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Our maiden voyages of our van with a temporary build out taught us a lot about what didn't think about. One of the biggest issue we discovered was we were constantly looking for water. We had a 5 gallon jug, we collected numerous 2 gallon jugs when we had to buy water, and all of our water bottles but were still using water from the lakes and streams to wash dishes if out for more than a few days. That wasn't even considering showering. Been following the solar show and water heater threads. Still not sure what we'll do there. But we know we need more water on board. We're thinking like 50-70 Gallons for a week of boondocking. We know that's a lot of weight and space but we think we will probably need it.

Is that crazy thinking?
Where could we store this much water? over the wheel wells? underneath?

Any help is appreciated.
 

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..One of the biggest issue we discovered was we were constantly looking for water...We're thinking like 50-70 Gallons for a week of boondocking...we will probably need it...
Greetings,
Of course what i share is our observation with our minimalist style of vanLife...

After making the switch from powered flow, to gravity flow... > >
We have never used more than 5 gallons of washing/shower water in a week. Never. Actually more like 4 gallons max. Yes we both take ~2 showers a week and wash hands and utensils with the water supply. We are not including drinking water in this amount, which starts off as bottled water, then into our Berkey "Traveler" water filter, then into our Dyln alkalizer drinkers.

The trick is not to get into the trap of powered water supply IMO. Get your shower by gravity out of a canister or bag, turn on a gravity fed spout for your hand/dish washing. That was what turned our use to such minimal use.
 

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We also get by on 3-4 gallons a week and doing dishes is done by filling a tiny washbasin and then rinsing all the dishes at once. Doing dishes probably uses 2 quarts and we do them once a day. In our Truck camper we had 21 gallons and could go 3+ weeks.
Modern water usage in the western hemisphere has become very wasteful as we have unlimited amounts at our faucets. You can either adapt or carry that 50 gallons which will weigh 400 pounds! We drive a campervan not a motorhome and live differently because we have a tenter-like mentality.
 

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We never use more than 5 gallons a week and we use it for cooking and washing. Sam’s Club sells not returnable 4 gallon plastic jugs of water for cheap money (less than $4 and no deposit on the jugs).
 

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OMG. Really 5 gallons a week? We must be drinking up a storm. I am a bit ashamed. I really don't feel like we're being wasteful...specially since we've even resorted to buying water at times which we hate due to the plastic. We thought having a bit more would really make things a bit easier.

Current usage.
Drinking 3/4 gallon each, plus 1/2 gallon dog(s) -2gal/day (we're pretty active)
Washing dishes 2x day 1/2 gallon ea - 1 gallon
Cooking/coffee - 1+gal/day
Sponge bathing - 1/2 gal day
Solar shower 5 gallons/ week

Guess we can do even better. Still though I think if we had 30Gallons on board we'd have more time between fills. Any good suggestions where to attach something like this?
 

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Well the dogs do drink a lot ;) but 1.5 gallons a day for 2 people must make for a lot of flushing also! I would guess the Mrs and I drink about a lit and a half each per day but that’s from plastic bottles in hot weather, we use paper plates and just wash the silverware when it accumulates in a small plastic pan from WallyWorld once a day. Probably a quart of water for coffe at the most and next to nothing for cooking and no showers. My porta potty has its own water supply but it lasts a week easily.

It doesn’t take long to add up for sure.

Considering we only shower when there are showers available and drink bottled water and the potty has its own supply (4 gallons at most) you are probably not doing that bad if you are boondocking.
 

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Powered water pumping uses excess water and gravity flow the least. An in between solution is to use a foot or hand pump to move water. The Whale foot pump widely available in the boating world is an excellent product.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
We have an 18 gallon poly tank mounted above the floor in the passenger side bed pedistal.

Seems like plenty of water to us -- maybe 4 days?

Remember that if you have a larger fresh water tank, you have to do something with the grey water. Our grey water tank is under the van and is smaller since we need water to flush our composting toilet.

Here are the details on how its installed -- make sure that its well secured in case of crash.
http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-co...-plumbing-and-the-fresh-and-grey-water-tanks/



Gary
 

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A quality spray bottle can save a ton of water. You can use it for rinsing your hands, dishes, sink, etc.
 

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i'm glad to be among those who have taken on the metal-tent mentality : ) and are thinking beyond needing the home-kitchen-faucet while on the road. Life can be soooo simple, and still comfy.

Thom
 

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To answer your question there are mounts to put the spare on the bumper leaving that area available for a water tank, but others have mounted tanks underneath in other spots. I've been thinking of adding a water tank in the back around the wheel well so that is have enough to install an eccotemp propane water heater. I think k with the two factory tie downs on either side of the wheel well that could be used to help really secure the container.

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i'm glad to be among those who have taken on the metal-tent mentality : ) and are thinking beyond needing the home-kitchen-faucet while on the road. Life can be soooo simple, and still comfy.
A quality spray bottle can save a ton of water. You can use it for rinsing your hands, dishes, sink, etc.
Agree. Like electrical power, there are two sides to the equation. One of the lessons I learned from our tenting days is that I don't need a sink or any other plumbing. Just spent 3 days without a water supply. We used something less than four gallons total, even with showers every day.
 

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We use 1/2 to 3/4 gallon per person for cooking, cleaning and drinking. Our solar shower will last at least a week if we are camping at places without showers. We carry a 5 gallon Coleman water container, 2 gallon water jug and another gallon or so in other bottles. We have no sink or faucet. We travel as if we are tent camping - except we are in our van.

We keep the 2 gallon jug behind the passenger seat attached to the base of the frame and the 5 gallon container in a plastic box under our bed.
 

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Hmmm, we have 59 gallon capacity on our class C, but never fill more than a third. That lasts a week or so when boondocking. We never hook to city water, always live out of the tanks.

On the other hand, a couple we camp with go through at least 30 gallons a day!

In our van we carry 8 gallons, refilling along the way, either in stores or at trusted sources.

Drink however much you can hold- we consume about a gallon each per day through drinking and cooking. Gray (and black) water management is the interesting part of the equation.


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Our maiden voyages of our van with a temporary build out taught us a lot about what didn't think about. One of the biggest issue we discovered was we were constantly looking for water. We had a 5 gallon jug, we collected numerous 2 gallon jugs when we had to buy water, and all of our water bottles but were still using water from the lakes and streams to wash dishes if out for more than a few days. That wasn't even considering showering. Been following the solar show and water heater threads. Still not sure what we'll do there. But we know we need more water on board. We're thinking like 50-70 Gallons for a week of boondocking. We know that's a lot of weight and space but we think we will probably need it.

Is that crazy thinking?
Where could we store this much water? over the wheel wells? underneath?

Any help is appreciated.
I don't think that's crazy thinking at all. My girlfriend and I traveled 20,000 miles across North America for 8 months climbing, surfing, and backpacking. We're not RVers. Here's how our water usage turned out:

The Four Wheel Camper flatbed we traveled in had a 20 gallon water tank, and a second 6 gallon jug off the rear. We could dry camp for 3 days, 4 pushing it living well. This means hot showers for each of us outside (2-3 min) daily, and all cooking/drinking. We don't camp cook-we cook extensive, full fresh meals.

I'd say 50 gallons for a week of boondocking is reasonable. After traveling that long it gets old to pretend you're tent camping. We did plenty of tent camping, and are adventurous and young. But having a comfortable place to recoup and rejuvenate in order to play hard the next day was essential to us. Having water to do this was essential as well.

I do think carrying 50 gallons is pretty difficult. There is definitely enough tank space below the rig, and under a platform bed-but the weight is staggering! In my build I'm doing a 30 gallon internal tank below a platform bed, and I'll have two 6-gallon jugs for extended week-long stays without access to fill up. It just depends on how you're going to use it-size the tank to your average trip, and then if extended trips necessitate you can fill up a couple of containers.

Hope this perspective helps, coming from someone who is DEFINITELY up to get dirty/play hard far from civilization but also likes to recover well with comfortable amenities in order to preserve the body and prepare for hard, focused physical activity the next day.
 

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Carrying 350/400 lbs of unnecessary weight around all the time doesn't make much sense to me! Not to mention - where do you refill much less store and then dump it?
 
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