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Old 07-09-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
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Boondocking: Water while Off the Grid

Water, water everywhere... but none to drink. If you are in dire need of water, you will find about anything, but salt water, is better than nothing.

Otherwise, Plan Ahead.

- At least ONE EMPTY five gallon plastic water container. Previous water contents dried in the sun, before putting the screw cap back on after a trip. Keeps the mildew out and always ready to go. Then lightly screw the cap back on so the jug can 'breathe'.

- A ten foot hose is great, or a short hose to fill and haul to your trailer's Fresh Water Tank. Some people recommend the white hose keeping plastic taste or something like that out of the fresh water, but again, read about the five gallon jug and avoid mildew in your hose, as well. I have a brass shutoff valve at the end of the hose with a foot hose extension that inserts into the Fresh Water Opening.

Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management regional offices are very citizen friendly. The majority of 'local offices' are in smaller towns and usually well marked where they are located. Locals know exactly where... so ask.

- Offices in a town or small city, with 'City Water' have faucets. Go into the front reception area and... ASK. They will often have the handle to turn the outside water on. I prefer using our own hose, than those provided that may have 'critters within'...

- Offices on 'Well Water' have the PUMP at a place for those needing water can fill their tanks. Often the pump is locked. It is because on weekends, some individuals may want to fill a 1,000 gallon tanker to take... home. Go into the office and tell the office clerk you have a trailer needing X gallons and would appreciate the key to unlock and will be back shortly. More often, the clerk will walk out with you, unlock and ask that you lock the pump when finished. Keys tend to... go bye bye.

- Carry a case of bottled water. Use it for drinking / cooking and use the Fresh Water Tank for everything else.

I really like Well Water. Best water to be found. I can name a couple places in New Mexico... but do not want them to be backed up with trailer traffic. The employees drink it... so why are you so worried? It is better than bottled water... to me.

You do not need to fill your Fresh Water Tank before you leave for camping. If you know where you are getting water... prime your system and add enough to fill the Hot Water Tank and five gallons in the tank.

Add a couple gallons in the Grey and Black Water Tanks to slosh around to clean the interiors... and if you need to use the toilet.

IF you are not sure about your next water source... top your FRESH WATER TANK off after PRIMING the System. The extra weight should not be of concern, but if you need water... IT will be a concern very soon. When it comes out of the 'entry', it is full and so is your Hot Water Tank. Bleed the air out of the system that another Thread describes in agonizing details....

Filters? We did it both ways... just do it if you are a bit nervous about water. We have never been adversely affected by NO FILTER. Some sink faucets have a filter built into it, so filtering water as it comes is not necessary. If you are big on filters, great. We are not and have never had a problem with the ABOVE sources.

Any other TIPS or COMMENTS are appreciated.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:27 PM   #2
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We were just talkin bout this in the boondockin thread.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:31 PM   #3
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TravlinMan... oh, just great. What else were you talking about?

- Beer is not a good alternative to fresh water in the tank. It will go... flat and is disgusting.

- If the local water tastes... funny... add concentrated lime juice to spice it up.

- Before you begin to fill YOUR Fresh Water Tank, take a clear glass and put some of the water coming out of the faucet into it. If you would not let your dog drink it... you should not either. Sometimes the water lines are iron and not copper or some modern plastic. Sample the water, first. Or, have one of the group sample and watch the expression. Choking or spitting it out is a NO.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:50 PM   #4
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Filters are sort of useless for things that might bother you. They work ok for chunks of stuff that might muck up the plumbing. Cheap Home Depot filters will do that job. Mildew and wet filters ...hmmm ...worth thinking about.

Running the outside faucet for a count of three will blast spider man or any of his cousins out of the faucet. He might not bother you much but running him through your water pump might be an issue.

Just about anyplace you bought something is likely to have water. If you are low - ask politely. Be willing to accept whatever they tell you with a smile and a thank you.

Rectangular 5 gallon "Jerry Can" style containers will fit a bit tighter in the back of the pickup than round bottles. Not much of an issue for a 5 gallon run. It can be an issue if you are grabbing 50 gallons at a time. It's a time tested design If you use similar containers for gas go with some sort of color code !!

Not all the water needs to go in the fresh water tank on the trailer. Washing dishes out doors works quite well. Jerry can -> bowl -> ground is a pretty short path. Hot water is overrated in this case. If any of that bugs you - what would you do in a tent out in the middle of nowhere? What are the guys in the tent down the way doing to wash their dishes? Do consider what you use as soap, some are much lower impact that others.

Consider the "aw shucks" factor. Some people are *very* organized. Some of us are less so. If you fit in the second category, having a backup 5 gallons might be a good idea. How ever hard water is to find at 2 PM, it's a lot harder to find at 10 PM.

Resist the urge to simply fill the drinking water tank from that free flowing stream over there. Unless you are at pretty high altitude, it can have issues. Most of the time you will be lucky. The time you aren't lucky will make you pretty sick. One common way is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giardiasis

There are a number of others that are less likely. Some are very scary, even if they only happen in far away countries.


Bob
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:57 PM   #5
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Any y'all gone backpackin? Cause those are the good filters that'll keep ya from getting sick. I use a Grayl since it's just me. But there are companies that make ones for bigger size groups.

If ya use the right filter ya can drink from streams and rivers. Otherwise I use that blue one to filter out chunks like Bob says.

And I like the Shaker siphon. The one I was talkin about in your other thread.

Thank you.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:01 PM   #6
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Uncle Bob... is already there when it comes to smart water uses. Obviously a fellow tent camper and having an insulated water container with ICE melting... is the tent camper's secret.

The Jerry Can plastic container... UB is correct. I do not use them any more. The square / cube heavy plastic 5 gallon containers are stable. We always put our square containers in the 'plastic milk crate' that can be purchased at Lowes / Home Depot (I like the red water jugs) or find real crates at a garage sale with the heavy duty original milk crates. They never flip over and do not get punctured easily.

I try to drink 60 ounces of water while... awake. I keep six cents above the sink. I drink 12 ounces... slide a penny over. Do not cheat. When you begin to feel real exhausted and all you did that day was... THINKing. You are probably dehydrated. Guzzle two 12 ounce glasses and follow up with more if your bladder is not sending you a message.

The sixth cent... that is for a can of Beer or Soda... does not count.

If you have a gallon of water in your clothes... you better take notice that bad things are going to happen, sooner, than later.

If your dog(s) are licking you and you believe it is because they like you... wrong. Your salt is what is getting their attention... even if you are nice and good to your dog.

You salt water sailors must know something about fresh water. Where are you?

Water contains no calories. If it does, it probably is not water. Water weight loss is not good for diets. Much like keeping your Grey and Black Water tanks in your Airstream flowing and flushing properly... OK, now you get it.

You are mostly water already... so get use to it. Sixty percent on average. Your brain contains 73%... so if your thinking is off a bit... maybe your brain is at 65% and missing 8% in the 'memory' part of the brain.

The 'Absent Minded' husband??? Now you know. You are 8% short of H2O. Your last good excuse for forgetting to do something. Works once.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:09 PM   #7
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water

We purchased 4 Rhino 5.5 gal. water containers couple years ago from Amazon. That's when we were really getting into boon-docking in Borrego Springs. When I have used them, I found 10 gal. will pretty much last a day or 2 including showers. Really only ever take 2 along now. They are easy to load and poor into the AS filler tank. They also can stack on their sides and sort of lock into each other. Costly, ($35/ea) but they are pretty sturdy and safe to use. Wal-Mart also has less expensive versions, I believe around $25/ea. Good insurance to carry even when empty.

We also now carry a 3 gal. water container with built in handle on side, in the AS for our coffee and drinking water. It will last the 2 of us 4 days typically. Most of the time I have not had an issue finding water sources. We also installed a filter under the kitchen sink for drinking water, should we need it.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:11 PM   #8
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I love Borrego springs I spent a month in Anza Borrego when I was last in California it is beautiful.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:20 PM   #9
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Dog Water Jug & Crate & Bowl... trick.

... and I thought there were few, if any, interested in Boondocking Water.

Just one last, really... last good tip.

Take the 'Cube 5 gallon' container with the on and off spigot. Pull it out of the Milk Crate container and put it on top of the bottom of the crate. So it sits with the spigot... down.

Put the Dog's Water Bowl underneath. When the water bowl gets low... add some water.

If someone else is doing this... I want to hear from you. I have never seen anyone do this before... but I usually find myself around too many normal people who just do what they do to confuse the few.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I love Borrego springs I spent a month in Anza Borrego when I was last in California it is beautiful.
Your right; It is beautiful in winter and early spring... but gets way too hot for my liking starting around May...
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Old 07-09-2017, 05:18 PM   #11
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Boondocking: Water while Off the Grid

We carry a small jug of unscented bleach for sanitizing tanks and hoses. Dogs and humans drink and cook with fresh bottled water to avoid digestive upsets on the road. Dogs, especially can be real sensitive to water quality. They let you know by throwing up seemingly gallons more than they drank.

We carry a high quality backpacking/survival filter system and dedicated blue cube jugs for the output just in case. AS tank water may smell a bit of chlorine, but it's fine for flushing, washing and showering.

Nothing quite so much fun as 'beaver fever', giuardia invasions (protozoan infections) or other water-born nasties like e. Coli. Too many years of being a Boy Scout leader taught me that proper camp sanitation and safe water makes for a much better experience in the outdoors.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:30 PM   #12
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Hi

My only issue with the really good filters is that the ones I have used are *very* slow. Doing tens of gallons though one is ... painful. They only go just so fast. If you push them, they loose effectiveness. Fine for a canteen.

You then get into the "trailer water clean or not?" decision. Unfiltered water is fine for flushing the toilet, showers, and washing the dishes (maybe not for rinsing ...). Do you just take the whole thing over to easy water?

Once you go "questionable" on the trailer water, getting it back to drinkable takes a bit of work ....You *could* go to a dual water source setup, I've never seen that in an RV. I have seen it in homes. It *does* work. I suspect that the weight / volume issues in an RV would make it impractical.

Bob
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:35 PM   #13
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I ain't never drank straight water out of a trailer faucet. I always put it through the Grayl. They are slow. I agree. But that's what makes em work. The grayl ain't too bad and it filters pharmeceuticals along with the other stuff. But I filter with the grayl after it comes outta the tap if I'm gonna drink it. Britta and inline filters do nothin for the stuff that'll kill ya.

Another couple I met was usin a platypus that was doin a gallon every 10 minutes or somethin? But it was usin gravity so they just filled it and walked away, had it hanging from a tree.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:40 PM   #14
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Grayl:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00XI...40_FMwebp_QL65

Platypus:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00G4...40_FMwebp_QL65
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:34 PM   #15
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And while we're talkin viruses and amoebas, don't y'all forget the up-the-nose variety....

'Naegleria fowleri is a brain-eating amoeba found in warm freshwater, like lakes and ponds. It does not make people sick if itís swallowed, but if it goes up a nasal cavity to the brain, it can be deadly.'

https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/general.html
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Old 07-09-2017, 08:59 PM   #16
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I use two large filters from the RV Water Filter Store for the whole trailer and a seagull IV for drinking water. I feel good about having safe water to drink.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:40 AM   #17
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I use two large filters from the RV Water Filter Store for the whole trailer and a seagull IV for drinking water. I feel good about having safe water to drink.
That seagull IV looks pretty good it says it filters virus and bacteria... Did ya have to cut a hole and mount it next to your sink or can ya just plumb it in to the stock kitchen faucet? I wouldn't want an extra spout and I also wouldnt mind havin the filtered water for doin dishes.
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:39 AM   #18
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Safe sources of Fresh Water:

- Your home.
- National Forest Offices with well or town facilities.
- Bureau of Land Management offices with well or town facilities.
- Truck Stops that provide pumps at site. Also with dump stations for free.
- Quick Trips, 7/11's, Terrible's... convenience stores. Pump Gas and ask.
- Grocery Stores in Rural Areas. Ask for water purchasing camping groceries.
- Cold running water in the Rocky Mountains with caution in last option.
- Cold flowing Spring Water in the west is excellent, but you must be outdoor wise.

Use for everything but consumption:

- Forest Service campsites with the cast iron hand pumps. Rusty water and probably not tested for bacteria often, or not at all. Rusty color with sand and grit that is not good for your trailer's water pump or faucets.

- Rivers, creeks, lakes and ponds... in emergency, pull sample and look through clear glass to see what organisms may be swimming around. Cold moving Rivers just away from shore is better than suffering Heat Stroke and Dehydration. Emergency water is a life saver. You will know when you are in this situation.

The 'Sky is Falling' majority are one end of the safety spectrum. Those who have lived or traveled in adverse areas are Water Wise and understand smart choices. It is learned and not taught nor found in a book concerning good or bad judgment.

Finding a dead animal in someone's well water casing... is usually a Water Servicing scare tactic. These systems are not open to animals climbing into the well casing and dying. When you see the effort it takes just to get into a well head... you will understand.

If you are one who worries alot... bring bottled water. Nothing to be ashamed of your fears, but not everyone drinks out of some microbe infested mud hole alongside a mountain road for a drink. Much like eating a three day old hot dog... with all the preservatives, it is probably safe.

I lived in squalor and used well water as a youth. I have managed to find good fresh water everywhere I have traveled. Some examples of filtering systems is about as safe as one can process fresh drinking water. The US Military had pills you would drop into the water in your canteen... someone may refresh my limited memory with the name.

In Colorado we lived 8 years on well water. No side effects, other than preferring it to City Water.

Lithium water at Manitou Springs, Colorado coming out of the side of a wall by the sidewalk is put into jugs by the locals. It is absolutely great tasting and never had a side affect.

Springs going to Arapahoe Basin, Colorado ski area have a pull out to a Spring, where people fill jugs on their way home.

Just become water wise and your misgivings about anything but treated water will soften a bit over time. Be concerned more about Bad Food at a remote restaurant.

The Internet is full of ways to process water. Listen to those who have horror stories to tell... but use your best judgment for yourself and family.

If you shower a lot and use lots of water while camped... toss in three or more empty five gallon jugs, fill them before going into the back country. Our Fresh Water is for cooking and drinking. We shower on the way out, but not where fresh potable water is actually a precious commodity.
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:03 AM   #19
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Boondocking: Water while Off the Grid

Halazone [sp] comes to mind. Tasted like crap but would sanitize a canteen full of water in a short time. Tiny white pills on a smallish bottle. Last used them while a Boy Scout in the 1960's...

Nowadays an appropriate filter system is easier...
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Old 07-10-2017, 11:30 AM   #20
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I'm not sure I always trusted the pills, but they're a good backup. I've heard of people relyin on them and getting sick anyways.

I just find the grayl so easy to use I see no reason not to, for me. I'm sure I filter a bunch of safe water (gas station bathroom sink faucet?) but it ends up tastin better and givin me peace of mind. I used it in Asia and South America a couple years ago and drank tap water the whole time. I've traveled to some pretty remote areas and seen folks get pretty ill on account of a lil amoeba so I go the better safe than sorry route and I always got tasty drinkin water too.
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