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Vanlife is an exciting, creative adventure that allows you to explore and experience the world on your own terms, and to journey as far as your imagination, ambition and resources will take you. While there are many aspects to living life comfortably in a van, one which is absolutely critical is having a reliable, efficient water and plumbing system, and knowing how to obtain clean water wherever you go even in the most challenging situations or conditions.
Our instructor for these lessons is Tory Delury, Project Van Life's Social Media Manager. Tory has been living van life for over 2 years, and she's dedicated to creating useful, educational content for van owners and those aspiring to become van lifers. Much of the content is based on personal experiences and from interviewing others within the community.
In this lesson, our discussion will center on how to set up a simple water system for vanlife, ensuring you have access to clean, safe drinking water for an array of needs while on the road or off-highway. The right components, along with thorough planning and conscientious maintenance practices, will allow you to create an efficient, functional water and plumbing system that supports your exploits regardless of location or proximity to potable water. Fresh water tanks, hot water, cold water, van life shower ideas, faucets, pumps, waste water tank, filtration, piping and your campervan's electrical system are covered here.
Campervan Water System Essential Components
To create the optimal fresh water system for your van, at minimum you'll need the following:
- Fresh water tanks: In this receptacle is where you'll store clean, potable water. Water usage and available van space are the two most important considerations when selecting a tank size. For adults, you'll need at least 1 gallon of drinking water per day, more when the weather gets hotter or if you participate in hiking, biking or other active outdoor activities, and a 1/2 gallon per day per child.Consider bringing at least another gallon per person per day for cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. Keep in mind that a gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, and for two adults you'll need four gallons a day, which amounts to 33.36 pounds. A weeks worth of water is 28 gallons or 233.52 pounds, which is why you'll want to ensure that your van is capable of hauling all of this additional weight, or you plan ahead where to replenish your water supply.
S&B, a manufacturer of fuel and water tanks, offers a 35-gallon wheel well tank made from food-grade safe, BPA-free polyethylene plastic that weighs 30.3 pounds, and retails for $299. The tank comes with straps, 4 plus nuts and a plus nut activation tool. The company makes their tanks in-house in California and pressure tests every tank. Make sure that whatever tank you choose is constructed out of non-toxic, BPA-free materials.
Remember, it is essential to clean and sanitize your freshwater tank regularly to prevent bacterial growth. Most vanlifers sanitize their freshwater system each year, or anytime it has sat unused for more than 2-4 weeks. Sanitizing doesn’t require any special tools, and it can be done with bleach or a more environmentally-friendly, RV tank cleaning solution such as Star Brite. Directions on the Star Brite Aqua Water Tank & System Flush container make it much easier, safer and more exacting than using bleach and having to measure and mix it yourself.
The best place to park your van while sanitizing the fresh water tank is where you'll have access to a sewer connection and a clean water source. If your greywater tank isn't empty, you'll want to set up the sewer connection so that you can empty your holding tanks. Keep in mind that draining your freshwater system with the water heater on can damage the tank. Turn off your water heater and run hot water until the hot water runs out before draining it. This should be sufficient to remove any residual hot water from the tank and allow it to cool before draining. Now is the time to ensure your water pump is turned off. Opening the kitchen and bath faucets will allow air to assist in completely draining water from the freshwater system. Open the pressure relief valve, remove the plug or anode rod, and drain the water heater tank. This would be a good time to inspect your anode rod and replace it if needed. Locate the freshwater tank drain and low-point drains for your van’s plumbing lines. Most vans have a drain directly under the fresh water tank. Some have multiple drains that are easy to identify by red (hot water) or blue (cold water) drains coming out of the bottom of your van, but some builders may be somewhat old school and use white or opaque PEX. Consult your owner’s manual or ask the builder if you’re having trouble locating the drains. Once located, open the drains and use gravity to drain water from the fresh water tank, lines and hot water tank. As the system drains, calculate how much bleach or cleaning solution you'll need. While we don't advocate the use of bleach, we can tell you that it takes one ounce of bleach for every 8 gallons of water your fresh water tank holds. Once there’s no longer any water draining from the valves, close them. Don’t add bleach or cleaning solution directly into your tank. Dilute it in a gallon of water and use a funnel to pour it into your van's fresh water inlet. Next, fill the tank with clean water. Connect a hose to a fresh water connection and fill the tank so that it mixes the diluted bleach or cleaner throughout the entire tank. Once the tank is full, replace the fresh water inlet cap, then circulate the solution or bleach through the lines. Turn on the water pump, open the faucets and shower head, and allow the treated water to run through your system for 2-3 minutes. A trace amount of treated water can remain in the gray tank for 12-24 hours, but no longer. Once the water has circulated for several minutes, close the faucets and shut off the water pump again. Tank sanitization doesn’t happen immediately. Let the mixture of clean water and bleach sit in your tank and lines for 12-24 hours before draining. If you start in the afternoon, let it sit overnight. When draining the system, your best bet is to have full hookups for this process. Put a five-gallon bucket or portable RV holding tank underneath, collect the bleach or cleaning solution mixture and dispose of it into a sewer inlet, such as a RV dump station. If you run your bleach mixture through your plumbing system and into your grey water tank, it’s still best to open the low-point valve after you shut off your water pump. This allows your freshwater tank to drain completely and prevents a small amount of water and bleach or cleaning solution from getting left behind. You can open the low-point valve and allow the water to drain completely if you're using an environmentally-friendly cleaner. The best option is to turn on the water pump, open all the faucets and the shower, and let the water move through the system and into your grey water tank, provided it's hooked up to a sewer. The final step is to refill the tank with fresh water and run it through the system with the water pump. Open the faucets and flush the system until you can't smell the bleach. Leave the grey water tank open so the system flushes any bleach remaining. You may need to flush several times to get rid of the bleach smell. This ensures any chemicals or traces of them have been eliminated from the freshwater system. While most vans have three holding tanks for fresh water, grey water and black water, only your freshwater tank is responsible for providing safe water for drinking, showering, laundering and washing dishes. Fresh water isn’t something to take for granted. Luckily, sanitization is easy, and you only need to do it once a year to enjoy vanlife.
- Water pump: A 12-volt water pump such as the SHURflo Revolution Water Pump will provide pressurized water from the freshwater tank to faucets, shower head and any other water outlets. SHURflo's Reaction Flow Technology reduces cycling for noise free, smooth operation while pumping water. Its one-piece diaphragm and internal by-pass design ensure long life. Highly recommended is a pump with a built-in pressure switch to automatically turn the flow of water on and off as needed like the Revolution.
- Accumulator tank: This helps maintain consistent water pressure and reduces cycling. While an option, it enhances system performance and prolongs water pump life.
Grey water tank: The collector of wastewater from your sink, shower and other outlets. Regularly emptying and cleaning this dirty water tank prevents odors and maintains proper hygiene. It is important to note that this is not the same as a black water tank, which holds the waste from your toilet. The grey water tank is usually a little smaller than your fresh water tank.Specifications and mounting for a grey water tank is much the same as your fresh water tank. The main difference is that a grey water tank may have an access hatch to allow you to give it a good scrub. If it doesn't have one, you can use a hole saw to cut a circle in the container, add a bead of sealant around the new hole, and then pop the access hatch into the cavity. You can also screw the access hatch into the container if you add a bead of sealant over the screw head when it's completed. Luckily, grey water systems like the MAX-Tank have a vented, screw-on cap already incorporated in the 50 gallon, high-density UV stabilized polyethylene body. The MAX-Tank comes with a standard RV sewer discharge valve, and options for right, left or straight configurations.
- Plumbing lines and fittings: Food-grade hoses and fittings to connect water system components, PEX tubing is used for its durability, flexibility and installation ease.
- Faucets and fixtures: Water-saving faucets, shower heads and other fixtures reduce water consumption and conserve your freshwater supply so you'll still have enough for a hot shower. The sink you choose for your camper van is more a matter of interior design and budget rather than form or function.
A sink with a built-in chopping board and strainer is appealing because space in a camper van is everything. This sink frees up space by doubling as a chopping space and when washing dishes as a drying rack. A campervan sink with built-in faucet is the most common type of sink you'll find. It has a lid which folds down to give you more room in the kitchen, with a built-in hot/cold faucet. This faucet is electrical, however, if you're using it with the pressurized hot/cold sink and shower campervan water system, you won't need a tap switch to heat water.
The vital part of any galley is the sink drain. The camper van water systems drain runs to the greywater tank, or outside in a more sophisticated system. A basket strainer is placed inside the sink drain from above, with the drain pipe is screwed into the basket strainer below. We can run the drain pipe to a simple portable greywater container under the sink. In a more complex setup with a fixed water tank and exterior drain, we'll use a split drain, with a 3/4" drain pipe to a 3/4" Y-valve, allowing us to choose whether we want it to run into the grey water tank or dump grey water outside of the van. On the exterior Y-valve outlet, you can connect a garden hose and secure it in place to the underside of the van with 3/4" P-clips. Using a 3/4" garden hose thread-barb fitting, run 3/4" PEX tubing to the grey water tank, connecting to the water tank with 3/4" barb-pipe and tank connectors.A heated faucet is one that you plug into an AC plug socket or inverter, and immediately get hot water from the tap. It can heat the water in less 3 seconds and tell you the temperature of the water. You will need a 3000W inverter to use this type of faucet, as it is rated at 2500W. A heated faucet only has a single cold water pipe running to it, with a faucet connector to connect the water source to the faucet. It is then connected by a 1/2" PEX pipe to the faucet connector using a metal barb-pipe fitting. With a regular faucet, there is no electric microswitch and they need pressurized water to function. Because of this, they only work with a diaphragm pump system. You can opt for a cold-only or a hot/cold faucet. Regular faucets are much the same as a heated faucet, except with a hot and a cold water inlet. Both hot and the cold PEX piping are connected to the faucet with faucet connectors.
- Water Heaters: A tankless water heater delivers hot water whenever you turn on the tap or shower. There's no holding tank for water, and they take up less space. These water heaters run mainly on propane gas. One of the nifty things about a portable tankless water heater is that they doesn't need to be plugged into your camper van's electrical system to heat water. They are a self-sufficient hot water system that's powered by two D cell batteries. The gas inlet runs to your propane gas cylinder with a compression pipe. The water IN port brings in pressurized fresh water from the diaphragm pump. 1/2" PEX runs from the pump to the heater and is attached with a metal 1/2" barb-pipe fitting. The OUT port pipes pressurized hot water to your shower and faucet. Some portable water heaters come with a shower head attached.
A propane-burning tankless water heater produces carbon monoxide in the process, which can be very dangerous. Many propane water heaters come with vents to remove carbon monoxide through a roof flue.A better, safer shower installation could use a vented campervan water heater instead. It uses an exhaust pipe outside the van to get rid of carbon monoxide. While portable heaters are the most popular camper van heaters, vented water heaters are the most error-free method of obtaining an instant hot water shower.Combination heaters, like the Combi from Truma, work as an air and hot water heater. The Truma Combi 4 is a well-known, highly-regarded combi heater. They combine warm air and hot water in one appliance.
A fully-electric water heater with a tank keeps water constantly heated inside the holding tank when turned on. They don't rely on propane like a tankless heater does. The camper van water heater with a tank is plumbed in the same as a tankless water heater without a gas fitting, instead with 1/2" fittings to which pipe can be attached. Before finishing up water heaters, a check valve prevents the back flow of water in a system. This prevents the back flow of hot water from the heater, and from having to drink lukewarm tap water.
Designing and Installing A DIY Campervan Water System
Designing a vanlife water system requires consideration of a myriad of factors such as water usage, space constraints, filter and tank location, and ease of access for maintenance prior to installing your own campervan water system. It may require consulting a design and installation specialist to optimize the entire water system, with the added weight of the water itself, the system being employed, and the location of the plumbing.
To design and install a viable water system, here are among the steps required:
- Determine your water usage: As we determined earlier, calculate your daily water consumption for drinking, cooking, cleaning and personal hygiene. This will help you select the appropriate tank sizes and plan for the amount of water you will require for the length of time between refills. It also determines the duration of your expedition if you are overlanding or off grid where access to freshwater may be uncertain and you may not wish to compromise your campervan electrical system.Look for a tank that will hold enough water for at least three days. If you choose a smaller tank, you’ll need to stop to refill all the time. You'll have to position your camper van within reach of fresh water to refill the tanks. On the other hand, if you choose a tank that's too big, it may affect your van's handling.
- Decide where to locate your tanks: Find a suitable space for your freshwater and grey water tanks inside or beneath your van, considering factors such as weight distribution, accessibility and insulation. As mentioned, companies such as Vanspeed makes water tanks of various sizes and configurations that will allow you to mount them inside your van or underneath it to better distribute the weight or to fit your interior schematic.If you are looking to add a water system in your Sprinter, Vanspeed's 40 gallon tank and mounting system takes the place of the factory spare tire and is a great option if you are looking for a large capacity fresh or grey water tank.
Each option has its drawbacks. Under your van is great for saving precious interior space, but it may pose a problem if you’re spending time overlanding where there are rocks and other obstacles. Your capacity may also be limited underneath, as finding a suitable mounting location for a large tank might be improbable. While having a fresh water tank mounted to the bottom of the van is a more complex installation, it is an option that will give you more space inside. However, if you are a winter vanlifer, an underslung water tank is probably not the best idea as it may wreak havoc if it drops below freezing outside. Winter vanlifers need to keep all parts of the water system inside your van, and installing your fresh water tank inside is a safer bet and an easier install.Mounting a tank inside your van takes space that could otherwise be dedicated to other necessities or to store bikes. Temperature isn't a problem with internal storage, so that's a plus. It may require having to modify your van body and cut into the panels in order to install a water filling point. Depending on where your tank is installed, it may be a challenge to clean. For smaller or medium-sized water tanks, you may be able to house them under the sink, while with larger water tanks, you will probably need to mount them at the back of the van.The cube shape of most tanks is common, and somewhat easy to design around. In the past few years, some newer, more appealing configurations have appeared, including those that fit over the wheel wells on either the driver or passenger side that offer greater water storage capacity. What makes these tanks compelling is that they utilize space that may be otherwise wasted due to the awkward shape of the wheel wells.Plastic molded tanks are the most recurrent for camper van builds, and are significantly less expensive than a stainless tank. However, one major benefit of stainless tanks is that they’re easier to have custom fabricated. If you have a particular shape or size that you must have and are willing to pay for it, you can get a custom tank built to suit your needs.A large fixed water tank needs to have four water outlets, a large filling inlet, where water fills the tank. The filling inlet contains the air vent required for the fresh water tank. This is normally piped to a water filling inlet installed in the side of the van. Next are smaller outlets running to the shower or tap. Then there is a vent outlet, where water that runs out of the tank is replaced by air. If you have a filling inlet in your van, this often comes with a vent installed which means you don't have to install an inlet. Lastly, there's a drainage outlet which is used to drain the fresh water tank for cleaning.The water tank filling inlet and outlet drain both operate by gravity. Ensure your filling inlet is mounted higher than the water tank, and your drain valve is lower than the tank.
Plan your plumbing layout: Your plumbing system needs to connect the water tanks, pump, faucets, fixtures and take advantage of gravity for draining the system as needed. Use of shut-off valves and quick-connect fittings simplifies maintenance and repairs, just as PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) plumbing like that found in many homes is easy to work with and nearly indestructible. It comes in various diameters and colors, but in vans ½-inch diameter is the most common, with blue for cold water and red for hot.You will also need to carry additional equipment used to refill the water tanks such as hoses and connection adapters.A campervan water system pipes water from a storage container out to a tap or a shower. A simple water system may have a foot pump and cold water going out to a tap, while a complex system will utilize an electrical pump feeding hot and cold water to a shower and sink. A foot pump is the cheapest campervan water pump. It is not very powerful in terms of how much water it deliver and it is very small. The foot pump has a 1/2" barbed inlet and outlet with 1/2 inch PEX tubing attached. The inlet side runs to the water container, the outlet side runs up to the cold side faucet. The PEX pipe to the faucet is also connected to a 1/2" barb-pipe guardian. A submersible pump is an option that gives you cold water flowing out to a switched faucet. The 12v faucet is connected to a submersible pump, and when the faucet lever is pulled, the water flows. The submersible pump sits in a large plastic portable container full of fresh water. A heated sink and shower water system is the ultimate camper van water system. This gives you pressurized instant hot water and cold water running to your sink and shower. The mounted fresh water tank is filled from an inlet in the side of the van, and has an electrical water level gauge. The grey water from the sink can run either to your grey water tank inside or outside the van. The cold water running to the sink tap is filtered, and we can get a mix of hot and cold water as you prefer to your sink and shower. A pump silencer is a simple hose designed to reduce noise and vibration in plumbing systems, as diaphragm pumps that rattle can be loud. One silencer goes on the water tank side of the pump, while the other goes on the sink or shower side of the pump. The first pump silencer screws into the water strainer, the second pump silencer attaches out of the accumulator. A water strainer keeps your pump clean and clear, and eliminates unnecessary repairs by keeping debris and other particles out of the pump. The bottom of the strainer is transparent so you can see when you need to clean it. It screws directly onto the diaphragm pump. Remember to arrange all strainers and filters vertically so water and their contents won't spill out when you unscrew them. Mounting them horizontally won't support the bottom end, and puts tension on the threaded connection. When filled with water, they are considerably heavier and will break over time threads becoming abused in a van.A diaphragm pump expands when water enters the pump. When the diaphragm contracts, air leaves, and water is pumped out to the appliances. A diaphragm pump keeps the water system pressurized at all times, just like having running water in a house.
A 12v electric appliance, the diaphragm pump needs to be connected to power from 12v batteries. A diaphragm pump has no built in 'on/off' switch. It starts automatically when the pressure drops and shuts off when the appropriate pressure is reached. You should run the pump to a switch so that it can be turned off when not using your camper van, or to prevent the pump from running indefinitely when the fresh water tank is empty.
- Water system component installation: You will want to secure your tanks, pump, accumulator tank and plumbing lines in place, ensuring all connections are tight and leak-free. Test your water system for proper function and address any issues well before hitting the road for any extended length of time. Realize that vibration and any time spent off-highway may have an effect on the security and stability of the water system and your campervan electrical system, and both should be checked regularly.An accumulator is a mechanical device that smooths out the flow of water from the diaphragm pump. A diaphragm pump normally causes water to eject in spurts. The accumulator fixes this issue, adding the benefits of increasing the pump's lifespan, saving battery power, and reducing cycling of the water pump. The accumulator is attached to the diaphragm pump using a connector on each appliance with a 1/2" PEX pipe connecting the two.
A 1/2" barbed valve on either side of the diaphragm pump allows us to isolate and empty the camper van water pump in order to clean or repair it as needed.To mount your fresh water tank inside the camper van for installation ease or due to wintertime freezing conditions, make sure you secure it tightly to the vehicle so it doesn't move while driving. You can use cargo lashing straps to keep it in place, just like those used to secure your gas bottle.The accumulator comes deflated, so it needs to be pressurized. Connect the accumulator to the system, leaving all faucets and valves in the camper van water system open. Next, pump up the accumulator, and pressurize it to 30 psi. An all purpose air compressor will do it.
Blu Technology’s TRIO, the most popular system from Mobilemusthave.com, has 5-inch filters that makes the system significantly smaller than conventional systems with 10-inch filters, which allows the TRIO to fit in tight spaces. Perfect for vans, other 3-Stage Fixed Mounted water filtration systems on the market with 10-inch filters weigh up to 24 lbs, while the Blu Tech TRIO weighs only 6.3 lbs.
Regular Maintenance for Your Campervan Water Systems
To ensure the longevity and reliability of your water system, it's crucial to perform regular maintenance tasks. These tasks include:
- Cleaning and sanitizing your freshwater tank: Regularly cleaning and sanitizing your freshwater tank prevents bacterial growth and maintains water quality. Using a mixture of water and household bleach or a specialized tank cleaning solution, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Inspecting and replacing plumbing lines: Periodically inspect your plumbing lines for leaks, kinks, or other signs of wear. Replace any damaged lines with new food-grade hoses or PEX tubing as needed.
- Cleaning your grey water tank: Empty and clean your grey water tank regularly to prevent odors and maintain proper hygiene. You can use a mild detergent and water to clean the tank, rinsing it thoroughly before refilling it with grey water. Some vanlifers also use environmentally-friendly additives such as Dometic's Max Control - Natural Holding Tank Treatment to help break down waste and control odors. Max Control breaks down waste in your sanitation holding tank without the use of formaldehyde or bronopol.
You will also need a drain on your grey water tank. For this, connect 1" PEX pipe to the grey water tank with a 1" barb-pipe fitting. This PEX pipe runs outside the van to a spigot. You can then secure and mount the spigot to the underside of the van using 1" P-clips.
- Maintaining your water pump: Check your water pump for signs of wear or damage, and clean any debris from the pump's filter screen. Lubricate the pump's moving parts as needed, and ensure that the electrical connections are secure and free of corrosion.
- Inspecting and servicing faucets and fixtures: Regularly check your faucets, shower heads, and other fixtures for leaks or damage. Repair or replace any faulty components to maintain proper water flow and prevent water waste. You don't want to find out they're not working properly and miss out on a hot shower, would you?
Troubleshooting Common Water System Issues
Even with regular maintenance, you may encounter issues with your water system while living the van life. Here are some common problems and their potential solutions:
- Insufficient water pressure: If your water pressure is too low, check for kinks or blockages in your plumbing lines. Ensure that your water pump is functioning correctly and that the accumulator tank is properly pressurized.
- Water pump cycling on and off: If your water pump continuously cycles on and off, there may be a leak in your plumbing system or a malfunctioning pressure switch. Inspect your plumbing lines and connections for leaks, and replace any damaged components. If the issue persists, consult your water pump's manual for troubleshooting guidance or seek professional assistance.
- Foul odors from grey water tanks: If your grey water tank emits unpleasant odors, it may be time to clean and sanitize the tank. Additionally, you may want to consider using environmentally-friendly additives to help break down waste and control odors.
- Frozen water lines or tanks: If you're living in a van during colder months, it's essential to insulate your water system components to prevent freezing. Wrap your freshwater and grey water tanks, as well as your plumbing lines, in insulation materials to help maintain their temperature. You can also use a small space heater or heat tape to provide additional warmth in colder climates.
By setting up a simple water system for vanlife, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of life on the road without sacrificing comfort and convenience. With the right components, planning, and maintenance, your water and plumbing system will support your van life adventures and ensure access to clean, safe water wherever you go.
Additional Considerations for a Vanlife Water System
As you continue to live and travel in your van, there are some additional factors to consider when it comes to your water and plumbing system. These considerations can help enhance your overall experience and make your van life journey more enjoyable.
Water usage monitoring: Keeping track of your water usage can help you avoid running out of water unexpectedly, and it can also help you become more mindful of your consumption. Consider installing a water usage monitor to measure the amount of water used by each appliance or fixture in your van. A water level gauge will also help you accurately calculate how much fresh water is in the tank. This information can help you adjust your habits and conserve water more effectively.
Having the ability to store a considerable amount of water means once your water tanks are full, your camper van will increase in weight. This may be detrimental to your mileage, or take your camper van over its maximum gross vehicle weight.
Ventilation and moisture control: Proper ventilation is essential to prevent mold and mildew growth in your van. Make sure your plumbing system is adequately vented to allow for airflow and moisture escape. You can also invest in a dehumidifier to help reduce humidity levels inside your van, especially in areas where water is used frequently, such as the kitchen and bathroom.
Upgrading your water system: As you gain more experience living in your van, you may find that certain aspects of your water system could be improved. Consider upgrading components like your water pump, accumulator tank, or water heater to increase efficiency and performance. You may also want to explore alternative water sources, such as rainwater harvesting or solar water heaters, to reduce your reliance on external water supplies.
One innovation we discovered recently is Blu Technology's RX Elite, 12V two-stage water filtration system for open water sources from MobileMustHave.com, a mobile lifestyle solutions company. This ultra compact carbon 0.2 micron water filtration system with an onboard pump has a high flow off-grid filter that's 99.99% efficient for 0.2 micron-sized particles. This system will allow you to pull 1,000 gallons a day of clean, clear water from a lake or stream to fill your water tanks.
The first of the two filters is a patented 0.2 micron filter. The smaller micron size means greater protection for your campervan water system. Similar systems use less effective filters at 1 micron or larger. This filter is focused on safety to create clean drinking water. The second filter is all about taste and smell. This filter uses activated carbon and coconut shell to improve the water's taste and smell factor. It has also been shown to remove small amounts of chlorine if present in the water.
The RX Elite's filters have been throughly tested and will remove Lead, Mercury, Iron, Volital Organic Compounds (VOCs), Arsenic, Giradia, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, Cysts, and Legionella Viruses.
The RX Elite's 12V electric pump is rated at 3 gallons per minute, and can pull water 6' vertically with no drop in pressure. Made in the USA, Blu Technology's RX Elite water filtration system is compact in design to save space in your van, and it weighs only 13 pounds, making it a perfect campervan water system addition.
Regular maintenance and system checks: Regularly inspect your water and plumbing system components for signs of wear, damage, or leaks. Regular maintenance can help you catch issues early, saving you time and money on repairs or replacements. Keep a maintenance log to track your inspections and any work performed on your water system.
The last thing you want is a water leak aboard your campervan. Choose a water tank that is sufficiently bulletproof while in transit. You’ll need a tank that has adequate reinforcement that can handle the added stress of being in constant motion.
Setting up a simple campervan water system for van life may seem daunting at first, but with the right planning, research, and equipment, it can be a rewarding and valuable addition. By carefully selecting components, considering your water usage habits, and performing regular maintenance, you can create a reliable and efficient water and plumbing system that supports your vanlife adventures.
A tank with the option to store a large volume of water while on the road is invaluable, particularly if you like to take a hot shower more frequently. As every camper van conversion is different, the size of your fresh water tank and complexity of campervan water systems will ultimately come down to individual preference.
Remember that your water system should be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Don't be afraid to make adjustments and improvements as you gain experience and learn what works best for your unique vanlife situation. By taking the time to set up and maintain a proper campervan water system, you can enjoy the freedom and comfort of vanlife while ensuring access to clean, safe water wherever you go.