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Old 12-03-2015, 06:55 AM   #1
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Where to get potable water

I'm picking up the van from storage in LA area, then heading up to national forest for 2 nights of no-hookup camping. Not sure if they have potable water at entry of the forest.

Where do people usually source potable water to fill tanks? our van is in storage, so I don't have access to my home , etc.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:53 AM   #2
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With National Forests in Texas, the easiest route is the "old school" method - pick up the telephone and call the Ranger station to ask the question. There is info on the internet but it tends to be contradictory and incomplete. Rangers are very receptive to contact with the public that will be staying in their areas. They tend to answer the phone.

As an alternative, if you can reach one of the workampers who is hosting near your target area, they have a wealth of logistical information (these are the folks who get recruited largely through Volunteer.Gov to guard National Forest areas that have historically been unmanned and often vandalized as a result). Workampers also love to make contact with new friends - that's partly why they choose that lifestyle.

I usually don't know how to identify specific resident workampers in advance, however. I normally meet them only when I get to some gate and I'm always sure to get their "howdy" cards (workamper equivalent of business card) for future reference. If they move on to another bid, they sometimes know who would have moved in behind them, or how to discover that person.

If those methods fail, you might be able to fill up with water at a truck stop if there is one on your route.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:09 AM   #3
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If those methods fail, you might be able to fill up with water at a truck stop if there is one on your route.
Wherever you fill up, use your own hose. You don't know what a truck stop hose has been stuck into before you got there!
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:07 AM   #4
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Wherever you fill up, use your own hose. You don't know what a truck stop hose has been stuck into before you got there!

And use an inline water filter - always.


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Old 12-03-2015, 09:27 AM   #5
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The Allstays camp and rv app has the ranger district phone number listed for all of the Forest Service Campgrounds they list, which is the vast majority of them.

It is a great camping app. I often use the phone number provided to find exact opening and closing dates for specific campgrounds, as well as how full they tend to be or get.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:35 AM   #6
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Federal recreation, camping and tour reservation information - Recreation.gov

If you're going to Beaver Dam, they have water and electric
Facility Details - BEAVER DAM CAMPGROUND, LA - Recreation.gov

If not Beaver Dam, you can use the first link to find out what facilities are available at your campground. The national parks I've stayed at, if they don't have water hookups, there is a shared potable water spigot scattered among the campsites. Some of them are marked on the maps but usually they're about every 20 yards or so.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:43 AM   #7
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Once I found one of my local parks water system down while coming online with a new hydrant and dump station system. I ran down the road to a gas station, filled my gas tank, bought some firewood and asked if I could fill from their bib (with my own hose and filter)..They were more than happy to give me the bib key ...no charge.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:03 PM   #8
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And use an inline water filter - always.
...
I never have used one, but I decided not to drink directly from the fresh water tank. I boil it first if I consume it, and for straight potable consumption, I have a 10 liter jerry can and several Nalgene containers that I keep in the fridge.
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Old 12-03-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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Most city water is good, however the taste can vary greatly. Some WalMarts sell bulk 5 gallon bottles of water and some have the water machine outside the front door. You pay a deposit on the bottle, fill it and siphon it into your white tank. If you have two or more people on the trip, pay the deposit on two containers, and relay filling the tank with filling the bottle. Best done at night when the lot is almost empty. I've had pretty good luck getting water where I get my propane bottles filled too. U-Haul. I offer them $2 to fill the white tank.
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:42 PM   #10
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ok here's the answer I got:
I called the ranger station most of the week and couldn't get anything but a fax squeal. Also tried email with little luck. Today I finally got a human and she made sure I knew that all water spigots had been disabled in the park (not sure why) and pointed me 2 miles up the road to a county park which would charge me $10 to fill water and use the dump station.

Problem solved.

THANKS
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:43 PM   #11
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ok here's the answer I got:
I called the ranger station most of the week and couldn't get anything but a fax squeal. Also tried email with little luck. Today I finally got a human and she made sure I knew that all water spigots had been disabled in the park (not sure why) and pointed me 2 miles up the road to a county park which would charge me $10 to fill water and use the dump station.

Problem solved.

THANKS
...duh; on further reflection, it's probably the drought conditions that have led to them disable public spigots
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:59 PM   #12
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OR……bring your own water from home

Get four plastic 6 gallon jerry cans. They come in handy in a variety of situations. ( extending the duration of a boon docking trip )
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:20 PM   #13
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I never have used one, but I decided not to drink directly from the fresh water tank. I boil it first if I consume it, and for straight potable consumption, I have a 10 liter jerry can and several Nalgene containers that I keep in the fridge.

Yes, we keep bottled water in the fridge, and used boiled tank water for tea and coffee, but still use faucet water to clean teeth. No problem so far.


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Old 12-03-2015, 06:23 PM   #14
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More places to get fresh water than to dump!

I've found that many stores & businesses offer water bibs & 120AC (if you need it), for the asking. I've gotten water from a Subway sandwich shop, a gas station, a Hardee's, a city park. 10, 20, even 50 gallons of water doesn't bother a business that uses 10s of 1,000s per month. At state or natl parks, I've used "water stealers" to load 6 gal water cans right from the restroom sink when there were no threaded hose bibs available.

It is fun to find & get the water that you need, without actually stealing it, I'm sayin'..

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