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More on a Portable Water Supply for a Recreational Vehicle

I wrote a post way back in February this year about how I supply water at some of our remote boondocking locations.

We bought a surplus 300 gallon food grade plastic container in a wire cage and used it to supply the 3 RVs.  A tank this big full of water weighs over a ton so it is not for everybody.  We easily lifted it on to a trailer or into the bed of a truck with the front bucket on a backhoe.   300 gallons of water will last me a month if I am the only one using it.  The tank has a spigot on the bottom and I bought a 12v Flojet 2gpm transfer pump at Tractor supply and bolted it to a board.  It is easy business to hook it up and pump the recreational vehicle  fresh water tank full.

This morning I was reminded of just how much I hate not having water on site. I knew I needed water. I procrastinated ’til the last minute. I got up this morning with rain threatening, I had no choice.

Loading up the portable water tank

Loading up the portable water tank

Getting water as a one man crew is a lengthy and cautious project. I try to take my time and make sure all the chains are attached properly, make sure feet and hands stay out of the way and especially make sure I don’t get that heavy tank swinging like a pendulum.  Once loaded, I travel about 10 miles to the closest beer store where the gals have graciously allowed me to use their outside spigot.  The whole process start to finish consumes a little over two hours. …. and I have been doing it at this location for almost 9 months now.

Notice the bridle we use to support the tank.

Notice the bridle we use to support the tank.

This is the first time I have had to use the portable water tank through a long hot summer here in Texas and I have found out the water supply has to be handled a bit differently.  I always try to get water from a city water supply that has been treated and purified.  However, sometimes it takes me a month to use 300 gallons and that creates a problem.  It will grow algae sitting out in the hot sun.  I don’t know if the chemicals disperse because of the UV rays and the heat or what but it will grow algae.  I add a pint of bleach each time I fill the portable water tank and that seems to have solved the problem.  I have yet to notice any bleach smell in the water when it is used.  I use this same water for ice as well and it does not adulterate my Jim Beam.  It drinks just fine 🙂

The only other problem I have run into is the full tank sinking into the soft ground and blocking the spigot.   That problem was quickly solved by putting some 2x4s under the tank.

Now I realize everybody doesn’t have a Cat backhoe to lift a big  portable water tank like this but I do feel it would be applicable in many situations with some different logistics.   The empty tank is manageable with two men.  The steel frame makes it easy to slide on a hard surface like a wood or steel trailer deck.   If you had a small utility trailer that would support 3000lbs you could strap it down and dedicate the small trailer to water tank duty.   I see these small trailers on Craigslist all the time for a decent price.   I can guarantee you if I was at a deer lease with a buncha smelly men or long term boondocking in one place with a woman that wanted something more than a spit bath, this big tank would be something I would be investigating.

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