As boondocking RVers, we needed to find a way to procure potable drinking water without having to pack up our fifth wheel to find a clean potable water source. After a little research, we found the AquaTank water bladder. This is a complete game changer allowing us to stay off grid longer without having to relocate our RV.
When we are at a campground or RV park, getting water into our fifth wheel or motorhome is as simple as attaching our potable water hose from our RV to the water spigot. And, we don’t really think about how much water we use.
However, when we’re boondocking off the grid, managing our water usage requires a bit of moderation.
In our article How to Conserve Water While Boondocking in Your RV, we go into detail of how we manage our water usage while camping off the grid. We shared some boondocking tips on how to minimize water waste without sacrificing cleanliness, thirst, and flushing our toilet.
But, fear of losing our primo boondocking spot, we don’t want to pack up all of our camping gear and take our RV to a water fill station. What’s a girl (or guy) ta do?
While we were in Quartzsite, Arizona a few years ago, we were watching another RVer replenish his water tank with what looked like a green jiggly pillow. It was a huge water bladder.
We watched him connect a hose to his water bladder leading it to a water pump that led to the water inlet fitting on his coach. And just like that, he replenished his RV water tank with 60 gallons of water.
This water bladder made us raise our eyebrows. As we walked away, Dan muttered under his breath, ‘I gotta git me one of those!’.
Not long after, Dan ordered the 60 gallon AquaTank Water Bladder from Amazon. It arrived at a mail center only a couple days after ordering.
We were super eager to try it out. First, we were quite surprised at how compact this cool thing stores when not being used. We also were amazed at how much this bladder expanded without busting the seams or fittings.
About the AquaTank II Water Bladder
The AquaTank water bladder is made with an odorless food-grade liner that wont give your water strange taste or smell like PVC, plastic tanks or bladders. It has a puncture-resistant outer shell. And, when empty, it folds and weighs less than 5 pounds.
There four different sizes depending on which one suits your RV’s water tank capacity. The 60 gallon AquaTank water bladder was perfect for our fifth wheel. It fit perfectly between our fifth wheel hitch and the truck tailgate when closed.
When filled, the Aqua Tank water bladder measurements are:
- 15 Gallon – 24″ x 36″ x 8″ = 125 pounds full
- 30 Gallon – 36” x 48” x 14” = 250 pounds full
- 60 Gallon – 36” x 48” x 16” = 500 pounds full
- 150 Gallon – 48” x 72” x 12” = 1251 pounds full
- 300 Gallon – 54” x 144” x 12” = 2502 pounds full
The AquaTank water bladder is ideal for water storage for emergencies, boondocking or where water is not readily available.
Now, there are other components you’ll need to extract the water from the water bladder into your RV’s water tank.
Electric Water Pump
Dan bought a 1/10 HP Non-Submersible Transfer Pump. The pump came with a 3’ green hose.
If your RV doesn’t have ample power through its’ energy management system to power the pump, you’ll need your onboard generator or portable generator. It will power the electric water pump to suction the water from the bladder to the RV.
Two (2) 10’ Potable Water Hoses
Your marine grade potable water hoses are ONLY to be used for your potable drinking water.
One will connect from bottom valve of the bladder to one side of the electric water transfer pump. The other water hose will connect from the other side of the electric water transfer pump to the RV’s water intake receptacle.
Two (2) Hose Connectors
The water bladder has connections ready to hook up. You will only need one male and one female ¾” standard water hose connectors.
Small Spray Bottle of Bleach
We always spray bleach on every spigot handle, opening and hose threads thoroughly. This sterilizes and kills contamination.
Water replenishment procedure
The AquaTank water bladder 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 fifth wheel’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.
After which, he then connected the other hose from the electric pump to our RV water receptacle.
Lastly, he switched our RV fifth wheel’s Anderson Kantleak Valve from Boondocking to Fill. Previously, Dan labeled our valves for our own particulars.
For intents and purposes, we used the 3’ green hose that came with the electric water pump for blog demonstration only to show the connection.
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.
Where do we get our water?
The first place we look to get clean potable water is if there are campgrounds or RV parks in the area. If we’re in an area of people we know who own a house, 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. If it doesn’t look right, we don’t fill there.
NEVER use water at a dump station unless it is designated and/or labeled POTABLE WATER!
That’s a wrap!
So wrapping up, to make this work for your towable RV or motorhome, you may need the following supplies to enable you to do the same:
This shows you another creative way to lengthen your time off the grid without having to relocate your whole RV and losing your prime boondocking site! I’m sure there are other methods of replenishing your RV water tanks. But, this method is what worked for us.
For more Boondocking How-To’s:
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