AquaTank Water Bladder for RV Boondocking & Camping

After years of boondocking off grid in our RV, we’ve found that the AquaTank water bladder is the best way to fetch water without moving our camper! It allows us to extend our time out in the backcountry without packing everything up to head to the water fill station. It’s also a great water storage option while camping or even at home!

In fact, the AquaTank water bladder is a total game changer for off grid camping! Let’s see how we use a water bladder as what we think of the AquaTank water bladder over other brands.

AquaTank Water Bladder for RV Boondocking and Camping - Always On Liberty

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AquaTank Water Bladder 

Water Storage for Boondocking, Camping & Off Grid Living

Always On Liberty Fifth Wheel Boondocking in the Desert
Photo by Always On Liberty©

To be honest, we don’t really think about how much water we use while hooked up to campground utilities.

However, when we’re boondocking off the grid, that’s a totally different scenario. We have to manage our water usage more closely; minimizing water waste without sacrificing cleanliness, thirst, and flushing our toilet. 

While we still need water to live, we fear losing our primo boondocking spot every time we have to take our RV to fill our water tank. And let’s be real. It’s a total pain to pack up all of our camping gear to vacate our site.

So, what’s a girl (or guy) ta do?

Ironically, while we were boondocking in Quartzsite, Arizona a few years ago, we took notice of another RVer replenishing his water tank with what looked like a big, green, jiggly pillow that was full of water setting in the back of his pickup truck.

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. That big, green, jiggly pillow shrunk down flat and that was that.

So, once he finished, we asked him what that big, green, jiggly pillow was. And just like that, Dan muttered under his breath, ‘I gotta git me one of those!’.

Long story short, it’s an AquaTank water bladder made for situations just like this; boondocking and camping. They are also instrumental in storing water for emergencies or preparing for natural disasters.

Once we ordered it, we couldn’t wait for it to arrive to try it out.

Why we chose the AquaTank Water Bladder for our RV

AquaTank Water Bladder Filled with Water at Full Capacity - Always On Liberty

First, it’s quite surprising how cool this thing compacts when not being used. Also, it’s kind of amazing how much the AquaTank water bladder expands without busting the seams or fittings (within reason, we’ll get to that later).

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.

The water storage vessel also has a puncture-resistant outer shell. And, when empty, it folds and weighs less than a small paperback novel.

There four different sizes depending on which one suits your RV’s water tank capacity. As you see in the photo below, the 60 gallon water bladder fit perfectly between the fifth wheel hitch and truck tailgate when closed.

Full AquaTank Water Bladder in Truck Bed - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

The AquaTank water bladder comes in different sizes and capacities. You can see the measurements and how much each weighs when filled to full capacity.

      •   15 Gallon – 24″ x 36″ x 8″    = 125 pounds
      •   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

The AquaTank water bladder is ideal for water storage for emergencies, camping, boondocking, overlanding and to store in the bed of your truck if water isn’t easily accessible for off grid purposes.

I learned later it’s also great for filling with water with your garden hose and then carting it around to water your flower pots or garden that’s far away from your house. But, since this is about RVing, let’s stick with that.

How do you get the water from a water bladder into your RV water tank?

There are important components that you’ll need to extract the water from the water bladder to put into your RV’s water tank.

Generator

If your RV doesn’t have ample power through its’ energy management system to power the water 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.

✰ READ MORE Top Portable Generators for RV and Camping

Electric Water Transfer Pump

To pump water into your RV, you’re going to need to get a non-submersible electric water transfer pump. The one we bought comes with a 3’ green hose.

However, since we’re using it for drinking water, cooking and hand-washing, we replaced it with a white RV water hose.

RV or Marine Grade Water Hoses

RV water hose - Marine Grade Water Hose - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

It’s important to use ONLY a marine or RV water hose (white or blue) for your potable drinking water.

You should never use a green water hose as they may contain algae and toxins from baking in the sun. They’re not manufactured with food grade materials. They also leach chemicals from the hose into the water. And who wants that?

Anyway, you’re going to need two 10 foot lengths of RV or marine grade water hoses.

Attach one end of one hose to the bottom valve of the bladder and the other end to the electric water transfer pump (previous section above).

The other water hose will connect from the other side of the electric water transfer pump while the other end attaches to the RV’s water port.

Now, you will want to hook up your 2 or 3 stage water filter system or your small RV water filter before allowing any water to enter your water bladder. Remember, this water is what goes into your RV water tank that will be used for drinking, cooking, showering, etc.

So, just as you hook up your external water filter system when you hook up to a campsite water spigot, you’ll do the same thing at any other water source.

 

Hose Connectors

The water bladder has connections ready to hook up. You will need 2 hose connecters; one male and one female ¾” standard water hose connectors.

Spray Bleach

You should never trust any water sources to be sanitary. This is why you’ll need a spray bottle of regular household, non-diluted bleach in your water replenishment kit. Make certain it’s unscented.

Always spray the water faucet liberally; including the handle, hose threads and even up inside the faucet to disinfect before attaching your hoses or connectors. It wouldn’t hurt to spray your own hose connection points as well.

Bleach helps to kill any contaminants that could harm you and your pets.

But, before hooking up your hoses and connectors, allow the water source or water spigot to flush for a good 30 seconds to eliminate backfill toxins that may harbored at the spigot exit point. And, then, spray everything down again with your bleach spray.

I should caution you to never use any other disinfecting cleaning products or the bleach in gel form. They aren’t as effective and may not disinfect thoroughly.

Lastly, watch your aim. Bleach will spot and damage clothing. If you get bleach on your hands or skin, rinse off thoroughly with clean water.

DIY Water Replenishment Accessory Kit Shopping List

So, recapping, while you may have some of the above items already, you may need to add a few components to your water replenishment kit.

Once you gather all of your water acquisition supplies, store them all together so you’re not having to hunt for them. 

 RV WATER HOSE PRO TIP 

After allowing your water hoses to dry out, connect the male end of each water hose into the female end to prevent bugs and debris from getting inside your hoses.

How to fill the AquaTank water bladder

We’ve found that the AquaTank water bladder is super easy to use.

First, you’ll need to make sure there’s enough room in the bed of your truck or back of your vehicle to transport a full water bladder. Make certain to verify the dimensions will in fact fit in the vehicle or truck bed.

Also, make sure there’s a smooth surface under where the bladder will be filled and to transport. You want to avoid transporting your bladder near sharp objects.

If you’re transporting your AquaTank water bladder on a sheet of plywood, it’s wise to lay a towel or blanket on the wood to prevent splinters from infiltrating your water bladder.

Once you arrive where you’re going to get water, we highly recommend testing the pressure using a water pressure regulator before connecting any hoses and your water bladder to ensure you don’t blow out the seams or damage your water bladder, water hose and any fittings.

Once you’re happy with the water pressure, you’ll need to flush and sanitize the water spigot as mentioned earlier in this article. Then, connect one end of your RV water hose to the spigot and other end to your AquaTank water bladder.

Slowly fill it with water until it looks like a puffy pillow. It should still jiggle yet be taut. You don’t want to overfill it. Filling it too full may cause the seams to split and connection ports to come apart.

When your AquaTank is full, simply disconnect the hose. If you do end up filling it too full,  just let some of the water out before sealing the port.

 RV BOONDOCKING PRO TIP 

Anytime you boondock, keep your RV’s position in mind when parking near trees, large rocks, ditches or washes that may prohibit getting your vehicle close to your RV.

How to transfer water from the AquaTank water bladder into your RV water tank

Since your water bladder is probably going to be in the rear of your vehicle or truck bed, you’ll need to get as close to your RV water intake port as possible. Remember, a full water bladder is very heavy. You will not be able to move it out of your vehicle like a water jug.

Once you park your vehicle on the utility side of your RV, attach one of the potable water hoses to the bladder. Connect the other end of the water hose to the electric water pump.

Water Pump for AquaTank Water Bladder - Always On Liberty
Please disregard the green water hose in this photo, it’s for demonstration purposes only. We always use our white drinking water hose for actual use. – Photo by Always On Liberty©

Then connect the other hose from the electric pump to your RV water intake port. 

If you’re RV has a Anderson Kantleak water service panel (or similar), you’ll need to turn the valve handle from BOONDOCKING to FILL.

AquaTank water bladder with hose - Always On Liberty
The green water hose in this photo is for demonstration purposes only. Always use an RV or marine grade water hose. – Photo by Always On Liberty©

After hook everything up, do your standard leak test to ensure you don’t waste any water. It will take roughly 10 to 20 minutes to completely empty the water from your AquaTank water bladder into your RV’s water tank (depending on capacity of water bladder you choose).

Caring for your AquaTank water bladder

Once you finish transferring the water from your bladder into your RV water tank, leave about a quart of water in the bladder. Using a collapsible funnel (because they store compactly), add about a tablespoon of straight bleach to slosh around inside. This will help prevent mold, mildew and other uninvited things from growing inside your AquaTank water bladder (or any other brand).

Then, dump and squeeze all residual water out completely. Seal it shut so nothing crawls inside. Neatly fold your water bladder and stow away properly where nothing can cut, tear or puncture it.

Finally, rinse the bleach out of your funnel and dry thoroughly. Then, collapse and store it in a cool dry sturdy container (with lid) in your RV with your other water replenishment assembly kit. 

The 60 gallon AquaTank water bladder folds up small which is essential for RVers who are constrained by space and weight.

AquaTank Water Bladder for RV boondocking and camping - water bladder Folded Up - Always On Liberty
Photo by Always On Liberty©

Where do we get potable water for our RV?

There are several different options on where to procure clean potable water for your RV or to fill your portable water jugs.

      • Campgrounds or RV parks
      • Friends or family homes
      • Businesses
      • Cemeteries
      • Truck Stops
      • Rest Areas
      • Dump Stations

CAUTION: Never use water at any dump station  unless it is designated and/or labeled “POTABLE WATER”!

You may try asking a nearby business if you can fill your water bladder. Perhaps offer money or compensation of donation or purchase. Refrain from filling anything over 50 gallons unless they otherwise permit.

That said, if you’re given permission to fill your water bladder or portable water jugs, always sanitize the water spigot, connection threads and even the handle.

And always use your own water hose. Never use a hose that’s just lying around or attached to a water source. You don’t know what it’s been exposed to.

Also always mindful of questionable water sources.  Some are not for drinking or even showering. Never just hook up to any water spigot and assume it’s safe for drinking.

Again, never help yourself to water from any place of business, residence or any building without asking. It’s theft, plain and simple. And that can land you in some deep water (no pun intended).

It also goes against how to recreate responsibly principles. 

✰ RELATED ✰ Where to Find RV Dump Stations and Water on the Road.

Wrapping up why you should get a AquaTank Water Bladder

Using the AquaTank water bladder is a creative and efficient way to procure water without having to pack up camp and drive your RV just to go get water. Using a big capacity water bladder like our AquaTank lengthens your time off grid without having to lose your favorite campsite.

Looking for more boondocking  info?

Conserve Water While Boondocking in Your RV

Empty Your Black Tank Without Moving Your RV

Prepare your RV for Boondocking Off the Grid

Absolute Must-Have RV Boondocking Gear

How to SUCCEED at RV Boondocking

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4 Replies to “AquaTank Water Bladder for RV Boondocking & Camping”

  1. Great, but here’s the thing: what about the other side of the equation? That water has to go somewhere. What do you do with all the water in your grey and black tanks? You’ve used up all your fresh water (hence the need for the additional water in your 60-gallon bladder), which means your tanks are probably full, or very nearly so. And you’re away from a dump station (otherwise you wouldn’t need the bladder — you could just fill up your fresh water tank while you’re there), so what do you do? It seems like having all that extra fresh water doesn’t do you much good if your tanks are full and you can’t easily dump them.

    1. Jim, thanks for reading. We only have the 60 gallon and 30 gallon. The 60 gallon, when full, is about 14″ tall. -Dan

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