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Old 06-16-2020, 09:59 AM   #1
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Portable pump for freshwater fill-ups

Greetings all,

I did a search and was not able to find any info specifically answering my question. Which is:

We dry camp quite a bit and have to haul extra water with us in order to last past four nights. Iím looking for a pump to use to pump water from portable tanks up the the gravity fill for my fresh water tank. Please give me some suggestions on a 12v or 120v pump that would be considered food safe. I see lots of pumps for sale but they seem to be pumps for pumping sump type of applications.

I have read many posts about placing a short hose in the water jug and attaching it to the city water inlet and using the water directly from the jug. While that would certainly work for me I would prefer to just refill my FW tank and do the task only once.

Here is how we do it when we are at our property but Iím not going to haul that 8í ladder and that wood monstrosity I cobbled together on a road trip.

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:59 AM   #2
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I would use a jump box and an RV water pump to fill from any size container to the tank. Then you have a spare pump if needed. I use a jump box anytime I need to power anything that's 12 volts.
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:04 PM   #3
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There are threads on this forum about how to use the RV's onboard water pump to fill your fresh water tank from a container. Basically you use the winterization port to pump the water from the container and the outside shower with a hose to fill the fresh water tank.

Found it.....here you go!

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Old 06-16-2020, 01:06 PM   #4
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Buy an exact replacement pump to what is installed in your RV. Mount it to a smallsquare of plywood and run your hoses. A set of cables direct to the battery.
Using the same pump you now have a spare pump.
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:35 PM   #5
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I use this from 5 gal collapsible jugs.

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Old 06-16-2020, 01:43 PM   #6
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My pump solution for water fill Georgetown 270S MH

I solved this problem in a similar manner. Cannot fill FW without pressurized water source.
(PS: Good suggestion to select the same pump as in the RV)

I added a 12V outlet (cigarette style female) in the water bay.
I have a 5Gal "Homer" bucket with lid that I added a hose faucet to the lower side of the bucket. I am careful not to use this bucket for anything else.
The pump has inlet and outlet hose connections. Fill the bucket, set on the ground or a stool, hook up hoses to FW fill inlet, plug-in and let the pump do the work.

One lesson learned is to exercise the pump before a trip. Mine did not work and later I found calcified deposits in the diaphragm.

I can add photos next time I have the rig out of storage.

Greg Scott
Mission Viejo, CA
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Old 06-16-2020, 01:50 PM   #7
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We dry camp a lot. We use a 16 gal container with 12 volt pump included from Tractor Supply, You will need a length of discharge hose to fit your application. We carry the container in the back of the truck, plug electric into truck 12 v receptacle or hook to trailer battery, run discharge hose directly to trailer fill. When container is empty you can fill while still in truck bed.

This has worked great for us from Florida to Alaska.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:14 PM   #8
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Just a thought as I do not know if this would work for potable water, how about a small pump attached to a drill?
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:31 PM   #9
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Here is what I put together. I now use a portable power pack with a 12V plug instead of the alligator clips to power the pump.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:33 PM   #10
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I use the on-board pump and the winterization port with a short garden hose into the jug/tank. Flip the lever on the valve to the winterization position (like you would be drawing antifreeze into the system) and go about business.

Your pump doesn't care whether it gets it water from the fresh tank or a jug or tank outside the R/V.

I DON'T use the method of pumping it from the auxiliary jugs/tank into the fresh tank and then re-pumping it a second time when you use it out of the fresh tank. When boondocking, battery resources are precious and only pumping it once saves battery.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:52 PM   #11
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I use a small drill pump similar to this one:


Works like a charm. Empties s 5 gallon jug in about 30 seconds.
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Old 06-16-2020, 03:09 PM   #12
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We do the same as edkayc, a water tank with a pump already on it in the back of the pickup, I bought a long enough hose to reach fill port so I can leave it in the back of the truck. I don't know if it is rated as drinking water safe but every year I run bleach water through to sanitize it.
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:22 PM   #13
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12 volt Transfer pump

30 Gal bladder
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:43 PM   #14
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Fresh water fill

I have a food safe 45 gallon plastic barrel that I lay in truck bed just ahead of my hitch. In one bung I installed a 12v livewell plastic pump (bottom) and fitted a short hose with a tap on end. I can fill barrel (top bung) and then plug pump into my trailer wiring outlet on rear of truck. Pull on my park lights and the pump sends water to my fresh water tank in trailer. Could run wire direct to battery but this seems easier. A couple of my friends have done the same.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:12 PM   #15
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This isn't hard, and many have given good ideas.

1. Use an RV pump...already recommended several times. They are 12 volts, and they can move water from a jug to your freshwater gravity fill easily. Add enough wire to reach from the pump to alligator clips to the tow vehicle battery or the RV batteries. Run the TV engine when pumping so you don't drain your battery. Use some simple 1/2" braided line on the input and your city water hose on the output. You will likely need to adapt from the fitting on the pump to a male garden hose fitting.
THE PROBLEM WITH THIS METHOD is keeping everything clean.

2. The hot setup. Go all in. This may be my plan.
50 to 65 gallon water tank to fit in the bed of your TV. https://www.plastic-mart.com/product...tank-fs0065-24
120 volt water transfer pump. https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...hoCnkgQAvD_BwE
Your generator.
A sheet of plywood to mount the tank and pump so you can slide them out of the bed between trips.
ONE BEAUTY OF THIS SETUP is that the connection between the water tank and pump can be permanent, and the water is drawn from the bottom of the water tank. No priming.

3. What I'm currently doing:
Four Reliance 7 gallon jugs: https://smile.amazon.com/Reliance-Pr...s%2C227&sr=8-1
A couple spare caps: https://smile.amazon.com/Reliance-Pr...156HFVDM03ZEWK
Make an adapter using a 1/2" NPT to 1/2" barb plastic fitting: https://smile.amazon.com/Spears-Fitt...2362856&sr=8-4
About 15 to 18" of clear plastic hose and a hose clamp.
I plug the hose end into the fresh tank fill, then lift the jug and pour. No ladder, no funnel nonsense.
Each jug weighs 60 pounds full.
I carry 28 gallons in the TV, and it takes about 3 minutes to dump the jug into the tank.
No pumps necessary, and I don't lose water.
I use a giant ziploc bag to store my adapter and keep it clean.

If the lift is too high, get a stool: https://smile.amazon.com/Camco-Adjus...2363024&sr=8-1
This is also awesome as a first step when you're on a slope.

As for using your winterization port to move water, it can be done. But in most cases it's about as convenient as heart surgery. My pump and equipment are under the dinette seat, behind a screwed down piece of plywood. Once a year is fine. One or twice a camping trip ain't happenin'!

Jim & Renee
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previously 2014 Forest River/Rockwood HW 277
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Old 06-17-2020, 12:56 AM   #16
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I will give a low cost option since you have a big tank already.

Place that water container on your truck rail backed up near the camper.

Use one of these https://www.cabelas.com/product/BASS...E&gclsrc=aw.ds.

Another option is this using your same method and tank for ONLY $19.99! https://www.buyturbopump.com/?mid=11...BoCpk0QAvD_BwE

That or the RV pump if you have a solar setup already
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:14 AM   #17
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I have 2 collapsible water containers. One is 60 gals, the other 50 gals. I use a 12 volt RV pump to transfer water to my gravity fill. I have an adapter that plugs into the 7 way plug at the back of the truck and I place the pump on the tail gate of the truck, plug into the adapter and pump the water. I don't know if it would work with those of you who don't have a gravity feed fill port. The pump may have enough pressure to pump into the fill port in your water bay.
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:35 AM   #18
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I bought a 50 gallon water tank from Northern Equipment. My truck is high enoughI can siphon into the trailer fill, as long as my 20 foot clear plastic tube is inserted down the fill tube to tank level. My trailer tank is on the bottom of my trailer, as I suspect yours is. Dbledan has the right idea on how to start a siphon. I just suck on my hose. When I camp where I can't just dump my gray tank, I use a Shurflo pump like the one that came with my trailer to pump the gray water into a tank in the back of my truck. I have a two prong trailer plug hanging down from the battey box to plug into.
2009 Roo 21ss + 2007 Superduty 6.0
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:54 AM   #19
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I bought a shurflo pump that would be a replacement for the onboard one in case I needed a replacement. Put some fittings and short hoses on it so I can connect white hoses. Have 2 15-gallon plastic tanks in the back of the pickup. Mounted the pump on a small board, added a switch to turn it on/off, and wired it to connect to the solar-on-the-side plug. So now I attach the hoses, plug it in, and turn it on and it pumps that 30 gallons in about 10 minutes. Works perfect for me. It's a similar look to what Itat showed above.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:01 AM   #20
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I used a battery jump box and a 12v water pump from harbor freight. Pushed water through my filter and water softener into pressurized side of fresh water fill. Worked great.

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