How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping | 3 Simple Methods

RVs are a godsend for any lover of the great outdoors who wants to keep the basic comforts of a stationary home. But RVs do, at the end of the day, have some limitations, one of which is the dreaded empty water tank.

The water tank of an RV allows you to shower, wash your dishes, or even drink water. So one of the worst things that can happen—particularly when dry-camping—is having your water tank run out.

Wondering how to refill fresh water tank during camping? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be covering a few different methods and how to hook up a RV water tank, along with answers to your most pressing RV water tank questions!

How to Refill Fresh Water Tank During Camping?

Here, we will talk about the 3 most effective methods that you can follow to refill fresh water tank while camping.

Method 1: Refilling Fresh Water Tank Using a Faucet

The easiest, and therefore most common, method of refilling an RV water tank is from a water hookup or faucet. This involves connecting a hose and letting the water supply run until you have a full tank. Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1: Ensure that the pressure regulator and overflow valve of your RV are in working order. These will help ensure that water pressure or an overflowing tank doesn’t damage your RV.

Step 2: Locate a hose or faucet. Most campsites already have this, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. However, it’s important to remember that you should only use safe RV drinking water.

Step 3: Attach the female end of the hose to the spigot (if at a campsite) or other water sources. Check for leaks and ensure that the connection is fully secure. You will have new problems to deal with otherwise!

Step 4: Now connect the hose’s male end with your RV. In most RVs, this will be identified as “Portable/Drinking Water Only”. If your RV has only one input, then you’ll have to shift the valve to direct the water into the freshwater tank.

Step 5: Turn on the faucet or spigot. Have someone monitor the tank filling from inside the RV, so they can alert you.

Step 6: Once you’re done, turn the water off.

Step 7: Remove the hose carefully from your RV and from the spigot.

Step 8: Don’t forget to replace the lid on your RV’s water intake port!

Method 2: Refilling Fresh Water Tank Using a Water Pump

If it wasn’t obvious, for this method, you would need to purchase a water pump. This method is particularly well-suited to long dry-camping or boondocking trips where you’re not connected to city water or a campsite water supply.

Furthermore, you should also have on hand some pre-filled water containers. This allows you to refill the RV tank when it’s empty without having to find a water source.

Step 1: Externally connect your freshwater containers to your RV using your drinking water hose.

Step 2: Activate your water pump by connecting it to the RV’s battery with the help of alligator clips.

Step 3: Now sit back and let the pump do its job of refilling your fresh water tank.

Step 4: As you did with the faucet method, it’s important to keep an eye on your pressure regulator and water level indicator.

Method 3: Refilling Fresh Water Tank with the Help of Gravity

Yep, you read that right! For the following method, your ally is gravity itself. This method is used when you can’t reach a water faucet or pump, so it’s more of a last-ditch method.

For this method, you will need a mobile water container previously filled with fresh water. So it requires prior planning. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Fill up your portable water containers from any campsite spigot or water pump.

Step 2: Using a ladder (for safety), climb up on top of the RV, and locate the tank opening. You should be higher than the inlet hole. Have someone hand you the water container from below.

Step 4: Now pour the contents of your gallon water container into the RV. If the container does not come with a spout or other convenient water delivery path, then you will need to use your drinking water hose and funnel.

Refilling Fresh Water Tank

Frequently Asked Questions

How many gallons of water does an RV hold?

The answer to this varies from one RV to another; the following table will give you a better idea.

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As you can see, the range is quite wide. So you better check the specifications of your particular vehicle.

What type of water container is best?

The answer mainly depends on your preferences. But here are some factors to look out for in your water container: lightweight but durable construction, a functional design (e.g., integration of carrying handles), in-built filtration system, and portability.

What are gray water and black water?

These are categorizations of RV wastewater. Grey water is wastewater created by the shower and sink, while black water is created by the toilet. Empty these tanks every couple of weeks.

How can I conserve water better while traveling?

Take short, military-style showers. Use biodegradable disposable plates and glasses. Instead of using water to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.

What causes odor in black and grey water tanks?

These odors can be attributed to an accumulation of waste, sludge, or decomposing matter. Clean your tanks regularly!


The simple pleasures of RV traveling or living can certainly be ruined in an instant if your fresh water tank runs out.

So, we hope that the three methods we have detailed for how to refill fresh water tank during camping have helped you. And remember, no matter how sure you are of finding a campsite spigot, you should always keep some water containers ready.


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