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Can You Fill Your RV Freshwater at a City Park?

Can You Fill Your RV Freshwater at a City Park?

Can You Fill Your RV Freshwater at a City Park?

Finding a place to fill up your RV’s freshwater supply can be difficult, especially if you’re not staying in a campground.

You’re going to need water for cooking, showering, and using the restroom. However, you can’t just hook up to every water spigot you see sticking up out of the ground.

You may have seen these spigots at a local city park and thought, “Can I use these to fill up?” Today, we’ll help you know whether it’s a good idea or not.

Let’s get started!

Can You Fill Your RV Freshwater at a City Park?

City parks often have the same water connections that you’d find at a campsite in a campground.

However, there are a few things to consider before using them to fill up your RV’s water supply.

These water sources are typically for guests to stay hydrated or even maintain plants and other vegetation in the park. While the city may not mind footing the bill for guests to get a drink or to keep the park looking green, they may not be keen on paying to supply your RV with water.

Some RV freshwater tanks are 50 to 100 gallons or more, which is substantially more than someone might use just getting a drink.

Another thing to consider is that just because you see a water spigot in a city park doesn’t mean that it’s potable water. Some water sources aren’t suitable for human consumption because they haven’t gone through the proper cleaning process.

This water is safe for plants and other vegetation, but there’s no guarantee that you won’t get sick from it. Even if you have a water purifying system in your RV, make sure you’re only putting potable water into your RV’s water system.

Some city parks will allow you to fill your RV’s freshwater tank.

Do all?

No. So make sure that you not only get approval but confirm that the water is potable before you fill up your RV’s freshwater tank. Doing so can keep you safe and out of trouble.

Pro Tip: If you want to remove impurities from your water, this is How To Connect an RV Water Filter?

Little girl using sink in RV.
Keep your fresh water tank full by utilizing rest stops, campgrounds and travel centers.

Where Else Can You Fill Your RV Fresh Water?

If you can’t fill up at the local city park, you can try a handful of other places. However, make sure you get permission and confirm the water is potable.

If the water source is too close to a dump station, we advise you to keep searching for another water source.

While the water may be potable, you never know what’s come in contact with that water connection.

Rest Stops

Some rest stops recognize that travelers might need water from time to time.

If you see a freshwater spigot while stopping to rest, this can be a great place to fill up. Depending on the placement of the spigot, you may need to use jugs to transfer water into your tank, but these are often free water sources.

Look for an attendant or some sort of staff at the rest stop to get permission and confirm potability; otherwise, you’re taking a significant risk. 

Campgrounds

Even if you don’t plan on staying, campgrounds can be great places to fill up on water. They’re typically easy to navigate, so you won’t have to worry much about getting in and out, and they can be cost-effective.

You may have to pay a small fee, but you may also be able to dump your wastewater tanks as well.

If you don’t mind staying in a campground, you should consider the cost of a campsite compared to the cost of filling up your tanks. It may be only slightly more to get a spot for the night than simply filling up and hitting the road.

This way, you also get the benefits of power, filling your tanks, and any other amenities the campground offers. 

Person filling up glass of water from tap.
Some city parks will allow you to fill up your fresh water tank.

Travel Centers

As you travel on the highways, you’ll likely see large travel centers along your route. These travel centers cater to all sorts of travelers, including RVers. These are great spots to fill up your freshwater tank as they’re usually easy to access and offer fuel, snacks, and rest.

However, the locations of spigots at travel centers, when available, will vary from one location to the next.

Some RVers have experienced spigots blocked by delivery trucks or other vehicles, which means you’ll need to wait for them to move or find another place to fill up.

Cabela’s

This large outdoor sports retailer is well known for allowing RVers to stay in their lots. If you do happen to see one of their locations during your travels and need to fill up, it’s worth a shot. They’re typically right off major highways and easy to access.

It’s important to note that water access at locations like these is never a guarantee. You never know when something could break. The store can shut off access at any time. Many of these locations have water access as well as a sewer dump.

Again, if the only water access is directly next to the sewer dump, we recommend you keep looking for an alternate spot to fill up your tanks.

It’s not worth the risk of using a contaminated water spigot to fill up your water.

Man posing in front of Cabela's.
If you’re looking for a place to fill up, consider Cabela’s.

How Long Can You Leave Freshwater in Your Tanks?

You can leave freshwater in your tanks for a relatively long time, but not if you plan to use it for drinking. If you plan to drink it, you shouldn’t leave it for more than 14 days.

However, you can use water for showering, cooking, and flushing toilets well after this 14-day limit.

Pro Tip: Your freshwater tank is crucial for your survival in your RV, so make sure to Clean Your RV Fresh Water Tank. Here’s How!

What’s the Difference Between Freshwater and City Water?

Many RVs come with freshwater and city water connections with their water systems. These connections are very different and serve different purposes.

The freshwater connection typically is what you’ll use when putting water in your tanks. Once your tanks are full, you’ll disconnect and store your water hose. You’ll have water in your RV for as long as you can make the water in your tank last.

On the other hand, the city water connection uses the pressure from the water spigot.

This means you’ll have a seemingly unlimited supply of water. Keep an eye on your wastewater tanks because they can fill up faster than you think, especially when you’re not running out of water.

Should You Fill Up Your Freshwater at City Parks?

Keeping water in your RV is an essential part of RVing. City parks can be great places to top off your tanks so you can continue with your adventures. However, get permission and confirm whether the water is safe to drink.

You don’t want to create a legal or health situation by using an unapproved water spigot in a city park.

Have you ever had to fill up your RV at a city park?

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Blake

Tuesday 16th of November 2021

Thanks for the great info as always! Creativity RV also has a good video on YouTube listing places to get free water!

Lesley

Tuesday 16th of November 2021

Thanks for so many good articles! Regarding this one: water pressure is also serious consideration. Some taps have psi that can blow RV valves.

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