Boondocking Water Replenishment for RVs

By:  Lisa & Dan Brown

12th Jan, 18

wa·ter - ˈwôdər,ˈwädər/noun - a colorless, transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

It's every living thing's life blood. Living things need it to survive.

It's also necessary for cooking, brushing and flushing, sloshing and washing. Water is one of the most 'taken for granted' necessities...well, unless you live in the desert. Until you experience water rationing, you really have little comprehension of how precious that clear liquid life blood seriously is.

Unlike an S&B (sticks and bricks house), our RV has holding tanks; one of which is our water tank, which holds 100 gallons of fresh potable water. That water facilitates our personal consumption, cooking, dishwashing, body washing, teeth brushing, and poop flushing.

During our first Quartzsite experience a year ago, Dan was intrigued by watching a fellow RVer replenish his water tank with his cool expandable 'bladder'. He intensely watched him as he connected his water bladder to his coach and voila! By doing this, his coach's water supply would sustain them for a few more days. This made us raise our eyebrows and wink at each other like we knew what each was thinking. As we walked away, Dan muttered under his breath, 'I gotta git me one of those!'.

Almost a year later, after reading several recommendations and reviews, he ordered the 60 gallon Aquatank II Water Bladder from Amazon. It cost us about $150. It arrived at a mail center only a couple days after ordering.

Before I go on with how it works, here's our own recommended Water Replenishment Supply Kit:

Aquatank II Water Bladder

There several sizes; get one that suits your coach/RV water tank size. We bought the 60 gallon for about $150 on Amazon. It's ideal for water storage for emergencies or boondocking where water is not readily available. It's made with an odorless food-grade liner that wont give your water strange taste or smell like PVC or plastic tanks or bladders and puncture-resistant outer shell. Amazingly, when empty and stored, it weighs less than 5 pounds and is compact folded.

When filled:

30 Gallon - 36" x 48" x 14" - 250 pounds

60 Gallon - 36" x 48" x 16" - 500 pounds

150 Gallon - 48" x 72" x 12" - 1251 pounds

300 Gallon - 54" x 144" x 12" - 2502 pounds


This powers our Electric Water Pump to suction the water from the bladder to the RV. We use our Wen 56200i 2000 watt generators. When we do our water replenishment in this evolution, we only need to run one.

Electric Water Pump, Hoses, Etc.

  • Drummond 1/10 HP Non-Submersible Transfer Pump. The pump came with a 3' green hose.
  • 2 10' potable water hoses. These hoses will be used ONLY for your water. One will connect from bottom valve of the bladder to one side of the Electric Water Pump. The other will connect from the other side of the Electric Water Pump to the RV's water intake receptacle.
  • Two (2) Hose Connectors

  • Small Spray Bottle of Bleach

The bladder has connections ready to hook up. You will only need one male and one female and a standard water hose connection. We always spray bleach on every spigot opening and hose threads thoroughly. This sterilizes and kills whatever might be lurking before they go into our water tank or bladder.

Aquatank II water replenishment...

Once we received shipment, we were eager to try it out. First, we were quite surprised at how compact this cool thing stores when not being used. To boot, we were amazed at how much this bladder expanded without busting the seams.

The Aquatank II is super easy to use. Just fill it with water using your standard hose connection. Simply release the water by opening the outlet side on the outlet end. Its guaranteed for up to one year.

Now, before I go on, using this water replenishment system requires us to have room in the bed of our truck for transport (aft of the 5th wheel hitch); making sure there's a smooth surface under where the bladder will be filled and transport.

We also require a little space between our coach and whatever would be parked next to us (another RV, bush, tree, obstacle) because we need to get our truck near the coach as when full, the bladder is too heavy to carry.

After Dan returned from filling the bladder, he parked the our truck next to our Liberty's utility side. He simply attached one of the potable water hoses to the bladder and connected the other end to the electric water pump. He then connected the other hose from the electric pump to our RV water receptacle.

Lastly, he switched Liberty's Anderson Valve from Boondocking to Fill. Adding in to note, Dan labeled our Anderson Valves for our own measure.

Once everything was hooked up and leak tested, it took approximately 20 minutes to completely empty a 60 gallon bladder into our RV's water tank.

After Dan completed our water replenishment, he left about a quart of water in the bladder and added about a tablespoon of water to slosh around inside to prevent mold, mildew and other uninvited things that might want to grow. He dumped it out and folded the bladder up to about the size of a small bible.

It was THAT easy peasy!

Where do we get our water?

Dan or I will research local campgrounds, RV parks, National or State Parks. If we're in an area of people we know who own a S&B, we kindly ask them if we can fill our bladder. Sometimes, we will ask a business who may have a water spigot and either offer them a couple bucks or support their business with a purchase.

Reiterating, anytime we get water, we sanitize all spigots and water sources with the spray bleach. We are also always mindful of where our water source comes from. We don't just hook up to any spigot we see. 

NEVER use water at a dump station!

Make certain any spigot reads POTABLE WATER!

In closing, you see that there are ways to make your boondocking off the grid or camping experience longer without having to relocate your whole RV leaving more time for the fun stuff!

*Lisa Brown (Always On Liberty) is a paid contributor to the Heartland Blog. All opinions expressed are her own.*

Lisa & Dan Brown

Lisa & Dan Brown

Dan & Lisa Brown are known as "Always On Liberty". They are two Coasties (30 years Retired & Veteran) who fought Mother Nature guarding our coasts and saving souls now travel between them with their two Maine Coon Cats. They have been full-time traveling since 2014 with their 2016 Heartland Landmark 365 Ashland (formerly '16 Heartland Cyclone 4100). They are avid hikers, ADV motorcycle riders, bloggers and travel enthusiasts. They enjoy visiting, hiking and riding our National Parks, Monuments, Historical Sites, Battlefields and strange places. 
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