Water is essential for survival and not something you want to run out of while RVing. If you’re planning to spend time adventuring, you want to keep H₂O in your tank. However, finding a place to fill up your RV fresh water tank isn’t overly complicated.
There are likely a generous amount of options available.
Today, we’re sharing seven places to fill your RV fresh water tank. Let’s get started so you can stay hydrated!
What Is an RV Fresh Water Tank?
The RV fresh water tank stores water for an RV’s water system. This allows the usage of sinks, showers, and toilets when not connected to a water connection.
The size of this tank will vary from one RV to the next. Depending on the RV, you’ll typically see fresh water tanks ranging from 20 gallons to 60 gallons.
Can You Travel With Full Fresh Water Tank in an RV?
This is a commonly debated question in the RVing community. Many manufacturers recommend not traveling with full freshwater tanks. A full freshwater tank will likely reduce your fuel economy and even cause handling issues.
However, if you enjoy boondocking, you’ll likely have no other choice but to travel with a full tank. There have been instances of full tanks breaking free of the supports and causing issues. It’s good to limit driving with one and fill up as close to your boondocking spot as possible.
Better safe than sorry!
7 Places to Fill Your RV Fresh Water Tank
There are quite a few places to fill up your RV’s fresh water tank. If you’re looking for a place to top off your tank, consider some of these options.
However, you must always make sure that the water is potable. Let’s get started!
Many campgrounds will allow you to fill up your tank even if you’re not staying. They’ll likely charge a small fee, but it’s typically a very cost-effective option to consider. You can expect to pay $5 to $15 at a campground. However, you may be able to dump your tanks too.
You may want to consider staying the night, depending on the price for a campsite.
If this is your plan, it’s a good idea to call the campgrounds in the area. Some are more accepting than others. You don’t want to drive to a campground and discover that you can’t fill up your tank.
2. Truck Stops
Some of the large truck stop chains that dot the country have become more hospitable to RVs. It’s not uncommon to find dump stations and potable water to fill up your tank.
Expect to pay $10 to $15 to fill up at most truck stops. However, some will offer discounts to members of their loyalty programs, so it may be worth signing up for their free loyalty programs.
For RVers using the diesel truck lanes, most of those fuel pumps also have a nearby water hose. A non-potable water sign will likely accompany the hose. So, we don’t encourage filling in the fuel lane.
Pro Tip: We uncovered all you need to know about filling your fresh water tank at a truck stop.
3. Rest Stops
These aren’t as common, but some rest stops along interstates will offer potable water and dump stations. An advantage of filling up at a rest stop is that many of these locations are free. They’re also very conveniently located for those traveling on highways and interstates.
Many of the rest stops with dump stations and potable water will have RV icons on the signage. While these may not be everywhere, they can be a huge blessing when you find them!
4. City or Public Parks
City and public parks can be great spots to fill up your water tank. These are typically much smaller operations and likely won’t be easy to get someone on the phone. You may need to rely more on reviews from apps like Campendium, iOverlander, or All Stays to know what to expect.
5. State Parks
State parks are other places to look for when you need potable water. Many of these parks will also have campgrounds and other facilities. If there aren’t camping facilities, you may still be able to find a potable water spigot.
However, you’ll want to check with rangers or park staff before filling your tank. You don’t want to find yourself in trouble with rangers for not getting permission.
Many of Cabela’s locations offer water connections for RVers. The locations that offer this service will often charge $5 to $10.
However, you may be able to park overnight in their parking lot if local restrictions permit you to do so. It’s worth a call to verify that they have room for you and that their potable water source is available and working.
7. A Friend’s House
You don’t want to abuse it, but if you have a generous friend that lives nearby, you can fill up your water tank. If you’re planning to make a habit of doing so, you’ll likely want to slip them some cash every now and then or offer something in return.
Water isn’t free, and you don’t want to be a burden to your friends or family.
ShouId I Leave Water In My RV Fresh Water Tank?
You can leave water in your fresh water tank if you plan to use it again soon. However, most RVers drain their tanks before hitting the road at the end of a trip. This makes your RV lighter and helps you avoid water becoming stagnant between trips. However, if you’re moving to another campsite or planning to use your RV again, you’ll likely have no issues.
Where is the strangest place you’ve filled up your RV’s fresh water tank? Tell us in the comments!
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