As RVers, we are on a continuous quest to make everything easier, less stressful and more fun for when we boondock. The most important supply we need to have onboard Liberty is water. Hence, we needed to find a way to procure potable drinking water but also get it into our water tank without packing up everything and hitching up to drive to a water source.
However, it’s not as simple as just buying gallons of water and dumping it into our tank. Our system is a bit more complex.
Typically, when we are at a campground or RV park, we simply attach our white potable water hose that connects our RV to the spigot. Just like living in a house, we don’t really think about how much water we use when on hookups. However, when we boondock off the grid and not connected to a water source, this gets a little more complicated and complex.
Unlike an S&B (sticks and bricks house), our RV has holding tanks; one of which is our water tank, which holds approximately 100 gallons of fresh potable water. That water facilitates our personal consumption, cooking, dishwashing, body washing, teeth brushing, and poop flushing.
During our first Quartzsite experience a year ago, Dan was intrigued by watching a fellow RVer replenish his water tank with his cool expandable ‘bladder’. The other RVer connected his water bladder to his coach and voila! His coach’s water supply sustained them for a few more days. This made us raise our eyebrows and wink at each other like we knew what each was thinking. As we walked away, Dan muttered under his breath, ‘I gotta git me one of those!’.
Almost a year later, after reading several recommendations and reviews, he ordered the 60 gallon Aquatank II Water Bladder from Amazon. It arrived at a mail center only a couple days after ordering.
Before I go on with how it works, here’s our own recommended Water Replenishment Supply Kit:
There several sizes; get one that suits your coach/RV water tank size. We bought the 60 gallon on Amazon. It’s ideal for water storage for emergencies or boondocking where water is not readily available. It’s made with an odorless food-grade liner that wont give your water strange taste or smell like PVC or plastic tanks or bladders and puncture-resistant outer shell. Amazingly, when empty and stored, it weighs less than 5 pounds and is compact folded.
30 Gallon – 36” x 48” x 14” – 250 pounds
60 Gallon – 36” x 48” x 16” – 500 pounds
150 Gallon – 48” x 72” x 12” – 1251 pounds
300 Gallon – 54” x 144” x 12” – 2502 pounds
Electric Water Pump
Dan bought our Drummond 1/10 HP Non-Submersible Transfer Pump at Harbor Freight. The pump came with a 3’ green hose.
This powers our Electric Water Pump to suction the water from the bladder to the RV. We use our Wen 56200i 2000 watt generators. When we do our water replenishment in this evolution, we only need to run one.
Two (2) 10’ Potable Water Hoses
These hoses will be used ONLY for your water. One will connect from bottom valve of the bladder to one side of the Electric Water Pump. The other will connect from the other side of the Electric Water Pump to the RV’s water intake receptacle.
In doing this blog demonstration, we used the 3’ green hose that came with the electric water pump.
Two (2) Hose Connectors
The bladder has connections ready to hook up. You will only need one male and one female ¾” standard water hose connection.
Small Spray Bottle of Bleach
We always spray bleach on every spigot opening and hose threads thoroughly. This sterilizes and kills whatever might be lurking before they go into our water tank or bladder.
Aquatank II water replenishment…
Once we received shipment, we were eager to try it out. First, we were quite surprised at how compact this cool thing stores when not being used. To boot, we were amazed at how much this bladder expanded without busting the seams.
The Aquatank II is super easy to use. Just fill it with water using your standard hose connection. Simply release the water by opening the outlet side on the outlet end. Its guaranteed for up to one year.
Now, before I go on, using this water replenishment system requires us to have room in the bed of our truck for transport (aft of the 5th wheel hitch); making sure there’s a smooth surface under where the bladder will be filled and transport.
We also require a little space between our coach and whatever would be parked next to us (another RV, bush, tree, obstacle) because we need to get our truck near the coach as when full, the bladder is too heavy to carry.
After Dan returned from filling the bladder, he parked the our truck next to our Liberty’s utility side. He simply attached one of the potable water hoses to the bladder and connected the other end to the electric water pump. He then connected the other hose from the electric pump to our RV water receptacle.
Lastly, he switched our 5th wheel’s Anderson Valve from Boondocking to Fill. Adding in to note, Dan labeled our Anderson Valves for our own measure.
Once everything was hooked up and leak tested, it took approximately 20 minutes to completely empty our 60 gallon bladder into our RV’s water tank.
After Dan completed our water replenishment, he left about a quart of water in the bladder and added about a tablespoon of bleach to slosh around inside to prevent mold, mildew and other uninvited things that might want to grow. He dumped it out and folded the bladder up to about the size of a small bible.
It was THAT easy peasy!
Where do we get our water?
Dan or I will research local campgrounds, RV parks, National or State Parks. If we’re in an area of people we know who own a S&B, we kindly ask them if we can fill our bladder. Sometimes, we will ask a business who may have a water spigot and either offer them a couple bucks or support their business with a purchase.
Reiterating, anytime we get water, we sanitize all spigots and water sources with the spray bleach. We are also always mindful of where our water source comes from. We don’t just hook up to any spigot we see.
NEVER use water at a dump station
unless it is designated and/or labeled
In closing, this blog is to show you ways to make your boondocking and camping experience longer without having to relocate your whole RV leaving more time for the fun stuff! We realize there are other methods of replenishing RV water tanks. This is what worked for us.