How to Refill a Fresh Water Tank During Camping in 3 Ways

man refilling a fresh water tank during camping

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When you’re out camping in your RV and you’re not connected to a water supply apart from the fresh water tank, you need to make plans for extra water just in case the RV’s water tank gets emptied.

To do this, you need to pack a couple of mobile water containers that you can use to fetch water elsewhere and bring it to your RV. The water fetched in these mobile containers can then be used to refill the RV’s fresh water tank.

It’s important to know the right kind of water containers to purchase. You also need to know where you can source for clean water when you’re out camping and how to successfully refill your fresh water tank during camping with water.

If you’re one of the people who could be in a situation without water supply, electricity, or sewers are those who are dry camping, keep reading to know more.

How to Refill an RV Fresh Water Tank

Apart from learning how to refill a fresh water tank during camping, you also need to learn how to manage your water so that it doesn’t finish fast.

This article will guide you through the needed methods of saving water and refilling your tank.

1. Refilling from a Faucet

One way of refilling the fresh water tank is by connecting it to a water faucet.

  • If you manage to locate a water faucet of some sort around where you’re camping, you can run a hose from the faucet to the RV’s tank if you’re trying pull through camping and the distance between them isn’t that big. A faucet makes it easy to fill up the tank within the shortest time possible.
  • There are two major ways available. The first is through a single valve connection, and the other is through separate connections individually designated for faucet refills and refilling through water containers.
  • The first step in refilling from a faucet is getting the right hose. You should check specifically for “drinking water hose.” They are manufactured for transferring clean drinkable water. They don’t have any effects whatsoever on how the water transferred tastes.
  • Next, you have to connect one end – usually colored orange – to the water source you located. Some campsites have water supply and you can put the hose on the taps of the supply. Ensure that the hose is well fitted to the tap so that you don’t end up wasting water.
  • Fit the other end properly into the “portable water only” connection on the RV. Adequately set the valve so that the water can run smoothly to refill the tank.
  • There’s a water pressure regulator (colored orange) on one end of the hose that helps you figure out if the pressure from the water source is okay or too high. High water pressure from the source can damage the water pipes in your RV. Always check the pressure regulator to know if the supply pressure is okay.
  • As you gently turn on the supply tap, you would need to ensure that the filling of the tank is monitored so as to avoid water getting wasted. If you had someone else stationed in the RV to check as the water fills the tank, it would be great.
  • Overflow valves are placed inside RVs to prevent the tank from overfilling and wasting water. It would be great if your RV had one.
  • You can close the tap and get rid of the hose after the fresh water tank has been completely filled.
  • Close the lid of the water tank properly so that dirt doesn’t get into the freshwater.
  • When you’re refilling from city water, you don’t need to turn on the water pump. You only do this when you’re making use of your fresh water tank.

2. Refilling with a Pump

When you’re boondocking for a prolonged period, you will need to make use of an alternative method like a water pump because you won’t be connected to city water or campsite water supply.

  • You will need some extra water containers that you can externally connect to your RV. Fill up the containers with fresh water that will serve as refill when the RV’s tank gets emptied. This will ensure that you can boondock for a more extended time.
  • Link the external containers to the RV’s fresh water tank by means of a drinking hose.
  • Set up a water pump – rated at about 12V- by connecting it to your van’s battery. You would need alligator clips to implement that.
  • Power up the water pump and start refilling the fresh water tank using the same steps as when you’re refilling from a faucet.

3. Refilling with the Help of Gravity

This is usually the method you apply in refilling the RV’s water tank when there’s no water pump or supply faucet. You simply need a mobile water container filled with fresh water. Remember to fill up some mobile water containers when you’re setting out in your RV.

  • Get some fresh water filled into the mobile/ portable water container.
  • Gently climb up to a level where you can easily tilt the mouth of the mobile container over the RV’s tank-opening and refill the tank. You could climb up on a ladder.
  • Proceed to pour out the mobile container’s content into the fresh water tank.
  • You might need to use the fresh water hose if you’re having trouble fitting the jug’s mouth into the tank’s opening.
  • If you’re going to be using a drinking hose, you will also need a funnel to link the jug to the hose.
  • Since you’re using gravity, you will need to place the container’s mouth above the tank’s opening.

This gravity-based technique is pretty simple and straightforward when compared to the other methods. The downside to this method is that the water is exposed to more dirt.

No matter how you choose to fill the RV’s tank, you will need to activate the water pump. Doing this when the tank is filled to some extent will ensure that the hot water tank gets its share of water.

How Many Gallons of Water Does an RV Hold?

If you’re wondering how much water your RV’s tank can hold, you need to be aware of various RV sizes and their associated tank sizes.

The smaller RVs have smaller water capacities. For instance, the Class B RVs have about 18 to 40 water-gallon capacity. Larger RV sizes can take bigger gallon capacities.

Class C RVs can hold up to 38 gallons of water. What really matters is learning how to maintain your water usage so that you don’t quickly finish your water supplies.

Final Thoughts

After all the guidelines given on how to refill fresh water tanks during camping, you should be able to successfully refill your RV’s water tank by yourself.

You should always be conscious of the fact that it’s not enough for you to just focus on refilling. You also need to focus on managing your fresh water supplies, especially if you’re camping on your period and you need water to clean yourself. If you’re going to be dry camping, there’s a huge chance that you won’t be close to any city water supply or campsite water supply.

You will need to make use of your external water containers or mobile water gallons properly to ensure that you have a prolonged supply of freshwater for your use.

Follow our laid out guidelines and refilling your water tank will be a walk in the park.

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My name is Chester and I'm on a mission to help families, single people, and just about everyone to have the best outdoor experience when exploring the exciting world of camping. I believe that life becomes more meaningful when you spend time outdoors and commune with nature. My mission is to educate you about the benefits of spending time in the great outdoors and inspire more people to embrace an active life outside their homes.


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