How hard is it to maintain a motorhome?
Some systems to maintain a motorhome are the same as taking care of your earth-bound home. While others aren’t hard, they do require learning how and practicing.
How do you get your drinking water?
After identifying potable water, position your rig for access to the source. Using a HOSE cut bare on one end and fitted with a female screw end (bought with an additional adapter for narrow gauge fittings) turn off the water pump at control panel, turn the bathroom and kitchen sink faucets on, and have one person patrol the fill gauge on the control panel communicating when the needle nears full while another person manages filling the tank with the hose.
Where does dish and hand-washing water go and what do you do with it?
Charlie’s gray water tank collects waste water from both the kitchen and bathroom sinks. While we have a dedicated shower, we don’t use it so as to save our good water for cooking, and we try to do dishes in campground sinks to minimize both clean consumption and filling our gray tank. The gray water tank has a control panel gauge that we check to see how full it is. We tend to be cautious and have only allowed it to fill up once before purging. We usually purge when it’s at least 3/4 full. Every campground, and some rest stops especially in Western Europe, have a specially-designated drain that you pull over and release your gray water. Our resting gray water started to stink pretty bad and the gauge wasn’t reading accurately, so we found two different remedies to clean the tank and sensor: the first is to pour dishwasher liquid into a half full tank, let it slosh around then empty the tank. This worked alright, but the stink continued, so we found a special tank cleaner at the RV shop which took care of it.
How do you handle your bathroom waste/black water?
European motorhomes do not have large holding tanks for bathroom waste. Rather, they are outfitted with cassettes, small portable tanks that are pulled out from outside the rig and emptied into a campground “chemical toilet”. The cassettes are anywhere between 15-30 liters and the chemical toilet is a dedicated waste station. In use, many people empty their “night soil” daily, or in ours, when it’s full. We made the choice to only use our toilet for liquid waste and use public WC/toilette/bathrooms for solids. When the cassette is empty, we pour a 1/4 cup of “blue” to sanitize/refresh the tank. We keep a pair of rubber gloves in the cassette garage for emptying days.
How do you keep your rig clean?
With such a small living space it gets dirty and cluttered quicker than you can blink, but it’s also easy and fast to clean because it’s so small. We keep basic cleaning supplies in our shower/pantry. We have only washed Charlie’s exterior a couple of times – many campers in Europe take meticulous care of their rigs and we see people outside in campgrounds cleaning their rigs frequently.
Any special cleaning tips?
We went without using paper towels regularly for 30+ years previous to becoming full-timer RVers. Now, paper towels and Windex are our go-to cleaning agents. A hand broom is super handy but we occasionally have to stop at a self-serve vacuum place to get the carpet clean. We have an outdoor rug, door mat, and indoor door mats which helps keep the floor cleaner, and we go shoeless inside.