Why Are RV Water Hoses White or Blue? – So You Don’t DIE!

Have you seen that most RVers use a white or blue water hose for their drinking water? It is because, worst case, you could die from using an ordinary garden hose!

Potable water hoses come in white and blue, so you can easily separate your potable water hose from a standard garden hose that’s not for drinking water. This way, you can avoid hazardous chemicals, lead poisoning, legionnaires disease, and, worst case, death.

Yes, the worst case of using a standard garden hose for your drinking water could lead to an early death. On the website for Legionella control, we can read about a 63-year-old man who died from legionnaires disease traced to his garden hose and its hosepipe.

At The National Center for Biotechnology Information website, we can also read that cases of legionnaires disease or Pontiac fever have been linked to garden hose use.

Can I Use a Regular Garden Hose For My Motorhome or RV?

It is best not to use a regular garden hose for any drinking water or fresh water tank in your motorhome, RV, or caravan. In the worst case, you could get legionnaires disease and die. Because of this, you should use a hose designed for potable water.

In case you were also wondering about what Legionnaires’ disease is, here is a summary from Wikipedia :

-“Legionnaires’ disease is a form of atypical pneumonia caused by any species of Legionella bacteria,[3] quite often Legionella pneumophila. Signs and symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle pains, and headaches.[2] Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur.[1] This often begins 2–10 days after exposure.[2]


A standard garden hose can be made from PVC or vinyl and contain plasticizers (phthalates) to make the hose softer, more flexible, and more durable; this synthetic chemical can be nasty for you. A study found that phthalates may contribute to some 91,000 to 107,000 premature deaths yearly among people ages 55 to 64 in the United States.

A regular garden hose can be used to clean your black and grey water tank but should never be used for drinking water or your fresh water tank.

On top of the above-mentioned synthetic chemical and others, garden hoses can also contain lead. Since even low levels of lead can cause health problems, you should not use a regular garden hose for your motorhome, RV, caravan fresh water tank, or any drinking water.

Do I Need a Special Hose For My Motorhome, RV, or Caravan Water?

It would be best if you had a water hose made for potable water to refill your motorhome, RV, or caravan fresh water tank. It does not need to be a specially designed hose only for RVs, but it needs to be made for potable water, as do the hosepipe and the connections you use.

The famous water hose brand Gardena that have excellent connections, hoses, and hose pipes even states here in their support site that their products are not certified for potable water, and none of their products should be used for it; so ensure that all of the products you use are made for potable water. And don’t take anything for granted just because it is a famous and great brand.

Any brand or hose certified and approved as a potable water hose or food-grade hose will be good; two famous brands are Camco and teknor apex, which you could check out.

Even if you dont drink the water inside your motorhome, RV, or caravan, I recommend you get one of those hoses instead of a garden hose because they aren’t much more expensive. Also, you probably use the water for cleaning veggies, brushing your teeth, and washing your hands, so even if you don’t drink it, you will consume some of it anyway.

When we are on the subject of drinking the water from the taps of your RV, I started doing it after I cleaned out the fresh water tank and the water system, so it is possible; I have another article covering if it is safe to drink water from the taps in a motorhome, RV, or caravan that I recommend you check out to learn if it is something you could do as well.

Why Use a White or Blue Hose For Motorhome (RV) Fresh Water?

To easily separate your potable RV water hose from a standard garden hose, it is common to have white or blue potable water hoses; they also come in other colors, but the critical distinction is that a standard garden hose should never be white or blue.

If you only have one hose for your motorhome, RV, or caravan, it is essential to use only this hose when dealing with potable water and never contaminate it.

Never use your potable water hose to rinse or clean your black or grey water tanks!

Since we never know what people have done with water hoses at public places or campsites, it is essential to use your hose when refilling water at a campsite even when there is a hose already there and connected since we have no idea what others have done with that hose.

More often than you can imagine, people rinse their cassette toilets with a public hose made for drinking. So, to be safe, start using your designated and certified potable water hose when refilling your fresh water tank.

Even when you get the water in a good and safe way into the fresh water tank, keeping it fresh and potable is also essential. Generally, you should never have water in the tank or your hoses for more than two weeks since bacteria can start growing, making it unsafe. Hence, getting familiar with how you empty and drain your fresh water tank is essential so you can do it after each motorhome, RV, or caravan trip.

Rikard Adamsson

Hello! My name is Rikard Adamsson; I am the creator of Motorhomeking.com. I live full-time in my motorhome, and right now, I am traveling through Europe the right way, without campsites; yes, wild camping and being off the grid works excellent even in a real beauty from 1996. I have done a lot of rebuilding and upgrades. I am happy to share my experiences with everything regarding motorhomes, RVs, or caravans with you here at motorhomeking.com.

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