Do you carry extra water when RVing?


Staff member
We bought four of these plastic five gallon plastic water totes before our trip to Colorado last year. We dry camped at two different national park camp grounds that had no water hookups. Water and air are very easy to take for granted until you don't have any, then they become the only thing you think about. We ended up using most of our spare twenty gallons we took with us. Glad we had it.

When you go on a trip where you'll have full hookups, do you take extra water with? We don't, but maybe we should? What do you think?

I think our very first trip was almost completely dry, but everything after that I have carried some amount of water in the tank.

Mostly because of using the bathroom. Once you realize that you are carrying your own stuff around, you're much more comfortable. I've pulled off the side of the road, rest areas, gas stations, you name it, to use the facilities or for the girls to use them. They much prefer it.

We have an under-sink filter, so drinking water will come from it as well, and I usually carry 12 or so bottles of water in the fridge in case we need them for something. The girls get extra filtering since I bought them a couple of Brita filtering water bottles the last time we went to Disney. Very convenient and kills the 'Florida' taste in the water. By the time they drink water that has been in the RV it has been triple-filtered. Camco filter on the hose, under sink filter, and bottle filter.

Here lately I've been loading about 20-30 out of 40 gallons in the tank. When I get home, I'll use whatever is left for cleaning up the bathroom and kitchen, drain the rest, and then refill from the hose (city water). In my mind, the small amount of chlorine in that water should help keep the tank sanitary.

I don't carry any large totes of water. That is something I might think about when we go longer with our trips and plan our SD trip for 2025.
Since I made the original post, things have changed and we haven't carried our water totes since. The Airstream had 54 gallons of fresh water. The trip we made where we carried extra water was with three adults and we were miles from more clean water. Our 5th wheel carries 100 gallons of potable water. We have gone several places without water hook-ups and go in with a full fresh water tank. We've never needed more than we brought.

I still have the totes and will probably never use them again.