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Old 07-23-2021, 12:36 PM   #1
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Where to refill water when boondocking

New to boondocking but have been RVing for a few years but only boondocked a few times. We are planning a much longer off-pavement trip which will be mostly boondocking (rarely staying in a campground, mostly forest dispersed camping) . While plannign this I had a dumb question that I can't find the answer.

If you were boondocking for a couple of months and you moved around every couple of days, where would you refill your water tank, ideally for free? I assume you can go to a campground and fill the water (probably for a fee), and some dump stations have them (maybe with a fee) but a lot of those do not have potable water. Other than driving around looking for a water faucet on the side of a building or something and asking the owner for water, I am at a loss.

What do you do?

Thanks, John
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Old 07-23-2021, 01:14 PM   #2
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John,


Almost every rural town has a source of potable water- maybe not always free but available. If you move around it shouldn't be a problem finding a place- just do searches. I'm not sure where you are but I could look for you if if there's no internet access.
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Old 07-23-2021, 01:22 PM   #3
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What are you gonna do with that water after it's all in your gray/black tanks?
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Old 07-23-2021, 01:40 PM   #4
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We always found that the places where we dumped had a fresh water source. More and more places are charging for dumping and I can understand it because they have to pay to have their systems pumped out or a sewer bill. Some are even stating the dump station/water fill is only for paid guests - understandable. We volunteered at a state park and come Sunday after the weekend outsiders would come in and use the dump station. Quite often it was too much demand on the system & it had to be closed. They soon shut it down for non-campers.

You could also mix it up and boondock until it's time to dump (for us that would be 10-14 days) then go to a national forest service campground for a night or two... or more, and use the dump station preparing to boondock again.
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Old 07-23-2021, 05:09 PM   #5
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RE: Where to refill water when boondocking

You need to carry vessels to carry water. 5-7 gallon jugs or a water bladder available at Camping World. Mine holds 45 gallons, and stores in a brief case. I carry 50' or more of hose and fittings like a water thief. I also carry special keys that fit water faucets without a handle. These are sold at hardware stores. And I carry an extra pump to pump the water from the vessel into the rv.

We always ask permission to get water. Most cities have an information place. Ask them if there is water available. We have also asked homeowners, especially those with an rv parked near their house. City parks and fair grounds, if you belong to an Elks lodge or Moose Lodge, or if you go to church, approach them for water. When you find a source, and get your rv topped off return and fill you jugs so you have extra. Some gas stations have water. We've boondocked from Calf to Maine, Washington to Florida, plus Alaska, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador and never hand a problem locating water.


Sometimes you just have to pay for water, but most prefer Free.




I see this is your first post. Welcome to the group!!
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Old 07-23-2021, 06:35 PM   #6
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We always found that the places where we dumped had a fresh water source. More and more places are charging for dumping and I can understand it because they have to pay to have their systems pumped out or a sewer bill. Some are even stating the dump station/water fill is only for paid guests - understandable. We volunteered at a state park and come Sunday after the weekend outsiders would come in and use the dump station. Quite often it was too much demand on the system & it had to be closed. They soon shut it down for non-campers.

You could also mix it up and boondock until it's time to dump (for us that would be 10-14 days) then go to a national forest service campground for a night or two... or more, and use the dump station preparing to boondock again.

Dumps often post signs that the water is non-potable? Don't mind paying to dump black tank. The gray fills much slower.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:26 PM   #7
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When we boondocked the west we always went “in” every 10 days to 2 weeks to replenish supplies and dump. Normally for a night at a campground for a minimal price. Most dumps are now beginning to charge anyway.
Water at a dump station point itself is non potable ( ie hose potentially contaminated ) but many have a fill 30 or so feet away.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:55 PM   #8
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You could always check out BLM Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs). Very inexpensive fees, and includes dump station, fresh water and trash dumpsters.
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:27 PM   #9
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You could always check out BLM Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVAs). Very inexpensive fees, and includes dump station, fresh water and trash dumpsters.

I assume this is winter only, is that correct?
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:42 PM   #10
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I would suggest you go to youtube abd look through Nomadic Fanatic's playlist. He has videos about finding water as a fulltimer.
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Old 07-23-2021, 10:39 PM   #11
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Dumps often post signs that the water is non-potable? Don't mind paying to dump black tank. The gray fills much slower.
State parks, national forest campgrounds, national parks, COE usually have a fresh water fill in a separate area away from the dump.... our experience, anyway. No.... we'd never use the hose/water at the dump area to fill our tanks!

For us, the black was added to by dumping our grey dish water into the black tank. We always had room in the black. Guess it depends on tank sizes. Ours were Grey 65 gal; Black 45 gal, Fresh 105 gal. We could last 10-14 days before having to dump the grey and we still had room in black and still had fresh water. We didn't dump grey on the ground. By the end of time we were usually ready to move onto a new spot anyway so that's when we hit the dump station.
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:58 AM   #12
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We extensively boondock or dry camp hardly ever going into a CG, and we've never had a problem finding sources for dumping our tanks or filling our fresh water. We've had many gas stations for water and often tank dumping in return for a large fill of gasoline = reciprocation works often. On our last 100% dry camp/boondock trip across Canada in 2019 for 4 months, we only had to pay to dump twice. Ask and you may be surprised how many businesses accommodate and in return patronise them where you can.

Besides Gas Stations (only one in Nova Scotia refused to give us even a couple of fresh water jugs so we left and went to one down the road to fill our gas tank that did), and other suggestions as above from 2Gypsies, Canadian Tire gave us water as did walmart and Home Depot from their garden centre area, if we hit Dumpstations prior with non-potable water or dubious source we were uncomfortable using.

Your shouldn't have an issue finding water/dumping sources in your travels. We have 100gal fresh, (plus carry separate till now for drinking/cooking) and 50/50 grey and black. With careful usage we can go up to 3 weeks, but 10 to 14 days has been our typical norm especially in really hot weather.

Any business that offers us comfortable overnights, water etc we always, always try to patronise to encourage kind/good behaviour for others coming behind us.
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:04 AM   #13
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What I usually plan on doing if we're going more than a week is to find a reasonably price campground or park, rent one night and use every facility they have. Take a long hot shower, do all our laundry, fill the water, dump the tank. Then back to the boonies. Not free but very effective.
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:47 PM   #14
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You can sometimes fill at a ranger station, with permission. It helps if you first buy a forest service map (which are very useful), and then ask about water as you are paying for the map.
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