Any mass-marketed lifestyle is full of hucksters hawking gimmicky items that are considered a “necessity.” Anyone who has purchased an electric corkscrew knows what I’m talking about. So, does an RV Water hose fall into the gimmick category?

The RV lifestyle is no stranger to plastic junk that is supposed to make life easier on the road, and all kinds of everyday items that companies slap the letters RV in front of and charge a bit extra for.

It’s with that in mind that many people are leery about the white or blue hoses that are supposed to be safe to drink from. “I always drank from a garden hose when I was a kid, and I turned out fine,” a lot of comments go.

RV water hoses

Is an RV Water Hose a Gimmick?

So are drinking-water-safe hoses important, or even any different from an old-fashioned green garden hose?

It turns out they are. A 2016 study found that over half of common garden hoses had higher than safe levels of lead, along with other contaminants such as bromine and phthalates. Some with incredibly high levels.

Garden hoses are often made from recycled materials and have little to no regulations around them. The plasticizers used to make them are often banned in children’s toys and food-safe plastic products.

The health and safety certification organization NSF tests and certifies potable (or drinking water-safe) hoses for public use. These hoses are usually sold in big box stores and at RV dealers in white or blue colors so that they aren’t confused with common garden hoses.

RV water hoses

Why You Should Stick With a White or Blue RV Water Hose

You can get green garden hoses that are certified safe, but there’s another benefit to the color difference. You should have a second hose, that is not white or blue, that you can use to rinse out your dump hose and your tanks.

Keeping your drinking hose and your cleaning hose in separate bins keeps cross-contamination from happening. And never use the hose at the dump station to fill your fresh water tank. Often people run those all the way through their dump hose to clean it out.

Bottom Line on the RV Water Hose Debate

Water doesn’t stay in your hose for very long, so contamination from lead and other chemicals is probably limited. That said, there isn’t any price difference between drinking-safe hoses and those that aren’t tested. Purchasing an inexpensive RV water hose offers peace of mind. Plus, your water will taste a lot better.