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Boler External Water Reservoir

P1030370Replacing the original fresh water tank with an inexpensive solution that actually keeps the water cool and tasting good.

Originally my Boler had a 10 gallon fresh water tank mounted under the rear frame, sometime in the past it was damaged, probably from bottoming out on a ramp.

I didn’t want the same type of tank because they increase the weight of the trailer by at least 100 lbs, the water always has that “plastic” taste, and you cannot thoroughly clean them.

My solution is to use an external 5 gallon insulated cooler that I installed a quick connect fitting in place of the spigot. The braided steel line leads directly to the electric water pump. We have used this system for the past 2 years and it works great and we have discovered it has several real advantages:


  • • It is easy to refill because the entire top comes off.
  • • Fill with buckets, bulk bottled water or carry it to the tap.
  • • In really hot weather we add a block of ice.
  • • It is easy to clean and sanitize
  • • Easy and cheap to replace, even when on the road or away from home on a trip.

189 (1280x961)

16 Responses

  1. mark
    | Reply

    What kind of pump did you use for the braided line to connect to?

    • Ian (Admin)
      | Reply

      Hi Mark

      The pump is a SHURFLO Classic series, the braided steel line uses a standard plumbing connection.
      I must admit it took a little looking thinking the pump connection was unique but I found it was a common fitting that is a sink faucet connection at the pump end and a 3/8″ compression fitting at the other. I then used a 3/8″ compression to 3/8″ compression brass union to connect to a longer Braided line that was designed for either a dishwasher to an ice maker (sorry I forget).
      I will add some pictures of the pump to this post very soon for your reference.

  2. Dan Orescanin
    | Reply

    I am new to all this and don’t know how a lot of it works – bear with me….

    Where is your steel braided line going? Is it connected to something at the outside of the trailer or does it go inside the trailer and you pull it out? I am trying to get the same system going in my Boler, but I am not sure how it all works.

    • Ian (Admin)
      | Reply

      Hello Dan
      The braided steel line connects to the electric water pump located inside the trailer. The line is stored inside the trailer in a small compartment and is accessed through the hatch on the outside. To hook up the water reservoir the hatch is opened and the braided steel line is pulled out and connected to the reservoir with the quick connector. Open the valve on the reservoir and you have the water system ready to use.

  3. Dan Orescanin
    | Reply

    thanks! I assume the other ‘thing’ in the compartment is for when you have water at the site? How do you work that? Do you bypass the pump when there is pressurized water coming in?

    • Ian (Admin)
      | Reply

      Yes the second fitting you see is for connecting to a pressurized water supply (garden hose).
      In the initial set-up I connected one side of the kitchen tap to the pump and the other side (normally used for hot water) to the pressurized water supply. Recently I changed the plumbing to use a single inlet for both the reservoir and the pressure system. Passing water from a pressurized system through the water pump will not harm the pump, the single inlet is so much simpler. I then installed a small 110V electric water heater in the Boler, connecting that to the second tap (using the hot water tap for what it was intended for, hot water)

  4. Heidi
    | Reply

    Will this system work with a hand pump as well?

    • Ian (Admin)
      | Reply

      Yes this system should work just fine with the original hand pump faucet

  5. Simply Lesa
    | Reply

    Omgosh this idea is brilliant!
    I am a full-timer, two years now. I mostly boondock and like to be self sufficient. I was about to re-install the original water tank in my 13B Scamp. Not now. I could so use the storage space. Your idea gives me more control over my water source too. While full-timing in my van my 1 gallon bubba jug w water or ice water depending on the season was indispensible. As was my thermos pot for hot or warm water. I’m so much happier with this solution. I love having a 12v water pump that lets me use both hands. I lived for a year with a rocker hand pump and (lol) found myself counting the pump action…darn.

    • Ian (Admin)
      | Reply

      Thank you, the system really does work great. I also agree that you can select where you get your water, in some questionable areas we have purchased a 5 gallon jug of bottled water and poured it in.

  6. Ellpea
    | Reply

    Ian, didn’t you send me a more detailed page about this project via the FGRV board? I’m looking for it again…

    Also, can you provide a link to the water heater you use?

    (also, I love your Volvo project! Will have to show that page of mods to the hubby. I had a 740 sedan and after that a station wagon. Have you towed with your Volvo?)

    • Ian G.
      | Reply

      I have a number of versions, this is probably the one you saw
      http://www.boler-camping.com/boler-modifications/external-water-reservoir/ but if this is not what you are looking for let me know.
      The water heater I installed is an instant hot water unit used under a kitchen sink, this is the one we are using http://www.costco.ca/Ready-H%C2%B2ot—-Hot-Water-Dispenser.product.100084989.html

      • Ellpea
        | Reply

        Great! This is the page I was trying to find. And that water heater is AWESOME… I didn’t realize that Costco carried those. One question though… how is it powered? Does it need shore power? Would it also supply an outdoor shower?

        And… what water pump do you recommend?

        Thanks for inspiring us all with your gorgeous Buttercup!

        • Ian G.
          | Reply

          LOL I like these questions Ellpea
          These are strictly 110V shore power, they also need to be plumbed so the tank cannot be under any pressure, I have instructions on how to plumb it on my Boler build article near the bottom of the page https://www.proud-canadian.com/13-boler-basics-beyond-1/boler/ Yes it would work for an outdoor shower but remember it is just 1 gallon so it will get cool quickly, your better solution may be an instant hot water unit that runs on disposable propane tanks, that would supply an endless amount of hot water, you just cannot mount them inside your trailer. Here is just one example http://zodi.com/

  7. Ryan
    | Reply

    Please send

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