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5 Simple Hacks for Your RV Water Hose

5 Simple Hacks for Your RV Water Hose

Having clean, reliable water in your RV can be one of the most crucial comforts for campers, especially full-timers. It’s why your humble RV water hose is one of the most essential items in your RV toolkit.

We took a look at some best practices to help you keep the water flowing and take some of the stress out of the process.

The Importance of a Potable RV Water Hose

You may think you can just head out in your new rig with any old garden hose from the backyard. But you’d be wrong! It’s critical to get a special potable RV water hose

Typical garden hoses aren’t designed for human consumption, no matter how many drinks you may have snuck out of them as a kid. The materials used to manufacture them can leech plastics, heavy metals, or other contaminants into the water. 

garden hoses should not be used for RV water hoses
Do not use a garden hose for your RV water hose! Get a drinking water safe hose.

At a minimum, your water will taste off. At worst, you could make yourself seriously ill. Don’t chance it, and spend a few bucks on a hose designed for drinking water. Your body will thank you.

If you come to a water fill station with a hose already attached, it may be tempting to use it to fill your RV tanks. Resist the urge, as you have no idea what condition that hose could be in.

We personally use and recommend NeverKink drinking water hoses, as kinks in your RV water hose can be so very frustrating. It’ll save you time and headaches down the road.

Teknor Apex 8602-50 NeverKink RV/Marine Hose -...
  • Constructed with NTS Reflex Mesh patented technology eliminates...
  • Lead-free, complies with Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act...
  • Grip-Tite coupling for easy, leak free attachment at the faucet

Using an RV Water Hose While Camping

Your RV water hose is an important part of the RVing process, whether you use your water hose to fill your RV’s fresh water tank or you hook up at a campsite. Depending on your setup, you might also have a water pressure regulator and/or an RV water filtration system.

black tank flush location in water bay
RV water bay with city water connection, dry camping, and power fill settings

Either way involves the tedious screwing and unscrewing of brass hose fittings and maneuvering hose. Sometimes the hose has to bend in weird ways to fit into your water bay. Many times, these maneuvers can leave you wet, bruised, and frustrated. Keep reading to find out some hacks to fix this.

Filling Your RV Freshwater Tank

If you’re filling your RV fresh water tank, you may have one of two methods for filling it. Most RVs have a pressurized fill, where you’d hook up just as you would to city supply. You just throw a valve to divert it to your fresh tank instead. Sometimes the RV can have an internal pump to pump water into the RV as well.

The other less common way is a gravity-fill connection. This is not pressurized, and often you have to hold the hose in place to fill and not spill.

filling rv freshwater tank with rv waterhose
Filling our RV freshwater tank with an RV water hose

As you fill your fresh water tank, it can be difficult to know exactly when you are full. Many RVs only have a 4-light fill indicator on the inside of the rig. You’ll only know if you’re really full if it starts to overflow!

As you fill, you may need to kink the hose at points to stop the water from flowing quickly. But be prepared to get a little wet unless you used some of the following hacks.

5 Simple Hacks for Your RV Water Hose

Using your RV water hose is pretty straightforward on its own. But after hooking up to countless campsite hookups and water fill stations, we’ve come up with a few ways to make this simple process easier and dryer.

These five simple hacks will make dealing with freshwater all the more easy.

1. Quick Connect for Attaching Your RV Hose Quickly

HQMPC Garden Hose Quick Connect Solid Brass Quick...
  • ★【Standard 3/4 Inch GHT Garden Hose Quick Connect】- You...
  • ★【Durable And Solid Brass Construction Water Hoses...
  • ★【Quick Connect Garden Hose Fittings Can Stand Up to 200...

About: These small, two-piece quick-connect devices attach to your RV’s water intake valve and the end of your water hose. The interlocking, water-tight design lets you quickly plug in and disconnect your hose from the valve without twisting it on and off each time!

Why You’ll Love It: Twisting your hose onto your water intake can be a pain in the neck (or the wrist)! Sometimes, depending on the temperature or other factors, those threads just don’t want to seat together.

These aren’t the easiest connections to secure, and you’ll be fighting with the hose at the same time. The Quick Connect devices are an affordable solution for easy, plug-in water.

Quick-connect and a 90-degree elbow being used in an RV water bay.

2. 90-Degree Elbow

Twinkle Star 90 Degree Garden Hose Elbow with Shut...
  • 90° Angle Hose Elbow with Shut Off Valve: 3/4" Hose Adapter, for...
  • Completely Leak-tight: Garden Hose Elbow are equipped with high...
  • 3/4" Water hose shut off valve connector perfect for garden, RV,...

About: These small pieces of 90-degree piping redirect the water coming from your RV hose by 90 degrees.

Why You’ll Love It: If your water hose attaches to your RV at a perpendicular 90-degree angle, it can cause problems with your RV water fitting in the long term. The water’s pressure and weight in the hose, combined with gravity, can stress the connection and eventually damage it. 

By installing a 90-degree elbow, your hose can feed directly upwards into the elbow. The water then redirects into your RV. It literally takes the pressure off your RV water fitting and instead places it on your much more flexible water hose. 

3. Water Hose Splitter

INNAV8 Solid Brass Garden Hose Splitter 2 Way...
  • HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION: This hose splitter is made of solid...
  • BRASS ON/OFF VALVES: Heavy duty on/off valves to control the...
  • EASY TO USE: The brass texture on the splitter connector makes it...

About: Water hose splitters take a single source of water from your RV water hose and let you divide it into multiple streams for different uses. 

Why You’ll Love It: We’ve already mentioned how much of a pain it can be to connect and disconnect your RV water hose. So, if you need that water supply for something else, your RV must rely on its storage tanks in the meantime. 

A splitter allows you to run another hose directly off your site’s RV water connection. This lets you do things like wash your RV or tow car, water plants, or any number of other things without shutting off your RV’s water. For just a few bucks, your traveling companions will thank you for not interrupting their showers to wash the car. 

Pro Tip: Not all RV hacks are helpful. We suggest avoiding these RV hacks because they just don’t work.

4. Digital Flow Meter

Rainwave RW-9FM LCD Digital Water Flow Meter
  • PERFECT FOR MEASURING: Measure how much water it takes to fill up...
  • DIGITAL DISPLAY: Easy-to-read LCD screen displays your water...
  • KNOW THE FLOW: Calculates both single-use and total water...

About: Flow meters attach between your water source and your RV and track how much water has passed through the RV water hose. 

Why You’ll Love It: It’s valuable to know how much water goes into your tanks for many reasons. First of all, the light indicators on most control panels are not very accurate. Ours notifies us of the closest 30-gallon mark, which is not a great measurement.

Secondly, you can more accurately hone in on how much water you are using per day. Once you know that, you can calculate how much you need for a particular stay.

digital water flow meter

If you’re filling your tanks for boondocking or dry camping, this knowledge ensures you not only have enough water for your trip but don’t overdo it. After all, water is heavy, and RVs get bad enough gas mileage as it is. There’s no sense in carrying around extra water you’ll have to dump anyway! 

These meters can also be valuable for anyone who must pay for their water supply. You can monitor exactly how much you’re using and prevent an unwelcome surprise when your water bill arrives!

Digital Flow Meter By Orbit | Product Review | Measure Gallons through your hose accurately

Pro Tip: If you’re using your RV in cold weather, you’ll want to check out the Best Heated Water Hoses for your RV to avoid freezing.

5. Water Tank Filler with Shut-Off Valve (For Gravity Fill Setup)

Valterra A01-0031VP Quick Fill Pigtail with...
  • Reduces back flow pressure, cutting fill time in half
  • Includes a large 3/8" opening valve and 5/8" tubing for the...
  • Easily slips into all water tank fill fittings

About: A water tank filler is a small section of drinking-water grade hose with a shut-off valve at one end. The hose portion is slipped into the non-pressurized freshwater fill fittings. The valve controls the water flow.

Why You’ll Love It: For non-pressurized freshwater tank filling, a water tank filler with shut-off valve is a handy device to make filling your tank a hands-free task. It also enables easy control of the water flow without kinking the hose or rushing back and forth to the spigot.

These are also pretty easy to make yourself with a simple shut-off valve and spare length of a drinking water hose!

water tank filler with digital flow meter for RV water hose
Our DIY water tank filler for our RV water hose, complete with shut-off valve and digital flow meter.

Easy Hacks To Make Using Your RV Water Hose A Breeze

Your RV water hose may look simple (and it is), but knowing how to use it can be the difference between an easy, seamless activity of RV water management and a sloppy, wet chore. These five hacks can help you get the most out of your water hookups and RV fresh water tank!

Which RV water hose hack is your favorite?

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Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
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Sharing is caring!

Mark Harvey

Thursday 24th of March 2022

Always enjoy reading your blogs, thank you. You guys have lots of knowledge and experience and offer good suggestions for everyday hacks but sometimes I wonder if I went with many of your suggestions if I'd actually have room to haul my personal items, not to mention all the individual items I'd have to wade through to find the specific item I'm looking for! Personally, I tend to lean towards less clutter and simpler is better. As for filling my freshwater tank I prefer the gated water nozzle. It's foolproof. When filling I can hear the water dumping into the tank and as it fills I just listen for the tone to change, you'll be able to hear when the tank is approaching full and gets close to the filler neck. At that point I shut it off, no sense in trying to stuff one more pint or quart of water into it and risk getting sprayed.

Mortons on the Move

Friday 1st of April 2022

Thank you! We're so glad to hear you enjoy our content. Our blog offers many product suggestions because different RVers have different needs. We're not suggesting that every RVer buy every item, though. It's just good for people to know what's out there in case they run into an issue for which we've found a solution. Also, thanks for your tip about the gated water nozzle! :)

Not So Free

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Rather than the 90* elbow alone, we use one with a faucet in it. Lets you wash your hands without disconnecting. Also good for a second hose for fire control if necessary.


Saturday 27th of November 2021

I'm been RV'ing for almost a decade. Over that time I've owned several Drinking Water Hoses. These RV water hoses from CAMCO are the best I've owned. The description states it is "heavy-duty" and "20% thicker than standard hoses". I think that Camco also prioritizes the user’s safety when manufacturing this drinking water hose as it is free of harmful substances, including phthalate, BPA, and lead-free.


Tuesday 30th of November 2021

The fact that this water hose is UV-stabilized also guarantees that it has a longer life than the others. I noticed that the water hose is quite stiff during the first use, though but after some time, you can break it in.

Jerome Imbriani

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

I like to leave 4 or 5 gallons of water in my black and grey tanks while in storage. I fell this keeps any junk from hardening from a dry tank. I now use plastic jugs. A flow meter would simplify this process and would be less messy

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 24th of March 2021

I think that is a great idea. Tanks drying out is usually not good.

Bill Olsen

Monday 22nd of March 2021

I think that the most important item for your water system is a pressure regulator. We were in a RV park which had 120 psi water pressure. The city pressure at my home is 105 psi. I installed a pressure regulator for my home too. Excessive water pressure could damage your RV's plumbing.

Mortons on the Move

Monday 22nd of March 2021

Yikes! Yes we agree. Before we used one we had a similar experience where the water pressure was so high it popped our overpressure regulator on our water heater!! We looked around and saw lots of RV's with leaking water heaters too and immediately ordered a regulator. In that case we just used water from our tank to prevent damage until the regulator arrived. We just never know what we're going to connect to.