RV Water Management



When you hear the term dry camping remember that it’s just an expression not a reality. Nothing will bring you back into town faster than lack of water and an unhappy wife who missed her morning wash. This article will look at water: how to get it and how to get rid of it!

Fresh potable water from a tap is easy to find in states that have it in abundance but in some states in the arid west, finding a working faucet is like trying to find teeth on hens. Not all water taps are easily accessible like they are in a house so sometimes you might have to grab an adjustable wrench or a pair of pliers because the part that turns on water is missing or broken. I strongly recommend that you buy a 4-way faucet wrench. It's a marvelous tool that will allow to you to use the spigots that have been designed to be tamper-proof like the ones that you often see on the side of commercial buildings.

Another small change investments for the water seeking boondocker is a nifty little device called a Camco Water Bandit. It's a small but handy gadget that screws onto your fresh water hose and then pushes onto the spout of the faucet. It's designed to make life a whole lot easier when you come across the type of tap that doesn't have a threaded bib. Between these two tools water is always accessible.

My rule in these parts are that if I'm getting fuel then I'm also getting water and that means filling the fresh water tank and every empty water container on board. An experienced boondocker is never down to the last drop of fuel so if water is not available then nor are my dollars!

If you don't see a tap in plain sight then ask the attendant BEFORE you fill up. Remember, it's hiding on the premises somewhere because they need one for their own use. At that point, you're a customer asking a reasonable question and most people will help you out but come back in an hour and you're just another bum in an RV looking for free water. Perception is everything when you're asking for something. It shouldn't be but regrettably, it’s the way of all life.

The other part of the water equation is getting rid of it when it’s had its useful life. This is a controversial one because the official version would be to find a dump station out there in the middle of nowhere and be environmentally responsible by only using an approved facility. The reality is that a whole lot of gray water probably gets dumped around remote RV campsites because the amount of water onboard in stock tank and supplementary supplies nearly always exceed the capacity of the standard holding tanks. I'm not buying into an argument for or against, I'm just stating the well-known fact that the need can arise when dry camping and that it does happen more often than most people would care to admit.

Water management is one of the most important keys to successful boondocking. Think carefully about every drop (without going to extreme) and enjoy the benefits of that extra day or two of not so dry camping.