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How Do RVs Get Fresh Water?

How Do RVs Get Fresh Water?

If you’re planning to take a trip in your RV soon, there are lots of resources whose availability you should keep in mind.

The most commonly asked question is about fresh water—where exactly do RVs get potable water from?

RVs can get potable water from a number of different places, such as campgrounds, rest stops, parks, gas stations, RV fill stations, etc. Other options include getting water from your family and friends or a nearby Cabela’s. 

In this article, we’ll talk about each of these places in detail and how exactly you can get potable water from them to fill your fresh water tank. Let’s dive in!

6 Places Where RVs Can Get Fresh Water

These are 6 of the most popular places where you can usually find potable water. However, the availability, as well as the price of the water, may vary from area to area so you should keep that in mind.

It is also recommended that you call ahead at these places or search their location online beforehand to make the process smoother.

1. Campgrounds

If there is one place where you are extremely likely to find fresh water, it’s the local campground.

For the most part, campgrounds will usually allow you to fill your RV’s fresh water tank and use the dumping station for free even if you’re not staying, although some might charge a small fee. 

You might also want to stay a couple of nights in the campground and then continue boondocking. This way you can refresh your supplies and refill your fresh water tank before moving on.

2. Gas Stations

Gas stations are another popular spot RVers go to in search of potable water. Gas stations will usually let you get potable water from their spigot for free, but most charge a small fee if you want to use the dumping station as well.

Make sure to ask the attendant first before filling your fresh water tank.

3. Parks

A lot of public parks have a potable water spigot you can fill your fresh water tank with.

So if you’re out boondocking and notice you’re running low on fresh water, pull up at your nearest local park and they might just have a water fill station.

4. Rest Stops

Most rest stops have a dumping station for RVs as well as potable water on hand for public use. You can hook up your potable water hose to the spigot and fill up your fresh water tank.

5. Cabela’s

For those who are unfamiliar, Cabela’s is a retail chain that sells outdoor and recreational equipment such as hunting, fishing, boating and camping gear.

A lot of their stores also have a dedicated RV water filling station where you can refill your fresh water tank with potable water. 

Some stores even offer a dumping station or an RV parking space. If you’re unsure about the location of your nearest Cabela’s, look it up online and call them to make sure that they have an RV dumping station or potable water station.

You can also shop for some camping gear while you’re there!

6. Family/Friends In The Area

Although it seems pretty obvious, another way you can get potable water for your fresh water tank is by visiting family and friends in the area.

It would give you a chance to catch up with them as well and reconnect while simultaneously replenishing your potable water supply.

A lot of local businesses will also allow you to get potable water at their shop if you ask nicely. Make sure to thank them and offer to pay for the water!

How To Fill Your RV’s Fresh Water Tank

First of all, it is important to carry some special equipment with you that will help you fill your tank with potable water. Tools like a Water Bandit and a long hose will help you connect to a non-threaded or hard-to-access spigot and get water from it. It is also a good idea to get an inline RV water filter that will purify your water and remove any harmful contaminants.

It is also essential that you use your potable water hose for freshwater only. This will ensure that your water stays clean and uncontaminated. Having a hose that is used only for your RV’s fresh water system is one of the most basic rules. Also, remember to clean out and sanitize your fresh water tank periodically (it is recommended to do so every six months).


Keeping all this in mind, the next step is to find places to fill your fresh water tank up. Using the list of places we have provided above you can look up your nearest water filling station online and call an assistant or representative there to ensure that they have potable water on hand. 

Remember to mention that you will be filling up your RV’s tank so they know you will require gallons of water. Also, make sure that the spigot is marked for potable water before filling up your tank.

Types Of RV Water Tanks

You will mostly find three kinds of tanks in an RV; a freshwater tank, a grey water tank, and a black water tank.

The fresh water tank, as the name indicates, is filled with potable water that flows from your tap and is used for cooking, drinking and washing. All the water that you use in your RV comes from this tank, so filling and maintaining it properly is very important.

The second type of tank is a grey water tank that holds water that comes from your shower and sink. Last but not least you have a black water tank that store all the wastewater that comes from your toilet.


In a nutshell, there are lots of places you can get potable water from for your RV’s fresh water tank, such as gas stations, campgrounds, local parks, and rest stops. 

Unless you’re in a completely deserted area, is it unlikely that you don’t come across a store or station where you can get potable water?

It is also a good idea to buy an inline water filter to further purify the water as well as carry a long hose that will help you get to a spigot in a hard-to-reach place.


Up Next:

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How Do You Get Water While Backpacking?


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