Where can I fill my van for water? (#vanlife tips)

In today’s article, we will discuss: Where can I fill my van for water? This is a question many people ask themselves when they want to try their hand at a van, campervan, motorhome or even a roof tent. Nomadic tourism calls for resourcefulness! In this article, you will find where and how to fill up with water for your travelling trip.

Where can I fill my van for water?

If you need to know where you can fill your van for water close to your current location, there are different mobile apps for finding water. We have selected three for you:

  1. Freetaps is an app that geolocates you and references all the drinking water points in your vicinity. It’s free, and you can even add water sources that you might happen to stumble upon!
  1. RefillMyBottle is an app that relies on your location to suggest the closest places to refill your water bottle! It’s a good way to combine travel and ecology by avoiding buying plastic bottles! 
  1. Maps.me is also based on your location. Enter “drinking water” in the search bar and it finds you the places where you can get your water! Be careful, make sure that this gives you a source of drinking water because the application gives you all the water points! The GPS works even if you are not connected to the internet.

Generally, you can refill your water tank in the following places:

  • Public places – There are different public places where you can find drinking water;
  • In most petrol stations, whether on the motorway or on the outskirts of towns;
  • In public gardens and tourist places very often equipped with fountains. Make sure, however, that it is drinkable, if this is not the case, a “non-drinkable water” sign will confirm this.
  • The cemeteries are also all provided with a point of running and drinking water;
  • On the camper van areas. You can refill and even clean your water tank at any campsite.
  • Streams – River, waterfall, lake…. This solution for showering is very pleasant in summer. It may sound a bit odd to some, but test if you have the chance: it’s magic! Otherwise, fill your flexible water pocket or solar shower to wash or do your dishes! 

All of these tips allow you to travel with peace of mind, and you will never be short of water!

Don’t vans and campervans have water tanks?

A campervan has a water tank capacity most often between 20 and 60L. And this can go up to 110L on a small van. This water reserve is used to supply the kitchen, and – for equipped vehicles – a shower that can be inside or outside. A gauge lets you know how much water is in this tank … and alerts you when it is necessary to refill it!

Although the tanks are filled with potable water, it is not recommended to drink it. This water indeed stagnates in plastic tanks… It is, therefore, preferable to consume it boiled for your tea or coffee or to cook your pasta. And of course, it will be very useful for your dishes, your shower, or brushing your teeth!

So bring bottled water to start your stay, and you will always find a place to fill it up afterwards!

How to fill my water tank?

To fill your water tank, you can use a jerry can and funnel or a hose with a fitting. These accessories are generally supplied by the rental companies of converted vans and leisure equipment.

Still, if you are a little bit confused, just follow these three simple steps:

  1. To fill the water tank, find the connection marked “Fresh Water Connection.” Some vans and campers have a built-in water pressure regulator. If this is not the case with your vehicle, it is important to install one before connecting the hose. 
  1. Connect the hose, turn on the water flow and fill the desired amount. It is important not to exceed the capacity of your tank, excess water will flow back up into the plumbing and put pressure on the pipes and valves. 
  1. Disconnect the hose then remember to turn on the water pump before using the faucets, shower, or toilet. The switch is usually located on the control panel with the tank indicators.

Note: If the pump is not turned on, water will not flow through the piping. The water pump runs on the 12V electrical system powered by your battery and you can leave it running since it will only run when there is a demand.

Trailers and RVs are equipped with an anti-backflow system to avoid any type of incident while filling the water tank. If you notice that water is flowing under your RV when filling, it means that you have exceeded the maximum quantity that the tank can hold. Suction is created when the anti-backflow system evacuates excess water, this suction will cause the tank to partially empty before stopping.

The water pressure from the aqueduct is enough to circulate the water, so there is no need to turn on the water pump while you are connected. The water pressure in some cities or campsites is too high and could damage the plumbing in your RV.

Note that water does not circulate through the reservoir when you are connected directly to an aqueduct. It is therefore not necessary to fill it out if you do not plan to camp independently. You would needlessly drag a load on your trip and the potable water in the tank would stagnate. 

Avoid allowing water to stagnate in the tank to prevent deposits from forming on the walls of the tank or simply to ensure that fresh water is consumed. We, therefore, recommend filling the tank as needed and emptying the excess after your stay.

Some trailers and RVs are equipped with a water filtering system before being used in the RV. This system includes a receptacle with a filter through which water circulates. The condition of the filter cartridge should be checked occasionally and replaced if it is obsolete.

The bottom line

Besides knowing how to fill your vehicle’s water tank, it is also essential to know how to maintain, clean and disinfect it. The better care you take of your van, the longer its lifespan and ease of use. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Where can I fill my van for water?

Can I fill a water tank from the bottom?

Yes, you can fill a water tank from the bottom, and it will cut down the time that the tank is filled and the energy consumption. 

How do you fill a hot water heater?

To fill a hot water heater you have to first fill the freshwater tank. Use a water pump for this and be careful not to overfill your tank!

How long does it take to fill the RV water tank?

It takes about 20 minutes to fill an RV water tank. It all will depend on the size of the water tank and how fast the water flows.


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