Here’s a quick How-To for storing water in your van camper, with cheap and durable containers.
- Homer Buckets (or Lowe’s equivalent). You can buy these pretty cheap at Home Depot.
- “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.
- 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.
- 7/8″ hole drill (get it while at Home Depot)
- 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.