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Open Roads Forum  >  Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping

 > How to refill fresh water tank

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Geobiker

California

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Posted: 03/31/13 11:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have done very little dry camping and no boondocking. How does one refill their fresh water tank? Do you use buckets of water and funnels? Is there some hand help pump we could use? Etc., etc., etc. Also, our class C's fresh water fill has a screen over it. Any suggestons would be greatly appreciated and don't hesitate to be very specific. Remember, we have basically no experience in this arena. Thanks.

agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 03/31/13 11:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ah you stick a water hose (use a potable water hose not a garden hose) in the fill hole and fill it up until it runs out the vent. I can take awhile depending on how big the tank is. The screen is to keep trash out of the tank.


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2oldman

Wilson Creek WA

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Posted: 03/31/13 11:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Geobiker wrote:

Do you use buckets of water and funnels?
That's the hard way. Get a spare RV water pump and fashion your own hoses.

old guy

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Posted: 03/31/13 12:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I dry camped for years and years, used just about every thing to get water into my TT fw tank. I would use a funnel and hold the six gallon jug to get the water in, this got heavy over the years so I bought a boat bilge pump and bought some blue square jugs. bought some 3/4 inch hose to hook the pump into the jug. made a 12 v wire set up with a on/off switch near the inlet of the fw tank and two clips to connect to 12v link in the access door of the fridge. then I just pumped water into the tank and when it was full or the jug ran out of water I would turn off the pump and repeat with a jug of water. worked like a charm for me, no more lifting and holding a jug of water until it was empty. sure saved my back.

JiminDenver

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Posted: 03/31/13 11:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have six 5 gal drinking water bottles that we use to carry extra water. When I want to transfer the water to the tank I set one on the roof of the truck and use a hose to siphon it in.


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path1

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Posted: 03/31/13 11:40am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

How does one refill their fresh water tank?

Any way you can. Little 12 volt water pumps, pumps that are powered by drill and connected in line on your hose, siphon from creek, buckets.
Bottom line is fill it the best way you can depending on what you have available. Water thief comes in handy sometimeshttp://compare.ebay.com/like/37061280393........ar=lv or http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/ite........4363930&gclid=CKb9pc6_p7YCFQjhQgodiicAMw
As a side note: Asking this question makes me believe you have not disinfected your fresh water tank lately. I would put that top of the list before using it.


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Golden_HVAC

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Posted: 03/31/13 12:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bouhgt a siphon tube at a RV trade show once, it has a built in check valve in one end, you put that under water level, and shake it up and down, it will start siphoning right away, and works pretty quickly. You only need to shake it up and down once to drain each container of water, with skill, you can get to the point you do not lose the water charge in the hose, and can do all the containers at once.

I used the bike rack on the back of my motorhome near the fresh water filler to support the 3-5 gallon tanks I used to refill the 100 gallon fresh water tank. Normally I would not need to add water unless I was staying longer than 2 weeks, then I would fill about 8 or 13 gallons of fresh water at a library in town, or the rangers station, or a campground where there is potable water, and bring it back to the RV.

It helps to have a tamper resistant valve handle, you can find them in the plumbing section at Home Depot. It has 4 sizes square fittings to turn on the hose fauscets without a handle on them that prevents kids from turning on the water and walking away.

The so called "Water Thief" is also handy in Federal campgrounds when you are within reach of a fauscet that has no threads on the end. You can hook up 100 or 200 feet of drinking water garden hoses, string it out to the fauscet, then use this adapter to snuggly fit onto the drinking water outlet, and turn it on to fill the fresh water tank. It can also work where you are not able to thread your garden hose onto the fitting in a sink at the campground bathroom, but will be slower there.

For siphon tubing, you can get some flexible tubing at HOme Depot, and you basically put it into the water container carefully until about 90% of the tubing is full of water, then put your thumb over the end in your hand, draw it out, and put it near the fresh water intake. Because the container is above your fresh water inlet, the weight of the water in the tubing will draw out the water from the container, and it will start flowing as soon as you let loose with your thumb. It will keep flowing until air is let into the tubing, and that will stop the flow. So best to use 3/8" diameter tubing. 1/2" tubing can let in air while the water is rushing out, breaking the siphon.

Buying a second fresh water pump is another way to go. But that is about $60. It makes it much faster, transferring 1-2 gallons per minute, and the container can sit on the ground.

I have never put water from a creek into my fresh water tank, and can not see that ever happening. I normally always used clorinated drinking water from a city supply, or in the case of National Parks, their well water.

To sanitize your water tank, it only tanks a tiny amount of unscened clorox bleach. 1 tablespoon is plenty for a 30 gallon tank. Add it to the fresh water filler hose, then put that into the filler on your RV. Connect the other end to the garden hose fauscet at home (never use the green or black garden hoses) and turn it on. The chlorine will mix with all the other water in the tank. THis will give you over 5 PPM chlorine in the tank, and is plenty to kill any bacterial. Pump this into all the fauscets in the RV, you will smell a little bit of chlorine smell. Let it sit about 1 hour, then pump in new water to each fauscet, let it sit overnight. In the morning, all the bacteria in the RV piping will have been killed, you can drain the fresh water tank, refill it, drain it again, then fill and pump the clean water into the system.

Also take this time to drain the water heater. Sediment in the bottom can cause it to work less efficicently, and damage it. Remove the drain plug and let out the water. You might need to turn on the fresh water pump to get any sediment near the tank to start allowing the water to flow. Open a hot water fauscet to allow air into the lines, then it will drain faster. Use some teflon tape to coat the threads, and don't tighten nearly as much as you felt the old one coming out, it barely takes any pressure to keep it from leaking. I would best describe it as finger tight + about 1/2 turn with a wrench. Overtightened drain plugs cause them to get stuck in the tank forever.

Have fun camping!

Fred.

ReneeG

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Posted: 03/31/13 12:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We carry a 12v pump and a couple of 5 gallon buckets in case we are close enough but too far for a hose to a faucet or water pump. We hand fill the buckets and using the pump, transfer it to the tank. This has given us enough water to get by till we move again.

If you are in a FS CG and close enough to use several hoses connected, you can use a "water thief" if the faucet is not threaded.


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naturist

Lynchburg, VA

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Posted: 03/31/13 12:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I stopped by Lowes and purchased a hose-to-1/2 inch PVC adapter, which I cemented on to a foot-long piece of PVC pipe I had left over from a home plumbing project. I simply screw it on to the end of the potable water hose and shove it into the filler. Don't run the hose full blast, just about 1/3 open and wait for the tank vent to begin spewing.





christopherglenn

Near Yosemite

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Posted: 03/31/13 12:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

are you referring to filling before you go, or bringing water to the trailer in the middle of nowhere? Do you plan on drinking this water, or showering / flushing with it?
5 gallon totes for drinking water, and 3 bucket dish washing (wash, rinse, sanitize) can be used with almost any water. When camping we would barely filter (to get the dirt out) all the water, boil then use sanitizer for the sanitize tub - use the other 2 raw. We found a manual bilge pump at Kmart, put a car wash microfiber glove over the inlet (secure with a ziptie) as a filter and insert in a lake / stream. DO MOT DRINK THE WATER, it is clear - not clean. Boil, iodine/sanitize or use a real camping water filter to make it drinkable.


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