Saturday, September 30, 2023


Make water last longer when boondocking


Here’s a question from a reader of about boondocking. Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) .

Hi, Bob,
I find that I run out of water too quickly when boondocking. How can I either carry more water or conserve better? —Mike P.

Hey, Mike,

Coyote Camping near Lake Havasu, Arizona

There are two main ways to make your water last longer when boondocking. The first is to learn how to conserve your water usage, like taking “Navy” showers, not letting the water run when brushing teeth or washing dishes (turn on and off as needed), and collecting the water you run while waiting for it to get hot to use for rinsing dishes, cooking spaghetti, etc.

The second is to carry extra water in portable containers. Collapsible 5- gallon containers and Jerry jugs are the most common way. As your water tank level drops, pour the extra water into the outside water fill using a funnel to reduce spillage. Carry the empty jugs with you when you drive for supplies or sightseeing and refill them.

Read more about boondocking at my blog.
Check out my Kindle eBooks about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) .



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6 years ago

Installed an electric solenoid with a wall switch to route the cold water on the hot water side of the galley sink back to the fresh water tank. It’s not much, as we have a smaller camper, but in a motorhome it could mean a lot over a couple of days.

Joe Kleinsmith
6 years ago

When it rains, I capture the water off my roof gutter drain spout and or from awning into a plastic bucket. Then I use an auxiliary water pump hooked to a filter and pump the water from the bucket and into my water tank.
This bucket method also works at state parks that don’t have water near RVs.

Bob Difley
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe Kleinsmith

You must be a former sailor, Joe. I used the same method using a sail drooped over the boom to channel water to a bucket. But the same method works for RVs, too, as you described. And this year we’ve had enough rain to fill more buckets than all the boondockers in the neighborhood could use.

Bob Difley
6 years ago

Good additions Robbie. Thanks.

6 years ago

Two more: Use collected shower water to flush the toilet. Rinse your dishes in a dish pan. Use paper towels to wipe off dishes and pots before soaping.

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