Water Issues

Water Issues in Mexico for You and Your RV

Water – to drink or not to drink


Water is always a consideration in Mexico and you must always play on the side of caution. Even when the locals drink water straight from the tap, you as a foreigner must avoid it. It is not worth the agony of Montezuma’s revenge … or worse.

 Here are the top five rules about water in Mexico.

  1. Don’t drink water that comes out of a tap. Always drink water that has been sterilized. Don’t trust hotel, restaurant or well water. Ensure mineral water or agua mineral, agua con gas has secure seals for tops and bottle caps. Be safe and drink safely.
  2. Don’t brush your teeth with tap water.
  3. Don’t drink beverages if the ice doesn’t have a hole. This may be an urban myth that water without the infamous shape of an ice donut is not sterilized but we always play it safe.
  4. Wash/rinse fruit and vegetables with sterilized water or ensure it is peeled.
  5. Treat any water you use to wash dishes or cooking utensils with salt or sterilized water.

Drinking Water in Your RV

In many ways it is safer to drink water in your RV than at a bar or restaurant. After all you know if the ice has been made with purified water. You know what you have used to wash the dishes.

We buy a big blue water container – 19 liters (approx 5 gallons) that you can exchange or preferably refill in nearly every mini and supermarket. We prefer to refill for obvious reasons. We purchased a hand pump devise ($6) and the blue  container with pump/water pump sits on our floor. We use this water for drinking water.

We have a small liter (quart) of sterilized water in the bathroom for brushing teeth etc. When the fridge isn’t packed to the brim, we have a liter container of cold water in the fridge for individual glasses of H2O.

Water in Our Tanks

We bleach the water in our holding tanks and use it for washing dishes and showering etc. 1 teaspoon of bleach per 40 Liters. (approx 10 gallons) Be sure to add the bleach through your supply hose. Many people use this water to drink but we like to play it very safe and drink only sterilized bottled water. We also use a water filter to remove particulate and ensure we don’t get chunks of something in our system.

The shower smells a bit like bleach but it is safe for washing and clean-up applications.

When we return home we really completely drain the entire system including the hot water tank.  We then bleach the intake hose and pour the bleach water mixture into the tanks. We then take the rig for a bumpy ride and flush, fill, flush, fill and flush.

Ken McIntyre from Pomeroy Washington: Under water, another suggestion.  This would be for people that don’t want to use super-chlorination in their RV. 

We purchased a super filter from Camping World.  I can’t remember the name but it is guaranteed to filter out just about everything except salt.  It’s similar to the filters backpackers use but can be hooked to the cold water line of your kitchen sink.  We used that in Mexico and had no problems. 

Later in our Mexico trip we had gone mostly to the bottled water but I still used the filter occasionally for cooking, brushing teeth, etc.  Back here in the US, I use it to filter chorine and any nasty’s I might pick up accidentally in a load of water.


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