During camping, having a fresh water tank is necessary as it can be your primary water source. It’s not meant for drinking, yet you can use it for all manner of other things like washing hands and feet, dishes and lots more.
Many campsites have access to a fresh water supply already, and it’s a matter of filling your tank.
It is vital to understand how to replenish your fresh water tanks while camping, mainly if you are off camping in your RV. (Learn How to Prepare for Full Time RV Living)
While it can be a basic task, there are times you may need to know how to fill RV water tank without a hose while camping as you no longer have the chance to rely on city water.
By the end of our guide, you’ll know much more about your RV’s fresh water tank and how to make sure you know how to know your RV water tank is full while camping.
Can You Travel with Fresh Water Tank Full?
You can travel with your water tanks full, yet individuals who think the extra weight and full use are a reason not to. Besides this, there is less wear and tear on your vehicle as a result.
You can, however, find many reasons you should fill the fresh water tanks before you travel.
- You never know where your next water fill-up will be
- Full water tanks offer stability in windy conditions
- Water supplies vary from one area to the next
- You have more options on where to stop if you have a full water supply
Where Can I Fill My RV Fresh Water Tank?
When dry camping, there are numerous places where you can refill your fresh water tanks.
- Fuel Stations: Stations usually have a fresh water spigot on site
- Bureau of Land Management (BLM): BLM and Forest Service Ranger Stations usually have a faucet for use by campers and hikers.
- Rest Stops: If a rest stop offers dump station facilities, then it has a faucet for public use
- National Parks: You can often find water spigots at visitor centers. If you are passing and not staying, you can fill up your water tank seeing as you paid the park entrance.
- Parks: You can find City, country and state parks have water spigots dotted around, although you need to be careful that it’s potable water. Non-potable spigots should be labeled.
You can also ask businesses or churches if you can fill up, although much of this will depend on the time of day. (Read our Beginners Guide to Camping)
When Should I Fill My RV Fresh Water Tank?
It is obvious to make sure you have a sufficient water supply for your needs. If you know there is a water source at your next stop; then it isn’t much of an issue. Aside from this, you need to make sure you know what your tanks can hold.
- Like truck campers and Class B’s, smaller RVs often have a freshwater capacity from about 18 to 40 gallons.
- Larger Class A’s or fifth-wheel trailers often come with fresh water tank capacities of 50 to 100 gallons of water.
- Class C RVs often have a capacity between the levels for Class B and Class A RVs.
- Understanding the volume of water your RV can hold helps figure out the amount of water you use daily.
- For instance, a Class C RV with a 38-gallon water tank can last for nearly 2-weeks if you limit your use of water.
How Do You Fill a Freshwater Tank?
Here are the ways you need to know how to fill RV water tank with freshwater.
Fill Your RV Tank with Faucet
The easiest way filling RV water tank is to let the water flow from a faucet using a water hookup, and water pressure.
All you need to do is connect a hose, and turn to engage the water supply until your tank is full.
You may have separate connections to hook up to city water or refilling your tank. Sometimes, you can have a single connection with a valve.
- Locate a hose. For refilling the RV water tank, use a specialized RV drinking water hose designed for drinking water and won’t add a strange taste.
- Connect the orange end to the campsite spigot, or other water sources.
- Screw the other end into the RV fresh water fill adapter labeled ‘Potable Water Only’. If you have one input, make sure the valve is set to fresh water tank.
- You’ll find an orange adapter on the end of the hose, which is the Water Pressure Regulator, and it ensures pipes in your RV will not rupture or burst through too much water.
- Turn on the water spigot or faucet slowly.
- The RV should use an overflow valve, so you can’t over-fill the water system.
- Once your fresh water tank is full, turn off the faucet, then remove your hose.
- Make sure to replace the cap or lid on your water intake. This will prevent debris from falling in.
When using the fresh water tank, you’ll need to turn on your water pump. This isn’t required when connected to city water.
Refilling RV’s Water Using Water Pump
If you are dry camping, you’ll need a water pump. Here’s how you go about this.
To fill the tank, you need to use a separate container that is full of water. You find many RVers take a spare water jug or two with fresh water to extend dry camping.
- Connect the drinking water hose to your RV.
- Use a 12v water pump and connect it to your car or van battery with alligator clips.
- Use the water pump to move water from the external container to your RV’s Fresh Water Tank.
Refilling RV Fresh Water Tank Using Gravity
It is straightforward, but time-consuming if there is no access to a water pump or a city water hookup. Without access to a suitable water outlet, you’ll need an independent water source. This can be a water jug or other suitable container.
- You need water first, for instance, a five or six-gallon water jug.
- You need a way to hold the water source higher than the inlet hole.
- Carefully pour the fresh water into the hole.
- If there is no spout, you can attach your fresh water hose to the RV.
- Use a funnel in the other end of the hose.
Using this means allows for lots of versatility than to refill your system using water pressure. However, it could let debris to get inside far easier. (Learn How Use a Camping Can Opener)
No matter the method you’re using to fill fresh water tanks, turn on your water pump and run the water heater and hot faucet.
Do this as your tank is partially filled, and it will make sure your hot water tank is filled and gives you an additional 6-10 gallons of fresh water.