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Water Source?


sgcausey
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Steve & I will be out on our 2nd out west trip this spring. Our 1st, was to Big Bend. On that trip we stayed in state parks which had water & electricity.

This time we are headed to Glacier, from NC. I have a reservation at Fish Creek for June 5 - 9. I do realize that we could run into cold weather. We will be prepared for that.

As we go further west state parks do not have water or electricity. Electricity is no problem as we have solar; we have a compost toilet & I have the RV Dump Site app. What I am wondering is, where do people get water? I have also planned on a couple of dispersed nights & will need water for these.

Also, so many of you express caution over campsite water. Do you purchase water as you need it? Our last couple of trips we have brought water from home using a 4-gallon container & an 8-gallon wheeled container. But these ain't gonna hold us for 3000+ miles, one way. 🙂

Right now my thought is to find water for showers & washing dishes & use purchased water for drinking. Is this what people do? But, again, we have to find a place to fill up.

Thank you.

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We take bottled water to drink, so the onboard tank is for showers and dishes. That helps consumption and eases most concerns over questionable water sources. You’ll find that a lot of owners do the same. Some people connect an inline filter even if they aren’t drinking from the tanks, in an effort to reduce the potential for mineral build up in the lines and faucets.  I should probably do that but don’t.

As for where to find water - typically, even if the water is shut off in the campgrounds, parks will keep a functioning tap at one of the ranger stations, so that’s our default water source. We carry a couple of large 7 gallon jugs that stay in the truck and we’ll make a few trips if needed.  Even if we’re not camping inside a park, we’re usually near one, and have never had problems popping in to get water. We plan ahead and know how long our water lasts, so we’ve never been without.

You might download the Allstays app and under the advanced settings you can have it display water and propane availability. It’s not always accurate and definitely not exhaustive, but it’s a start. Truck stops with RV lanes are a good bet.  Some tourist areas will have water vending machines (last resort but we’ve used one once).  We’ve also gotten water from commercial campgrounds that we pass. If you ask nicely at the desk they’ll usually say no problem. I think we had one charge us a few bucks. 

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In our first camper we drank the water from the fresh tank for years with no problems. Then, while doing some maintenance, I saw the inside of the clear tank overflow tube and the green stuff in there. Even though it never caused us any harm, it put the idea of what could be lurking in some other pipes in my head and we've been drinking bottled water ever since. The fresh tank is for washing and flushing now. 

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12 minutes ago, Overland said:

download the Allstays app

I just downloaded ($9.99) and .... don't see any settings, but see references to AllStays Pro. 

But when you say "under settings" are you referring to the Filter function? I think that's it, and thank you. There are a lot of filter options, including water and propane, various types of settings, specific stores, etc. 

Thanks for any tips.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Boudicca908 said:

I just downloaded ($9.99) and .... don't see any settings, but see references to AllStays Pro. 

But when you say "under settings" are you referring to the Filter function? Thanks for any tips.

 

Yes, filter functions and at the top it will say ‘advanced filters’. Tap that and there’s a whole list of things to add. I don’t know if we have the pro version or not - I assume if you paid for the app, you’ve got it. 

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! - always keep those portable containers in the back of the truck as full as you can unless you know there will be water available at you next stop or along the way.

2- Get creative on your water sources - get one of THESE so that you can turn water "on" from almost any spigot.  Gas stations, WalMarts, convenience stores, many town water treatment plants, fire stations, police stations, etc., etc.  You may have to pay a small fee or at least offer to pay for the water.  Same thing goes for commercial camp grounds.

3 - Get one of THESE so you can get water from spigots that do not have a "normal" threaded end.

4 - Don't forget that while you do not want to drink it - mountain streams are reasonably clean water which certainly can be used for bathing.  And, with the "winterization port" on the Ollie you can draw water directly into your fresh water tank from that stream/lake if you have a long enough hose.

Bill

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20 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Get creative on your water sources - get one of THESE so that you can turn water "on" from almost any spigot. 

What a good suggestion. Thanks. I'm getting one. I already  have the Water Bandit, which is also a good suggestion.

 

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We're among those who carry drinking/cooking water from home, and use the tank for flushing and washing. We supplement or refill with purchased water.

At a dollar a day (or less, if you find a machine to refill carried 5 gallon jugs,) it's just one of those safety factors. Some walmarts and other places,  have machines with purified water for 20 cents a gallon, or less.

We used to refill drinking tanks at parks where we thought the water tasted good. Giardia and other contamination doesn't always affect taste. Many parks test sporadically.  As we've gotten older, I'm more careful about drinking water. 

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Agree with everything Overland said.  We also use bottled water for drinking and cooking. We fill from sources we can find, usually at a campground or park.  We haven’t used Bill’s mountain streams method even though we’ve been near some very clear running mountain streams.  Mike

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12 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

 We haven’t used Bill’s mountain streams method even though we’ve been near some very clear running mountain streams.

It should be obvious - but - if you ever need to resort to using water from streams and/or lakes, be certain to re-sanitize that fresh water tank. 

On the rare occasion that I've had to resort to using water from lakes and/or streams, I've simply filled my "solar shower" (like THIS ONE) or just jumped in.  Be a bit careful on that jumping in thing since at altitude the water is usually VERY COLD.  Also, if at all possible, do not use soap in the lake/stream even if it says on the label that it is environmentally OK to do so.

Bill

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For those of you considering using water from streams, etc., here's a link to a discussion about our friend Audrey's system. He used this throughout a trip through Mexico. 

We also use Purogene vs Clorox to sanitize the onboard tanks in the Ollie and the boat. We don't (yet) have his extensive rv filtration system,  though, so we've not used water from streams in the Ollie, even though we don'tdrink that water. 

 

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20 hours ago, topgun2 said:

! - always keep those portable containers in the back of the truck as full as you can unless you know there will be water available at you next stop or along the way.

2- Get creative on your water sources - get one of THESE so that you can turn water "on" from almost any spigot.  Gas stations, WalMarts, convenience stores, many town water treatment plants, fire stations, police stations, etc., etc.  You may have to pay a small fee or at least offer to pay for the water.  Same thing goes for commercial camp grounds.

3 - Get one of THESE so you can get water from spigots that do not have a "normal" threaded end.

4 - Don't forget that while you do not want to drink it - mountain streams are reasonably clean water which certainly can be used for bathing.  And, with the "winterization port" on the Ollie you can draw water directly into your fresh water tank from that stream/lake if you have a long enough hose.

Bill

I have just ordered the wrench water key & we have the water bandit. Thank you VERY much for this info.

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2 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

For those of you considering using water from streams, etc., here's a link to a discussion about our friend Audrey's system. He used this throughout a trip through Mexico. 

We also use Purogene vs Clorox to sanitize the onboard tanks in the Ollie and the boat. We don't (yet) have his extensive rv filtration system,  though, so we've not used water from streams in the Ollie, even though we don'tdrink that water. 

 

I have sent the Water Filters link to Steve, better half, to read for comprehension. I do the initial investigation & then let him take over. 🙂


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Thank you everyone for the replies. I have gotten an AllStays account, ordered recommended parts & have Steve reviewing Water Filter info. I think we're good to go on finding water. I look forward to trying boondocking to see how we do. We will not be staying at any one place for longer than 4 nights. So, we will be fine. Although we have had our camper for nearly 5 years we are still new at this game.

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Boondocking is a piece of cake with a solar equipped Oliver.  It gives you freedom and flexibility while allowing you access to some of the most beautiful places.  Plus, in many of these places you are far from the maddening crowds.  Good luck!

Bill

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  • 2 weeks later...

South of Kalispell, Montana is an outstanding State RV and Tent Park:  Big Arm State Park (406=837-3041 to make a reservation).  They also have Non Reserved, first come first serve campsites.  You can end up right on the shore line of the Flathead Lake. They have water that is tested every day. Excellent water, as it is not City water... that has been run through the 'system' for processing a number of times.  If they are FULL, ask if you can fill your water tank. There is easy access to the water system where the Boat Launch in located. The State Employees are the BEST... They also ride around in a small cart to make sure everyone is being... nice.

If filling your tanks is not enough, have a short boxy five gallon plastic water jug.  I put ours into old plastic Milk Crates so they do not move around or get punctured.

Been Boondocking Off the Grid since 2006 in our trailers.  It is Ahhhhhhh Wonderful!  Traffic into Glacier Park can be... a headache.  Just be calm, laugh and take your time.

No need to use the Shower in your trailer.  Jump into the Flathead Lake, clear water and gravel/boulder beaches.  

 

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