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Old 07-04-2012, 07:28 PM   #1
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Refilling potable water

Im going to a park where they have fresh drinking water stations placed throughout the park not servicing each site but servicing the park as a whole for campers to bring their water containers to be filled. What water filling equipment exists that could be used to refill the potable water tank in the airstream?

What strategies do airstreamers employ to keep thei water tank topped up.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:39 PM   #2
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Do they have a way for you to dump your gray water or will you have to tote that off as well? There's a number of boondockers out here that probably have a lot of experience dealing with this.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:41 PM   #3
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The simplest, cheapest thing are gallon jugs and a funnel.

A funnel with a tube at the bottom would spill less water.

Five gallon jugs will mean fewer trips to the faucet, but 42 lbs. (19 kg.) to carry unless you fill it part way.

If the faucet is close and has a hose bib, you can use your water hose(s) to fill your tank. If it doesn't have one, a cheater (RV stores have them) will fasten to the faucet spigot and to a water hose. There may be rules against this as it means more water will be used than if you have to fill and carry jugs.

I'd fill the tank at home and top it off when needed. If there's no dump station, you won't be able to use much more water than the amount you started with.

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Old 07-04-2012, 09:03 PM   #4
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Easiest way for us to keep ours is ... well, not to use much water in the first place!

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Old 07-04-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mifair View Post
Im going to a park where they have fresh drinking water stations placed throughout the park not servicing each site but servicing the park as a whole for campers to bring their water containers to be filled. What water filling equipment exists that could be used to refill the potable water tank in the airstream?

What strategies do airstreamers employ to keep thei water tank topped up.
Ignoring the associated gray water issues, if the various hose bibs around the campground are within reach of the hose(s) you carry, the "water thief" device will allow you to hook up to those spigots, whether threaded or not. It's a friction fitting and tolerates low water pressure
fairly well, but if you want to speed the process, use a hose clamp to hold it on to the spigot.

Water Thief - Stanley/oliver Products 0176 - Faucets & Inlets - Camping World
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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We can add an additional seven gallons of fresh water to our 19-foot Bambi without overflowing our black and gray water tanks. We carry a seven gallon tank (from WalMart) as an emergency backup, along with several feet of clear hose (from Home Depot) that fits into the spigot. When the fresh water tank runs dry, I place the portable tank on the propane tank cover and use the hose to transfer water directly into the freshwater inlet, without a funnel. No spillage, and the water transfer takes less than a minute.

Seven gallons is enough for another shower, or a couple of extra days of dry camping (with spit baths).

A little math to calculate tank capacities and observing levels of gray and/or black tanks as they fill will determine if this may work for your model Airstream.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:38 PM   #7
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We 'dock almost exclusively.....

A "water thief", vice grips,(to hold the spigot open), and 100' of RV hose has worked well for us for 25yrs.


Stragidy??? fill at night.

Don't forget the extreme conservation mode needed conserve water and extend time between dumps.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:29 AM   #8
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Water Thief....definitely the way to go. Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:09 AM   #9
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I'm not familiar with this " water thief" device. Could someone please explain it's
use / function ??????

Thanks,
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Old 07-05-2012, 08:12 AM   #10
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I'm not familiar with this " water thief" device. Could someone please explain it's
use / function ??????

Thanks,

Water Thief...


Bob
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:47 AM   #11
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I carry 2 or 3 5-gallon containers. On the lid of one of them I removed the plastic spigot and replaced it with a brass valve to which you can attach a hose. I have a 3-foot length of clear plastic hose with a screw-on fitting to that valve. I also carry a light-weight 3-foot folding ladder.

The procedure is to take the empty containers to the fill station (spigot) and fill them, return to the trailer. Set up the ladder beside the fill hatch, place the 5-gallon container on its side on the ladder, attach the clear plastic hose, snake the end of the hose down the fill tube & open the valve. Using gravity, water flows down into the holding tank without any hassle. When the portable container is empty, I move the cap with the valve onto the next one and repeat the process.

Since we boondock in the desert, I always have the water containers in the truck so we can top up on a daily basis.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #12
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With 40 gallons on when we enter a park and using the campground showers we have gone more than a week without having to refill.

It depends on how you use the water.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mifair View Post
Im going to a park where they have fresh drinking water stations placed throughout the park not servicing each site but servicing the park as a whole for campers to bring their water containers to be filled. What water filling equipment exists that could be used to refill the potable water tank in the airstream?
It depends how hard they're trying to discourage the filling of tanks and large containers.

In some parks these stations have threaded hose bibs and you can just hook up a hose and fill the tank. Otherwise there are Park Strategies and Countermeasures.

Park Strategy 1. No threads on hose bib. Either they've been filed off or they installed faucets that have smooth sides with no threads. Countermeasure. Use a water thief (see upthread). In most cases these work fine by themselves though you may have to hold them on. You can also up your game by using a hose clamp too.

Park Strategy 2. Spring loaded faucets that close by themselves. Coutermeasure. You can either utilize any small children traveling with you to hold these open or have available a collection of rubber bands, zip ties, vise grips, woodworking clamps, etc.

Park Strategy 3. Water squirts out of something too large to get a water thief over. Countermeasure. Fill a clean water jug and dump from that into the trailer. I recommend the Moeller Scepter water jug as it has a pour spout that works well for filling tanks in the trailer, is easier to store than the square containers, and less prone to spillage than the collapsible ones.

Park Strategy 4. Water is unavailable within reasonable hose length of any road. Countermeasure. Either use Moeller Scepter jugs as with #3, or escalate by carrying more hose.

Park Strategy 5. Water squirts out of something too large to get a water thief over and low to the ground so you can't get a a Moeller Scepter under it. I've run into this, some places really do try hard to screw things up for RVers. Also, this situation is occasionally encountered when using a natural spring as a water source. Countermeasure. I combine a small pot or pan (the largest that will fit in the available space, and a battery operated pump similar to this one: Amazon.com: American Wick Si75 Kerosene Battery Operated Syphon Pump: Home Improvement to load water into either the trailer tank or a Moeller Scepter.

General countermeasure. Beyond a certain point you're better off just filling up the Moeller Scepter jugs someplace besides the park and toting them to the trailer in your tow vehicle. This is where the collapsible jugs come in, even though they tend to leak and spill you can carry 2-3 of them along with you so that you can put 20 gallons or so of water in your car. The battery operated pump helps transfer water out of these into your trailer tank.

Chlorination. I add 1 mL per gallon of household bleach when using these methods to control any bacteria or other pathogens introduced during handling.

Quote:
What strategies do airstreamers employ to keep thei water tank topped up.
If you don't use the showers in the trailer you can go a long time if you arrive with full tanks.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:42 AM   #14
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I use a 7 gal blue container (Wall-Mart) to replenish the FW tank, and can do this twice before my GW tank is full. A telescoping portable hand truck makes toting the 7 gal container much easier, or I leave it in the back of the Jeep and back up alongside the Airstream. For less than $40 I installed a small 12v SS water pump (Harbor Freight) in my refrigerator access compartment which allows me to simply drop an suction hose into the blue container sitting on the ground (or in the Jeep) and put the outlet hose into the regular FW tank fill.
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