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How to Use an RV Water Bladder When Camping

How to Use an RV Water Bladder When Camping

How to Use an RV Water Bladder When Camping

Whether you’re new to RVing or you’ve been traveling for years, owning an RV water bladder is an absolute necessity.

If you enjoy boondocking frequently, this lightweight and versatile tank is a clever way to store water for emergencies or dry camping. In fact, during our most recent boondocking trip, an RV water bladder allowed us to camp off-grid for 14 days without breaking camp.

Let’s delve into learning more about this exclusive form of water storage.

What Is an RV Water Bladder? 

Anytime you can avoid the hassle of refilling your RV at a water station, it’s a win.

That’s where the invention of this unique device saves the day.

It removes the unnecessary stress of moving your entire rig just to obtain more water. This nifty device is made of durable plastic, so it won’t rust and is ideal for any journey.

Pro Tip: This is the exact model we use. It holds 30 gallons and easily fits on our truck bet.

What Is an RV Water Bladder Used For?

Owning an RV water bladder is a dual-purpose investment because it can store extra fresh water or refill your fresh tank while boondocking. 

It’s comforting to know that whether you’re in the bare, desert sands of Arizona or the lush, scenic campgrounds along the coast of California, you’ll have your fresh water needs covered.

Types and Sizes of RV Water Bladders

When considering the types of material for storing water, you might wonder which option is best. It’s hard to know which material is safest and lightest.

Most often, an RV water bladder’s material is either polyurethane or polyethylene. Of the two types, polyethylene typically has a longer lifespan.

Regarding size and shape, the range is relatively broad. Sizing starts as small as 0.5 – 1 L increasing to 10L and up; the design typically resembles a square or rectangle. Frequently, the larger the bag’s capacity, the more likely it is to be rectangular.

Our friends, Mortons on the Move, have used an RV water bladder that holds 100 gallons!

Benefits of Using an RV Water Bladder

There are three specific advantages to using an RV water bladder while you’re camping.

First, the amount of water that this petite contraption can hold is priceless. You can forget having to leave the campground during a rainstorm at 5 AM because you’re out of water.

Second, we know how valuable space is when you’re in an RV. When not in use, you can fold the water bladder and tuck it away, thanks to its flexible material and design.

Lastly, when you can’t imagine leaving the majestic scenery of your boondocking destination, take comfort knowing you can stay longer because of your spare water bladder storage.

How to Transport an RV Water Bladder

The size and material of your RV water bladder will ultimately determine the transportation you’ll need to use. You might be able to carry it on the floorboard of your towing vehicle or in the bed of your truck.

If you choose a heavier material, consider the increased vehicle weight and the loss of flexibility for storage purposes. A pickup truck bed is often necessary for a safe and secure travel experience.

If you don’t want a bulky, massive water bladder, there are lighter, more space-friendly choices. They’re a BPA-free, thick plastic material that’s most practical for camping and the RV lifestyle in general.

How to Fill Your Freshwater Tank from an RV Water Bladder

If you’re ready to fill your freshwater tank from the water stored in your RV bladder, you’re probably facing a conundrum. How do you get the water from your storage bladder into the tank? It’ll likely be too heavy to lift, and you don’t want to waste water while you’re transferring it. 

You have a few choices for transferring the water. Your first option is to use a water pump. You’ll attach the pump to your RV battery and use a hose to transfer the liquid.

You might also try using a drill pump. You can purchase a drill attachment water pump. You’ll hook it to a battery-operated drill and a hose, and you can pump up to 25 gallons of water into your tank on a single battery charge, depending on the type of drill you have. It’s inexpensive and highly efficient. 

Finally, you can use gravity to your advantage by attaching one end of the hose to the bladder and the other to the tank nozzle. Let gravity do its work for a cost-friendly way to fill your tank. 

Don’t Run Out of Fresh Water: Use an RV Water Bladder

As a whole, there are many obvious benefits to investing in this handy storage container. Most, if not all RVers, regardless of how often they travel, dislike packing up and moving their rigs unless necessary. 

Not many RVers enjoy hauling their rigs and running around town searching for water. Instead, spend your time doing activities you enjoy. That’s what camping in an RV is supposed to be about, right? Should you decide that an RV water bladder is a wise addition to your rig, we recommend researching and choosing the best one for you.

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Thursday 30th of December 2021

Last year while camping at a NW State Park they only had one winter water supply available. Well we didn’t do our water conservation adequately and found ourselves out of water. I did not want to move the rig, so decided to try and do it with gravity and 5 gallon buckets…what a pain! Saw a guy using a bladder and pump, so after getting home I ordered a bladder. Haven’t had to use it yet but wholeheartedly agree with the contents of your How To video. Particularly liked the “drill pump” option. Thank You

5 Simple Boondocking Hacks for Summer Camping – Truck & RV Electronics

Wednesday 7th of April 2021

[…] Tip: We use a 20-gallon water bag that can easily fold up when not in use. It’s been an awesome piece of […]


Saturday 6th of March 2021

Used on when we lived on our boat...hard to do in our class C

Doug Donnelly

Saturday 6th of March 2021

FYI, the Amazon listing for the 100-gallon water bladder at the link contained in your otherwise excellent article, says that the bladder is "Not for potable drinking water." We are using two 5-gallon collapsible water tanks, which ARE approved for potable drinking water, and they work well for us.

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