Bad water taste in Kimberley Camper

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 01, 2004 at 21:17
ThreadID: 10190 Views:3836 Replies:5 FollowUps:0
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Has anyone experienced this problem. Ours is early 2003 model with a strong oily/metalic taste to the water which is undrinkable. The water drained from the water tank is fine, and once freshly flushed through the tubing also fine, however when water sits in the tubing which runs from the tank to the two taps it tastes bad. There is a non return valve at the tank outlet. Numerous flushes with vanilla etc have had no effect. The longer the water sits in the pipes the worse it gets and is noticable after even a few hours of sitting. The tubing has been replaced by "Victorian Camper Trailers" with a different type of tubing and still no change. Kimberley/VTC are at a loss to explain it. The front manual tap has been removed and the water let sit in the pipes and it still tastes bad. Our next option is to disconnect the tubing from the electric pump and see if that is the cause. Any suggestions?
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Reply By: Member - Ken - Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 00:53

Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 00:53
Evening Big Red1.

I'll give you an overview of an experience I have had with a water tank and water that tasted like 'cats p...' and you can work out a 'plan' for yourself.

Approx. 3 years ago I had a 3mm sugical stainless steel water tank manufactured by Brown-Davis of Bayswater, Victoria and fitted under my troopy where the factory fitted Aux fuel tank normally goes.

Later, Shiralee coverted the troopy to a pop-up camper with an interior kitchen etc setup.

This has a sink with an electric pump pressurised water delivery system. You know the type, switches off when the tap is turned off and pressure builds up.

Anyway, this thing developed the worst taste (undrinkable) about 5-6 days after its been flushed and refilled with 200litres. (Yep! thats right 200 litres).

I tried all sorts of things from painting all relevant hoses black to tipping in enough pool chlorine to keep a 33,000litre pool clear for a month. To no avail.

The manufacturer assured me it wasn't the tank because of the material it was made out of.

I finally traced it to the piece of plastic hose between the pump and the tap. When I extracted it out of the kitchen setup ( prick of a job and thats why it was the last thing to check) the smell emminating from it was horrific.

This piece of hose was clear plastic marked DUNLOP Food Qulaity.

Whilst researching this problem I had had a conversation with a gentleman way out in the bush and he showed me how he had replaced all the hoses on his water tank and delivery sysem with good old black polythene garden irrigation hose.

He told me that he had worked in caravan parks in WA where this was what they used to plumb water into onsite caravans and there hadn't been any complaints about it. At the time I thought he had been in the bush too long.

Guess what? My troopy is now plumbed exclusively with half inch black garden irrigation poly tube with the appropriate elbows etc and plastic clamps and there is NO taste or smell in the water.

Other than time and a few skinned knuckles it cost about $5.00 all up and you don't have to paint anything black.

Also I carry spare hose, elbows, joiners and joint clamps to make a repair if necessary.

Its funny how the simple things work the best.


Ken Robinson
AnswerID: 45130

Reply By: Member - Anne - Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 09:44

Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 09:44
We have a Challenge campertrailer, and when we first took it away our water tasted absolutely awful, despite flushing and using vinegar and bicarb etc. Someone on the road suggested putting a bottle of lemon essence in the tank and leaving it for 24 hours. Apart from the fact that no one in the bush had lemon essence, we bought some when we reached civilisation. IT WORKED !! We keep a bottle in the kit now, just in case, but have not had to use it again so far. All our tubing and the tank itself are food grade plastic. Just a thought though, is whether any of the tubing is very long? The longer it is, the more possibility there is that light could get to it, and the algae grow. The black irrigation pipe idea might be a good one too. Good luck.
AnswerID: 45144

Reply By: Member -Bob & Lex (Sydney) - Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 17:47

Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 17:47
Had the same problem with our KK , same model used the lemon juice & no problem since, but it was a bugger getting the lemon flesh flushed out so use the essence.Regards Bob
Where to next
AnswerID: 45193

Reply By: Member - Ken - Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 20:15

Monday, Feb 02, 2004 at 20:15
Where were you people when I needed you.

Nah! just beating myself with the 'should've been there yesterday' stick.

As I said I haven't had a problem since removing the so called 'food grade' tube between the pump and the tap on my vehicle and replacing it with good old black plastic poly.

However the lemon essence is very quick & easy fix if it works for you.

Just has me wondering though if the problem is still there, but now disguised by the lemon essence.

Whatever, give it a go as it is dead easy, cheap and there are no skinned knuckles.

Oooooooooooooooooh! I hate those skinned knuckles.

Ken Robinson
AnswerID: 45211

Reply By: BigRed1 - Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 21:07

Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004 at 21:07
Thanks for your help. The piping is completely covered with a second layer of black plastic tubing except for the bit running to the electric pump which is open to the light. We will try the lemon juice option first and if that doesn't work, try replacing the clear stuff to the pump with black. Will let you know what happens.
AnswerID: 45342

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