Last Update: 11/24/2017

Where to Get Free Water for Van Life

peeing statue of man in prague
Ya gotta fuel your piss pump, Boys and Girls. But where to fill your jugs with free water? When you're living in a van down by the river? Vanholio tells you how.

Now, this don't really apply to you fancy pants RV folks with your exclusive fuckin' Club Med RV parks and dump stations. You’re covered. This is for the rest of us living on the cheap and under the radar – van life

Ol' Vanholio don’t have a holdin' tank. He just has some plastic jugs, about 12 gallons worth all told. That’s enough for a week or two, dependin'. Maybe you’re the same?

Here’s some places Vanholio’s been lucky findin' water while driving all over the goddamn country.

?? #Vanlife question? Contact Vanholio! direct !!

Friends, Family, Work

Fillin' up your jugs when visiting friends or family, or at work, is the obvious option. Don’t leave their homes without water! Ever!

Campgrounds and RV Parks

Obviously, if you’re stayin' at a campground or RV park that has water, fill ‘er up. But just today, I noticed a city RV park in passing. I drove in, parked in a spot, filled up my jugs from the hookups, and left. Yes, courtesy would be to ask first, but I’d rather apologize later. And fuck payin'!

Public Parks

I’ve found water taps in city, county, state, and national parks. Don’t just limit yourself to faucets provided for drinkin', though. Three weeks ago, I parked by a city ball field to read a map. Lookin' around, I noticed that the bathrooms by the ball field had a regular, outside tap, probably there for a garden hose. Got a week's worth of water in 3 minutes!

Rest Stops

In some states, public rest stops have drinking water taps for fillin' jugs. Wyoming is really good about this.


Commercial Buildings

sillcock key
Some gas stations, grocery stores, and other businesses have water via regular outside taps. Take some on the sly or ask, as you see fit. Now, you'd think commercial buildings have taps outside, just like a house, but you'd be wrong. Most have special taps outside to prevent lowlifes like you and me from gettin' it. Even when you ask a clerk for permission, they don't even know how to work the tap. But Vanholio has the solution, thanks to super redditor Drummygummy: You just need a faucet / sillcock key (see photo at right). Now, Vanholio hasn't used one personally (yet), but the tech looks promising. All the preppers rave about them! (See the how-to video at bottom.)

Grocery Stores / Water Vending Machines

Supermarkets, dollar stores, and convenience stores in many parts of the USA have filtered-water vending machines that let you fill your own jugs for about $0.30 a gallon. If you can't get free, that's a better option than bottled water. In some parts a the country, filtered water vending machines are free-standing on corner lots.

Rest Rooms

Almost anywhere, including all the places above, you can walk into a public or store restroom with your jug and fill it up at the bathroom sink if they don't have a drinking water tap. How? Bring a cup or a funnel with hose to get the water from the faucet into the jug. Or do this #vanlife hack with a bottle!

Private Homes

I'd be careful about getting shot, 'specially in redneck country. But Vanholio has gone up to folk's houses and asked to fill up at the garden hose. Most folks oblige. You can offer to pay, but they won't usually let you.

Streams, Rivers, Lakes, Ponds

If you'll be camping literally down by the river, or by a creek or lake, why not filter your own water? Then you don't have to go huntin' for it. A decent water filter is a good investment if you're in wet place. Desert-dwellers need not apply.

Potable water is available free for van life all throughout the great ol' USA. Just get out of the consumer mentality and look around, dammit. Bottled water ain't any healthier than public water (except in Flint), and buying it sucks your wallet dry.



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