An RV water hose may seem like a pretty simple thing: it’s just the tube connecting you to the city water hookup, ensuring fresh water comes flowing out of your taps, shower head, and toilet.
And in many ways, an RV water hose is pretty simple. But there are also a few things to know about these important pieces of equipment before you set out on your first camping trip.
For example, an RV water hose is different from a standard garden hose, and you may also need a water pressure regulator to ensure the city water hookup isn’t too strong for your RV’s sensitive systems.
In this post, we’re going to walk you through everything you never knew you needed to know about RV hoses — so let’s get started!
What is the Best RV Water Hose?
On any RVing or camping checklist, you will find a water hose. After all, we need water to survive, so it’s a pretty important piece of equipment! If you have visited your local RV supply store then you know there are many types of water hoses for your RV. Just to name a few, there are:
• RV drinking water hoses
• RV heated water hoses
• RV potable water hoses
• RV water hoses with freeze protection
• No kink, no twist, no tangle camper water hoses
We’re going to dive into these different types of RV water hoses in more depth in the next section, because the “best” water hose will vary for each RVer depending on their needs (or even just their current destination).
But there’s one rule of thumb we want to ensure you have locked down before you even think about buying an RV water hose, and that’s this: no, your normal green garden hose will not cut it!
Garden hoses are not rated for potable water in the same way RV drinking water hoses are, and they can leech chemicals into your water supply that taste and smell bad — or which can even be toxic!
So when you’re in the market for a water hose for your RV, make sure that first and foremost you find one that’s specifically made for drinking, or potable, water.
Different Types of RV Water Hoses
Let’s take a more detailed look at the different kinds of RV hoses.
RV Potable Water Hose
We have already mentioned potable and drinking water hoses as the terms are interchangeable. Often, these hoses are bright white or blue to distinguish them from typical green garden hoses.
Heated RV Water Hose
If you’ll be traveling somewhere where the temperatures dip below freezing, a heated water hose is essential to ensure your water source doesn’t freeze up. If you keep using a regular hose at sub-freezing temperatures, the hose is apt to split when the water inside it freezes, leading to a mess that’s no fun to clean up in chilly temperatures — not to mention a lack of water coming out of your taps!
Heated RV water hoses are well-insulated and often come with electric elements to physically heat the hose itself and keep the water inside from freezing. They are also rated for drinking water, and thus are safe to use for RVers. The heated hose usually has a heat strip along the side of the hose. That strip is plugged into a standard 110 volt electrical connection to heat it up. The hose stays above freezing thus, so the water in the hose stays above freezing and flows freely into your RV. These are sometimes also called “no-freeze water hoses.”
Benefits & Features of RV Water Hoses
Of these various types of RV hoses, many also advertise additional perks, such as “no-kink,” “no-twist,” or “no-tangle.” The hoses also come in various lengths, but the most common are 6-, 12-, 25- and 50-foot lengths. If you have camped much at all you know the distance from the campground water source to your RV can greatly vary. Having different hoses with different lengths can come in handy. Ideally, you want just enough length to get you connected without putting a strain on the hose. You also do not want a curled up hose, they tend to kink up and restrict water flow (even when they’re advertised as “no-kink” hoses. If you have more hose than you need, you should stretch it out to create a smooth water flow inside.
That said, it might not make sense to carry multiple hoses for your RV, in which case, the best drinking water hose for an RV is the one that’s long enough to cover all your bases without being unwieldy.
RV Water Hose Pricing
RV water hose pricing does depend on the brand and type you get, and heated RV water hoses are, perhaps not surprisingly, considerably pricier than those that don’t come with insulation and heating elements. A heated RV water hose might set you back about $100, whereas an uninsulated (but potable-water-safe) RV drinking hose might cost more on the order of $10-$30.
What to Look For When Buying an RV Water Hose
When shopping for your RV water hose, be sure to look for one that specifically states it’s built for drinking water safety. After that, you’ll want to buy your hose based on whether or not you need a heated hose for northerly travels, and then you can think about extra additions like kink-free or tangle-free hoses. Some hoses also come with built-in storage devices, like a hose reel, and hose bags are also available to keep your coiled-up hose stored neatly and securely.
Another accessory you might want to think about adding to your RV water setup is a water pressure regulator, which can help ensure the city water connection isn’t too strong for your RV’s sensitive system. Water pressure regulators aren’t very expensive, with prices starting at less than $10… and it’s certainly a whole lot less expensive than dealing with a plumbing system fiasco!
Psst: Your RV water hose and its various accompaniments are only one of the many RV parts and accessories that can make or break your camping trip! Click here to browse our RV parts and accessories blog category, which will get you up to speed on everything from RV covers to waterless toilets.
RV Water Hose: FAQs
Let’s finish out this article about RV water hoses by answering some of your most frequently asked questions about them!
Can I use a garden hose for my RV?
Remember our first rule of thumb above: NO! Your general green garden hose is not safe to drink from. They release heavy metals and other toxic substances into the water that can make us humans sick.
Can I use a drinking hose as a garden hose?
Now, in the other direction, exchanging your garden hose for a drinking hose would work just fine… but a drinking hose is generally going to be more expensive than a garden hose, so it would be a waste if you didn’t need one anyway.
Also, keep in mind that not all garden hose water attachments offer potable water. Even if the hose itself is drinking safe, if the water isn’t, you could be in for trouble!
What is the water pressure (PSI) rating for an RV water hose?
While the water pressure rating for RV water hoses isn’t generally advertised, they’re generally rated for typical home water pressure — about 40 to 70 PSI. However, it’s still a good idea to invest in a water pressure regulator as mentioned above.
What are RV water hoses made out of?
Potable water hoses are made of various food-safe ingredients, such as UV-stabilized polyether-based polyurethane.
Is the water hose lead- or BPA-free?
Potable water hoses must be lead-free to be safe; double-check the label to ensure yours is BPA free (though many on the modern market are).
Happy camping — and stay hydrated out there!
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