Where to Fill RV Fresh Water Tank: 6 Places to Get It Free

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Are you a camper? Camping can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it’s also not always easy, right? You have to deal with sunburns and mosquitoes, dirt and grime, the elements…and sometimes there just isn’t any running water! Do you know where to fill RV fresh water tank?

You may forget to fill the fresh water tank with potable drinking water before heading out. Or, the water may run out when you are on the road. When this happens, you should know where to get potable water for RV.

Where to Fill RV Fresh Water Tank: 6 Places

There are many places to fill up RV water tanks for free. Look into these places when you’re camping without access to fresh water.

1. Collect Water from RV Campgrounds

Many campgrounds and other public spaces provide fresh water for camper use. Ask your local ranger station or visit the website of a place you’re visiting to see if there is an available source.

You will get potable water at every campground, but some places may demand a small fee. Some campgrounds provide water to only those campers who stay there. If you can’t manage any other source, stay there for a day or two and fill up all the tanks before leaving the place.

RV fresh water fill stations
Get the water from an RV campground. Photo: Travelvolo / Adobe Stock

2. Use the Fill Station in Travel Centers

Where can I fill a water tank if there is no campground on the way? If you’re on the road and need to fill up the fresh water tank, make sure to stop at a travel center. These stations often allow RVs and other campers to take as much clean potable drinking water as they can carry free of charge!

Many truck stops too have RV fresh water fill stations. You can ask an employee to help you or use the machine by yourself. Fill up at one of these filling stations when on road trips, so there is no shortage when you reach the destination.

3. Get Free Water at Rest Stops

If there are no filling stations at a travel center, look for free potable water at a rest stop. Rest stops are located on many highways and roads throughout the country, so they’re a great option when you need fresh potable drinking water for your RV.

This may not be the most glamorous place to fill your RV fresh water tank, but it is one of the easiest. Sometimes rest stops have spigots that will allow you to easily refill your tanks without having to leave or go too far off-route.
It’s even better if the rest stop has a dump station too. You can empty the blackwater tanks and fill up the drinking water tanks at the same place.

4. Check Your City, County, and State Parks

Where to fill RV fresh water tank if there is no travel center or rest stop on your way? Use the public parks.

Many state and local parks have fresh water spigots that allow visitors to refill their RV tanks. Some parks offer it for free. But others may require you to get a camping or park permit to use their filling station. You can usually get the permit from the ranger station.

Always ask an employee at the park where there is a spigot that allows visitors access to clean drinking water.

5. Go to a Cabela’s Store

Cabela’s is a huge outdoor retailer that also has RV fresh water tank filling stations. They have many fill stations throughout their stores where you can refill your RV fresh water tank. You don’t even need to buy anything from the store but buy something as a token of appreciation. This is one of the easiest places to refill on clean potable drinking water when camping without access to traditional campsites.

6. Get Water from Natural Sources

Where to fill RV fresh water tank when you run out of water when boondocking? Well, you can always collect it from the water sources nearby.

Water from natural sources may not be potable, so always boil any collected water before drinking it or cooking with it. Also, take care when collecting water from rivers or lakes. You do not want to contaminate the water source for other campers who may come after you.

Use this source only after you can’t find any place for filling RV water tank nearby.

how to fill fresh water tank on RV
Filling up a fresh water tank. (Credit: GudGear)

How to Fill RV Water Tank with Freshwater

After finding a suitable water source, your next step should be learning how to fill fresh water tank on RV. The process is actually quite straightforward as you just have to follow these steps:

  • There should be a separate hose for the fresh water tank. Attach one end of it to the water spigot and the other end to the freshwater intake valve of the water source.
  • Check the water level in the tank before filling it up. Don’t rely on the tank indicator because it often shows an inaccurate reading. A visual check-up is the best way in this case.
  • Now, turn the valve of the water source on and fill up the tank. Every gallon of water weighs more than 8 lbs, so think about that too before weighing down your rig with a huge tank.
  • Don’t let the tank overflow. When it’s about 90% full, go to the outside water source and turn the valve off.
    Detach the fresh water hose and store it somewhere safe.


Are you ready to hit the road? You should always make a list of the places where to fill RV fresh water tank. If collecting water is a part of your camping experience, make sure to bring with you plenty of empty containers that can be filled up and then used when needed.

Some places have specific hours when they provide fresh water, so be sure to plan your trip around these times. While you can find free sources of potable drinking water on or off your RV camping trip, always remember to take only what you need and leave the area better than when you arrived!

About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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