Water Tanks

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Well-known member
Mar 22, 2005
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Lou Schneider

Site Team
Mar 14, 2005
I'd be leery about putting one of these bags on the roof of your truck.? Water weighs 8 1/2 lbs per gallon, so 40 gallons will weigh 340 lbs.? ?That's an awful lot of weight to expect the truck roof to support without damage.

In the past, I've used a 50 gallon white plastic barrel in the bed of my truck to transport water.? I got it from a local dairy for $5 after confirming that it had been used for food grade product.? Then I cleaned and sanitized it using dishwashing detergent and bleach.? There are also other possibilities - plastic trash cans hold 40 to 60 gallons.? ?Walmart sells Rubbermaid stacking storage containers that hold 30-45 gallons each.? You could fit PVC inlet and outlet valves to these, then remove the plumbing and stack them or use them for storage between boondocking sessions.

Or you could use them unmodified, using a pump to remove the water.? Get a spare 12 volt water pump and rig it to either plug into your truck's ciigarette lighter or clip onto the battery.? Hardware stores have adapters to let you connect garden hoses to the pump's inlet and outlet.? Dip the inlet hose into the water container and start the pump, when that container is empty, switch it to the next one, etc.

A 12 volt pump will transfer over 3 gallons per minute so it'll take about 10 minutes to pump 40 gallons.? The tiime to gravity feedwater varies accordtng to the height difference between the bladder and the tank inlet and the diameter of the hose but generally, expect for it to take about twice as long.


Moderator Emeritus
Mar 2, 2005
SIERRA VISTA, AZ or on the road.
Barb: At QZ, in the boondocking area there are some teams of 5th wheel and trailer groups that have racks built on the pickup trucks that extend from the roof of the cab to the rear bed stake holes that they have a big plastic bag for hauling water.  It gravity feeds into the rigs water tanks.  They do not travel far or fast.  Like Lou says - a hundred gallons is over 800 lbs but the big pickups can do it.

You are right about the water pumps.  I have one of the new type motorhome pumps that I can plug into DC outlets  and move a 50 gallon tank pretty fast.  The drum is better if filled and emptied while laying its side. 

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