You are camping in an RV, and you ran out of fresh water. Now how to refill fresh water tank during camping? There are several options for getting water during a camping trip, but there is no perfect solution. Here we will discuss various methods that can help you refill your freshwater tank when on a camping trip. So you don’t have to worry about finding drinking water while outdoors again!

How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping?

How to Refill Fresh Water Tank during Camping

Refilling from a Faucet

One way to refill fresh water tank during camping is by using a faucet. This method will require you to go outside and turn on the tap for the RV’s freshwater system. After turning it off:

  1. Get two quart-size containers and fill them up with fresh water from the faucet.
  2. Fill both containers before reattaching one container back onto your RV while storing the other in case of an emergency.
  3. Ensure no leaks or drips when attaching because this can waste valuable drinking water if not careful!

The RV freshwater system also needs to be flushed with some of the new water. This will flush out any residue that has built up within your tank from use and contamination.

 It is a good idea to do this for about five minutes straight before adding more of the new freshwater you just refilled. Then let it sit and run until all pressure in the hose disappears by itself. Which usually takes around 30 seconds or less.

Highway Travel Centers

Cross the highway to find a restroom to refill fresh water tank during camping. You may only be able to fill up small containers like water bottles or pour them into your hands. The more common this is in places you travel, the better it will be when encountering an emergency situation. Where there are no freshwater resources available on site.

National Forests

Many towns that are near National Forests will have a water faucet available. You can ask an attendant how to refill fresh water tank during camping.

Locate a public restroom or other building and look for signs that say “Drinking Water.” One easy way to tell if there’s drinking water is by looking for the word “drink” on those signs, usually in blue letters. Turn on the tap and fill up your containers with clean drinking water.

Travel Centers

Travel centers usually have a water refill station. It is easy to find one. Because they have signage that says how much it costs and how many gallons you can fill up here. Travelers who need fresh water for their RV tanks will often stop at these places. Beacause the cost of filling up an RV tank from a travel center is cheaper than the price charged by most gas stations, convenience stores, or other public sources. There you can refill fresh water tank during camping.

Rest Stops

You can also refill your freshwater tank at a rest stop. There are two main reasons for this: the first is convenience, and the second is safety. If you wait until you get to your destination, how will you know if it’s safe to drink? How can you ensure there aren’t any contaminants in the drinking water? These issues do not apply with bottled water or treated tap water from a faucet at a public restroom.

If using public restrooms – be sure to close off toilet paper rolls and other items near sinks so they won’t touch anything wet on them when rinsing hands before touching surfaces such as soap dispensers which may have been touched by contaminated hands (or worse). Be careful of how you dispose of any paper towels used.

National and State Parks

Refilling from a Faucet at National and State Parks: You can refill your freshwater tank by going to the nearest drinking fountain. This is how you do it. Take off the faucet cover and turn on the tap so there’s no air in the line. Put your drinker hose into a clean container under the spout of water. Unscrew or twist down with pliers handle attached to cap holding back stream of water (make sure not to damage), press valve button up past shut-off point. So there’s a steady flow coming out, let go when full. Now screw or twist down on the cap again tightly before removing the hose and replacing faucet covers.

* Note: this process may take some time and may require you to refill the container.

Fuel Stations

Fuel stations are a great place to refill your fresh water tank during camping. They’re often located at the edge of cities, where they can be accessed by travelers coming in from other towns. A notable downside is that fuel stations won’t always have water or restroom facilities, and there may not be any nearby stores for supplies either. Sometimes you’ll see vending machines with snacks, but if you need more than candy bars, then it might take some time to find what you need.

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

You can refill your fresh water tank during camping at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM is usually located near the campgrounds. Just look for a sign with red and white letters that says “Refill Station.” Once you find it, follow these steps:

  • You need to bring empty gallon jugs or containers with lids
  • Fill them up using one of their sinks
  • Make sure they are sealed properly, so no leaks occur while driving.

Be aware that if you have any contamination in your RV’s fresh water system, this could be how bacteria enter your RV’s drinking water supply. If someone else has used the sink before, wash hands thoroughly!

Refilling with a Pump

A pump will be a good solution for how to refill fresh water tank during camping. Make sure that the hose is as close to the bottom of the RV’s fresh water tank as possible. Start the pump and connect it to a reservoir of freshwater.

RV Dump Stations

A tank at the door of an RV is how you can get water from a dump station to refill fresh water tank during camping. You will have to find an RV dump station in your area. There are over 70,000 self-service stations across the US and Canada. To find the closest one to you, go to RV Dumping Stations.

There are two types of pump at most dump stations – a hand pump or a foot pump. If you are wondering how to refill a freshwater tank during camping, then the station will have both pumps available for use in exchange for a small fee.

Hand Pump: 

The hand pump is how you refill a fresh water tank during camping if there’s no power or electricity. You have to crank the pump by hand, usually a few hundred times.

Foot Pump:

 The best option to refill fresh water tank during camping is with a foot pump. Cranking it requires far less effort than using your hands. If there’s no power available at the dump station and the RV has electricity from an inverter, you can use a power inverter to run the pump.

If you know how to refill fresh water tank during camping, then one of these pumps will be your best bet.

Drill Pump

A drill pump is one of the most efficient methods to refill fresh water tank during camping. It’s how it works- You drill a hole into the ground and insert the pipe with an end that will suck up water from below, then you fill your RV’s holding tank until it reaches capacity. The drawbacks include noise pollution if you have neighbors camped in close proximity and riskier drilling through rocks or other hard substances because of how difficult it can be to know what lies underground when digging for this method.

Cordless Drill Pumps

Cordless Drill Pumps are a convenient way to refill fresh water tank during camping. To use it, you will need:

– Camping RV with electricity (campground hookups or generator)

– Water pump kit (can be purchased at any hardware store)

– Cordless drill + screwdriver bit – for drilling hole in PVC pipe and mounting the valve under sink faucet; this can also be done by using one of those adhesive nozzles that work on most standard kitchen sinks

If your campground has power available, set up a cordless drill next to the nearest hose bibb. Mount a long length of PVC piping vertically somewhere near the ground so when you hold it down against the ground, it will be pointing up to about chest height. If you have a central hose bibb with multiple taps, then drill two holes in the pipe and use two valves to fill water tanks from both sides at once.

Start by unscrewing the threaded valve on top of your freshwater tank (this is how they are usually attached).

Refilling with the Help of Gravity

You can do this by using gravity and a bucket or drum that has been placed lower than the freshwater tank in order for water to flow into it. The less pressure needed from pumps or power equipment makes refilling easy on-demand without being noisy, so other campers are not disturbed at night. All you need is a hose nozzle and some buckets!

  • First, attach the end of the hose to one side of the bladder. Then use another small funnel-shaped object to tightly cover up where the hose meets the hole in the bladder. This will help you get a good seal.
  • Next, fill up the buckets with water. Make sure they are lower than the fresh ones and open them to let out air that might be inside of them. Now you should have two things: one bucket filled for use and another ready to go if needed.
  • Attach the other end of the hose nozzle (with a funnel) to where the tube meets the bladder tank so that you are going in this direction “down” into the hole on top of the bladder tank, rather than from one side.
  • Fill up the pump reservoir by attaching a small hose to its handle. The handle should be close enough to the pipe coming out of the storage compartment for water to flow into it. Fill it from a creek or pond, and water will fill up the pump reservoir.
  • Turn on the pump  
  • Open the valve on the water tank to let water flow. Attach one end of the hose to the valve and put the other end in a nearby area that needs water. You can also use a ‘Y’ connector so you can direct water into two different areas.
  • Once the tank is full of freshwater, close the valve on it and take it away.

This method sucks up sediment from the bottom of the bladder tank rather than using pressure. The less time spent under pressure allows for more time with less wear on pump components, which leads to a longer lifespan! Your RV camping trip will be much quieter without all the noise of power equipment.

Campground Freshwater Hookups

Campground Freshwater Hookups are probably the easiest of all methods. Simply go to your camp store, buy a gallon or two of freshwater, then find out where the spigots are located that dispense said freshwater and turn them on. Fill up your tank with as much as you need while they’re running until it’s full or at the desired level, then shut off when done. 

If this is not common knowledge, you may have to ask an attendant for permission before entering their space. In some cases, there will be a sign posted nearby indicating what type of cleanup is expected after using such facilities. So check before proceeding accordingly!  

A variation on this would be bringing along multiple containers to fill up at the spigot. While you’re there, then taking them back to your campsite and filling up as needed.

Tank Vent

The most common method to refill the fresh water tank during camping is to use a hose and vent. To do this, you will need an elevated water container like a bucket or watering can that connects to your RV’s freshwater fill point by way of a long hose that attaches securely with clamps.

The process starts by attaching one end of the attached hose to the top nozzle on the open freshwater valve in your RV (usually found below where it says “Fresh Water”). You’ll then drill or screw holes into two different sides of your raised container so that both ends are exposed; clamp each side tightly onto these drilled or screwed holes. Then place any hole overtop another, so they’re connected together on opposite sides of the container. 

With your freshwater hose attached securely to both holes. Turn on a nearby faucet and allow it to flow into the bucket or watering can that is elevated in order for gravity to do its work. 

Once full, disconnect from one hole and clamp down onto another until you’ve emptied out the entire tank (or as much as possible). 

The process then repeats with attaching your line back up again so that you can fill it up all over again. 

How do you fill a Boondocking freshwater tank?

The first step is to find a potable water source. If you are in the desert and there are no creeks or rivers, go for rainwater (well-filtered). In most places around America, it will be available at fire stations where they have large tanks of clean drinking water on standby for emergencies. You can also use portable freshwater filter systems if your campsite has one with spare filters.

   Next, connect an empty container that holds roughly 20 liters which should take much less than an hour to fill up from a very large tank-like those found at gas stations or industrial sites. Turn off the pump when complete so as not to contaminate any remaining draw after turning it off.

  The next step is to disconnect the container and pour it into your freshwater tank. Once filled, then turn on the pump at a slow rate. This will allow you not only to take care of bacteria growth but also give time for air bubbles that might have formed inside your water line during filling to be released.

 Next, check for leaks in the connection points by looking for any wet-stained areas around where they meet as well as around their seals or O-rings if applicable with compressed air from an aerosol can (but avoid using this near any electronics). If there are no detectable leaks, remove all connections, so none of them leak when disconnected. Now fill up another bucket and test again.


If you are going camping, it is important to plan ahead. You need to know how to refill your fresh water tank during camping. Last year when we went camping, the only way that we could get fresh water was by carrying five gallons of tap water in buckets from home. 

It took all morning to fill up enough for drinking and cooking purposes—and there was always worry about spilling or breaking one of those precious containers! Luckily this year, my husband found an ingenious solution on Pinterest – he used empty milk jugs as temporary storage during the day, so we didn’t have to carry anything back and forth with us while hiking.

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