Managing a Motorhome Water Supply

A relaxing spot for Cynthia's tai chi

A relaxing spot for Cynthia’s tai chi

Cynthia and I like to wild camp as much as possible. The length of time we can stay away from civilisation is dictated by our water supply. Our potable water tank holds one hundred litres. In a bricks and mortar home where turning a tap produces an unlimited supply of the wet stuff, one hundred litres doesn’t go very far.

According to the This is Money website, a household tap delivers water at six litres a minute. At that rate, our tank would be empty in seventeen minutes. One hundred litres is roughly the amount you could fit in a bath, as long as you don’t want to climb into it.

The average Brit uses one hundred and fifty litres of water every day. Our water supply lasts Cynthia and me for three days. That’s an average of thirty-three litres a day between us, about one-tenth of the average.

Most people’s use of water for personal hygiene is extravagant by our standards. We shower once every four days. I am skinny as a rake, and Cynthia doesn’t sweat much for a big girl. Just kidding, she is slimmer and far more fragrant than me. A shower every four days keeps the flies away and ensures the people we meet on our travels don’t wrinkle their noses in disgust. Anyway, scrubbing our bodies isn’t as important as being able to live most of our time out in nature.

Our main tank holds one hundred litres, but we have an emergency ten-litre plastic jerrycan which we keep in our wardrobe-sized bathroom. I emptied that into our main tank last night after three days parked in blissful solitude on the rocky shore of the Étang de Leucate.

We’ll move later today. We need to empty our black and grey waste, buy food and top up our water supply. To do that, we need to negotiate a narrow and steeply winding street to Leucate’s village cemetery. There’s always a tap or two close to flower covered graves. France’s gendarmerie has recommended this unusual water supply on several occasions. We’re happy topping up there, and the cemetery residents don’t appear to mind.

Adding our emergency ten litre water supply

Adding our emergency ten litre water supply



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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Ian - February 4, 2018

Looks like you need a haircut too !!! Cheers ian

    Paul Smith - February 4, 2018

    It’s a cost-saving measure, Ian. The longer my hair, the less insulation I need on my head during the winter.

Tom McGowran - February 4, 2018

I think you will find a watering can is much better for filling the tank with a 10l plastic bottle. The bottle is much slower to empty than the watering can as the air has to bubble back in. I’ve used this in emergencies over the years and our tank is 150l . We also carry an Aquaroll half full (20l)

    Paul Smith - February 5, 2018

    Good advice Tom. However, we carry ALL of our worldly possessions with us in the motorhome. We only have room for multifunctional items. Our slightly unwieldy ten-litre jerry can is compact enough to store in our compact toilet/shower room. It’s slower to pour than a watering can, but we’re never really in a hurry.

Elizabeth Cross - February 7, 2018

Hi Paul and Tony
I think we will be carrying a jerry can as like Paul we will be carrying all our worldly goods in our Motor Home and yes space is at a premium.
Thanks for the tip Paul.

    Paul Smith - February 7, 2018

    My pleasure. I hope you enjoy lugging countless twenty two pound containers as much as I do!


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