Tips & Tricks to Operating Ember’s Water SystemsJun 30, 2022
One of the most comfortable and convenient parts of owning an Ember Overland Series travel trailer is being able to camp anywhere you want with hot and cold water at your beck and call. Whether you need to wash dishes, rinse off a surfboard, or take a hot shower after a long hike, your Ember’s water systems have got you covered.
The Ember Overland Series includes industry-leading standard equipment that makes our water systems easier to use, less exposed to the elements, and better equipped for dry camping. The widely respected Nautilus System makes filling and dumping your tanks easy, and because it is located inside a storage compartment, it protects the RV’s valves and intakes from the elements. The Ember Overland Series also features large tank sizes (55 gallons fresh, 35 gallons black, 35 gallons gray) that allow you to boondock longer before having to break camp to find more water or find a dump station.
With a little basic education, these water systems are easy to master. Here is an overview that will help you start using them with confidence and ease.
Camping With City Water Hookups
If you are camping with hookups, using your Ember’s water systems is simple and intuitive. Simply make sure that all the faucets inside the coach are shut off and connect a drinking water safe hose (specifically designed for RVs) into the water inlet that is part of the Nautilus System. The Nautilus is located on the driver’s side of your RV in the pass-through storage compartment near the front of the coach. This intake (like all the intakes on the Nautilus) is clearly marked. Look for the white intake with the words “city water connection” written above it. We also recommend using an RV water pressure regulator to ensure that your Ember’s plumbing is protected if the water pressure at the campground is unusually high. These are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased from your dealer or any store that sells RV parts.
Using Your Blank Tank Flush
When you are camping with a sewer hookup at your site, you should also take advantage of your Ember’s black tank flush at the end of your trip. It is easily identified within the Nautilus control panel because it is the only intake that is black and is labeled “TANK FLUSH.” We strongly recommend getting a separate hose for use with your black tank flush, preferably one that is a different color than your fresh water drinking hose. When you connect this separate hose to the intake for the black tank flush, you must make sure that your sewer hose is also connected to your RV and to the sewer hookup at the campground’s dump station. You must also ensure that your black tank valve has been opened before turning on the water at the dump station and allowing it to flush out your tank. The water heading into your black tank must be able to exit the tank and drain out into the sewer hookup.
Using the black tank flush feature helps keep your black tank functioning properly and helps keep toilet paper and waste from getting stuck on the sensors inside of the tank. If toilet paper and waste do get stuck on the sensors, the black tank monitor on your Emberlink™ Smart RV Control System may give an incorrect reading and show that your blank tank is full or partially full even after it has been emptied.
Using Your Freshwater Tank When Camping Without Water Hookups
Whether you are dry camping at a state park without hookups, overnighting at a Harvest Hosts location, or camping somewhere far off-grid, you will need to utilize Ember’s fresh water tank to deliver water to your sinks, shower, and outdoor spray ports, and even to flush your toilet. Your freshwater tank can easily be filled by connecting a hose into the city water connection on your Nautilus’ control panel. The green and blue levers will need to be turned to the “tank fill” position that is illustrated on the sticker directly below them. You will know when your tank is full when water begins to pour out of the freshwater tank overflow hose that is located on the passenger side of your RV near your stairs. Don’t be alarmed if this happens. It simply means that your tank is full. Water may also spill out of a full fresh water tank via the overflow hose while you are driving, especially if you are driving on an inclined road. Again, don’t be alarmed when this happens. Lastly, make sure to turn the green and blue levers to the “Dry Camp” position after filling your tanks.
As we mentioned earlier, your Ember is equipped with a 55-gallon freshwater tank – one of the largest available in the small travel trailer space! This allows you to bring enough water for an extended camping trip without hookups. If you are only boondocking for a night or two, you may not want to fill your entire freshwater tank because it is unlikely you will use 55 gallons of water. Please keep in mind that when you add water to your freshwater tank you are using up part of your RV’s cargo carrying capacity (CCC). When packing your RV for a trip and filling your tanks with water, please make sure not to exceed your RV’s Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).
If you plan on using your freshwater tank as a source of drinking water, we also recommend purchasing a water filter from your dealer or from any reliable retailer that sells RV parts and accessories. Your freshwater tank should also be sanitized at the beginning of each camping season, and/or after every six months of use.
The Convenience of Using Your Tanks While Traveling
Most RV owners keep a limited amount of water in their freshwater tanks even when they are traveling to and from campgrounds that have water hookups. They do this so they can use their bathrooms and kitchens when they pull over at a rest stop or a travel plaza. One of the great benefits of RV ownership is being able to avoid crowded and messy public restrooms and use your RV’s private facilities instead. If you plan on using your RV’s water systems for these types of conveniences it is not necessary to fill your entire freshwater tank up. Filling it up to ¼ full should be more than adequate for most driving situations.
Draining Your Fresh Water Tank After Use
When you return from a trip (and you are not planning on using your RV for an extended period of time), it is smart to drain the water from your freshwater tank. The drain pull valve that empties your freshwater tank is clearly marked and easy to reach on the Ember Overland Series. Look beneath your RV on the driver’s side and you will find the valve. Keeping the tank empty when not in use will help keep the water in the tank from becoming contaminated.
The water systems in your Ember Overland Series have been intentionally designed to be easy to use and to allow you to camp for long periods of time without hookups. They have also been designed to provide years of use if basic care and maintenance occur.
The single most important part of maintaining the health and functionality of your Ember’s water system is to winterize it correctly before temperatures reach freezing levels. Please consult your dealer for specific instructions about winterizing your Ember Overland Series. Or, if you are not comfortable winterizing the unit yourself, please consider engaging them to do the job for you.