As we are travelling across Australia and will often be in remote locations it was critical that we had enough potable water on-board to meet our drinking, washing, cooking and cleaning needs. Although our usage will vary day-to-day, from previous trips we have estimated that we will need approximately 7L of water per person, per day. We broke this down into the following daily consumption criteria:

  • 2L for drinking (cold or hot drinks)
  • 3.5L for showers/washing (flannel wash once a day, and solar shower once every two or three days)
  • 0.5L for cooking
  • 1L for cleaning

In order to reduce the amount of water we need to carry with us, we usually do water intensive activities such as washing our clothing or longer showers once a week when we are staying in town and have reliable and plentiful access to fresh water.

There were many different options on the market and being used by others including rigid containers, flexible containers and roof-rack mounted pipe. After some research we decided that a ‘Fleximake‘ pillow type 60L water storage bladder would be the most versatile and flexible solution to store our water as it will fit into the odd cavity above one of the wheel arches and when partially filled will not require as much space as a rigid container.

In order to filter our drinking water we have a portable 1 micron granular activated charcoal in-line filter. This filter isn’t suitable for contaminated, unsafe water, but it will remove or reduce dirt, sediment, algae, chlorine taste, and other odours or foul tastes. Attached to the in-line water filter is a 12.5mm drinking water grade 5m hose for easy hook-ups to mains water. It is critical to have a high quality drinking water hose when filling up your water storage, as a regular hose will contaminate the water with an unpleasant rubbery/plastic taste.

The system is extremely basic compared to what you will see in some professionally constructed campervans, but it is functional and suits our needs. We did consider adding a 12v water pump and a higher quality in-line filer that would be capable of filtering non-potable fresh water (such as water from a river). However as fresh, safe to drink water is plentiful around Australia in the end we decided to keep the system simple and easy. We’ll post up a photo of the water bladder installed and filled soon.