Water is a resource we often take for granted. It is essential for our body’s healthy function, providing hydration, helping with digestion and flushing toxins just to name a few. And its sheer abundance and availability in our homes, caravan parks, rivers, creeks and in many supermarkets ensures we rarely give it the consideration it deserves. So how much is enough and how can we best protect ourselves from dehydration?
As mentioned above, water intake is a necessity of healthy living. We like to always have a bottle of water each on hand around camp. In the car, we have two per person, stowed in the side pockets of each door. Not just any bottle with a screw cap, that can cause distraction for the driver, but specialty drink bottles that are easy to use, and insulated from the heat. Two bottles ensure there is always plenty on hand, particularly if you forget to top them up at your regular driving breaks.
Water does other things like supressing hunger and keeping your brain alert, which is particularly beneficial when behind the wheel.
HOW MUCH WATER
How much water to carry in your RV is another interesting question. Payload has a significant impact on water storage. Many single axle caravans are limited to a carrying capacity of 300kg, so filling up two tanks with water, may consume more than half of that capacity, particularly when you want to carry additional fuel, and other supplies.
Your destination will have a huge impact on your carried water reserves as you may not need to carry much water at all, particularly when touring along the popular tourist routes.
Many off road vans now have creek draw facilities where they can draw water to a separate tank. While this may not always be pristine water, keeping it separated and used for washing isn’t such a bad idea. Creek draw systems can also be setup to run directly to the kitchen or shower from the hot water system, so not affecting existing supplies.
FILTER IN OR OUT
Most travellers use drinking water hose and an inline filter to ensure their drinking water remains pure. In the case of a carbon filter like that used in the B.E.S.T. water filters, the tank water retains a small element of the filtering compound in the carried water to fight bacteria and in doing so conditions the tank.
The alternative approach is to install a water filter on the cold water line after the tank, filtering water as it’s used.
The issue of grey water tanks has gained momentum over recent years, where used water from a shower or similar is collected to a tank and disposed of in an environmentally sustainable location.
Some privately owned stations and public parks will only permit fully self-contained travellers that have systems in place to prevent the discharge of grey water onto the land. While this makes sense for the bigger rigs with their high discharge appliances – a washing machine, dishwasher and shower, it can be a grey line (no pun intended) for smaller rigs limited to an outdoor shower and limited discharge.
Making the best use of water requires some pre-planning with respect to your destination, time of year, water carrying capacity and storage alternatives.
See you on the trails.