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Old 11-23-2014, 09:49 PM   #1
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benicia , California
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If you're gonna boondock, when do you fill up your fresh water tank?

Newbie question #1 and 2

Do you fill it up at home before you take off or do you stop somewhere near your destination and fill up? If the latter, what places usually have potable water?

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Old 11-23-2014, 10:35 PM   #2
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If I am heading directly into the boonies, I will fill up at home. But if on the road and need to refill, I look for other camp grounds along the way or check However I have gotten water from BLM offices, ranger stations, gas stations, churches, cemeteries, city parks, municipal water departments, and RV parks. Some you have to ask and pay for, others you can offer a donation. Sometimes you have to call places and ask.

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Old 11-23-2014, 10:37 PM   #3
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When I boondock (which is my normal camping mode) I always try to arrive at a campground with a full water tank, and empty holding tanks. I always travel with a full water tank from the point I leave home. I watch for convenient places to get more water (and dump stations too) and top up wherever I can, because I never know where the next convenient place will be. As my new FC 20' only has a stupidly small 23 gal fresh water tank, I now often carry one or two 7 gal auxiliary water jugs and have a 12 volt pump to transfer water from them into the main tank if necessary.
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #4
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We often leave home in cold weather to head south. If the forecast for the next few days doesn't include a deep freeze I will often put 10-15 gallons in the fresh water tank. When I get far enough south I will put more in and usually fill it up. That will cover me for any stops we may make along the way. The rest of the time I usually fill it up or put at least half a tank before leaving home. I'm careful to not pump the water through the plumbing system until I'm south of freezing weather. Don't ask how I know this one.
Roger in NJ

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Old 11-24-2014, 08:18 AM   #5
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I do the same as Idroba with a bit of polarlyse thrown in as well. Full water and empty holding. Also full propane. I sometimes carry RV anti-freeze as well. You never know when you may be delayed for whatever reason. Best to be a good Boy Scout. Jim

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Old 11-24-2014, 08:18 AM   #6
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...most of our camping is boondocking (in our 25 EB) or unimproved CG ... fill before we leave ...
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Old 11-24-2014, 08:44 AM   #7
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We always try to have at least a half tank of fresh water on board "just in case." I'll dump and refill periodically to make sure it is fresh. I'll also flush some diluted Clorox through the system periodically to make sure nothing is growing in there. We drink the water in our tank so we have to be careful.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:31 AM   #8
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I always leave home full water tank empty black & grey. I do not use water out of tank for any thing but washing & sanitary. I use only use bottled water for all other uses as AS is 38 yrs. old well water rust etc. in tank even tho I sanitize every year.
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Old 11-24-2014, 04:04 PM   #9
2014 27' FB Classic
Livingston , Texas
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Fill Up Before

We always fill up the water tank and empty the gray water tank before we leave for our next boon-docking destination.
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Old 11-24-2014, 10:15 PM   #10
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If you have a sensitive tummy, carrying your OWN water you are accustomed to consuming. Montezuma travels all over the place... no reason to share in the 'trots' while trying to have a good trip.

Also, having a full water tank can and does improve stability of your AS by placing the 'weight' down by the axles.. which lowers the CG... carrying loose bottles inside the trailer is more difficult...

So, for us, the last year, we have used our 'onboard' fresh water... we have a sink mounted filter for drinking..

We also have connected to 'Park' water when at an RV park.. we have inline filter... and change the hose annually... like right now...

To determine your 'water consumption', try driveway camping for a weekend.. start with full fresh tank... see how long you can 'manage' with onboard water... cook meals, clean up, etc... then, don't use the 'onboard gauge' to determine how much water you used. Take the time to pour a gallon at a time into the fresh tank till full.

Now you KNOW how much you 'need' to carry...
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:51 PM   #11
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We leave home with full water tanks.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 04-14-2015, 11:30 PM   #12
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Just one other thing to think about is whether you need a jerry can of water or two plus a big funnel for water refills at your boondocking site. We fill up the water tank before "dry" desert camping trips with no on-site water, and then usually top it up once or twice from the jerry can/s. A few smaller (3-5 gallon) containers work better than one hugie: they're easier to lift, and if one leaks, you haven't lost so much of your supplementary water supply.

Then, to avoid over-filling the grey water tank, we often use plastic tubs for dish washing, showering, &c, so we can dump the soapy water outside somewhere.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:48 PM   #13
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I keep the water tank and lines filled with a bleach dilution until we are ready to leave. I then flush it out and fill the tank. The tank is always filled using a high-quality filter (which we use when hooked up to city water as well). Since we use the tank water for drinking I am installing a UV filter under the sink.
Also I carry 50 gal of water in my truck and hand pump it over (with the filter in-line of course) to the trailer tank when needed.
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Old 04-15-2015, 02:13 PM   #14
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We fill up before leaving home for two reasons.
1.We use our restroom when traveling and water is needed to flush or shower.
2. My Airstream handles and rides better with a full tank of water and it was designed to run down the road with a full tank.

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