Campervan Water Tanks and System Setup: A Helpful Guide

Campervan Water Tanks
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Campervan Water Tanks and System Setup: A Helpful Guide

Campervans have become a popular alternative to conventional RVs for folks seeking adventure on the road. They are compact and easier to steer on narrow streets and make exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations possible. However, you need to have a reliable and efficient water system in place when setting off on a campervan journey.

This article looks into campervan water tanks and system setups, as well as various options and accessories to assist you in making the best decision for your needs.

Campervan Water Tanks: Usual Configurations and Capacities

A campervan’s water system typically includes a freshwater tank for drinking and cooking and a greywater tank for collecting wastewater from sinks and showers. The size of these tanks depends on individual needs, but there are common configurations and capacities to consider when designing your campervan water system.

What Size Tank?

To establish a suitable capacity for your campervan water tanks, consider the duration of your journey, the number of travelers in the vehicle, and the availability of water sources along your path. As a general guideline, allocate around 1-2 gallons of water per individual daily for drinking and cooking, with extra water required for hygiene purposes such as showering.

Water Tank Sizes

A popular option is a compact, water tank like the 20-gallon RV water tank from Tank Depot. The medium-density polyethylene tank weighs only 13 pounds, features seamless one-piece construction and is resistant to stains, corrosion and rust. Its sturdy design provides more flexibility in planning your water system layout.


For a week-long trip with two people, a 30-gallon freshwater tank like the R-RVB118 might suffice while larger groups or longer trips may need a higher capacity such as a 40-gallon or 53-gallon tank. Larger tanks will require more space to install and when filled will add additional weight to your campervan. 

A common guideline states that one gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. Therefore, filling a 20-gallon tank would increase your gross vehicle weight (GVW) by 167 pounds while a fully-loaded 53-gallon tank would contribute an additional 442 pounds.

If you have waste storage tanks on your campervan, that weight would also need to be included in your GVW calculations.

Campervan Water System Accessories

RV parked in field

In addition to selecting the appropriate size and type of water tank for your campervan, various accessories can enhance the functionality and efficiency of your water system. Some of these include:

Water Pumps

An essential component of any campervan water system, a water pump delivers water from the freshwater tank to faucets and shower heads. Choose a pump with a suitable flow rate and pressure for your needs and a compact design for easy installation in the limited space of a campervan.

Water Filters

Installing a water filter between your freshwater tank and faucets ensures clean, safe water for consumption. It helps remove impurities and contaminants, to provide fresh-tasting water. Most campers will use a filter between the campground water supply and the campervan, but an additional filter between the water tank and the camper’s faucet is an additional way to provide peace of mind about the purity of your drinking water.

Level Sensors and Monitors

Installing a level sensor and monitor in your freshwater tank helps avoid unexpected water depletion. These devices track water levels, for better water usage planning.

Plumbing Fittings and Hoses

To connect your water tanks, pumps and faucets, you need a variety of plumbing fittings and hoses. Choose high-quality, food-grade hoses and corrosion-resistant fittings to ensure a safe and reliable water supply throughout your campervan.

Tank Insulation

For those planning to use their campervan in colder climates, insulating your water tanks is advisable to prevent freezing. Insulation blankets or foam can be wrapped around your tanks to provide an additional layer of protection against extreme temperatures.

Tank Cleaning and Maintenance Products

Regularly maintaining your campervan water tanks is essential for preserving water quality and preventing bacteria, mold and algae buildup. Invest in various tank cleaning products such as chlorine tablets and tank cleaning solutions to keep your water system functioning optimally.

Hose Storage Solutions

Carrying a hose to refill your freshwater tank is necessary when traveling in a campervan. Consider investing in a hose reel or storage bag to keep the hose organized and readily accessible when needed.

Water System Setup Tips

When planning your campervan water system setup, there are multiple factors to consider:


Ideally, your fresh and grey water tanks should be as close to your kitchen and bathroom facilities as possible to minimize plumbing runs and reduce leak risks. This simplifies installation and lowers the overall weight of your water system.

Tank Ventilation

To prevent pressure buildup within your tanks and the risk of leaks, ensure both your fresh and grey water tanks are well-ventilated. Install a vent on each tank to allow air to escape as the tanks fill or empty.


Efficient drainage is essential when emptying your grey water tank. Opt for a simple, gravity-fed system that allows wastewater to be easily drained into a suitable receptacle or directly into an approved waste disposal point.

Upgrade Your Campervan Water System with Tank Depot

For the perfect water tanks and accessories for your campervan, visit Tank Depot. Our extensive product range and expert advice can guide you through the process of choosing and installing the ideal water system for your needs.
Contact us today for more information or to locate a store near you!

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