How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping

How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping

Whether you’re a day hiker, tourist, camper, or experienced outdoorsman, everyone is subject to circumstances beyond their control. Understanding the importance of water in the wild will be critical to your survival in any situation. Recreational Vehicles offers an enjoyable and convenient way to enjoy camping adventures while still keeping a regular comforts. 

Sometimes this means boondocking or dry camping for several days, meaning time away from any water supply. The freshwater tanks in your RV fulfill many purposes, such as feeding your shower and supplying drinking water. Still, after a few days, your tanks will start to run out. 

Boondocking is defined as staying at free locations in your RV to enjoy camping without access to facilities. It’s also known as dry camping. When boondocking, RVer’s depend on the facilities within their vehicle only. There are no hookups to water or electricity, so this puts a time limit on your trip.  

How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping

In this article, you will learn the ways how to refill a freshwater tank during camping. 

There are 3 ways you can refill fresh water tank while camping.

  1. Refilling Fresh Water Tank from a Faucet
  2. Refilling Freshwater Tank with a Pump
  3. Refilling the Fresh Water Tank with the Help of Gravity

1. Refilling Fresh Water Tank from a Faucet

The easiest, popular, and widespread way to refill your freshwater tank is from a faucet of some kind, a water hookup, using the water pressure. This way, you can simply connect a hose and turn on the water supply until it is full.

The process you adopt to refill your freshwater tanks can vary. It depends on the type of RV you have. You may either have two separate connections for hooking up to city water and refilling your tank, or one single connection with a valve.

 1. Locate the Right Hose

The first step in refilling a freshwater tank from a faucet is getting the right hose. You should check specifically for “drinking water hose.” They are manufactured for transferring clean drinkable water. They don’t have any effects on how the water moved tastes.

2. Connect to a Water Source

The second step is you have to connect one end, usually colored orange, to the water source you located. Some campsites have water supply, and you can put the hose on the taps of the supply. Ensure that the hose is fitted perfectly to the tap so that there will be no wastage of water.

3. Connect to Portable Water Only

Fit the other end properly into the “portable water only” connection on the RV. Adequately set the valve so that the water can run smoothly to refill the tank.

4. Check the Pressure Regulator

Checking the pressure regulator is one of the primary steps of this process. There is a water pressure regulator whose color is orange, which is present on one end of the hose that helps you figure out if the water source’s pressure is okay or too high. High water pressure from the source can damage the water pipes in your RV. Always check the pressure regulator to know if the supply pressure is okay.

5. Monitor the Filling of Fresh Water Tank

As you gently turn on the supply tap, you need to make sure that the fresh water tank’s filling is monitored to prevent water wastage. If you had someone else stationed in the RV to check as the water fills the tank, it would be great for you.

6. Overflow Valves to be Placed

Overflow valves are placed inside RVs to prevent the tank from overfilling and wasting water. It would be great if your RV had one or if not present; then, you should place them inside your RV.

7. Close the Tap

Now you can close the tap and get rid of the hose after the fresh water tank has been filled.

8. Close the Lid Properly

You should close the water tank’s lid properly so that dirt, debris, or other wrappers do not get into the freshwater.

If Refilling from City Water

When you are refilling your freshwater tank from city water, you don’t need to turn on the water pump. You only do this when you’re making use of your freshwater tank.

2. Refilling Freshwater Tank with a Pump

 When you are boondocking for an extended period, you will need to use an alternative method like a water pump because you will not be connected to city water or the campsite water supply.

Need some Extra Containers

You will need some extra water containers that you can externally connect to your RV. Fill up the containers with fresh water to serve as a refill when the RV’s tank gets emptied. This will ensure that you can boondock for a prolonged period.

Link Extra Containers to the freshwater tanks

Now you will link the external containers to the RV’s freshwater tank using a drinking hose.

Setup a Water Pump

The next step is now set up a water pump rated at about 12V by connecting it to your van’s battery. You would need alligator clips to implement this process.

Power up the Water Pump

The final step is to power up the water pump and start refilling the freshwater tank using the same actions as when you were filling the freshwater tank from a faucet.

3. Refilling the Fresh Water Tank with the Help of Gravity

Generally, this method is applied in refilling the RV’s water tank when there’s no water pump or supply faucet. You simply need a mobile water container filled with fresh water. Remember to fill up some portable water containers when you’re setting out in your RV. This gravity-based technique is pretty simple and straightforward when compared to the other methods.

The steps include:

1. Get some freshwater

Get some freshwater filled into the mobile/ portable water container.

2. Climb up

Gently climb up to a level where you can easily tilt the mobile container’s opening over the RV’s tank-opening and refill the tank. You could climb up on a ladder too.

3. Proceed to pour out

You now proceed to pour out the mobile container’s material into the freshwater tank. 

4. Use the freshwater hose

You might need to use the fresh water hose if you’re having trouble fitting the jug’s mouth into the tank’s opening.

5.Need a funnel

If you are using a drinking hose, you will also need a funnel to link the jug to the hose.

6. Place container’s opening above tank’s opening:

As you are using gravity, you will need to place the container’s mouth above the tank’s opening.


After explaining briefly all the steps on refilling a freshwater tank during camping, now you should be able to successfully refill your fresh water tank by yourself. You should always be conscious that it’s not enough for you to just focus on refilling. You also need to focus on managing your fresh water supplies, especially if you’re camping for a prolonged period. If you’re going to be dry camping, there’s a big chance that you won’t be close to any city water supply or campsite water supply.

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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