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How To Fill an RV Water Tank Without a Hose

Water is a critical part of every day life and RV life is no exception. It’s possible that while using your RV, you’ll either break or lose your hose – or the parts that bring water in your RV will have an issue. This could be a big problem in order to have fresh water for drinking, bathing, or cooking.

Thankfully, there are ways to get fresh water into your water tank without needing a hose. They require a little more finesse and possibly strength, but they will work in the mean time. 

Filing your RV water tank without a hose can be as simple as using containers. This requires a bit of planning and preparation, but it’s quite possible. There are other methods too of course, that we will discuss below.

Gravity feed versus pressurized

Some trailers have different types of feeds for getting water in. A few brands of RV only have a pressurized port which requires a hose with a screw end to fit in. Thankfully, this isn’t quite the end of the line for getting water in.

Most of these RVs also have a vent that is meant to allow water to escape in the event that the water tank is too full. The vent typically looks like a piece of circular mesh and can be readily removed with your fingers.

This is a good starting point for getting water in the tank regardless of how you are storing the water.

Getting water in the tank through the vent port or gravity feed

The opened vent port and gravity feed are similar. The primary difference will be the shape. The gravity feed tends to stick out a bit more while the vent port stays in.

The key here regardless of type is a funnel.

How do I store the water?

So you have a funnel or can get one pretty easily. That’s only one part of the equation. As a backup, it’s a good idea for an RV owner to carry some large containers – with a capacity of least a few gallons.

A simple milk jug is also an option of course. Your water tank is likely 20 gallons or more, so this can take more time. A milk jug is also going to be lighter than a large container.

How to get the water

In the case of not having a hose, it doesn’t really matter where you get the water. RV parks are clearly helpful for this, but not essential. Find some place where you can readily fill up large containers with water.

How to get water into the tank without a hose

With containers, you are likely going to have to fill your tank repeatedly.

This is really a simple matter. You will probably need a funnel unless you hand eye coordination is really, really good. You might also need a second pair of hands.

  1. Insert the funnel into the gravity feed or the vent port
  2. Lift the container or water and pour it into the funnel. Do this as quickly as you are comfortable. The lower you tip the container the faster the water will go.
  3. Repeat this process until you have put a sufficient amount of water in the tank

Filling a pressurized port without vent port

This situation is a little stickier, but can still be done. 

You can use a drill pump with a threaded hose connection (not the typical one you’ll use at a RV park).

  1. Containers are still usable in this situation. Fill a container with water and put the hose from the drill pump into the container.
  2. Take the hose (this does use a hose, but not in the same way for a pressurized tank) and place it over the pressurized port.
  3. Put your power drill into the port on the drill pump
  4. Start the drill. This should create enough pressure to move the water through the pressurized port and into the tank. You’ll feel the hose coming out of the pump have more pressure than the hose going into the pump.

Yes, this does use a hose, but it could be one of your best options if you have a pressurized port and your vent port doesn’t work or isn’t there.

Bottled Water

Don’t quite have the muscles to lift large containers over and over again? Get a big bottle of water. Really any container with a large capacity that you life can do. 

Find a water source and keep refilling these and pouring them directly into the tank. Given the lightweight of most water bottles, you might not even need a funnel for this purpose.

Health considerations

Take a sniff of your water containers before using them. Ensure they don’t smell like mildew or mold. Clean them out if you have to.

Some people have also mistaken a water container for gasoline. This smell should be pretty obvious and the water might be discolored. Smell the container before using it to make sure. Don’t use a container you use for gasoline for anything else.

Consider the same for your funnel. An RV funnel can be used for oil, gasoline, and water. Have one funnel dedicated to water. You also might want to have this be the strongest funnel available because it’s likely to have the most liquid poured through it in the largest container.

Same for a water job here – if the funnel smells like gas or oil, don’t use it to get water into your tank.


One of the best things you can do to prepare for water issues in your RV is to have containers. For people who can lift a container of water, this method should be easy to replenish your fresh water tank. Drill pumps and smaller containers are definitely an option too.

You can also be better prepared by ensuring that you know what kind of ports your RV has for the purpose filling up water. Check it out when you buy it to ensure that you have the right equipment.

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