Portable water pump benefits boondockers

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By Bob Difley

Boondockers know that being efficient with waste water, electricity and fresh water makes a big difference in how long they can camp without having to dump waste tanks, charge batteries, and replenish their water supply.

portapumpIf you like to boondock, one piece of equipment you can add to your rig’s arsenal is a portable water pump, which can have several uses, including saving you effort, time and hassle.

A portable pump can be used to:


  • Pump drinking water from your Jerry jug or water bladder water supply into your rig’s water tank. No more lifting heavy water jugs to pour into your tank which, over time, will save you a lot of backaches. Back your pickup or dinghy up to your rig, attach a hose to the pump and another into your water fill opening and pump away while you enjoy doing something else.
  • Pump water from a mountain stream or lake into jugs for transfer into your rig. Use this only if you use bottled or purified water for drinking and cooking and your water tank for showers and washing dishes.
  • Empty the water from your fishing boat, kayak, or canoe after a sudden rainstorm.
  • Put a shower head on the outlet hose and use it to wash off sandy feet or muddy shoes, pumping directly from a bucket outside so debris doesn’t enter your gray waste tank, or move it to any area outside your rig that needs washing off.

A good, inexpensive choice for a pump would be one similar to the Attwood WaterBuster Portable Pump (photo) that you can find on Amazon for under $35 and operates on four “D” cell batteries, which will save running your house battery down. The WaterBuster will operate for about five hours before you need to change batteries and will pump 200 gallons per hour.

You can buy stronger pumps with higher flow rates — at higher prices, of course — but for the money, a battery-operated portable pump should do the job — it will just take a little longer.

You can find Bob Difley’s RVing e-books on Amazon Kindle.

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Tommy Molnar
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Tommy Molnar

Having experienced the pain of transferring water from our 6 gallon water jugs to the dinky little fresh water inlet using a funnel for our trailer’s fresh water tank, I finally decided there had to be a better way. After all, I’m not getting any younger (or stronger!). I found a little pump thingie at the local Home Depot that attaches to my cordless drill. I cut some appropriate length water hose and a piece of PVC pipe. I then added PVC hose connectors to the end. Now we just put the water jugs on a small table next to… Read more »