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Recovering rainwater for your bug out location

July 21, 2012

Well, let’s imagine The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) has occurred. But you’re a lucky one who has an ‘RV’ of some sort….popup camper, travel trailer, ridiculously huge 5th wheel rig, whatever. Even a family cabin tent or right down to a tarp you scrounged on the way while getting out of Dodge (G.O.O.D.).  An easy way to get ‘free’ water is to rig your tarp or awning so that during rain, you guide the water into a catch bucket which you pipe to your onboard water tank in your RV. Or just a bucket, if you only have the tarp. Using the fantastic art work below, I demonstrate the idea I applied to our travel trailer.

The bucket, ideally, would have a typical hose attachable spigot to hook up with. These can be had from any decent hardware store.

The spigot not only makes for easy hook up to your water hose, but can turn the bucket into an outboard storage ‘tank’ when the trailer water tank is full by simply closing the valve. That could be another 5 gallons of water available in between rain showers. The above picture shows the spigot on our house rainwater collection barrel, but the bucket would be the same.

You just angle your awning or tarp downward towards your catch bucket. As indicated above, it would be really nice if you could screen the rainwater collected as it hits the bucket. Use some scrounged window screen or even an old T-shirt stretched and secured over the opening to keep debris from entering your on board storage tank. Junk in the water could mess up your system water pump, and you really don’t need that to happen! Screening also reduces the amount of crap your filtering system has to deal with.

This water, of course, must be filtered before you drink it or cook with it. Accomplished with anything between a Berkey ceramic filter system, which we have used for 15 years, getting new filters now and then.

to a little PUR unit that attaches on the faucet, which works fine attached to our camper’s kitchen sink faucet.

Travel trailers are useful for ‘opt out’ or off grid living quarters, for the number of people they are designed for, say 2 on up. They have surprising storage capacity for food and critical supplies IF you can make yourself dump all the usual clutter of frivolous junk that really isn’t necessary for survival. Equipped with independent lighting, heating, ventilation fans, hot water,  cooking and refrigeration, sleeping facilities, water storage and sewerage capability (storage only, until you find or construct a dump station). The water tank has a 12 volt pump supplying water pressure for your plumbing. Your basic necessities operate off the 12 volt system which is powered by a marine deep cycle battery when you’re totally off grid. But of course, the battery runs down eventually. What to do? Add a solar power charging system to keep the battery up and with sensible use of your 12 volt system, you can get by nicely.  Another item working fine on our camper

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