Installing Drinking Water Tanks on Caravans

When installing a drinking water tank in your van there are a few things you should consider to avoid problems:

Fill your tank carefully - Do not force water into the tank

To fill a caravan tank you need to feed the water gradually. This is so there is a gap for the air to escape. 

If you attach something like a hose to the tank and fill under pressure without allowing the air to escape the pressure will become too much and cause the tank to explode. 

This will happen even if you have a breather on the tank if the force of the water is too high.

Use a food-grade water hose to fill your tank 

Your family will thank you! Fresh safe drinking water is best souced by filling your tank with a food-grade water hose. 

It is best to avoid an ordinary garden hose. These will leach and taint the water – changing the taste of the water. The taste can be hard to get rid of so always use a hose designed for drinking water.

Water filters can also improve the quality and taste

You can use a water filter as you fill the tank to help ensure clean taint free water. You can also attach water filters inside your van such as under the sink to help filter your drinking water.

It is best to get a water filter that you can backflush as over time and due to the varying quality of the water quality around debris can build up. 

There is a range of filters in the market and the price reflects the purpose to a large degree. The greater the filtration and the use of silver in the filter the higher the price. 


Make sure your pump is powerful enough for the task at hand and is designed for life on the road. The most popular caravan pumps are the Seaflo RV Supreme and the Shurflo 4009 both have the same footprint and can easily be used interchangeably. Installing one to replace the other. 

Both these pumps are small enough to fit in the confined spaces of a caravan and operate on 12vt power making them perfect for use off-road. 

Tank Brackets 

To install your tank you will need brackets. Many people will also use a metal base to protect their tanks against rocks and debris. This sort of sheet metal can be purchased easily at hardware stores. 

Spluttering taps

If you know your tanks are full but your taps are splattering it is possible you have a small kink, blocked pipe or tiny leak. When this happens air is getting in either between the tank and the pump or the tap and the pump. 


Sometimes your tank will seem full when it is not. This can be caused by a kink or blockage in the breather making it hard for air to escape from the tank. This will create an airlock. This will make the tank will appear full when it is not. 

Get expert advice 

Setting up a caravan water system requires some knowledge before embarking on your new build make sure you seek expert assistance when needed.