By Pete | My Husband’s Corner
We love RV tips and hacks that will let you keep on camping!
Sometimes you just want to be boondocking longer than your RV fresh water tanks do and that causes issues with cleanliness and camping safety.
Our solution was to build a DIY portable water tank for RV boondocking using a gravity fill camping water container.
Watch our VIDEO to see how easy it is to build and use!
Psst we’re compensated…see our disclosures.
- 1 Camping Water Containers For Shorter RV Trips
- 2 DIY Portable Water Tank For RV Boondocking Using Gravity Fill Camping Water Container VIDEO
- 3 Refilling Water On Shorter Trips
- 4 No Electricity Requirement
- 5 How To Build This RV Fresh Water Gravity Fill Camping Water Container
- 6 How To Fill The Portable RV Camping Water Container
- 7 How To Transfer Water From The Portable RV Camping Water Container To Your RV Fresh Water Tank
- 8 Where To Get Water When Boondocking
Camping Water Containers For Shorter RV Trips
Sometimes the best camping gear is the kind you build yourself!
DIY Portable Water Tank For RV Boondocking Using Gravity Fill Camping Water Container VIDEO
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Refilling Water On Shorter Trips
We have an entire post dedicated to how to refill fresh water tanks during camping trips where we show you 4 different methods so check them out to see which one is best for you. (We actually use all of them … it just depends on our particular camping situation.)
We use 7 gallon tote jugs to refill our RV fresh water tank on shorter trips.
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, Blue, 11.3 Inch x 11.0 Inch x 15.3 Inch
But, when we are boondocking for longer periods of time, our travel trailer’s permanent water tanks and our smaller camping water containers don’t have enough water storage capacity to meet our needs.
That’s when we fill our 35 gallon portable water tank which will give us an extra week or more of dry camping depending on how conservatively we use water.
Having an ample water supply is important for camping families safety and will help avoid dehydration and improve sanitation … especially related to food handling.
No Electricity Requirement
Electricity is another item in short supply when boondocking, so we did not want to use power for an electric pump to transfer water from our portable water tank to our installed RV fresh water holding tanks … so we designed our system to work with an RV drinking water hose and using only a gravity fill transfer.
How To Build This RV Fresh Water Gravity Fill Camping Water Container
Get 4 Supplies
Plastic Beverage Drum. We got our 35 gallon soft drink container from a local soda beverage distributor but you can find them from private sellers as well as on Amazon.
The container comes with pre-drilled holes and caps that have the ability to accept accessory fittings.
We chose a 35 gallon container size because it was more manageable but a 55 gallon drum gives you more capacity and works the same way.
30 Gallon Plastic Drums
Spigot Valve. Make sure you get a spigot valve with proper sized fittings.
The most common size of fitting is 3/4 inch but verify which size is needed for your specific plastic drum.
Hose Adapter. As with the other items in this list, make sure you get a hose adapter with proper sized fittings.
The most common size of fitting is 3/4 inch but verify which size is needed for your specific setup.
Blow Out Plug. You need a blow out plug but it won’t actually be used for its designed purpose … you will be using it as a filler vent cap.
Blow Out Plug
Gather tool needed:
Using the screwdriver, punch out the center portion of the 3/4-inch threaded part of both barrel caps. (This is where your spigot valve and hose adapter will thread into.)
- Thread the spigot valve into the threaded barrel cap that is closest to the container rim.
- Screw the hose adapter into the threaded barrel cap that is furthest from the container rim.
- Screw the blow out plug/filler vent cap into the hose adapter. (Note: This becomes the filler port for using a drinking water hose to fill the portable water tank. IMPORTANT: If you use this method for filling, make sure you open the spigot valve to provide proper venting to avoid rupturing the tank.)
How To Fill The Portable RV Camping Water Container
Use a drinking water hose to fill your portable camping water container by one of two methods:
- Remove the blow out plug cap/filler vent cap from the hose adapter, then thread the hose to it and fill the container. IMPORTANT: If you use this method for filling, make sure you open the spigot valve to provide proper venting to avoid rupturing the tank.
- Completely remove either cap and simply fill the container through the opening.
How To Transfer Water From The Portable RV Camping Water Container To Your RV Fresh Water Tank
- Ensure the portable RV camping water container is higher than the RV fresh water filler port … otherwise the gravity fill won’t work.
- Lay the portable RV camping water container on its side with the spigot valve facing down.
- Thread the drinking water hose to the spigot valve.
- Place the other end of the drinking water hose in the RV fresh water filler port opening.
- Open the spigot valve and loosen the cap on the vent/filler port as necessary to vent the tank as it gravity feeds into your RV fresh water tank.
- The RV fresh water tank will overflow when it is full. At that time, close the spigot valve, remove the hose from the RV fresh water filler port opening and the portable RV camping water container … then, replace the cap on the travel trailer’s fresh water filler port.
Where To Get Water When Boondocking
As we mentioned in the video, we fill our 35 gallon portable camping water container at home and transport it to our boondocking site.
BUT, if we are camping for an especially long extended period of time, we leave our travel trailer set in place and drive to an RV park, campground or gas station that provides services for dumping of waste and refilling of drinking water.
Then, we head back to our remote campsite with an empty portable waste tank and filled portable water containers.
When it comes to boondocking, the gray water and black water tanks cause other issues. We use RV portable waste holding tank accessories which we will discuss in detail in another post.
Heavy Duty 36 Gallon Portable Waste RV Tote Tank
As we mentioned in the video, here is the link to our Portable Solar Panels For RV Camping VIDEO and blog post.
We use our portable camping water container when we are boondocking (which is about 99% of the time for us LOL).