Your motor-home and indeed some caravans will have a built in water tank. However most caravans use an external water barrel, attached a pump system, which you will replenish regularly.
Taking your motor-home to the water-point is very easy & you’ll find one on practically every campsite. Simply fill up and you’re ready for your stay.
Getting water to your caravan requires a little more work and organisation, though thankfully it is all still very easy. One of the first things we do when we arrive a the campsite is to have a quick look around to see which pitch we’d like to stay on. Part of the decision making process here is to see where the fresh water taps are located as we all like to minimise the journey to fetch water.
Once we’re unhitched and on the pitch it soon gets to time to organise the water. This can often be one of the first jobs as I think most people are keen to get the kettle on as quickly as possible, especially after long journeys. This is really a simple matter of getting your water barrel out, making sure it is clean, dry an free of any kind of contamination or static water. If it is a while since you used it or if you are in any doubt at all about the condition of the inside treat it now with a sterilising solution similar to that used for babies bottles. You can buy solutions specifically for this job at your caravan suppliers and they are also very easy to get online. Check the instruction manual for your caravan and follow them step by step with regard to pumping your sterilising solution through the caravan water system. Remember to look up the bit about flushing out the solution before you run fresh water through there for tea making or cooking.
Some newer caravans have an on-board pump and some of the older ones rely on a pump that is built into the assembly that sits into your water barrel in order to take the water from there to where you need it. In any event this needs to be kept clean and steralised with everything else so follow the instructions separately for that.
One every is clean and and any remaining solution has been flushed out, take your barrel to the tap and fill it up. If you’re are using an aqua roll remember to bring the handle with you to the tap, in order to make it easier to get the container back to the caravan. Remember never try to carry large containers of water. Use either an Aquaroll or similar, or use a trolley of some kind to transport other types of water container.
Once you have the water container back at the van simply place the pump assembly into the container, remembering to put in place any integral cover that is designed to keep debris, bird droppings and the like out of the opening. This as you can appreciate is and essential part of the operation and should never be neglected.
Operate the taps on board the caravan and fill the hot water tank before switching on the water heater. Wait until air has
ceased to appear at the tap before ceasing this operation and remember to top up you water tank once it is completed. Do remember to tell the person or people on board the vat when the water tank has been removed and remember to switch off and disconnect the pump while you are en-route to the tap.
One of the things that will most likely do when you arrive at the pitch is to position your van so that the front, or door side, is facing the setting sun. This will help you to enjoy warm evenings sitting in your awing or even outdoors. It will also ensure that you have your water barrel on the shady side of the van where it will stay relatively cool.
The most popular water system for caravans that I see as we go from site to site is the Aqua-Roll or derivatives thereof. It is simply a cylindrical drum, a couple of feet high with two substantial bands around the girth toward both ends on which it camn be rolled. The is a covered opening on top for fill and cleaning and a handle for carrying while it is empty. The come with a simple handle that fits into sockets top and bottom, when it’s on it’s side and this allows you push it along. Nothing could simpler or easier.
Or could it?
There are in fact ways of making life easier, even for something as simple as an Aqua-Roll, especially if you have booked yourself onto a fully serviced pitch with exclusive use of your own tap. Buy purchasing, for instance, and Aquaroll/Aquarius mains water adapter you can make a connection to your tap which will eliminate the need for trotting off to the tap a couple of times each day. Of course if you are a sociable type this may take some of the fun out of it all for you; legging it across the site to do your jobs can be a great way to strike up conversations with people.
I tend to leave the Aquaroll in position and top it up more regularly using lower capacity food grade water container which I carry to the tap a couple of times a day. I find doing all these little jobs to be part of the fun of caravanning, and besides having spend week s on end sitting writing articles for this and other websites, I do need the exercise!
Apart from the popular 40 Litre Aquaroll, Fiamma have a 23 Litre wheeled container which may be worth a look.
Setting Up The Aquaroll By: Highways Agency