By Bob Difley
Experienced Boondockers know that the efficient handling of waste water, electricity, and fresh water can determine how long they can camp without having to dump waste tanks, re-charge batteries, and refill the water tank.
Adding a portable water pump to your rig’s boondocking gear can help save you effort, time, and hassle–and maybe a wrenched back.
A portable pump can come in handy for chores you might not have thought of, such as transferring water from portable water containers–such as Jerry jugs or a water bladder–to your RV’s water tank. No more lifting heavy water jugs to pour into your tank, just back your pickup or dinghy up to your rig, attach a hose from the pump to the water container and another from the pump into your water fill opening and pump away while you enjoy doing something else.
You can also use a pump to:
- Pump water from a mountain stream or lake into jugs for transfer into your rig. Use this only if you use bottled or purified water for drinking, washing dishes, and brushing teeth and your water tank just for showers.
- Empty the water from your fishing boat, kayak, or canoe after a sudden rainstorm.
- Put a shower head on the outlet hose and use it to wash off sandy feet or muddy shoes–pumped directly from a bucket outside so debris doesn’t enter your gray waste tank–or move it to any area outside your rig that needs washing off.
- A good, inexpensive pump would be one similar to the Attwood WaterBuster Portable Pump (photo, left) that you can find on Amazon for under $35 and operates on four “D” cell batteries, which will save running your house battery down. The WaterBuster will operate for about five hours before you need to change batteries and will pump 200 gallons per hour. This pump, however, must sit in water, rather than suck it up through a hose extended into the water supply.
- Use a portable drill-operated pump like the Jabsco (photo, top, under $35 at Amazon) or a spare RV water pump, both of which use hose extensions–rather than partial submersion–for the water pick up.
You can buy stronger pumps with higher flow rates–at higher prices, of course–but for the money a battery-operated portable pump should do the job–it will just take a little longer.
Check out my website for more RVing tips and destinations and for my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (or for Kindle version), Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (Kindle version), and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar (Kindle version).