Water Storage for Camping, Van Dwelling, and Hurricanes!

DIY water storage for a minivan RV

Here’s a quick How-To for storing water in your van camper, with cheap and durable containers.


Parts List:

  1. Homer Buckets (or Lowe’s equivalent).  You can buy these pretty cheap at Home Depot.
  2. “Gamma” Lids.  They usually have these in the store, or you can buy them on Amazon http://amzn.to/2xP6g3B (affiliate link) These lids are two part and have o-rings to seal the bucket.  One half presses on the bucket, the other half screws in.
  3. Brewer’s Bottling Spigot.  You can find these by looking for a local brewer’s or wine-maker’s supply store.  Or on Amazon http://amzn.to/2wH5DLb (affiliate link) These are definitely cheaper at Home Depot ($8) but sometimes they don’t have them.
  4. 7/8″ hole drill (get it while at Home Depot)
  5. A half round or round file (also available at Home Depot).  If half-round, get one about 1/2″ wide.


Steps to Assemble:

1> Mark the bucket for your spigot location.  I like to put mine right at the “-” but you can put it where you like.  My reasoning is that most water jugs put a spout at the top, most likely because they all leak.  I like it in the middle because you can put a glass or can under it for the first 2.5 gallons.  Then, just lift and tip the bucket for the last 2.5 gallons.  Compared with a standard jug, you only have to lift it half as much and if it leaks, you won’t lose ALL the water.  But, put it where you want it.

2> Press the tip of the drill into the spot you want to locate the spigot at and leave a little scratch/indent.  That will keep the drill from skidding across the surface.  Now drill your hole.
(Don’t have a drill?  Any locksmith shop or auto shop will have this and will probably drill it for a box of donuts).  I used a 7/8″ hole drill and finished off with a file, until the spigot fit in without a lot of extra “hole”.  However, you could also use a 15\16″ hole drill if you can find one.

3> Remove the flashing from the hole, so the spigot will fit properly.

4> Attach the spigot and tighten the nut until it is hard to rotate the spigot (you can always force it, but tight enough that it doesn’t move with one finger).


5> Fill your bucket to check for leaks.  If all is well, you can use the water as-is, but I prefer to add a few drops of bleach, just in case there is anything in the water.  Plus, it will keep it fresh for a long time.  Clorox has a guide here.

Although you may spend a little more up front, than the collapsible jugs, these buckets will last MUCH longer and are easy to move.  They also serve a dual purpose as seats, if you throw a pillow on top.  If you don’t have a lot of space in your van, dual-purpose items are always a good idea!  If you want to see more How-To, follow us on Facebook @OdysseyCamper.com

You can find all of my technical and minivan camper conversion DIYs, linked here.

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