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Old 07-27-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
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Boondock Water Pump

I am just doing research at this point on how to source water at our remote boondock location.

I have a small natural spring approx. 900' from the campsite with flat rock between there and the campsite.

I want the water just for domestic purpose, as we will use Bottled Water for drinking and cooking.

My thought is to use a portable SOLAR PANEL(s) (good sun access), a RV 12V pump, a plastic 45G barrel mounted 4' above the spring level, and run 1/2" pex, or garden hose?(covered to help shield from sun and loss) to the campsite location.

At the campsite location I will either use the Motorhome pump, or another RV Pump (powered from the motorhome) to pump the water to another storage tank(s) located in the sun that will act as a reserve water supply for washing, garden, fire control, etc.

During the off season (winter) the pump and solar panel would be removed, and the pex line drained and capped, but left on site. (this is snowmobile country and stuff disappears)

Has someone else done this and can offer tips?
How can I control the 12V solar pump cycle to operate for maybe 5 min every two hours from 7AM to 7PM daily. (any overflow at the spring barrel will return to the spring, but I should be able to rig up a shutoff when the barrel is full?)
The spring will not provide enough water to justify a small gas generator for power.
Any information may be of help.


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Old 07-27-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
A normal float switch used for sump pumps can be used in your "spring barrel" to run the pump when the barrel is less than full, but not all the time. Just wire it in series between the pump and the panel.

Probably 3/4 black polly pipe would be less expensive than pex and would work well. I would not go less than 3/4 for a 900' run. I assume there is little or no elevation difference between the spring and the campsite. RV pumps have little ability to pull any suction on their intake side, so you cannot use one to pull water uphill, even a little. Effectively your water will need to flow virtually by itself from the spring barrel to the local pump where you wish to pump it up to the second storage barrel.
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