresh water tank for the first time. I've always used city water during the use of my coach so I still had the original 1/4 tank full of fresh for about 1 1/2 years!! It was time to do it.

I drained the tank, and then I used a little bit of bleach and mixed with about 20-25 gallons of water. Ran the faucets, etc., then drained the tank. Refilled with 25 gal of fresh to get rid of the smell/taste of any bleach.

After draining the original water the valve closed completely during the refill. During subsequent refills the drain didn't completely close when I push the handle in. I'm getting a fair amount of water continuing to flow out of the drain. I have tried to close the drain valve again and again by opening the drain and then pushing the handle closed. Won't close completely! The cable seems to take a left turn through the bulkhead to the left so I can't see the valve. Any suggestions to fix the problem?
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