Sunday, August 19, 2012

Boondocking Tip – Getting a quick water refill

All RVs come with different tank sizes and filling capabilities.  For my 2008 View, it’s Fresh Water, Black, and Gray tanks are all about equally sized.  What this means in real-world use (when I’m the only one using them) is that my Black tank can go well over a week between dumps, my Gray tank up to about week, but my Fresh Water tank is usuually needing re-filling after 4 or 5 days.  If I’m camping without hook-ups (i.e. “boondocking”), that either means I must limit my stay to 4 days, or figure out how to get more fresh water into my tank during my stay.

Some trailers and RVs have a Gravity Fill water inlet allowing one to fill a water jug, and then just pour the water into the Gravity Fill spout to refill the tank.  My model Winnebago View does not have one of these…so what to do?  Well, fortunately, Winnebago did include a winterizing tube and valve.  Then, the smart folks on the View-Navion Yahoo Groups site offered the creative solution.

If your RV happens to have the same kind of setup, this can work for your boondocking water refills as well.  Here’s the step-by-step of how to do it:

1. Get a jug or two for carrying your fresh water. I bought this 7 gallon one at Wal-Mart, but just about anything with a wide-mouth fill should work fine.


2. Locate your Winterizer fill hose and valve. For my 2008 model H View, mine is located beneath the floor of my rear exterior storage compartment. The winterizing hose is the clear tube running parallel to the left of the blue swimming noodle (I use that to minimize vibration/noise of the water lines when the water pump is running).


3. Remove the cap from the end of the winterizing hose.


4. Place the winterizing hose into your water jug (ideally so that the hose inlet rests on the bottom of the jug).


5. Turn your winterizing bypass valve on (so that it now accepts water from the inlet hose rather than the main water fill line).


6. Now go to your water fill lever (mine is located in my external utilities compartment) and flip the lever from “Normal” to “Tank Fill”. If your water pump is turned off, flip the Water Pump switch “On”. You’ll immediately hear the pump start filling water from the jug. I usually go back to monitor the inlet hose and jug while it is pumping to ensure that all water is “sucked in” from the jug.


7. When finished, turn the Water Pump off.  If your tank needs more water, simply go refill the jug, place the inlet hose in it again and turn the Water Pump back on. Once the tank is filled, set the Water valve back to “Normal”, turn the winterizer bypass valve “Off” and re-cap/re-stow the winterizer hose….you’re done!


  1. Thanks. I have never yet boondocked.

  2. Has anti-freeze been run through that hose? Is that safe to use if it has?

    1. Excellent question Teri! Yes, I do use the hose for RV anti-freeze in the winter. RV anti-freeze (the pink stuff) is safe to drink if trace amounts of it still exist in your fresh water system. When I de-winterize, I always fill my tank via both my normal city water inlet as well as the winterizing hose. I also pour a few cap fulls of bleach into my hoses and let that water sit in the tank a few hours before flushing and refilling again. Biggest rule that I go by is to never EVER use automotive anti-freeze (the yellow stuff) in an RV water system-- that indeed is toxic!

  3. Lynne, thanks so much for the info. I have a lot to learn before I buy an RV. You've been very helpful with camera and RV tips. I look forward to more of your posts the next time you take off in the View.

  4. Lynne another method I use on our boat often is using a siphon called a "jiggler". It is a 10 foot clear hose with a copper end and a marble in it. If you elevate the donor jug above the receiving jug and insert the copper end into the donor jug it will start a perfect siphon by simply jiggling the end of the hose. Once the siphon starts you sit back and let gravity do all the work. I have two of them - one for fuel and one for water. One of the best inventions ever!!

  5. Thank You for the informations.
    Greatings from Chicagoland.

  6. Great idea for extended days without services...and also good advice to run fresh water from the siphon hose when summerizing...flushes all the rv antifreeze nicely. Thanks for the tips.


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