How much water do you need for off grid camping? This is an important question to ask if you’re planning on boondocking or dry camping in your RV.
The amount of water you need will vary depending on how many people are in your group, how long you’ll be camping, and whether or not you’ll be showering and washing dishes.
In this blog post, we’ll provide some general guidelines to help you figure out how much water to pack for your next trip!
How Much Water for Off Grid Camping
Water is an important commodity when boondocking, necessary for cooking, cleaning, and hygiene. So important, in fact, that your water storage will generally be the limiting factor determining how long you can boondock before you need to resupply.
RV tanks typically hold between 30 and 50 gallons of water, but this can vary depending on the size and make of your RV. The real question is, how much water will you use each day?
How Much Water Per Person Per Day Camping
The average person needs about a gallon of water per day, but this can vary depending on the climate and the activities you plan on doing. If you will be engaging in strenuous activities, such as hiking or biking, you will need to drink more water to stay hydrated. In hot weather, you will also need to drink more water to avoid dehydration. So, figure on one gallon of drinking water per day for each adult.
How Much Water for Camp Shower?
Water for hygienic purposes will be in addition to that gallon of water needed for hydration each day. If you plan on showering each day that you’re camping, you can figure on using another 2-3 gallons for each shower.
You’ve also got to figure in any water that will be used for washing dishes. This takes more water than you might assume at first, especially if you’re washing pots and pans on top of dishes.
You can conserve water while showering in your RV by switching off the shower head whenever you’re not actively rinsing down. Also, try switching to an ultra-low-flow RV shower head to reduce water use even more. Using these techniques, you might use as little as just 1-2 gallons for an entire shower.
In addition, a great deal of water can be saved by washing your dishes with spray bottles instead of the stream from the sink.
Actually, there are many was for you to conserve water while you’re boondocking, and you’ll find several of them on our list of 20 tips for full time RV living.
How Much Water Is Needed for a Week of Off Grid Camping?
Learning to conserve water really is an art form. As you practice more you’ll get better, but at first, you’ll likely waste a ton of water and go through it faster than expected.
Including showering and dishes, figure on each adult using about five gallons of water per day. You can reduce that number to just 2 or 3 gallons on each day you skip your shower. With super-conscientious showering and dishwashing methods you might even reduce your water usage down to three gallons even on days with a shower.
Let’s do a hypothetical scenario.
Person one showers only three times in a week and is very conservative with their water use. Using just three gallons of water on days they shower and just 1.5 on days they don’t, this person uses an average of 15 gallons per week.
That puts our lower use limit around 15 gallons for each adult. You might get away with using less, but you’d have to be extremely water-conscious.
You can multiply 15 gallons by the total number of campers you’ve got to figure out the least amount of water you can hope to get by on for a week of dry camping. But you might wanna add a few extra gallons in there as a buffer zone, in case you’re not quite as conservative as you hope to be!
Water usage will vary drastically for each person or group that’s dry camping. Differences in water conservation methods and what water is used for can cause the same volume of water to last twice as long for one group than for another.
For some great tips on how to conserve water and other great hacks for RV camping and living, check out our article on the 20 best RV tips. But if you’re already gearing up to head out to the backcountry for some dry docking, then make sure to read the complete guide to off grid RV camping for beginners to make sure you have the best experience possible!