I want to share my water conservation tips for boondocking. One of the most important skills to develop for boondocking is how to conserve water. I thought I’d offer up some things that have helped me stretch that precious commodity while still feeling clean and comfortable.
Why Water Conservation is Important
If you’re just staying overnight somewhere, water conservation is not quite so important. If you’re trying to stretch your water supply for several days or even weeks, you’ll want to do everything possible to conserve your water. When your water is gone, you’ll either have to move your RV or bring water to your RV.
When my freshwater tank is completely full I have thirty-eight gallons of water. The average American uses one hundred gallons of water each and every day. If I stay somewhere four nights, I’ll be using less than ten gallons of water per day. It’s also important to know your RV’s water capacity.
Basic Water Conservation
There are some really basic ways to save water like shutting the faucet off while you brush your teeth, soaping your hands then turning the water on and rinsing, showering every other day, etc. But there are some other things I’ve found that help save water and every little bit helps.
Flushing Uses a Surprising Amount of Water
I was surprised to learn that about 20% of my freshwater is used for flushing the toilet. That’s not really something I can cut back on. In order for the black tank to function properly, there must be adequate water in the black tank.
In the future, I may consider installing a composting toilet. They use no water at all and that would also free up my black tank to act as a second gray tank. Win, win!
Tips For Saving Water in the Shower
Showering takes a lot of water. I take Navy showers when I’m trying to conserve water. That’s when you turn on the water and get wet then shut it off while you lather up and turn it back on to rinse off. Your RV shower head can make a difference in the amount of water you use. I replaced my stock shower head with an Oxygenics Fury shower head. It gives you a lot of water pressure while actually using less water.
RV showers have a shutoff lever on the shower head but the water doesn’t turn off completely. I added an additional valve to the connection between the hose and the shower head that completely turns off the water.
Additionally, when you first turn the water on it’s cold. I don’t know about you but I’m not going to stand under the cold water. That means that the first gallon or so gets wasted. I keep a gallon pitcher handy and collect that cold water for other uses. It’s only about a half-gallon in my RV, but it all adds up. I place the pitcher in the bathroom and use it to flush.
Tips For Boondocking – Saving Water in the Kitchen
I think I use more water in the kitchen sink than anywhere else. I found using a dish tub makes a lot of difference. I put some soapy water in the tub and let my dirty dishes accumulate for the day. I try to get all the food waste off before putting them in the water to keep it as clean as possible. You can wipe them off with paper towels.
In the evening I wash the dishes and set them aside while I dump the water down the drain. Then I rinse them over the dish tub which allows me to accumulate soapy water for the next day’s dirty dishes.
Some people dump their dishwater outside but I just don’t feel good about that so down the drain it goes. The tub really makes you aware of how much water you’re using and keeps any food particles from getting dried on. My sink is round but you can find dish tubs in all shapes and sizes.
Replenishing Your Water Supply
I keep a six-gallon water jug in the truck so I can get water if I need some. I can either use it from the jug or dump it into the freshwater tank.
Bonus Boondocking Tip
Turn the propane hot water heater on about 30 minutes before you need hot water. Once the water is hot, turn the water heater off. Your water will stay hot all day without constantly using propane.
There are many more ways to conserve water in your RV. What are some of your tips?
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