Boondocking Tips: Water Usage

Boondocking Tips Before You Boondock Series
Water Usage

Laura & Sasha's Excellent Adventure!

Laura & Sasha’s Excellent Adventure

Boondocking Tips Before You Boondock
This is Laura & Sasha of Laura-n-Sasha’s Excellent Adventure coming to you from Clark County Shooting Complex, a campground in North Las Vegas, NV. We are using the campground as a place to do chores until we leave to boondock in amazing places.

Sasha has a boondocking spreadsheet that he started on December 18, 2013. As it is the fourth anniversary of that spreadsheet, we thought it might be nice to go over our Boondocking Tips Before You Boondock.

From December 18, 2013 to now, we’ve boondocked 393 days. That is with four summers (May through September 30th) of being connected in an RV spot. Every spring, fall, and winter of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 we were boondocked for part of the time.

Water Cans

Water Cans for Anytime Fill-Ups!

Water Usage While Boondocking

Water Usage is one of the limiting factors when boondocking in remote areas. We have a Toyhauler fifth wheel RV, which is set up with large tanks. Even our old truck camper had large fresh water tanks for its class.

We have two 52-gallon fresh water tanks connected and four 5-gallon fresh water containers from Scepter. These water containers are what the military use. There is no way to confuse them with diesel or gasoline containers because of the color. We also got a Rubbermaid 2 Gallon Jug. The last one we had was over 20 years OLD!!! We always try to have our water bottles filled and our water pitcher. We also make sure our water pump is fully functional and we have extra parts for the pump, just in case.

Water usage when boondocking is very different than when you are hooked up. You have to REMIND yourself not to turn on the spigot handle to full. You get used to trickling water, washing with a Rubbermaid dish tub, and saving the excess water for toilet flushing.

Showers may not be every day

If you are not dirty, a baby wipe cleaning may be quicker, and uses less water. We also got an Oxigenics Shower-head. This shower head is amazing; it makes it seem as though there is more water pressure and more water than you are really using.

Plus, when boondocking, we just use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap in Peppermint for shampoo and soap. A couple of drops for hair and body gives you an all over tingly feeling. There are also dry shampoos and soaps that do not need rinsing. Bar soaps need more water and are therefore not used as much. The two we started using are: Aussie Total Miracle Dry Shampoo and Aloe Vesta Cleansing Foam.

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  So that means…

Sasha’s Manual Labor

Manual Water Filing

Filling Up the Water Tanks


You definitely want or need to have these things along with your water containers:

  • Scepter containers
  • A piece of water hose
  • A hose thief: connector or adaptor to connect the water container to the water hose (the green connector in the pic.)
  • A ladder especially since most water inputs are midway up the rig.
  • Strong person to lift 40 pounds over their head.

Water Usage

  • Dish soap is cut back when washing dishes as it takes longer to rinse.
  • Using hydrogen peroxide when cleaning some frequently used implements (Neti pot, toothbrushes, or floss sticks) allows for no water needed.
  • Using paper towels, while creating more garbage, allows you to wipe the greasy pans before washing.
  • Sometimes, we use paper plates and plastic tableware but not often.

We typically fill the water containers before we boondock. Once the RV tanks start to get low, we refill using the portable containers, which gets us 20 gallons. We then go with our truck and fill those empty containers.

Water Cans

Our Four Water Cans

So far during our 13-year RVing experience, we have only paid twice for water. Water is available for free from many truck stops, state and national parks. There are other ways to refill your fresh tanks of course. Some folks use collapsible water tanks or rigid water refill tanks connected to a 12v pump. We try to keep it simple and get some exercise in the bargain as well.

Once you start hauling your water to your RV spot, you realize how heavy it is and you tend to use less at that point. Water weighs 8.24 lbs/gallon.

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Please check back each day for the next part of the series. Signing up to our eNewsletter will get you all the posts in one PDF, plus a worksheet to use for your first adventure! 

3 thoughts on “Boondocking Tips: Water Usage

  1. Pingback: Boondocking Tips: Getting and Managing Your Electricity – Laura-n-Sasha

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