Do you fill your water tank before you leave?


Aug 22, 2008
Northeast PA
If your camping at a camp site that does not offer water do you fill your holding tank at home or at a spigot at the camp ground. I can carry 26 gallons @ 8.3 lbs per gallon= additional 215 lbs

Nascar Fan

Super Active Member
Nov 18, 2008
Washington, PA
Some do, we don't! We fill up the tank at the SPs at the spigot before we go to the site. When we go to Nascar races, there are usually gas stations where we can fill up the tank for a few $$. We don't like hauling the extra weight. We have 5 gallon mylar bags in the pup if we need extra water. Usually, we don't run out of water in the tank on a weekend. If we are going away for a longer trip, we generally camp where there are full hookups.

He Ruide

Active Member
Sep 22, 2007

I don't carry water in the tank for the weight reasons (BTW did you include the hot water tank? I will either stop on the way to the camp ground site and fill up or use my 7 gallon Gerry can and cart to bring water to the PUP.

Hope this helps.



Active Member
Feb 16, 2009
Santa Ynez, California
I fill up at home although a 10 Gal tank adds only a little weight. Carry a 2.5 gal and 5 gal drinking containers in the TV. Generally use the PUPs tank for other than drinking, but I would be leary of filling up at an unknown and untried source. Different municipalities treat their waters differently then from the home Plant. Found that out one year traveling to Ensenada, Mexico. [:(O]


Active Member
Mar 18, 2008
I don't trust the taste and fill up with great water at home. The cost of carrying an extra couple hundred pounds is not worth giving up a great water source. If any is left, we drain before heading back.

Nascar Fan

Super Active Member
Nov 18, 2008
Washington, PA
Don't want to start another triad, but we don't drink the water from our holding tank. Carry 1 gallon jugs of water for drinking and coffee. We sanitize the tank, but we just don't drink the water. I am sure it is safe for drinking, but we just don't don't do it! [:(O]


Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
Seattle, Washington
If I'm going boondocking I fill the holding tank and my other separate water containers at home because there will be no water there. If I am going to a campground I leave the tank empty and fill it there via carrying a couple of three-gallon containers back and forth between the common spigot and the PUP. (The tank is only ten gallons.) The walk and carry is good exercise.

I sterilize my tank every spring so I have no concern about drinking from it. As for local water, sure, some sources taste better or not as good as others but I've never had a problem and have run into some really fantastic stuff like the artesian well water at a little place near Hope, BC last summer.


Active Member
Sep 29, 2006
If I'm going somewhere within an hour drive I fill up at home...I like our water. Some of the CGs around here have nasty tasting water. [:(O]

I'm going farther, then at the CG or bottled to save the weight.

Big Air T

Aug 31, 2009
Blair, NE
I always fill up prior to leaving, prefer to have good water to start with, weight is not an issue for our equipment, if I were pushing the limits I might rethink the practice for long trips.


Mar 3, 2006
no, I carry reused 1 gallon Arizona tea jugs. Easy to carry 2. Put the kids to work. The on board water doesn't reach the outside kitchen.

Big Dawg

Jul 25, 2007
We fill up for some trips where we know we will not have access to water, and so far no problems. Plus, I am like the others here, I like having the "City" water.


Active Member
Jun 24, 2009
Gilbert, AZ
Weight is not a issue for us, so we fill up at home. We have a water softener at home and use the PUP water for washing dishes, showers, etc. We brink RO water for drinking and cooking.

Trailer: 20 gallon tank, 6 gallon HW tank
TV: two 6 gallon totes, 5 gallons of RO water for drinking


Super Active Member
Jul 14, 2006
Sudbury, Ontario
Normally I do not fill the on board water tank at home to keep the weight down, however last year we showed up at a campground and all the taps had signs warning that the water may contain some lake water parasites due to problems with their water purification systems. This was not normal in a provincial park and we didn't have much water with us so I went ahead and filled up the tank knowing we would have to boil or use alternate water for drinking. It was getting late in the season so I wasn't going to sterilize the tank again before winterizing. This year I think I will just fill up at home.


Super Active Member
Aug 20, 2008
SW Ontario, Canada
We don't normally cart water around in the tank. We mostly do provincial park camping and we call either the day before or on the way to the park and ask if the water is safe to drink. If the water is not safe, we stop and grab a couple of 5 gallon jugs of water and use a hand pump. Upon arrival to the park, we fill the tank (either safe or not safe) and use the water to do any washing up that we may have (and drink if safe).

Also, I have Aquatabs that I keep in the pup. It's suppose to kill bacteria and virus'. It's also approved by the Red Cross and Unicef.

I recently got some Katadyn MicroPur. It's suppose to also kill cryptosporidium, which the Aquatabs have not been tested for effectiveness.

I almost got burned one year at Grundy lake PP. We called ahead and was told the water was safe. We were there for about a week and when they tested the water again (I believe they do it twice a week); it came out not safe to drink. We drove into town and got water; the reason we didn't get burned, was that we were planning a trip into town for groceries anyway. I would of been hopping mad, if we had made the trip into town, then found out the water was not potable. That was when I got smart and started getting water purifying tabs to go into the pup.


Ozarks Überland Basecamp
Jan 3, 2007
St. Louis, MO
Tsc Posted: That was when I got smart and started getting water purifying tabs to go into the pup.
I agree with "Tsc". It's a good idea to carry chemical treatment, because you never know. You should also carry a good quality water filter. We have several of the Katadyn filters and they are used for different applications (Backpacking to Extended Stay Base Camp).

Why should you filter & chemically treat water?

If possible, you should filter water first to remove Protozoa such as Entamoeba Histolytica, Giardasis, these are (2 to 5 microns) hard shelled cysts that can live out of the water for a short time and are usually transmitted by animals to the water. Most good quality filters can physically remove protozoa, which are very resistant to chemical treatment. Cryptosporidium is resistant to iodine and chlorine, each of which needs approximately 4 hours to be effective.

They are a single-cell organisms (Pathogenic Bacteria) need to be removed from water. This type of bacteria can cause cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery and salmonellosis. Chemical treatment is very effective on this bacteria.

These are the smallest biological pathogens. These are a parasitic particles comprising a strand of DNA or RNA that invade living cells and redirect the cell to produce more viruses. Viruses are responsible for such ailments as hepatitis A, polio and gastroenteritis.

Water that contains particles of dirt, can contain the above mentioned organisms. The organisms can attach themselves to the dirt particles and avoid chemical treatment. Even chlorine may be unable to reach and kill off the organisms. This is why you should filter the water first to remove the turbidity. Filter the water first, remove the protozoa and turbidity out of the water, then chemically treat the water. By filtering the water first, then adding the chemically treatment, you'll get crystal clear water and you can drink the water in 15 minutes instead of 4 plus hours.

We all know boiling water to disinfect is effective, but time consuming and wasteful of fuel. That being said, boiling water will kill off most of the organisms of concern. If your boondocking, backpacking, etc, you can only carry so much fuel and you need to reserve the fuel for other needs (Cooking, Showers, etc.)

I have a few friends that will say, we never filter spring water. I'm not one of those people, we filter and chem-treat all drinking water in the wilderness.

Get yourself a good quality filter and chemical tablets (Katadyn or similar) and you'll have better quality water than what comes out of your tap at home. Its not a bad idea to be prepared, not only for boondock camping, but for a disaster such as the one that recently took place in Haiti.


Active Member
Sep 7, 2008
Niagara Falls, ON
Pretty much the same collection of answers. I will not fill up my tank for travel. We will take bottled water for drinking/cooking purposes. I will fill up the on-board tank when close to our destination, or on-site, and only used for dishes, cleaning, showers. I have a couple of blue 7gal totes that I can fill and bring to the pup, and use a drill powered pump to transfer into the PUPs tank.

PS: I took an old 12V rechargable drill, put wire and battery clips on it and works wonders.



Ft. Worth, TX
Aug 30, 2006
Arlington, VA
Curious that no one mentioned reading the owner's manual! I don't have mine handy, but IIRC, mine says NOT to trailer with water. My Coleman water tank straps are quite robust (I had them copied when I hung a gray water tank on the pup), but I believe the added stress of the weight isn't good for the pup.

In addition, if the tank isn't completely full, you'll have a lot of water movement that could cause some sway issues.

As someone else mentioned, I don't drink the water anyway, as I just don't trust the sanitizing process to be very complete. I fill up at the campground, only to be used for dishes/hand washing. Yeah, I'm anal about my water, as my dad is a US Public Health Service sanitation expert, and he created 7 kids that are phobic about water contamination!

Just my [2C]!