Fresh water is the most important resource you have in your RV. Without fresh water, you really can’t stay in your RV for long. Even though there are many different sources of fresh water out there, they aren’t always reliable or accessible when and where you need them. And although we may try to conserve our water for as long as possible in the RV, there will always come the time that you must refill the tanks.
Phil and I intend to do a lot of boon docking while living in the RV and we know finding a reliable and quality RV water fill station will be a top priority while on the road.
It’s important to have a few places in mind that you can stop at whenever you need fresh water for your RV because sometimes you may not have service or your phone runs out of battery. In those scenarios, at least you can ask someone for directions for where you need to go without having to waste time browsing google for the places that have potable water for your rv.
These fill stations will give you access to fresh water whenever and wherever you need it. So no matter where your road trip takes you, these RV stations will be there waiting for you with a clean source of drinking water.
The Most Reliable Places To Find an RV Water Fill Station
Before I dive into the RV water fill stations you can trust, I recommend downloading a campground app that helps locate RV stations where you may fill up the fresh water tank of your RV. Apps like RV Trip Wizard and Campendium try their best to provide helpful information regarding water and dump stations in the surrounding area. They are also beneficial since users submit evaluations, which means that you may learn about pricing, access, and other facts before you arrive at your destination.
1. RV Water Fill Stations at Campgrounds
The local campground is one of the most reliable places to find potable water for your RV. Almost every type of campground provides potable water, either free or for a small fee, but it’s usually a very cheap option to consider. It may cost between $5.00-$15.00 on average. In fact, even if you’re not staying, many campgrounds will let you fill up your tank.
Depending on the cost of a campsite, you can consider staying overnight. Some RVers will stay for a couple of nights, fill up their tanks, and then return to their boondocking place with their resources replenished. Additionally, other campgrounds may offer a dedicated dump station, which is frequently charged separately, as well as access to potable water.
If the recreation area you are staying at does not supply fresh water, they will most likely know where you can find some too. The front office of the campground will probably have a list of nearby services, such as fresh water places, dump stations, and propane fill-up spots.
Ask fellow RVers if there is no one available at the front desk to assist you, the RV community is usually pretty knowledgable with options as well. Instead of spending hours searching, ask around to see if anyone has already managed to find the required service you are looking for.
2. RV Water Fill Stations at City, County, and State Parks
A city, county, or state park would be another good option for obtaining potable water. Many of these parks provide outdoor activities or day-use areas that have water. It’s usually more difficult to get a city, county, or state park representative on the phone to answer questions, so you should consider using application reviews like iOverlander, Campendium, or All Stays to know what to expect and to be able to choose the best park for your needs.
The majority of these parks will include campgrounds as well as other amenities so you can get your campfire cooking going while you fill up. Even if there are no camping facilities and your stuck entertaining yourself in the rv kitchen, as a visitor, you may be able to use thier potable water spigot. However, before filling your tank, you should verify with guards or park staff if it’s for free, so you won’t get in trouble with rangers for not asking permission.
So remember that local and county parks possess fresh water spigots. You can usually use these spigots for free, but you should make sure it is not prohibited.
You can even try calling a national park if you are close to one, to see if they have pumps available too.
One fun and helpful tip: water spigots with a blue pump handle are typically the fresh water pumps and safe for consumption.
3. RV Water Fill Stations at Cabela’s
As an outdoor recreation company, Cabela’s almost always provides RV parking, potable water filling, and even a dump station. And they do it well too. Consider Cabela’s the VIP option of water fill stations. Cabela’s truly know how to satisfy the needs of the RV community.
While the majority of their stores charge a fee, there are a few that do not charge a water fee. You can still give back though and say thank you by buying something in the store while you are passing through.
Many Cabela’s locations provide RVers with water connections and the locations that provide this service frequently charge $5 to $10. However, if local laws allow it, you may indeed be allowed to park overnight and stay in their parking lot. It’s worth calling to make sure they have space to accommodate you and that their potable water station is functional.
4. RV Water Fill Stations at Rest Stops
Rest stops are also a source of potable water for your RV. While not as reliable as campgrounds and state par (not all rest stops have a location to hook up a hose in order to fill your tank), some of them do. As a result, it is advised that you check that RV app you downloaded earlier for water tank information at the specific rest stop you intend to go to.
Although not as common, a few rest stops across the interstates will provide potable water as well as dump stations. Many rest stops that have these services will have RV icons visible on the signage to help identify them.
One advantage of stopping at a rest stop is that a lot of them are for free. They’re also very accessible to those trying to travel on major roads and interstates. While these may not be found everywhere, rest stops are indeed a huge help when you find them!
5. RV Water Fill Stations at Truck Stops
Some of the country’s big truck stop chains have become more accommodating to RVs too. In fact, most of the truck stops have a nearby water hose for RVers near the diesel truck lanes. The hose will most likely be accompanied by a non-potable water sign though.
Keep in mind most truck stops will charge, typically between $10.00 and $15.00 to fill up. You may or may not have the choice to fill your RVs with fresh water here but if there’s really no other place you can go, you can consider getting non-potable water while you can. Some of these truck stations may even give discounts to people with a membership in their loyalty programs, so signing up for their free loyalty programs may be worthwhile.
While you can’t rely on a gas station to also have fresh water, many actually do. Its great because you can fill your fresh water tank while you’re filling up your gas tank. Fresh water is most likely to be found at filling stations like TA, Pilot, and Loves. If they have it, most of these gas stations would then list it as a service online, so you can check even before going.
6. RV Water Fill Stations at Travel Centers
Another great place to look for potable water is at a travel center. However, not all travel centers have fresh water fill stations, so call ahead before you go so you won’t be wasting your time. If you call ahead and ask, the attendant will usually be able to provide you with all of the specifics on where the spigot is located, as well as any special instructions you may require for finding/using it. Since this is not always a place where most RVers look for fresh water there may not be a fee. However, even if they do charge, I don’t expect it to be much.
7. RV Water Fill Stations at Dump Stations
If you’re using a dump station, chances are there’s a fresh-water spigot nearby. You must exercise extreme caution when filling your tank of fresh-water at these dump stations with potable water. There is usually a hose and spigot for getting water out of the tank. Remember that at a dump station, potable water must be labeled or else it might not be a good option to use. if you don’t see a sign you should never that water to fill your fresh tank.
Maintaining Your RV’s Potable Water Tank
There are several strict guidelines that are best observed while refilling the fresh water tank of your RV. Potable water, often known as drinkable water, should always be used of course. At places like RV dump stations they may only offer water that is not suitable for drinking so keep a look out for the signs indicating if it is potable water or not before you hook up.
It cannot be emphasized enough that you should not use anything that is not potable unless you are absolutely certain that you will never need to consume the fresh water stored in your RV’s tank. Almost all water provided from RV dump stations is usually not potable.
I’ll just bold this for emphasis, if the water is not labeled as “potable,” it is not safe to drink because its cleanliness cannot be ensured.
If you ever do use non-potable water in your fresh water tank, you will absolutely need to sanitize your water system so that it’s safe to drink from again.
A common RV practice is to have a separate hose for fresh water that you keep in it’s own location so you never get it mixed up with your other hoses. You shouldn’t consume water from a hose that has come into contact with non-potable water. Never use the hose that you’ve used to flush out your waste holding tanks to fill your drinking water supply. Only fresh, pure water fit for human consumption should come out of your drinking water hose.
Also, remember to install an inline filter and a water pressure regulator on your fresh water hose. Both of these items will protect your RV’s plumbing from corrosion and ensure that you always have clean, drinkable water.
Best Practices for Filling Your RV With Fresh Potable Water
Though filling the fresh water tank in an RV is a simple process, there are precautions you should take to ensure the water is safe to drink (potable). You can fill your RV’s water tank from an outer water connection in one of two ways:
- Through a fill port on the side of the RV (a “gravity fill”)
- By linking your water tank directly to the outer water supply
Some RV’s have a diverter valve that allows you to fill your RV fresh water tank directly from the city water connection, while other RV’s have a separate fresh water fill connection. It’s up to you to learn which one you have before you get started.
You should keep track of how much fresh water you’ve put in your RV water tank so you know when to stop adding and you are sure it is filled before you take off.
Remember that space is at a premium when you are in your RV and on the road, so don’t take more in than you need and don’t over fill. Weighing roughly 8.3 pounds per gallon, water is a hefty substance.
If your RV’s fresh water tank is full, it might add hundreds of extra pounds to your vehicle. Therefore, it would be more taxing on your engine and brakes. This all in turn adds significantly more fuel required to travel hundreds of miles.
So if you are planning a long drive, try to plan filling your RV tank closer to your next destination. Not only will it save you money on gas and increase your speed, but it will also cause your Rv to sway less on the road with the water not swishing back and forth in the tank.
Water is a valuable resource. As RVers, having enough water while on the road helps you travel more comfortably and stay at those beautiful off grid campsites a little longer.
The last thing you want to happen while RV camping is to run short of water and have to leave early on your trip. So, plan ahead of time, know how much water is in your tank, and be cautious when loading up your RV’s fresh water tank! Maybe even bring a few extra collapsible jugs filled with water to get the chance to stay longer too.
Anyways that all we have for now on finding an RV water fill station in your area that is reliable. Just make sure you have all of the information you need in case of an emergency, and it is always best to know all of the places to fill your tanks beforehand so you don’t have to worry about anything during your trip.