Off the grid solutions for getting water when RV camping, also known as RV boondocking

Boondocking off the grid can be an awesome adventure. However, there are some things that you should definitely consider before packing up your RV and searching for that perfect off the grid spot.Probably the most critical thing to think about is water.How will you get it?How will you make sure it is clean and drinkable? Here are some water tips for the adventurous boondocker, looking to spend some time off the grid.

Boondocking Off the Grid: Option 1: Take it With You

Yeah, I know that you are probably saying, “yeah, thanks captain obvious.”But, I always like to cover all options just in case.

Holding Tanks

Most RV’s have a holding tank that you can fill, and that water can last you a few days.Depending on how many people will be using it.Our fresh tank can hold 46 gallons of water.That is enough for a couple of people for a few days, up to about a week, depending on how much you use.If you are taking showers all the time, and using a lot of water to do dishes, it will go fast. Also, if you are driving long distances with a full water tank, it can be hard on your gas consumption due to extra weight.So if you can, fill up when you are getting close to your destination.A good water filter for your fresh tank is always a good idea.

Boondocking Off the Grid

Water containers

Now, if you don’t have a tank on your RV, you can take bottled water, or fill up a water container or two. If you go with a container, I suggest going with a refillable, collapsible, option. Much easier to handle when it’s empty and to refill.We have this collapsible water container and it works great. This option is good if you are just going to be out for a couple of days. It’s a good idea to always have a collapsible water container with you as you will see in upcoming examples.

Option 2: Find a Spot Next to a Natural Water Supply

Option number 2 for when you are boondocking off grid is probably my personal favorite.Find a natural water source.

Choose Your Natural Supply carefully

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Preferably, you want to find a well flowing, fresh water stream or river. The water should appear clear, and have a good flow to it. Sitting water can be dangerous as it can carry parasites, animal waste, and other toxins. Even if the water is moving, there is still a small risk of these hazards. However it is considerably less risk. If you are planning on drinking it straight from the source, be sure you do a little research into where the water is coming from. But, if you have one of the filter options below, any body of water will do.

Collect Rain Water

This is a great option especially if you are going to be off grid for an extended period of time.You will need some sort of vessel to collect the water in.We like to use this 26 Gallon collapsible rain barrel.It is easy to transport and holds a lot.I like to take a tarp and hang it in between a few trees and place the barrel right where the water drains out.This will help you collect a lot of water in a very short time.Be sure that you filter this water supply with one of the options below. Especially if it has been sitting open for an extended period of time.

More Water Options when Camping: Filter It!

If possible, it is always a good idea to filter your natural water source, or rain water. There are a few options for doing this, and the expense ranges.Here are a few options.

Water Drops

Probably the least expensive option is water tablets, or drops.Be sure to ready the directions clearly on the tablets or drops you chose, but usually there is a 30-minute wait period after adding the drops that ensures adequate time for the drops to target organisms and make water bacteriologically suitable for drinking. For the drops we use, 2 PA tablets are required to treat 1 quart (1 liter) of water. Additionally, 50 tablets will treat 25 quarts of water.

Related Article: Free Boondocking Resources

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Another off grid water purifying option is the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.These things are awesome!They are particularly convenient when you are away from your RV or normal water source.Simply pull it out of your pocket or bag, and use it like a straw in any water condition.The filter will remove 99.999999% of bacteria and parasites.

Water Bottle Filters

Similar to the LifeStraw above, water bottle filters allow you to take from any water source.Simply fill the bottle with the water, then when you suck the water up through the straw, it will filter it for you. We have one of these and carry it around almost everywhere we go. Even if we are not camping or boondocking, they are great to have on you in any situation so you can filter any water.

Lager Holding Tanks/Filters

If you are looking for a larger solution than a water bottle, the HydroBlu Pressurized Jerry Can Water Filter is a great option.These particular one holds up to 4 gallons, so you will not have to fill it up several times a day like the water bottles.There are larger ones too like the LIFESAVER 5 gallon Capacity Filtering Can. My personal favorite water filter system is my Berkey water filter system.If you have never tasted the water from a Berkey, you are in for a treat.These filters are a bit on the more expensive side, but they work very well.Also, the filters, if you clean and service them properly, can last up to 10 years!

Conclusion

Boondocking off grid is so much fun.Being prepared is what makes the difference between having a great time or a bad one.There are other things to consider as well, such as, emptying your waste tanks, electric options, wifi, etc.Hopefully this article has helped you check water off of your list.

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